Excess skin, fat, and loose muscles around your abdomen can
be a difficult issue, and exercise and weight loss aren’t always enough. A
tummy tuck, known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to correct
these issues for a flat and firm midsection.
Benefits of a tummy tuck
A tummy tuck isn’t an alternative to a healthy diet and exercise,
but it can help with persistent problems like loose skin, excess fat, and
weakened or separated abdominal muscles. The procedure firms up your abdominal wall,
slims your waistline, and eliminates apparent sagging skin around your belly
and above your pubic area. Incisions are made along your bikini line so they
are hidden by your bathing suit.
How tummy tuck surgery is performed
Abdominoplasty can be done under local anesthesia with sedation
or general anesthesia. Liposuction is commonly done during a tummy tuck to help
remove fat deposits and more effectively slim your abdominal area.
During a full tummy
tuck, your cosmetic surgeon will make an incision from hip to hip just
above your pubic area. Your abdominal
muscles are sutured together to tighten them and create a flatter abdominal wall.
Your excess belly skin at the bottom is trimmed, and a new hole for your navel
is made. The incisions are then stitched.
A partial abdominoplasty, known as a mini tummy tuck, is a milder form of this surgery that just
corrects the area under your navel, and your original navel is left in place. The
incisions are smaller.
An extended tummy
tuck can correct loose skin around your sides as well as your belly. The
incision is much longer and goes past your hips and into your sides to allow
removal of more excess skin.
Recovery after surgery
Recovery can take anywhere from two to 12 weeks depending on
how much surgical work was done. Most people can return to their normal routine
after one to two weeks. You’ll have temporary pain, soreness, swelling, and
numbness that will subside with time. Your surgeon will prescribe pain
medication to help.
Tummy tuck costs vary depending on what type of surgery you
select—mini, full, or extended—and whether or not liposuction is performed.
Other factors that affect cost are your area, surgeon, and health care
coverage. Health insurance providers usually do not cover abdominoplasty.