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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Procedure

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Anaesthetic during a Tummy Tuck

Before the surgery you will have discussed with your surgeon whether you will be placed under general or local anaesthetic or have a local anaesthetic applied to the abdomen.  If the latter is the case then you will be conscious throughout the procedure, more likely in a mini-tummy tuck or one where there is less work to be done.  These procedures can last only an hour and a half.  Both of these approaches have benefits, but generally you will be put under a general anaesthetic as the process can last up to five hours for a full or extensive abdominoplasty.  It allows you to completely relax your abdominal muscles, and this in turn makes it easier and quicker for the surgeon to complete the surgery. 

Incisions in a Tummy Tuck

The number, length, and positions of incisions that might need to be made during abdominoplasty depends upon the extensiveness of your surgery.  For a mini tummy tuck there is normally just one small incision, positioned just beneath your tummy button.  For extensive abdominoplasty it is likely that there will be an incision reaching all the way around the waist, in order to remove all excess skin from the hip.  These however, are very much the two extremes.  In normal circumstances there will be one incision between your hipbones, with the possibility of another from here up to the naval.  They are normally positioned so that they can be hidden, and remain unnoticeable.  Where these incisions are, can be altered, and will have been discussed with you before you have the surgery.  As well as where the scars will be, it is important also to address where your naval will be, as during a tummy tuck procedure it is repositioned or even a new one is resculpted following the removal of so much tissue.  If it is likely that you will need a new one then a surgeon with a lot of experience ought to be used to ensure the best possible results. 

Tightening Muscles in a Tummy Tuck

Once the muscles in the abdomen have been revealed, they are pulled together and fixed, in order to tighten them and make them appear more toned.  This in turn makes your waist look smaller, and leaves your stomach flatter, and more youthful.  This isn’t always necessary to achieve the stomach you are hoping for, and will have been discussed throughout your consultations before surgery. 

Removing Skin from the Stomach in a Tummy Tuck

Sometimes skin removal is the ultimate goal of a tummy tuck, with excess skin being removed and the fat and muscle being stretched over the stomach instead.  The skin is pulled down and stretched over the abdomen, with the excess being removed.  Stretch marks are normally taken away or appear lessened due to them having been flattened.

Closing the wound following a Tummy Tuck

The skin is stitched back together with the wound healing itself naturally over a period of time.  A drain will also be placed within the incision, allowing any excess fluid to leave the area, so making it easier for your body to heal quicker.  A build up of fluids can be quite common after a tummy tuck, and can make your recovery a lot more complicated.  After a week the drain is usually removed, with the stitches taking a bit longer, up to two or three weeks to be removed, unless they are the dissolvable type.

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