Abdominoplasty, often referred to as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that tightens muscles in the abdominal area while also removing fat and skin to make the abdomen smaller and flatter. For patients interested in only removing fat below the navel, an abbreviated abdominoplasty (also known as a mini tummy tuck) can be performed with less scarring. Abdominoplasty results sustain for several years, particularly when patients are attentive to their exercise routines and diet.
Strong abdominoplasty candidates may be people who have found regular exercise and commitment to a healthy diet are not reducing fat and loose skin in the abdominal area. Candidates may also want to tighten abdominal muscles that have loosened due to pregnancy, aging, or dramatic weight loss. Abdominoplasty can remove stretch marks; often, patients will pair abdominoplasty with liposuction.
Abdominoplasty is a very common procedure that can be performed in the hospital. Patients usually go home the same day as the surgery. General anesthesia is administered, though patients receiving the abbreviated abdominoplasty may elect to have only a local anesthetic and a sedative. An incision is made horizontally across the stomach, just above the pubic bone; the muscles are tightened and fat and unnecessary skin are removed. The entire surgery usually lasts one to three hours.
Due to the nature of the surgery, the navel may have to be moved and it is suggested that female candidates receiving abdominoplasties wait to have the procedure until they are finished having children. Infections and blood clots can occur, though they are rare and treatable with antibiotics. Fluid can become trapped under the abdominal skin, but can be released with additional surgery. Smoking will prohibit the success of the healing process, and smokers are advised to quit, at least 4 weeks before and 2 weeks after the abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty scars are permanent, though they will fade within a year.
Abdominoplasty patients will need help with household tasks for a few days following the surgery; they are able to return to work in two to four weeks. Recipients cannot lift heavy objects for 4-6 weeks after their procedure. During the abdominoplasty, drains are usually implanted to remove fluid postsurgery, but they will be removed one to two weeks after the procedure. Abdominoplasty patients are required to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks after surgery to facilitate healing.
Dr. Patrick Wilson focuses on breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), and liposuction surgery in Huntsville, AL. Wilson Plastic Surgery also specializes in facial rejuvenation, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), breast enhancement, facelift and rhinoplasty (nose surgery). Wilson Plastic Surgery is located in Huntsville, AL and serves the greater Madison County area as well as Decatur, Madison, Athens, and Scottsboro, AL.