Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck can be a wonderful way for one to get back to a well-shaped abdomen. For women this could mean the elimination of excess skin that developed on the lower abdomen or tightening of weakened abdominal muscles. These are complaints many women have following pregnancy or weight loss. A tummy tuck can also help to re-establish an hourglass silhouette. Men too can benefit, especially when they have developed an apron of excess lower abdominal skin following weight loss.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Warren Lent, begins each tummy tuck procedure by carefully marking the patient while they are standing, prior to ever entering the operating room. This is an essential step to achieving optimal results. The proposed incision can be quite long, extending from hip to hip and carried downward to just above the pubic region. This allows the future scar to be well camouflaged in bathing suits and underwear. An example of the incision is demonstrated in figure 1.

Tummy Tuck Incisions
Figure 1 - The Incisions

The first phase of the tummy tuck procedure involves lifting up of the abdominal skin. This is done to free up the excess lower abdominal skin as well as releasing the upper abdominal skin, which will later be pulled downward to fill in the area where the excess was removed (fig. 2). It also gives the surgeon access to the underlying muscles.

The next phase of the plastic surgery is to tighten the muscles and the tough overlying tissue known as fascia. These can be stretched out during pregnancy and weight gain, thus causing bulging of the mid and lower abdominal wall. Techniques used to tighten the muscles can aid in achieving maximal flattening of the abdomen (fig. 3).

Figure 2 - Lifting Skin

Figure 3 - Tightening Muscle

The last phase of the operation involves the removal of the excess lower abdominal skin, a meticulous closure of the skin and insetting of the belly button (fig.4). Los Angeles plastic surgeon, Warren Lent, MD, says that "particular care at this stage of the operation is essential to achieve the most beautiful results possible."

Figure 4 - Excess Skin Removal

Figure 5 - The Final Results

Figure 5 demonstrates the final scar, the elimination of the redundant skin and the improved waistline that are the ultimate goal of most Tummy Tuck procedures.

Following your surgery, drains that were placed under the skin to remove excess fluid are generally removed 10 to 14 days later. Sutures can remain in place for up to one month after the operation depending on the technique used by the surgeon. Patients are required to avoid exercise and heavy lifting for at least two months after surgery.

A Tummy Tuck procedure is excellent for restoring abdominal shape following changes due to pregnancy, weight loss and after Gastric Bypass surgery. Be sure to check out our tummy tuck video.

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