Abdominal wall surgery
Alternate Names : Cosmetic surgery of the abdomen, Tummy tuck, Abdominoplasty
Abdominal wall surgery is surgery that improves the appearance of flabby, stretched-out abdominal (belly) muscles and skin. It is often called a "tummy tuck." It can range from a simple “mini-tummy tuck” to more complicated, extended surgery.
It is not the same as liposuction, another way to remove fat. But abdominal wall surgery is sometimes combined with liposuction.
Overview & Description
Your surgery will be done in an operating room in a hospital. You will receive general anesthesia. This will make you unconscious and unable to feel pain during the procedure. The surgery takes 2 to 6 hours. You can expect to stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after surgery.
After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) across your abdomen to open up the area. This incision will be just above your pubic area.
Your surgeon will remove fatty tissue and loose skin from the middle and lower sections of your abdomen to make it firmer and flatter. In extended surgeries, the surgeon also removes excess fat and skin (“love handles”) from the sides of the abdomen. Your abdominal muscles may be tightened also.
Your surgeon will close your incision with sutures (stitches). Your surgeon may insert small flat tubes called drains to allow fluid to drain out of your incision. These will be removed later.
A firm elastic dressing (bandage) will be placed over your abdomen.
For a less complicated surgery, your surgeon may use medical devices called endoscopes. Endoscopes are tiny cameras that are inserted into the skin through very small incisions. They are connected to a video monitor in the operating room that allows the surgeon to see the area being worked on. Your surgeon will remove excess fat with other small tools that are inserted through other small incisions. This surgery is called endoscopic surgery.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Most of the time, the surgery is called “elective” or “cosmetic” surgery because it is something you choose to have. It is not usually needed for health reasons. Cosmetic abdomen repair can help improve appearance, especially after a lot of weight gain or loss. It helps flatten the lower abdomen and tighten stretched skin.
It may also help relieve skin rashes or infections that happened under large flaps of skin.
Abdominoplasty can be helpful when:
- Diet and exercise have not helped make very weak muscles stronger. This can be true for women who have had many pregnancies.
- Skin and muscle cannot regain its normal tone. This can be a problem for very overweight people who lost a lot of weight.
Abdominoplasty is not used as a way to lose weight.
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