Sometimes the skin stretches so much, especially after pregnancy or weight loss, that it doesn’t relax back to a tight flattened state. The underlying muscles also can spread apart leaving a less appealing belly. An abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck”, involves tightening the abdominal muscles, and removing the loose excess skin to give a tighter, more youthful appearing abdomen. This is traded for a long scar, which be hidden under a swimsuit or underwear.
Good candidates for this surgery are at a stable weight and have realistic expectations. It is especially suitable for those who have lost a lot of weight or have had children.
Surgery is done under a general anesthetic, and takes 2 to 4 hours. An incision is made horizontally in the pubic area. Skin is elevated and the muscles are found and tightened with stitches. The belly button is moved into a new position. The right amount of skin is removed, and this is tightened in place with dissolving stitches.
Expect some downtime afterwards, and 4 -6 weeks to get back to normal activities. Most patients will wear a girdle for a few weeks to hold everything in place.