A flat and well-toned abdomen is a dream of many. A tummy paunch is not a problem faced only by people reaching middle age or engaged in corporate life. People who have managed to loose large amounts of weight through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, as well as younger women who have had multiple pregnancies, may find that even after the excess weight has been lost, their stomach still protrudes with excess sagging skin and lacks tone. Due to this fact that the skin of the stomach and the underlying diastases of recti muscles (the muscles that hold the stomach in place) the skin of the abdomen stretches as weight is gained but do not easily return to their former condition. Once the skin has stretched and the muscles separated, even the healthiest diet and the fiercest of exercise regimes won’t be able to fix the issue.
Who is it for?
A person is a candidate for tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) who is moderately fit, has good health and muscle tone but has a loose saggy abdomen. There should not be any life threatening illness. Patients who smoke, however, can have an increased risk of complications. Previous abdominal surgery may also limit the potential results of the surgery. Women who have undergone caesarean section have the opportunity to have the existing scar revised. Patients whose weight has been stabilized after weight loss program, or who feel that they are at their ideal weight are also good candidates for a tummy tuck or lipoabdominoplasty.
What is Tummy Tuck?
- Abdomen is assessed for muscle weakness and any hernia, amount of extra fat and its location. Quality and the amount of extra skin are assessed. A surrounding area like Mons pubis, hip, butt, thigh, bra roll on the back is also assessed. The surgeon makes a comprehensive plan of tummy tuck for men or tummy tuck for women procedure.
- Abdominoplasty/tummy tuck is combined with liposuction and thus it is also known as lipoabdominoplasty.
- The excess amount of skin and fat of lower abdomen is excised away.
- The separated rectus muscle is placed in a mid-line from below the chest bone to the pubic bone.
- If needed lateral plication of the muscle is done to further tighten muscles to give the hourglass shape of the tummy.
- The umbilicus is fixed to the underlying muscle at the aesthetically appropriate location. A hole is created in a skin flap at the same location. The umbilicus is fixed to the skin flap in such a manner that the suture line goes deep in an invisible position.
- If the umbilicus is highly positioned and skin above the umbilicus is not much extra, floating the umbilicus technique can be used to avoid circumpolar scarring.
- Mons pubis lift: Vulva and external genitalia hang due to the laxity of skin post-pregnancy and post-weight loss. Mons is pulled up and fixed at a higher level.
- Before closure, the drain is used and fixed depending on the surgical extent to drain out the fluid and broken fat.
- Skin sutured is done in layers with buried suture. Care is taken that the suture line remains below the bikini line. One should be able to wear a swimsuit easily.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck
- Enhanced appearance, improved confidence and self esteem.
- Better core strength and sculpted abdomen.
- Motivation to maintain body weight.
- Simultaneous correction of existing ventral hernias.