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Abdominoplasty – Procedure, cost, pros, and cons

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Abdominoplasty – Procedure, cost, pros, and cons

Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic procedure that helps remove the excess skin and fat from the belly, making it firmer. Here, fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen are removed to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. There can be multiple reasons for undergoing the procedure; however, the need for surgery should be determined after consulting a doctor. Nevertheless, here is a brief overview of the procedure:

Before undergoing the procedure, one may have an initial consultation with the surgeon to determine the best type of tummy tuck—complete, partial, or circumferential abdominoplasty. The ideal type can vary depending on the region to be targeted and the amount of excess skin and fat that needs to be removed. After choosing the type of surgery, one will be given instructions on eating balanced meals and whether to stop undergoing certain prescription treatments before the procedure. The surgery can take anywhere between 1 and 5 hours, typically involving the following steps:

Step 1: The first step is to put one to sleep in order to make the overall surgical procedure as comfortable as possible. The main purpose of this step is to remove the element of pain from the surgery.

Step 2: Surgeons initiate the procedure by using surgical equipment to create horizontally oriented incisions in the zone between the belly button and pubic hairline. The amount of fat and excessive skin to be removed varies, depending on individual needs. The shape and length of the incision are based on desired results established during the initial consultation. The underlying weakened abdominal muscles are treated for repair immediately. Then, a second incision is made around the navel to remove the excessive fat and skin in the upper abdomen. Following this, the upper abdominal skin is pulled down, all the extra fat and skin are trimmed, and the remaining sections of the skin are sutured together. As the shape of the belly changes, a new opening for the belly button is made. Eventually, the belly button is popped through to the outer belly surface and is sutured into position. This concludes the pivotal portion of the entire surgery.

Step 3: Surgeons tend to use skin adhesives, clips, sutures, and tapes to carefully seal the openings created to remove the excessive fat and skin layers from the belly. Closing the incisions requires precision as the shape of the belly changes during the surgery, so there are higher chances of tapes and adhesives hanging loose or coming apart at the seams.

Step 4: After surgery, one will be advised to rest for a couple of days or more at the facility itself.

As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, on average, an abdominoplasty procedure costs approximately $6,000 in the country. However, the cost can go anywhere from $12,000 to as much as $50,000 in certain regions. The overall cost of abdominoplasty can vary depending on the surgeon’s expertise, the cost of surgical equipment used, the cost of clinic stay if needed, and similar other expenses. So, those who wish to undergo this procedure may want to compare prices quoted by multiple clinics in different cities and choose a budget-friendly yet reliable option. It is also important to look for online reviews and ratings of a surgeon or a facility to choose a top-rated option.

As is the case with any major surgery, abdominoplasty has the following pros and cons, which should be assessed during the initial consultation with a doctor to make an informed decision. Here are a few advantages to consider:

Firmer abdomen: A tummy tuck offers exactly what the name suggests, giving one a firmer, tighter abdomen by getting rid of excess fat and skin. This can give one the appearance and waistline they desire. Also, having a leaner belly can make movement easier for some people while improving their posture. The procedure also repairs weak or separated abdominal muscles. 

Elimination of stretch marks: Upon undergoing multiple pregnancies or surgeries, one may have scars and stretch marks they wish to address. Abdominoplasty can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by flattening the midsection, helping one get the look they desire.

Here are a few drawbacks to consider before opting for the procedure.

Long recovery period: Tummy tuck incisions take about 6 to 8 weeks to heal completely. This means that after undergoing this surgery, one will need to take a break from all strenuous activities for a month or two or until their body heals.

Post-surgery discomfort: The period following an abdominoplasty can be painful for some. However, this discomfort can usually be managed through prescription options.

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