An abdominoplasty, also called tummy tuck, is an operation designed to give the patient a smoother, flatter abdomen.
It is frequently performed to correct muscle weakness and loose skin that can occur following multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss.
With this procedure the abdominal contour and scars can be improved. Any looseness of the muscles in the abdominal wall can be tightened and a ventral hernia repaired at the same time. During the procedure, excess skin and fat between the navel and the pubic area is removed, leaving the umbilicus in place. The skin of the abdominal wall is then drawn down and sutured at the pubic level.
In some cases a smaller procedure may suffice (mini-abdominoplasty) that combines a liposuction with a moderate removal of excessive skin.
Generally the need for an abdominoplasty arises after considerable weight loss, resulting in an excess of skin and fat. In women this generally occurs after pregnancy, when the muscles of the abdominal wall are weakened and pulled apart.
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