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The Tummy Tuck

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  • June 13, 2016

What You Need To Know

Abdominoplasty, or the tummy tuck, is a common procedure among people following pregnancy, a substantial weight loss, or any situation where excess skin and a weak abdominal wall create an unflattering silhouette.

Abdominal weakness can result in excess skin at the abdomen. This can be due to age, genetics, pregnancy, or a massive weight loss. If these issues are the cause of your concerns, a tummy tuck could be the ideal solution, but only if your health and lifestyle allow for it.

Tummy Tuck Candidates

  1. Have maintained a constant weight - You must be at a stable weight, in relatively good physical condition. Not only to endure the procedure itself, but also to ensure the results last long-term. Even if you have lost a lot of weight, it is best to maintain a consistent weight for a long period of time before considering a tummy tuck. If you are generally obese, this procedure is not recommended. If you have excess intra-abdominal fat surrounding your internal organs, your cosmetic surgeon may ask you to slim down before the operation.
  2. Don’t Smoke - Smokers are also at risk of complications from surgery. It is recommended that you quit for at least six weeks prior to surgery, as smoking can affect your healing process. Complications can also arise from internal and external abdominal scarring due to past operations.
  3. Don’t plan on being pregnant (again) - pregnancy can have an adverse effect on the results, so make sure you are done having children. These are all important points of discussion between you and your plastic surgeon.

Types of Tummy Tucks and Scars

  • Full Abdominoplasty - Scarring is a common concern with this procedure. Depending on the severity of your excess skin, your cosmetic surgeon could recommend a full abdominoplasty. This procedure requires an incision along the bikini line as well as around the navel. Excess skin would be removed, the abdominal muscles tightened, and in some cases liposuction may help contour the abdomen. The skin is usually removed from the area above the belly button and down to the pubic area. Typically, this is for an area compromised by pregnancies or obesity. The incision is low enough for the tummy tuck scars to be hidden by a bikini.
  • Mini Abdominoplasty - In the case of a mini abdominoplasty, an incision is made quite low in the pubic bone area and can range in size from a few inches to spanning the entire abdomen. Excess skin is removed, the abdominal is tightened, and your cosmetic surgeon may also use liposuction to help shape the tummy. In most cases, candidates for a mini abdominoplasty observe a fit and healthy lifestyle yet can’t seem to flatten out their stomach.
  • High Lateral Abdominoplasty - If the excess skin extends to your hips, an extended or high lateral tension abdominoplasty might be the answer. This tummy tuck uses a deeper layer to support and maintain the repair, not only in the abdomen, but also over the hip and to the side of the thigh. The abdomen is again tightened, and the excess skin is removed. This is more common for people who have undergone massive weight loss or a pregnancy. The scars for this procedure are longer, deeper, but should also be easily camouflaged by a swimsuit.

Abdominoplasty and Liposuction

It is important to note that when liposuction is used during abdominoplasty, the goal is the definition of the abdominal shape. With a tummy tuck, the excess skin and fat is caused by a weakened abdomen and that concern is addressed. Liposuction is recommended when the abdomen is strong of structure, but the patient just can’t seem to shed that last bit of stubborn fat. There is no skin removal with a liposuction procedure.

If you would like more information about abdominoplasty and your plastic surgery options, contact Dr. Adil Ladak’s plastic and cosmetic surgery practice in Edmonton, Alberta, today, and schedule your consultation. 780-407-6691.

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