The abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a commonly performed surgical procedure to get rid of excess skin and fat in the tummy area (tummy tuck), and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. In patients who have had one or more pregnancies, or who have lost large amounts of weight, the skin and fat in the abdomen can become loose and flaccid. No amount of exercise will get rid of this hanging, loose skin. At the same time, because the muscles of the abdomen have been stretched, your belly can push forward from the inside, creating an unsightly bulge of the abdomen. A tummy tuck can tighten these muscles to help create a flat, firm abdominal wall. At the same time, any excess loose, hanging skin and fat is removed.
The abdominoplasty procedure begins with an incision that is made in your pubic region below the bikini line. The navel is separated from the skin, and the skin and fat of your abdomen is elevated thus allowing the underlying muscles to be tightened. Excess fat is removed, the navel is repositioned, and the skin is pulled taut around the stomach. The entire procedure typically takes about two to four hours to complete and is usually performed under general anesthesia.
A mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) is a quicker, less invasive procedure than the full tummy tuck. Patients who have just a small amount of excess abdominal skin and those who are experiencing minor skin sagginess due to aging are often good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty. The procedure requires a shorter incision that is made across the lower abdomen, below the bikini line. The navel does not need to be separated from the skin. After the incision is made, underlying abdominal muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed. The skin is then pulled tight around the midsection and trimmed to create a fit, toned appearance. Mini abdominoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, typically taking about two hours to complete. Scarring from a mini abdominoplasty is minimal. Patients are usually able to resume normal daily activities within a few days after a mini abdominoplasty, compared to 1-2 weeks with a full abdominoplasty.