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Daniela Rodriguez, MD
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Enhancing the Natural You

Tummy Tuck

Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems.  In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty).  A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the repositioning of abdomen muscles into a tighter formation.  This bodily enhancement procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter stomach.  It is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.

Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:

  • Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
  • Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
  • Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy.
  • The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.

General Procedure

Abdominoplasty surgery lasts anywhere from one to five hours, depending on the desired look and the patient’s unique physiology.  To begin the procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic bone area.  This incision goes horizontally across the lower abdomen. The skin is then stretched away from the muscle tissue, and excess skin is removed.  The abdomen muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline.  Finally, the incision is closed with absorbable sutures and small steri-strips will then be placed over the incision. Normally, the procedure requires an additional incision around the navel in order to provide the best results.

Recovery Process

Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time.  As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, and discomfort.  Medication will  be prescribed to relieve any discomfort caused by the procedure. Often, there are two drains that are placed to remove fluid and will be removed between two days to three weeks depending upon the amount of tissue that has been removed. An abdominal binder will be required to be worn for three weeks. Normal activities can generally be resumed within two weeks.  With proper diet and exercise the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting.

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