The tummy tuck is a form of cosmetic surgery also known as abdominoplasty. Its purpose is to change the appearance of the abdomen to a more desirable shape. Hence, the popular term, tummy tuck. It involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the mid and lower abdomen to create a smooth and flatter appearance. This normally includes/results in a tightening of the muscles of the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck procedure is usually taken because the individual has been unable to achieve desired results through normal diet and exercise. This may be common for those that have experienced sudden weight loss or are older, as in both cases a flat stomach cannot be acquired through exercise and diet alone. In particular, tummy tucks are popular amongst women who have had children but do not intend on bearing children in the future.
While there are various types of tummy tucks, they tend to fall into two categories: partial abdominoplasty and complete abdominoplasty.
The former category consists of a small incision made between the hips, just above the pubic area. This is followed by the removal of excess skin between the incision and the navel, and stitches.
The latter category consists of an incision made from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. Another incision is made around the navel to free it. Skin from the abdominal wall is then detached to reveal the muscles to be tightened. The muscles themselves are then tightened with sutures. Extra skin is then removed, while the remainder is reattached. Finally, all stitches are dressed, while any extra fluid from the area is drained.
An individual may experience bruising, some pain, and other discomforts within ten days after the procedure. Normally, a supportive abdominal binder is worn to contain the swelling and help support recovery of the muscles. The time needed for recovery from the procedure can take several weeks. As usual, smoking (before, as well), stringent dieting and any intense physical activity should be avoided. All three factors can affect the ability of the body to recover.
Before considering undergoing the procedure, individuals should be in relatively good health. This applies to both their mental state as well as their physical. Patients should have realistic expectations of the procedure. Again, it is neither considered an alternative to diet and/or exercise, nor should be undergone by women planning on bearing children in the future. As well, past scarring from abdominal surgery may be sufficient cause against the procedure, since additional scarring can result.