Abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is one of the earliest body contouring procedures described. It involves creation of a horizontal incision low in the abdomen, in the same location of a C-section scar, dissection of the abdominal wall (or “panniculus”) to the ribcage level, and then removing the excess tissue preserving the umbilicus in the process. This is a very popular procedure largely because loose excess skin with unwanted stretch-marks is very common in women who have borne children. The surgical incision can be tailored such as to follow anatomical contours and be less obvious, as well as shorter in overall length. I commonly perform this procedure with a gynecologist at the same time as the patient is having a hysterectomy, or other “female surgery”, to save her an additional anesthesia and hospitalization.
Indication for this surgery is essentially dissatisfaction with the appearance of your abdomen and is performed in all age brackets. Surgical time is approximately 3 to 4 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Recovery and discomfort depends on what other procedures were done at the same time.
A very common question I am asked is whether this will improve the waist size, or measurement. The answer is generally “no”. A “tummy tuck” flattens the abdomen proper and can sometimes improve the appearance of the umbilicus (or “belly-button”), but this surgery does not narrow the waist. In order to narrow the waise, you would need to have liposuction. In addition, if the problem is excess fat and not loose skin, then the surgeon may recommend only liposuction.
Patients are generally very happy with abdominoplasty and complications are not common.