Pregnancies or appreciable weight loss can result in sagging of the abdominal skin and weakening of the abdominal muscles. Abdominoplasty, better known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Through this process some stretch marks can also be removed.
The operation is usually performed in Dr. George Lefkovits' Manhattan accredited certified operating facility, but in some cases it may be performed in the hospital. An overnight stay is not required. A tummy tuck can reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen, but it also produces a permanent scar that can extend from hip to hip.
Tummy tuck operations vary in scope and are frequently divided into categories:
- Complete abdominoplasty
- Partial abdominoplasty
- Extended abdominoplasty
- Combination procedures
Complete abdominoplasty begins with a long incision in the groin area, from hip to hip, and there is a second incision that separates the navel from surrounding tissue. After the incisions are made, the abdominal skin is separated from the fat and muscle below. The abdominal wall is then pulled and sewn together to tighten the muscles and make the waistline narrower. Excess skin is also removed.
Partial abdominoplasty involves a shorter incision and the navel may not be moved.
Extended abdominoplasty is a completed abdominoplasty with extensions into the thighs and or sides.
Combination procedures uses abdominoplasty combined with liposuction contouring, breast reduction, breast list or occasionally hysterectomy, depending on the reason for a hysterectomy.
After surgery, you will be swollen and will likely feel some pain and discomfort. Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and drains are removed in three to five days. At this point, the dressings will be replaced with a fitted support garment that you will wear for 4 to 6 weeks, at which point all strenuous activity must be avoided. You can return to work in one to two weeks.
It may take a while to feel like yourself again. Exercise will help you heal better because it helps to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots and tones muscles. Dr. Lefkovits will instruct you about what type of activity you can engage in and what activity you cannot engage in.
If you would like to learn more about abdominoplasty, please contact the Manhattan cosmetic surgery office of Dr. George Lefkovits today to schedule your initial consultation.