Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure which should be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. The procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdominal area and, in most cases, restores weak or separated muscles to create an abdominal profile that is smoother, firmer and generally more appealing to the eye.

A flat and well-toned tummy is something many of us attempt to achieve through exercise and diet, but sometimes these tried and tested methods just don’t seem to achieve our goals. Some people who are within a normal body weight range, and who are otherwise in proportion, complain of a protruding, loose or saggy abdomen. These complaints are normally the result of pregnancy, aging, significant weight fluctuation, genetics or prior surgery.

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck cosmetic procedure should be physically healthy, able to maintain a stable weight, harbour no unrealistic expectations and be a non-smoker. You will be required to be completely honest during your initial consultation with the attending physician, since the safety and success of your abdominoplasty will be wholly dependant on the information you supply. You will have to answer a number of questions related to your health and lifestyle, and expected to be completely forthcoming during the initial consultation. At this stage it would be a good to discuss your expectations as well as inform your plastic surgeon of any existing medical conditions, drug allergies and chronic medication you may take. Previous surgeries should also be mentioned, as well as any vitamins and herbal supplements that form a part of your daily regime.

At this stage your physician will also evaluate your general health and discuss possible risk factors that may apply to you. Photographs will be taken for your medical record and recommended actions explained. If your abdominoplasty is to be performed on an outpatient basis, your doctor will advise that you arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you to and from your tummy tuck surgery, staying with you the first night after your procedure, in case you need help.

A tummy tuck can be performed under either intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia. You and your physician will discuss and decide upon the option that is best suited to your needs. Following sedation, the plastic surgeon will proceed to make a horizontal incision in the area between your pubic hairline and navel. The degree to which your abdominal area needs to be corrected will determine the length and shape of the incision. Through this opening, the surgeon will then repair slack abdominal muscles and remove excess fat, tissue and skin. In some cases a second incision around the navel may be required to remove skin in the upper abdomen. The incision will be closed using sutures, tape, clips or skin adhesives – the choice again depending on which option will best suit your needs.

The recovery time of your abdominoplasty will take around two weeks, at which time you will start to see the flatter, firmer abdominal contour you desired. You should, however, be prepared for the eventuality that it might take a while (in some cases, several months) before the swelling and bruising completely disappears. You may be unable to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete, but should be able to resume your normal daily activities within three weeks.

There is also the option of a mini tummy tuck. The mini is recommended for people within 10% of their recommended weight range and represents a far less invasive procedure. Consult your plastic surgeon as to which abdominoplasty option would be the best suited to you. To attain reputable tummy tuck financing, or if you are interested in a general plastic surgery loan, click here for an obligation-free quote.