Abdominoplasty is also referred to as tummy tuck and it is a procedure in cosmetic surgery which helps to firm up the abdomen. It involves the removal of excess fat and skin from both lower and middle abdomen to tighten the abdominal wall’s fascia and muscle. Typically, patients with loose tissues following pregnancy or muscle sagging following a weight loss regime seek tummy tuck surgery.
The requirement or scope for tummy tuck varies from patient to patient and generally divided into various categories. Whereas a complete tummy tuck surgery can take up to five hours, a partial abdominoplasty may be completed by the plastic surgeon in one to two hours.
Complete Tummy Tuck
It involves making an incision above the pubic area from left hip to right hip and another one to make the navel free from the skin around it. The fascia and muscle that are to be tightened are exposed by detaching the skin from the abdominal wall. The muscle fascia is tightened by suturing. Liposuction is done to for refining the transition zones in the abdomen. The excess fluid from the surgery site is drained and wound is dressed. Sometimes a compression garment is used.
Partial Tummy Tuck
When it comes to partial tummy tuck surgery, the incision made is smaller and the fat and skin of the lower abdomen are detached only to a limited extent from the muscle fascia. The excess skin is removed. Sometimes it may be required to divide the belly button stalk from the muscle and slide it down a little lower on the wall of the abdomen. A portion of the muscle fascia wall is sometimes tightened. Contouring of the transition zone is done with the help of liposuction and the flap is sutured back.
The surgery that involves a complete tummy tuck and a lateral thigh lift is referred to as extended abdominoplasty.
High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty
This advanced technique is completed in nearly five hours. Whereas the traditional tummy tuck procedure tightens muscles in the vertical direction, this method involves both vertical and horizontal tightening of muscles. This technique ensures a waistline that is better defined and a flat abdomen.
This is also a new technique and sometimes referred to as extended mini abdominoplasty. It makes use of a smaller incision to tighten and shape the abdomen. During the course of the procedure, excess skin is removed and the belly button remains in a floating condition above the muscles. From the sternum to the pubic area, the muscles are reshaped and tightened. Finally, skin tightening and belly button reattachment are performed. Liposuction procedure may also be required sometimes to get desired results.
This procedure involves an extended tummy tuck and a buttock lift and therefore the scar can be seen all around the body. This surgery is also referred to as a body lift or belt lipectomy. This surgery is best suited for patients who have experienced massive weight loss.
The recovery period after a tummy tuck procedure is three to six months. The scars may be prominent and red initially, but over time become thin and silvery in color.