Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is the surgical removal of loose, excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Additionally, the abdominal muscles from the ribs to the pubic bone and the inner girdle of connective tissue can be tightened to deliver a toned, sculptured appearance.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be corrected.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as the vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy.
Some stretch marks can be simply removed with a tummy tuck, if they are found in the lower abdomen below the belly button as this is the area where excess skin is removed.
Tummy tuck surgery will tighten and narrow the waist but won’t narrow the flanks or hips. Liposuction of the hips and legs could be proposed, if the balance between the waist and hips needs improvement.
A horizontal incision is made between the pubic hairline and navel in such a way as to be concealed under the bikini line. Weakened or separated abdominals are corrected and sutured together through the incision. Extraneous fat, tissue and skin are removed.
Full recovery can last from 1-2 weeks depending on patient characteristics. Medicine is administered to reduce swelling and pain. A drain tube can also be placed beneath the skin to empty excess fluid or blood removed in the first 48 hours. A compression garment post op helps in reducing the swelling faster.
A tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdomen that is more proportionate to your body.
Dr. Salil Bharadwaj
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Bahrain Specialist Hospital
Email: sa[email protected]