What is a Tummy Tuck ?

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So maybe you've been counting those Weight Watchers points, and have trimmed down substantially, but still have hanging skin and fat around your belly. Or you've realized that even eating veggie Subway sandwiches for three of your three meals isn't going to get rid of your post-pregnancy bulge. Maybe you just don't want to put off looking great in a bathing suit one summer longer!

If this sounds like you, you may want to consider getting a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty tightens the abdominal muscles and gets rid of excess skin and fat. The surgery is typically performed on individuals who have had major weight loss but still have excess hanging skin and fat around their belly. Women whose abdomens have never returned to their normal state after a pregnancy also benefit greatly from a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck will generally take place in a surgeon's facility or in a hospital. It will take between two and five hours depending on the procedure. General anesthesia may be administered. You and your surgeon may also decide to use a local anesthesia combined with a sedative.
There are two primary types of tummy tucks. You and your surgeon will decide which is the right option for you.

Complete abdominoplasty.
Your abdomen will be cut from hipbone to hipbone in this procedure, the option for those patients who require the most correction. The incision will be made low, at about the same level as your pubic hair.
Partial or mini abdominoplasty. Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits an loose skin are located below the navel and require shorter incisions.

Is a tummy tuck right for me?

A tummy tuck cannot take the place of exercise and a weight loss program. Results of a tummy tuck are permanent, but can be diminished by large fluctuations in your weight. Therefore, it's not a good idea to have a tummy tuck if you are planning substantial weight loss or future pregnancies. A tummy tuck will not always remove all your stretch marks, although if stretch marks are located on the areas of excess skin to be excised, they may be removed or improved.

In sum, abdominoplasty could be a good option for you if:

  • You are in good physical condition and are at a stable weight
  • You are a non-smoker (smoking and anesthesia are a dangerous combination)
  • You are bothered by the feeling that your tummy is too large

As always, you'll want to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon before making your decision.

Article by
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon