Is your waistline the area that gives you trouble? The best candidates for abdominoplasty are
men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or
loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise.
Women may find themselves with excess skin or fat following multiple childbirths that may
have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to
normal. Men often find their bodies' desire to store excess fat on the abdomen and hips to
blame. Sometimes these conditions are inherited. Also, men and women who have
experienced significant weight loss are sometimes left with unattractive loose or overhanging
skin. If you have unwanted skin or fat in your midsection, an abdominoplasty, also called a
tummy tuck, can help.
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Freed can surgically remove this excess skin and fat and tighten the
muscles of the abdominal wall that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy. The
procedure may also somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks although you should
not expect a dramatic change or complete removal of them. For additional contouring,
sometimes liposuction may be used in conjunction with an abdominoplasty to remove excess
If you are consulting with Dr. Freed for a possible tummy tuck, he will examine your abdomen
while you are standing as well as lying down. Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin in
the abdominal region will be assessed. He will also evaluate the amount of excess fat in your
abdomen and the condition of your abdominal muscles. This helps determine the best
technique and incision placement for each individual.
Most commonly during a tummy tuck, a long incision is made from hipbone to hipbone just
above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue.
Next, the skin is separated from the abdomen to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen.
These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new
position using sutures. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The
skin is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is made for the navel,
or bellybutton, which is then stitched into place.
In some instances, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel. When the amount
of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short
horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial, or "mini" abdominoplasty.
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among
individuals. Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical
condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work anywhere from one-to-three
weeks after surgery. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities,
including some form of mild exercise, after a few weeks.
Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with
weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting if
you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount
of weight or become pregnant, your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years
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