Abdominoplasty, also known as a “Tummy Tuck,” is designed to tighten and flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and abdominal skin and by tightening muscles of the abdominal wall. It is best suited to women and men in relatively good shape, but who have loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise. The procedure corrects muscle weakness and tightens loose skin that can occur from weight loss, aging or pregnancy. During an initial consultation, the doctor will perform an examination, assess the patient’s physical/emotional health and discuss specific cosmetic goals for the surgery. He will then advise a method to best produce the desired results. Abdominoplasty is sometimes combined with liposuction to achieve best results. In other instances, liposuction alone may be advocated, as may be more limited types of abdominoplasty. Generally, in the procedure, a horizontal incision is made just within or above the pubic area. The contour and length of the incision may vary, depending on the amount of skin to be removed. Although there will be a scar, it can usually be placed within the bikini line. In patients with larger amounts of loose skin, a second incision may be made around the navel so that the skin can be pulled downward and excess removed. Stretch-marked skin on the abdomen can often be removed at this time. If skin laxity and muscle weakness are limited to the area below the navel, a patient may be a candidate for a partial or modified abdominoplasty, leaving a shorter scar and requiring no incision around the navel. Patients with only a minimal amount of excess skin and muscle laxity may also be candidates for an endoscopic abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty can be performed in approximately 2 – 3 hours on an outpatient basis, but often requires an overnight stay. Patients are encouraged to get out of bed soon after surgery to walk for short periods of time, promoting blood circulation and helping to prevent blood clots. Patients may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks. After surgery, a patient should be able to return to work within 2 – 3 weeks, though strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for approximately 3 – 4 weeks. In the months following surgery, it’s important to treat the healing skin with extra care. Like any surgical procedure, abdominoplasty carries antecedent risks, which are delineated in the informed consent sheet provided during the initial consultation. You, as a patient, are strongly encouraged to carefully review these risks and discuss them at length with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery. While the circumstances and experience of every individual will be unique, you can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon and closely following his advice, both before and after surgery. The surgeons and staff at The Face & Body Center are available to discuss any questions you may have by calling 866-939-4999 or 939-9999 in the Jackson Metro Area.