Tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is a lifting technique which effectively removes loose skin and fat. It is the most comprehensive belly surgery since it removes all excess skin between the navel and the pubic region.
Indications for Tummy Tucks
Abdominoplasty is required if there is substantial sagging of the skin due to excess fat, stretch marks, or scarring.
Abdominoplasty will work on three issues at the same time:
- Excess fat in the stomach: it occurs with age, most commonly in men after their forties, and women after their menopause.
- Separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) from birth or after cesarean section
- An excess of skin: What is visible is the common abdominal apron following pregnancy or significant weight loss.
If excess fat is substantial and there is mild sagging of the skin without distension of the muscles, liposuction of the belly is sufficient to cause a minimal but still sufficient retraction of the skin.
In cases where there is a large excess of fat and sagging skin, it is important to perform a tummy tuck.
Tummy tuck procedure is performed under general anesthetic and includes hospitalization for one to two nights. The duration of the operation is between one and three hours depending on the importance of the work to be performed.
The procedure comprises three distinct phases.
The surgeon starts by sucking out the fat on the abdomen and the sides. Liposuction enables to refine the area of the abdominal wall in the stomach before eliminating excess skin.
There are two types of procedures depending on the size of the sagging skin.
- In cases where there is minimal loose skin, the physician will perform a mini-abdominoplasty. This removes excess skin in the area below the belly button without having to get closer to the muscles. This method decreases the chance of bleeding and leaves a slight scar and shorter sequelae.
- In cases where there is a lot of sagging skin, a full abdominoplasty is done by the surgeon. This removes excess skin at the lower part of the belly and tightens the upper half, which is then stretched to cover almost twice the surface area. The navel then appears at its usual height, via an orifice in the lowered skin.
There will be scarring and the length of the skin will vary depending on the amount of skin removed. This scar will be located at the lowest possible level of the pubic bone and will stretch from one hip to the other. Its length can be anticipated before the operation. It should generally be able to be concealed by suitably sized undergarments. There will also be a small circular scar around the navel in cases of full abdominoplasty.
Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
The surgeon tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. This tightening of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) recreates a powerful abdominal belt, flattens the stomach and refines the waist.
At the end of the procedure, the physician will apply a dressing that is to be changed regularly for the next 15 days.
A compression bandage and drains are fitted and worn for one to two days before being substituted by a compression sheath that the patient will wear day and night for one to two months.
After 15 to 20 days, the stitches will be removed. The scar is often pink for the first two or three months, then slowly fades over one to three years without disappearing entirely.
Results of abdominal surgery
Results are immediately noticeable. Excess fat and skin, as well as stretch marks, have completely gone, and the belly is nice and flat. It becomes permanent after two months when the edema above the scar has completely decreased in size. Then the belly is nice and flat, tight, and the waist is thinner.
The physical and psychological changes are often exceptional. The person can wear clothes that fit more closely to the body, get back into a beach swimsuit, and restore confidence in their intimate relationships.
Tummy Tucks Costs
A 1 to 2 night stay
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Consultation with a surgeon
Consultation with an anaesthesiologist
*Fees may vary from one practitioner to another.
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