A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an operation that is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen as well as tighten the abdominal muscles.

A tummy tuck is an operation that is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and, at the same time, tighten the abdominal muscles.

The surgery is particularly helpful for men and women who, through episodes of weight gain and loss or pregnancy, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin.

A tummy tuck can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen and can narrow the waistline. It does, however, produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip. In some patients with excess skin and fat of the buttocks and back, this operation can be combined with a buttock lift in a procedure called a belt abdominoplasty or lower body lift.

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Prior to an abdominoplasty, the amount of skin that is to be removed is carefully marked. The operation is usually carried out under general anesthesia and takes about 3 hours.

Following surgery, the patient is fitted in a snug abdominal binder to minimize bruising and swelling and to help support the area during healing. Drains are left in place for 1-2 weeks to help prevent fluid from accumulating under the skin. Most patients go home the same day of surgery, but some prefer to spend a night or two in the hospital. Patients usually take 1-2 weeks off work to recover from surgery. The scar fades over the 12 months following surgery and, although it will not disappear completely, it will be covered by most clothing and bathing suits.

Click here to view patient before and after tummy tuck pictures.

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