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It may seem like flattening a pudgy abdomen is only possible with magic, and indeed, the results of a tummy tuck can feel pretty magical. But the truth is, tummy tuck surgery is a methodical, strategic, and technical procedure performed by an accomplished plastic surgeon. The three main components to a tummy tuck are: tightening the abdominal muscles, removing excess skin, and eliminating stubborn fat.
Like most surgeries, a tummy tuck begins with the administration of anesthesia and the placing of surgical incisions. The tummy tuck incision extends from hipbone to hipbone and is made in the lower abdomen so that any scarring may be hidden by a bathing suit. During the procedure, Dr. Mouchantat pulls together the abdominal muscles, addresses any excess skin and fat, and repositions the belly button before finally closing the incisions.
Weakened, overstretched, or separated abdominal muscles can occur in anyone, especially after major weight loss and pregnancy. To address the issue of loose or separated abdominal muscles, the surgeon sews the stomach muscles together to help the tissues lie flat. This action minimizes abdominal protrusion and can even improve core strength and posture.
Sagging, overstretched skin commonly results from weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and aging. Damaged skin cannot revert to a firm and tight state through exercise and diet. Therefore, this is another critical area of focus in tummy tuck surgery. During surgery, the surgeon trims away the excess skin and pulls the remaining skin taut over the abdominal muscles.
Stubborn belly fat is frequently addressed in tummy tuck surgery. Patients may undergo liposuction during their surgery to remove pockets of unwanted fat so that the abdomen becomes firmer and flatter. For liposuction, a thin, hollow tube is inserted through a small incision into the fatty tissue. Advanced suction technology then permanently sucks away the excess fat from the body.
For some candidates, a mini tummy tuck may be performed instead of the full tummy tuck. This procedure focuses on excess skin and fat deposits that are isolated below the navel. The surgeon does not tighten the upper abdominal muscles but still removes stubborn fat and excess skin from the lower abdomen. The skin and tissues are pulled downward to create a flatter and firmer waistline.
Some individuals may be eligible for a reverse abdominoplasty. For those who have tight stomach muscles but have skin laxity above the belly button, a reverse abdominoplasty tightens the loose upper abdominal skin. The incision for this procedure is placed along the fold underneath the breasts and extends across the midline over the lower breastbone area. This technique may be combined with a mini tummy tuck to improve the smoothness and contour of the upper and lower abdomen.