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Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck"

Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck," is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can significantly reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.

The Preoperative visit

Consultation for abdominoplasty consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's desires and concerns. An extensive evaluation of the patient's abdomen and body contour will be performed. Photographs will be reviewed. The available surgical options and Dr. Soltanianís recommendations will be discussed, including the limitations and risks of surgery. Abdominoplasty may be performed in conjunction with liposuction or gynecological procedures.

Ideal Candidates

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men and women who are in relatively good health but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet and exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women following pregnancy. Pregnancy often causes the abdominal muscles and skin to stretch and they often fail to regain their original tone. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved. Patients who intend to lose a significant amount of weight should postpone the surgery until they have reached the desired weight. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as the muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy.

Abdominoplasty is often a good remedy for patients who have lost significant amount of weight through dieting and exercise or bariatric surgery. This procedure will allow reshaping and contouring of the abdomen.

The Procedure

Abdominoplasty is usually performed at a hospital under general anesthesia. Patients are commonly admitted for one day post-operatively. The procedure consists of removing excess skin and fat between the ribs and the pubis along with tightening of the abdominal muscles. In certain cases a "mini" type abdominoplasty may be performed, requiring less anesthesia and an easier recovery.

The Recovery

Following discharge patients will have drains in place for several days. Dr. Soltanian uses implantable catheters for continuous delivery of pain medication directly to the site of surgery which will reduce the need for narcotic pain medication. Patients are usually discharged with the pain pump. The pump and the catheters do not need additional care. Patients will return for follow-up visits on a weekly basis for the first month. Return to normal activities is slow. Most people remain out of work for 2-3 weeks.

Results

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. Some women may choose to also undergo liposuction of their hips or other regions at the same time in order to achieve an enhanced result. In most cases, the results following abdominoplasty are long lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

 

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