Traditional abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a body contouring procedure used to target and trim the abdominal area. This popular procedure involves making an incision along the waistline, removing excess fat and tissue, and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. It also gets rid of loose or wrinkled skin and stretch marks. Both women and men can benefit from this effective body contouring surgery. In cases where only the lower abdomen needs to be trimmed, a partial abdominoplasty may be performed.
Traditional full tummy tuck addresses the three defective components (skin, fat, and muscle) so that it benefits patients who opt for a flat stomach and tight skin. Under general anesthesia, a relatively long incision on the bikini line just above the pubic area is made. A second incision is then made around the belly button. The skin and fat together are separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up the rib cage, exposing the rectus muscles fascia (the sheath that covers the muscles and works as an inner girdle). The fascia is then sutured to tighten loose or stretched out muscles below the fascia, forming a tighter abdominal wall and a thinner waist. The skin is stretched down, and excess skin and fat are removed. A new opening is cut on the skin for repositioning of the belly button, in which drains are typically inserted to eliminate fluid and blood buildup. Every effort is made to hide the scars in the bikini area. The incision is then closed, and a firm dressing is placed on the abdomen. The limited liposuction to remove excess fat from hips and flanks are often performed in conjunction with the tummy tuck for a more satisfying contour result.
The traditional tummy tuck is associated with a relatively high complication rate due to the required large undermining of the anterior abdominal flap, which can cause extensive trauma and compromise to the blood supply of the abdominal flap. General anesthesia is typically required for the surgery because of the extensive tissue dissection and manipulation.