Tummy tuck, also called as abdominoplasty surgery, is usually performed as a cosmetic procedure for patients who want to improve the appearance of their abdomen. This is done by removing the loose skin and excess fats and tightening the underlying muscles to achieve a slimmer waist and flatter tummy.
A good candidate for this procedure should be physically healthy, within 25-30 percent of his or her recommended weight, non-smoker, and emotionally stable with realistic goals and expectations.
Through the incisions placed along the lower pelvic area and sometimes around the navel (for complete tummy tuck), the surgeons can remove the loose skin and excess fats and tighten the abdominal muscles using deep internal sutures. Once the necessary alterations have been completed, they will close the incisions, and if necessary, reposition the belly button to achieve a more natural appearance.
Meanwhile, some doctors perform liposuction several months prior to the tummy tuck surgery to remove the excess, bulging fats in the abdominal area.
The recovery will depend on the length of the incisions, extensiveness of the procedure, and healing ability of a patient. But in general, those who will undergo a complete tummy tuck should expect more post-operative pain and discomfort and longer recovery compared with individuals who will have a mini or endoscopically-assisted abdominoplasty.
Many patients can return to their normal activities a week after their surgery, although they should avoid strenuous exercises and heavy lifting for several months or depending on the recommendations of their surgeons.
Because the procedure involves loosening the skin from its previous attachments, most patients will experience numbness which will gradually improve over the course of several months.