In many women, pregnancy or drastic weight loss cause the abdominal skin to become lax and sag. For many patients, this optical change is a cause of distress.
Often, when the deep structures have been repeatedly overstretched, the abdominal muscle separates into abnormal muscle groups (diastasis recti, which looks like a ridge that runs down from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button). This condition can appear also in very slim women. These changes in the stomach musculature cannot be corrected by intensive muscle training. Liposuction alone doesn’t bring the desired results either when the skin and deep supporting tissue has lost elasticity. A smooth and firm abdomen can only be achieved in such cases with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). If required, tummy tuck can be performed in conjunction with liposuction of the flanks or thighs.
A tummy tuck involves careful pre-operative planning. The operation starts with a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made around the navel to free it from the surrounding skin. The skin and fatty tissue are then detached from the abdominal muscles along a length of about 20 cm. Excess skin and fat are removed, and if necessary, the deep muscle layers and the muscle fascia wall are tightened with sutures. This procedure leaves the position of the navel unchanged. However, a smooth scar around the navel will remain. The horizontal incision in the lower abdomen is then carefully closed with several layers of suture. A tummy tuck has often an added benefit for patients with a bulky and/or saggy mons pubis, as this area is automatically lifted when tightening the abdomen. After a tummy tuck, the remaining scar in the bikini line can easily be concealed by underwear.
A tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia. In exceptional cases, surgery can be done on an outpatient basis, but usually, spending one or several nights in the clinic may be necessary. Recovery time varies widely depending largely on individual circumstances. In any case, a special compression garment should be worn for about 3-6 weeks after the procedure.
A tummy tuck is not advisable in patients who are obese (BMI above 30-35), as they very often experience long wound healing dysfunctions and the anaesthesia risks are significantly higher.
» Before and after pictures: tummy tuck
» Surgery costs/Prices tummy tuck (abdominal wall lift, abdominoplasty
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