Abdominoplasty surgery, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that removes excess fat and skin from around the abdomen to improve its look and shape. It can also help tighten the abdominal muscles and reduce any stretch marks or scars.
Tummy tucks are not intended to help lose or control body weight, and they will not prevent future weight gain. However, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising the abdominal muscles can mean the effects of the abdominoplasty will be permanent.
Being a major surgical operation, anyone considering undergoing an abdominoplasty needs to assess their suitability as a candidate for the operation, understand how the procedure is carried out, and know how to find a board certified and qualified surgeon who will undertake the abdominoplasty successfully.
Who might have an abdominoplasty?
As abdominoplasties are performed to remove abdominal sagging or looseness, many patients undergo the surgery either post-pregnancy or after significant weight loss.
Available for both men and women, candidates for abdominoplasties should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations about what the procedure will achieve. While the surgery cannot completely remove stretch marks caused by pregnancy or weight loss, it can reduce their appearance.
For anybody who feels self-conscious about the appearance of their midriff but doesn’t necessarily need to lose weight, an abdominoplasty can help make the abdomen smoother, firmer, flatter and more toned.
How are abdominoplasties performed?
Abdominoplasties require the patient to be placed under a general anaesthetic and can be expected to take around three hours, depending on how much excess fat and skin is being removed.
In a standard abdominoplasty, an incision is made from hip to hip along the bikini line with another cut made around the navel to separate it from the surrounding skin. The surgeon will then repair and tighten the abdominal muscles and remove the excess fat and skin. The remaining skin is then pulled down tight and a new hole for the navel made for it to be replaced in a normal position.
For those who have less excess fat and skin to remove, a mini abdominoplasty is available. These are simpler procedures in which the navel is left untouched.
In more extreme cases where large amounts of excess fat and skin need removing, an extended abdominoplasty may be performed. In these cases, an incision is made around the lower back with excess fat and skin removed from there also.
How to find your abdominoplasty surgeon?
As with any cosmetic surgery, researching the surgeons and clinics before undergoing the procedure is highly recommended.
Your surgeon should be board certified and experienced, and be able to show you a full resume of successful abdominoplasty operations they have carried out. Joining a patient support group or online forums to get real world, word of mouth recommendations and warnings is also advisable.
Meeting with surgeons and discussing your requirements is another way to find out for yourself which of them you feel most comfortable with. They should ask the questions that ascertain whether you are a suitable candidate for an abdominoplasty, decide from this information which type of tummy tuck is right for you, and provide all the information you will need about your operation.
Abdominoplasties are major surgical operations. If you’re considering one, it’s vital to consult with a board certified and experienced surgeon to ensure they fully understand your situation and you fully understand the procedure ahead.
Dr. Rodger Shortt is one such surgeon. Visit him online to learn more or book a consultation at www.drshortt.com
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