Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck or "abdominoplasty" is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen, and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen, giving patients a tighter profile.

The best candidates for "tummy tucks" are women or men who are in relatively good shape who have large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that do not respond to dieting, exercise or both. Women who have had multiple pregnancies which have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin will especially benefit from this type of procedure. Older patients who are obese and have lost the elasticity of their skin may also benefit form it. A tummy tuck can be performed alone or in combination with liposuction of the sides (Flanks) to achieve better results.

Rhytidectomy

The procedure involves an incision across the lower abdomen, a little above the pubic area and beneath the bikini line. An incision is also made around the belly button to free it from the surrounding skin. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up above the rib cage.

Then the loose tissue from the left and right sides of the abdomen is pulled together, towards the center, and sutured. This tightens the muscles, provides a stronger abdominal wall and makes the waist smaller.

The skin is then lowered and the excess removed. A new opening is made for the belly button at the proper position. The incisions are closed with sutures and a firm elastic dressing is placed over the area. After the first couple of days, the elastic dressing will be replaced with an abdominal supporter.

Depending on the amount of skin removed, the scar can be anything from a small incision to a long line running from one hip bone, across the pubic area, above the hairline, and up to the other hip bone.

After surgery, some people return to their jobs in two weeks while others take three to four weeks before going back to work. The results of a tummy tuck are usually long-lasting if good eating and exercise habits are maintained.

The result is a flatter, firmer stomach and a thinner waist.

Length of procedure: 3-4 hours
Type of anesthesia: Local anesthesia plus sedation
Hospital stay: 1-2 nights
Post-operatory stay in Costa Rica: 7-14 days

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