A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes extra skin or fat around the middle of the body. It also includes a tightening of the muscles in the abdominal wall.
Tummy tuck can be ideal for anyone who isn't able to get the flat tummy they want from dieting and exercise. Many people who have had bariatric surgery opt for a tummy tuck to remove extra skin. It's also a popular procedure for women after having children. Some tummy tuck patients are simply unhappy with the way their abdomen looks due to aging, and this procedure allows them to recapture the look they had when younger.
A full tummy tuck includes removal of extra skin and fat as well as tightening the abdominal muscles. This tummy tuck requires 2 incisions, from hipbone to hipbone and around the belly button. For patients who need extensive amounts of skin and fat removed, a circumferential abdominoplasty may be needed. This type of tummy tuck involves an incision that goes all the way around the body. A partial tummy tuck is best for people who have a muffin top, but who don't have extra skin and fat in the lower abdomen. This type of tummy tuck requires a single incision. Another option is the lipoabdominoplasty, which includes both liposuction and a tummy tuck.
After a tummy tuck, patients generally need to plan for 2-4 weeks off work, depending on the type of tummy tuck. Patients can't stand up straight immediately because the waist will be bent. The belly may be swollen or bruised, but pain or discomfort typically subsides within a week. Medication generally manages any pain or discomfort very effectively during early recovery. Any kind of abdominal strain must be avoided, including heavy exercise, sex, lifting, and housework for 2 weeks after the surgery. However, patients are encouraged to walk as often as possible, as this helps with circulation and can enhance healing.