Obesity

Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, for many, is a type of weight loss surgery. However, the truth is quite far from this widespread belief. In reality, it is a surgery that only involves the removal of fat and skin from around the waist of the individual, rather than any corrective measure that induces weight loss over a period of time. In popular language, the surgery is also referred to as Tummy Tuck.

As you might have gathered by now, this surgery is more of a cosmetic surgery rather than a weight loss surgery. The body is only rid of the excessive fat that gets accumulated around the stomach area.  Further, loose skin and skin bearing stretch marks is also removed from around the stomach, leading to more tucked-in appearance. The abdominal muscles are also tightened up with the help of sutures.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A horizontal incision is made in the area right below the belly button. This cut allows the surgeon to get to the abdominal walls with ease, where all the fatty tissue and skin to be removed is located.

During the surgery, the upper abdominal area is first repaired or strengthened. After that, a second incision is made at a place where additional fat has to be removed. This accumulated fat is removed from the body using abdominal liposuction (or liposculpture) procedures. After it is performed, the skin tissues can be readjusted as required.

Once abdominal liposuction is complete, the surgeon focuses on the abdominal muscles. They are strengthened and tightened according to the desired appearance, and the cuts are subsequently sealed with the help of sutures (skin adhesives). The surgery may take up to 5 hours to finish.

Abdominoplasty is a fairly extensive surgical procedure. It will leave scars on the abdomen and will also cause the skin and muscles to swell. For the first few days, the patient might have to live with bandages and dressings of the abdominal region. The stitches would be removed only after that.

During the period of recuperation, the patient can feel the following effects:
* Bleeding from incision area
* Swelling of muscle and skin tissues
* Muscle tenderness and numbness
* Muscle soreness
* Bruising
* Scarring
* Fatigue

Apart from the usual risk of infection, in some extreme cases abdominoplasty may also lead to the following problems:
* Excessive bleeding from the incision area
* Ruptured stitches
* Scars and poorly healing scar tissue
* Discoloration of the skin
* Accumulation of fluid
* Swelling in the limbs
* Nerve damage

Note that abdominoplasty is not a real weight loss surgery. It only removes the accumulated fat from the stomach area. The fat will accumulate again and would need to be removed again from the body. This is because the patient's lifestyle remains the same. He/she continues to eat and live in the same manner in which he/she was prior to the surgery- factors which lead to the accumulation of fat and skin in the first place.
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