Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck") is a very powerful body-contouring surgical technique that, in good surgical candidates, can create a smooth, flat, and shapely abdomen.

There are three components of the abdomen that can be addressed with an abdominoplasty: the skin, subcutaneous fat, and the muscle layer. With aging, and particularly after pregnancy, the skin and muscle layers may become stretched and lose their normal tone, leading to sagging extra skin, stretch marks, and a lower abdominal bulge; there may also be some excess fat, particularly in the lower abdomen. In men, and less commonly in some women, there may be excess intra-abdominal fat creating an abdominal bulge (for example "the beer belly"); this excess fat cannot be addressed by body contouring techniques. The abdominoplasty should not be confused with a panniculectomy, which is a reconstructive surgery in which significantly excessive lower abdominal skin and fat (the pannus) is removed for medical reasons without doing any reshaping or contouring of the abdomen.

In an abdominoplasty, an incision in the lower abdomen is used to allow removal of excess skin and fat as well as tightening of the muscle layer. Not all of these maneuvers are necessary in every patient--Dr. Muzaffar will customize he surgical procedure to fit the needs of each patient. With removal of lower abdominal skin, stretch marks in this region are also removed. Usually, the umbilicus ("belly button") is not moved, but occasionally it is moved slightly lower. Sculpting or shaping the umbilicus is an important part of the abdominoplasty, and careful attention to this detail can help create an attractive abdomen. In some cases, the abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction or breast surgery.

Like all aesthetic surgical procedures, the abdominoplasty is a significant surgical procedure that carries some surgical risks. Candidates for the procedure should be in good general health, non-smokers, and, ideally, in good physical condition. Usually the surgery is done on an outpatient basis. Dr. Muzaffar will discuss the details of the potential surgical risks and complications, as well as the postoperative course at length with you during your consultation. You will also receive detailed educational materials for your review to help answer any further questions you may have. In properly selected candidates, the abdominoplasty can create a dramatic transformation in contour and shape and is one of the most highly satisfying aesthetic surgical procedures.