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Tummy Tuck - FAQS

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Beauty
 

With people being increasingly conscious about the importance of well groomed looks, the popularity of cosmetic surgery is rising to a considerable extent in recent times. As most of the people-- men and women alike-- approaches 40s, their stature starts to loose their natural built and the most irritating sign of middle age is a protruding tummy. In fact this is a feature that results in a lack of confidence in many men and women. So it is not at all surprising to find that tummy tucks is one of the five most popular plastic surgeries that people opt for. According to an estimate, within four years between 1997 to 2001, the cases of tummy tucks increased by 72 percent. If you are approaching middle age or suffering depression due to undesired expansion in the middle of your body at an early age, then tummy tuck can be the best solution for your problem.

If you are considering tummy tuck go through the following list of the some of the frequently asked questions relating to tummy tuck.

Abdominoplasty, the medical term for what is commonly called a "tummy tuck," involves surgically removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower part of the abdomen and sometimes tightening the abdominal muscles. The result is a flatter abdomen, and sometimes, a smaller waist, because the procedure corrects loose, sagging skin and excess fat. Any scars are usually located below the line of a swimsuit or underwear.

1. What is tummy tuck and why is it needed?

Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure which corrects the appearance of a protruding abdomen by surgically removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower parts of the abdomen and tightening the abdominal muscles where necessary. The procedure is popularly known as tummy tuck. The end result is a flatter and tighter abdomen.

The skin of our abdomen is like a balloon. After pregnancy or a large weight gain followed by weight loss the condition of the abdomen becomes just like a deflated balloon. This is because, the skin can not return to normal state if it stretches beyond normal point. In those cases skin becomes stretched and creased and can not be taken back to the normal state by exercise or diet. A tummy tuck surgery can correct this cosmetic defect.

In addition to cosmetic reasons, many people opt for this surgery to strengthen the abdominal muscles as weakened abdominal muscles may lead to many medical complications like back pain and in such cases, as a type of constructive surgery, the tummy tuck operation is covered by insurance.

2. What are some of the most common benefits of a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck is a corrective surgery for tightening the muscles of your abdomen. As a result of this surgery you get rid of sagging, excess skin over  your abdominal area and the fatty tissues accumulated underneath. This makes your abdomen flat and firm, the waistline is also become narrower. As a result of Abdominoplasty you get a better body as a whole.

3. What is the procedure of tummy tuck?

In the tummy tuck surgery, an incision is made either in the lower abdomen or near the area of belly button in order to separate the skin from the abdominal wall. The loose muscles lying underneath are pulled firmly and tied together. Then the excess skin is removed and the skin in your outer abdominal area gets tightened and waistline also becomes slimmer. The belly button has to be repositioned due to the procedure.

here are several different tummy tuck techniques. The most common procedure is performed under general anesthesia. In the full tummy tuck, an incision is made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. Another incision is made around the belly button to free the surrounding skin, and the all of the skin is separated from the abdominal wall. Then the surgeon pulls the loose muscles from the left and the right sides and sutures them together. This tightens the muscles to create a stronger abdominal wall and a smaller waist. Excess skin is removed, and a new opening is made for the belly button at the right position. The incisions are closed with sutures (stitches) and/or staples, and gauze is placed over the incision area.

If you want to reshape only the area below the belly button, you have to undergone a less complex procedure of tummy tuck called partial abdominoplasty. This partial tummy tuck is done in an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.

Abdomioplasty is often performed in conjunction with liposuctions on the hip or thigh areas to create a symmetrical body contour.

4. Major techniques

abdominoplasty can be done with several techniques depending on how bad the condition of the abdomen is, the patient's physical and mental strength, age and expectations.The common techniques of abdominoplasty are

Mini-tummy tuck, Endoscopic tummy tuck, Panniculectomy and Liposuction

Mini-tummy tuck: This is a less extensive surgery performed on a small area under local anesthesia. Here the belly button is not needed to be repositioned.

Endoscopic tummy tuck:  This operation is performed through several small incisions by viewing the inside through a lighted tube called an endoscope. It is helpful where small amount of execss skin has to be removed.

Panniculectomy:  This is more complex version of tummy tuck, where a large amount of fat have to be removed from the abdominal area of an obese person or a person who has lost a lot of weight.

Liposuction: Generally fats are removed through liposuction if the skin of abdominal area of the patient is elastic and firm. It involves sucking out of the fats using a  suction pump attached to a tube, which inserted into the abdomen through incisions.

5. What is the duration of the operation?

The time of operation varies from 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of the repair. A partial abdominoplasty finishes between 1 and 2 hours.  

6. Where does the operation take place?

Again depending on the extent of the repair, an overnight stay after the surgery is sufficient. In case of mini tummy tuck, you are allowed to go home the same day.

7. How much pain is involved with tummy tuck?

The abdominal area usually remains swollen for first few days of the operation. During this time there will be little discomfort which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the natural healing capacity of your system your atay in the hospital may extend up to three days.

8. What Are The Risks and Limitations of a Tummy Tuck?

Like all surgical procedures, tummy tuck is not absolutely free of any risk. Like any kind of surgery, it also involves the minor risks of bleeding, after effects of the anesthetic, and infection. Initially you will find a scar on the area of operation, which will disappear over time. However, smoking complicates the healing process and lead to larger scars.

The risk factors can be avoided by strictly following surgeons all instructions.

9. Costs

According to data released by American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, surgeon fees for tummy tuck are around 4,827 which may changewith the atates and different regions. This fee is excluded of the other costs like surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, and others. You will get the picture in your first consultation with the surgeon.

10. Post Operation Recovery

Bed rest for two to three days with legs bent at the hips is recommended to reduce the strain on the abdominal area. 

There will be certain restriction with regard taking showers and changing the dresses. You may not be able to stand straight at first, but it is recommended start walking as soon as possible.

The stitches are removed within seven days. The ends of the deeper sutures are visible on your skin for two to three days. But they will come out in two to three weeks.