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Abdominoplasty

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Overview

An abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" procedure removes skin and fat from the lower abdomen. Women that are candidates for this type of surgery have extra tissue in this area that is resistant to exercise and diet. Most women also have some degree of stretch between the rectus abdominis muscles, this is called diastasis.

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The excess fatty tissue is removed from the belly button to the pubic hair-line.

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At the same time, stitches are used to tighten the rectus muscles. This narrows the waistline and flattens the abdomen.

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The upper abdominal skin is then stretched down to the lower incision and the belly button is brought through a new incision in its original location.

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This leaves a scar from hip to hip and a circular scar around the umbilicus.

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Preoperative Considerations

The typical candidate for abdominoplasty is a patient that has maximized diet and exercise methods of weight control.

Patients that are not candidates for this type of surgery include:
Patients that smoke
Patients with a BMI > 32. Click here to calculate your BMI.

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Surgical Considerations

This surgery takes approximately 3-4 hours. Liposuction is also performed. Two drains are placed in the abdomen and these are removed at post-operative day 10. The patient is able to return home the day of surgery.

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Postoperative Considerations

Patients are asked to refrain from heavy lifting and exercise for 4 weeks. For the first 10 days the patient must walk flexed at the hips to limit the tension on the abdominal incision. Dressings are left in place until the patient is seen in the office one-week following surgery. Patients may not shower while the drains are in place. There will be bruising from the liposuction that is performed to the abdomen and hips. Additionally there will be swelling which lasts for 6 weeks. Most patients need to buy an abdominal binder which is worn 24 hours per day for 4 weeks following surgery. This minimizes swelling. Most patients return to work after 3-4 weeks.

Download Post-op brochure

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Possible Complications

Seroma (15%)
Wound healing delay (5%)
Hematoma (5%)
Incision visible outside of underwear line (5%)
Incisional asymmetry (1%)
Infection (1%)
Umbilical asymmetry (<1%)
Umbilical necrosis (<1%)
DVT (0.07%-3.5%)
PE (0.09%-2%)