Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty, commonly called a Tummy Tuck, tightens the abdomen area (Stomach) by removing excess fatty tissue and skin while tightening the abdominal muscle. Following a significant amount of weight-loss or childbearing, the abdominal muscles are inexorably stretched. Once this occurs, tightening the muscle layer is frequently the only way to obtain a flat, smooth, attractive abdomen.
Abdominoplasty, is designed to tighten the abdominal area giving it a more shapely appearance. Incisions are hidden within the pubic hair area or bikini lines. The skin is then elevated over the abdominal area to be tightened. Liposuction can be combined with the procedure for further flattening of the abdominal area, flanks or waist. The amount of excess (loose skin) and the relatively position, or height, of the belly button compared to the distance between the pubic area and the xiphoid process (top of the abdomen) will dictate which particular type of Abdominoplasty is best for you.
The rationale behind the belly button position, amount and where the loose abdominal skin is located is the key to performing the appropriate type of Abdominoplasty and for that reason, I believe that it should be fully understood by all potential Tummy Tuck patients.
Abdominoplasty will tighten underlying abdominal muscles, tighten and remove excess skin of the abdomen but does that mean that everyone that has a little bit of abdominal skin laxity is a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck? The answer is no. Here’s how you can decide if you’re a candidate for an Abdominoplasty and if so, which type (full Abdominoplasty, Mini-Abdominoplasty, Vertical Incision Abdominoplasty, Peri-umbilical or Lipoabdominoplasty which is the minimally invasive version of the procedure.)
Here are the key questions that need to be answered to determine which, if any, of the above procedures is right for you.
- Is there excess fatty tissue of the abdomen? If the answer is yes, then some type of Liposuction technique should be employed during the procedure.
- Is there excess skin above, below the belly button or both. If there is significant excess skin, above the belly button enough to reach and stretch to the pubic area, a full abdominoplasty can be considered. This, in simple terms, means that all of the skin below the belly button to the pubic area will be removed so there must be sufficient remaining skin (above the belly button to the Xiphoid Process of the ribs) to be stretched all the way down to the incision in the pubic area. If there is insufficient skin to do so, this full Tummy Tuck should not be considered as possible complications can occur with healing of the skin flap. If the area above the belly button does meet the criteria, described above, but there is excess skin below the belly button then a mini-abdominoplasty or what’s often called a “Mini-Tuck” can be considered. In this procedure an incision is placed in the pubic area and approximately half of the skin, between the incision line and belly button, is removed. This exposes the abdominal muscles in the lower portion of the abdomen that can be tightened. In comparison, a full abdominoplasty exposes both the upper and lower abdominal muscles for tightening. If the amount of excess abdominal skin is isolated around the area, of the belly button itself, a peri-umbilical procedure can be performed by making an incision around the outside of the belly button for skin removal. This particular technique requires special attention to preserve the belly button and should not be employed in cases where large amounts of skin need to be removed as scarring can cover and hide the belly button in those instances.
– Has a previous Abdominoplasty procedure, abdominal incision/surgery or trauma disrupted the typical blood supply of the abdominal skin. Since abdominoplasty can be an invasive procedure, with significant skin undermining, the blood supply to the skin should always be of primary consideration. Vertical Hysterectomies, emergency abdominal surgery, trauma and diseases like diabetes and decreased oxygenation from smoking can create problems with post-op skin healing and may suggest a more limited, less invasive version of abdominoplasty be considered. In cases with vertical incisions in the abdomen from previous surgery, any abdominoplasty must utilize the same incision which means a tighter abdomen but a noticeable vertical scar remains. In cases of previous abdominoplasty or decreased blood supply to the abdominal skin, the Lipoabdominoplasty should be considered. In this minimally invasive procedure, Liposuction is combined with reduced tissue undermining for maximal post-op healing from preserved vascular supply.
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For more information about having a tummy tuck in Beverly Hills contact Dr Palmer today.