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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the abdomen. It is one of the most common procedures that Dr. Martin performs. Following pregnancy or changes in weight, the skin of the abdominal wall can become loose and stretched. The abdominal muscles also sometimes become lax. This can result is in a sagging, bulging abdomen. Abdominoplasty tightens the skin and muscles, resulting in a flatter abdomen.

Good Candidates for Abdominoplasty

Good candidates for abdominoplasty are patients who:

  • Have loose, stretched abdominal skin
  • Sagging skin of the abdomen
  • Laxity of the abdominal muscles
  • Bulging of the abdomen
  • Are at or close to their ideal body weight

How is an Abdominoplasty Performed?

Dr. Martin performs abdominoplasty with his patients asleep under general anesthesia. An incision is made in the lower abdomen just above the pubic area extending out toward the hips. Dr. Martin typically marks the incision low on the abdomen so that it is hidden by clothing. The skin and fat are elevated from the abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles are then tightened using sutures. The excess skin and fat are then removed, and wound closed just above the pubic area. Sometimes drains are placed prior to wound closure. Surgical tapes, a dressing and garment are then applied at the end of the procedure.

What are the types of Abdominoplasty?

Full Abdominoplasty

An incision is made in the lower abdomen area that extends towards the hips. An incision is also made around the umbilicus. The skin is elevated above the umbilicus (belly button). Sutures are used to tighten the muscles of the upper and lower abdomen. All of the skin and fat between the umbilicus and pubic area is removed and the remaining skin tightened. This procedure tightens and flattens of the entire abdominal area.

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Mini Abdominoplasty

A smaller incision is made in the lower abdomen area. The skin is elevated up to the umbilicus (belly button). No incision is made around the umbilicus. Sutures are used to tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen. Skin and fat from the lower abdominal area are removed and the skin tightened. Recovery following this procedure is shorter but tightening is limited to the lower abdominal area.

Supplementary Liposuction

Liposuction is sometimes performed with both the mini and full abdominoplasty procedures. This can be done around the waist, hip, upper abdominal, and pubic areas to improve the result following abdominoplasty.

Recovery following Abdominoplasty

Most of Dr. Martin’s patients go home the same day of surgery and are encouraged to be up moving around. Patients are asked to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for 2 weeks after surgery. Dr. Martin gives pain medication and a compression garment is worn for several weeks following surgery. Surgical tapes are removed 2 weeks after surgery. At this point silicone gel can be applied to the incision to improve the appearance of the scar. Dr. Martin sees his patients several times after surgery to make sure they heal properly. Full recovery is 4-6 weeks from surgery.

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