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Abdominal wall surgery
Alternative namesCosmetic surgery of the abdomen; Tummy tuck; Abdominoplasty
DefinitionAbdominal wall surgery is optional surgery to treat flabby, stretched-out abdominal muscles and skin to improve appearance. Excessive fatty tissue and loose skin are removed from the middle and lower sections of the abdomen and the abdominal muscles may be tightened. Note that this is a different procedure than liposuction.
Cosmetic repair of the abdomen can be helpful in improving appearance, especially after massive weight gain and loss. Abdominoplasty can help flatten the lower abdomen and tighten stretched skin.
Excess skin and fat are removed from the abdominal wall, from the pubic area to the rib cage, around the umbilicus and the abdominal muscles are tightened. The incision is stitched (sutured) closed. Excess skin and fat can also be removed from the arms and legs.
Small flat tubes (drains) may be inserted and used for a few days to allow fluid to drain out of the incisions. A firm elastic dressing is applied to the abdomen.
Abdominoplasty is used to treat extremely loose and flabby abdominal skin and muscle, usually following massive weight gain and loss. Abdominoplasty can be helpful when:
Abdominoplasty is not used as a substitute for weight reduction .
The risks of bleeding and infection are present for all surgeries. Additional risks of blood clots and infection also exist.
Expectations after surgery
The patient can expect to feel some pain and discomfort for several days after surgery, which can be managed with pain medications . Resting with the legs and hips bent (flexed) will reduce pressure (tension) on the abdomen during the recommended 1 to 3 day hospital stay.
An elastic support (much like a girdle) worn over the abdomen for 2 to 3 weeks provides extra abdominal support while healing. Strenuous activity and straining should be avoided for 4 weeks.
Update Date: 10/29/2003Jeffrey Everett, M.D., Department of Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT