What is an Abdominoplasty?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 May 2020
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People who have lost a great deal of weight may determine that having an abdominoplasty would be in their best interests. Here are some basic facts about abdominoplasty, including the circumstances where the procedure would be desirable, as well as the risks involved.

Often referred to as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is a procedure to remove excess skin and tissue from the abdominal area, after an individual has lost weight. For people who have been morbidly obese and been able to get their weight down to healthy numbers through both diet and exercise or by some form of surgery, the abdominoplasty may be the next step in getting control of their life once more.

While the skin does have a degree of elasticity, the simple fact is that someone who has lost a hundred pounds or more may find that the skin simply does not conform to the new contours of the tummy area. Plastic surgery is the obvious way to correct this situation, with tummy tucks or abdominoplasty being the procedure that will help to eliminate the excess skin.

In its simplest form, a surgeon or perhaps a team of plastic surgeons will initiate a horizontal slit across the region of the stomach. Sections of skin and residual fat will be removed slowly from the area, as connective tissue is gently cut through. In some cases, the surgeon will also take some time to investigate the musculature in the area, to ensure that no additional work needs to be done there. Once the extra skin and fat have been removed, the remaining skin is closed with sutures and the procedure is complete.

As with any surgery, abdominoplasty is something that should not be entered into lightly. In fact, many plastic surgeons will not perform the procedure until it has been determined that the patient is in reasonably good health. This will include such basics as equitable blood pressure and cholesterol ratings, no heart problems, and no apparent issues with the lungs. In addition, abdominoplasty should not be seen as a quick weight loss gimmick. Responsible physicians will encourage patients to lose as much weight as possible before ever considering abdominoplasty.

While the main result of abdominoplasty revolves around outward appearance, it is important to keep in mind that the procedure is invasive surgery and carries the same risks for infection and complications that are found with any type of surgical procedure. Any person who has undergone an abdominoplasty should follow the instructions of the attending physician to the letter in order to facilitate recovery.

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