For most women, a tummy tuck is the surest way to achieve a great result and to get back a flat belly. A liposuction is a wonderful tool for removing fat in areas of the body with tight skin, such as the hips, Saddleback, and flanks. However, stomach skin has often lost its elasticity because of pregnancy, weight gain or age. If you then remove the fat with liposuction, the skin will not retract and will hang. In contrast, abdominoplasty removes not just the fat but also the extra skin and tightens up the muscles.

What is an abdominoplasty? It’s a surgery done in a hospital where you’ll be under general anesthesia — which makes you completely unconscious and unable to feel pain. The surgery consists of removing excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.

During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will make incisions to remove most of the skin and fat located between your belly button and pubic hair in a horizontal oval or elliptical shape. The fascia, which overlies the abdominal muscles, will be tightened with permanent sutures. Then, the surgeon will reposition the skin around your belly button. Your belly button will be brought out through a small incision and sutured in its normal position. The incision will leave a scar that falls along the natural crease within the bikini line. This kind of surgery typically takes about three hours, and during the procedure, you might be given an antibiotic to prevent infection.

After the procedure?

After an abdominoplasty surgery, your abdominal incision and your belly button will likely be covered with a surgical dressing. Small tubes might be placed along the incision site to drain any excess blood or fluid. You’ll likely feel moderate pain, which will be controlled by pain medication. It’s normal to have some swelling in the surgical area for about six weeks. In some cases, swelling might take up to three months to resolve. Drains might be left in place for several days after surgery. Your surgeon will show you how to empty and care for your drains.

Abdominoplasty or liposuction?

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. Here are the causes :

  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight
  • Heredity

Don’t get confused with…

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program! A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised. Women who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

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