All about tummy tuck surgery

A tummy tuck surgery is a plastic surgery procedure which is performed to remove excess skin from the belly and to stretch a sagging and forward protruding stomach. Those considering a tummy tuck surgery will find all they should know about the procedure.

The content about tummy tuck surgery is divided into a series of articles which together gives you good understanding about the possibilities and limitations that a tummy tuck involves. The information has been inspected by Dr. Pelle Sahlin, a plastic surgery specialist active at Art Clinic.

The information it meant to provide you with an overall understanding of a tummy tuck procedure and work as a basis for your decision. However, it should not replace a surgeon consultation.

Here you will find all you need to know about tummy tucks:

  • If you are a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck surgery
  • Which tummy tuck methods are performed and what is the procedure
  • The after cycle following a tummy tuck and what risks the surgery involves
  • How much a tummy tuck costs as well as before & after photos
  • Discussion forum and clinic directory of those clinics that perform tummy tucks
  • Questions and answers as well as the possibility to ask an expert about tummy tucks.

Why tummy tucks work

The belly/stomach is an area that to a great extent mirrors our lifestyle and the trials our body has undergone. These often present themselves as a loose fatty layer, an expanded belly or slack excess skin. Both the loose fatty layer and the expanded belly are often the result of general over weight consisting of fat accumulations in front of or behind the abdominal wall.

Tightening the abdominal wall with a tummy tuck surgery

An expanded belly and loose skin on the stomach can other than over weight also be caused by the abdominal wall being stretched, slackened and thereafter only partial returned to its previous state. A typical example of this is pregnancy but also weight loss can cause a similar situation.

A tummy tuck can effectively both tighten a slackened abdominal wall and remove excess skin from the stomach and in doing so restore these tissues to their previous shape and function.

Removing excess skin

Excess skin originates from for instance pregnancy or weight loss due to our skin adapting to our bodies size. When the stomach’s size increases so does the skin. Unfortunately the skins ability to retract after weight loss or pregnancy is limited. This then often leads to the slack skin creating a kind of apron on the stomach.

Anatomy of the Abdomen

Underneath the skin and behind the fat of the stomach the abdominal wall is located to protect our inner organs. This tissue is made up of mainly muscle and can be compared to a girdle. During pregnancy these muscles adapt in order to give space to the foetus and thus expand. But unfortunately, as with the skin, these muscles ability to retract are limited. Thus when the inner girdle has been stretched and slackened, it results in a protruding stomach even if the pressure behind the abdominal wall has disappeared.

Are you a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck surgery?

The most suitable candidates for a tummy tuck are women or men in good physical health with an expanded abdominal wall and or excess skin. Also patients with a relatively thick layer of fat situated between the abdominal musculature and the skin can expect good results from abdominoplasty.

Tummy tuck after several pregnancies

A tummy tuck is especially advantageous for women who through several pregnancies have been left with an expanded abdominal wall to such an extent that is cannot return to its previous state. Patients whose skin, due to age, has lost its elasticity also often receive good results from a tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck cannot replace dieting

Patients with a relatively large abdominal volume caused by fat accumulations within the abdominal cavity (beer belly) are not suitable for tummy tuck and must first undergo traditional dieting. This distribution of fat is more common in men than in women.

Weight stability prior to tummy tuck surgery

People who are looking to lose a lot of weight should await the procedure until this has been achieved. Generally a period of weight stability (6 months) is necessary after weight loss. Also women who are planning future pregnancies should discuss this with their plastic surgeon.

If the patient has scars in the stomach area from previous surgeries (for instance, gallstone surgery) the surgeon may, after assessing them, advise against surgery.

Typical tummy tuck patients

There is in general three groups of patients seeking tummy tuck surgery. The first one is represented by women who due to pregnancy are suffering from excess skin and a stretched, weakened abdominal wall.

The second group is represented by people who have lost a great deal of weight with excess skin as a result.

The third group is people who have undergone previous surgeries (for instance, caesarean) which has left unevenness in the skin in the shape of bags or pockets of hanging skin around the scar.

NEXT PAGE: The different tummy tuck techniques and options »

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