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Sometimes, even the most rigorous exercise program or diet will not correct "love handles," weak abdominal muscles or loose skin resulting from weight loss or pregnancy. Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a "tummy tuck," is the surgical procedure used to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. It can help correct a protruding abdomen or an abdomen with stretched, excess skin resulting from a pregnancy or weight loss.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men and women who are in good physical condition but have excess fat, loose skin, or loose muscles in the abdominal area that won't respond to exercise or diet.
Depending on your situation and the recommendation of your surgeon, you will either be given the option of a mini-abdominoplasty or a complete abdominoplasty. A complete tummy tuck usually takes about 2 hours hours, depending on the extent of work required. A partial (mini-) abdominoplasty may take an hour or so. These procedures are performed in an outpatient facility under conscious sedation.
Mini-abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck
The mini-abdominoplasty involves a short, horizontal incision in the lower abdomen and the navel is usually not moved. The skin is elevated from the incision line to the navel. Loose muscles in this area are then tightened. The "skin flap" is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
Complete tummy tuck
The complete tummy tuck involves a horizontal "bikini" line incision across the lower abdomen just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from the surrounding tissue. Next, your surgeon elevates the skin from the abdominal wall and lifts a "skin flap" to reveal the vertical, "sit-up" muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are surgically tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the "bikini line" incisions are stitched. Dressings and a garment are applied and after a short recovery you are ready to go home
For the first few days following your tummy tuck, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you're likely to feel some discomfort which can be controlled with medication. We start you on a rapid recovery protocol right away and usually most patients can be out shopping or to dinner the next night.
Patients who are in good physical condition with strong abdominal muscles will recover from an abdominoplasty even faster. Some people return to work after 3 to 4 days, while others take a little longer. Your scars will flatten out and lighten in color over time.While they will never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.
As with any surgery, abdominoplasty may carry some risks along with the potential of side effects. These may vary by individual and will be fully discussed during your initial consultation with the Board Certified Plastic Surgeons at Dr. Windle's office that serves Bellevue, Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, Snohomish, Everett, Mill Creek, Edmonds, North Seattle, Auburn, Kent, Mercer Island, Renton, Sammamish, Marysville, Bremerton, Burien, West Seattle, Federal Way, Tacoma, Munroe, Ellensburg, Maple Valley, Shoreline, Burien, Lynnwood, Seattle, Issaquah, West Seattle, North Bend, Des Moines