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A tummy tuck is a form of cosmetic surgery also known as abdominoplasty. Tummy tucks have become increasingly popular in today's society to help reduce loose or sagging abdomens caused by heredity, major fluctuations in weight, the aging process and post-pregnancy stretching. The tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat and may help to restore the appearance of a smoother and flatter tummy.
Who Benefits from a Tummy Tuck?
Many women benefit from tummy tuck procedures, but should be advised that it should not be used as a substitute to proper exercise and nutrition. Women who have experienced a large weight loss or who don't plan on becoming pregnant in the future are good candidates for this technique. Prime candidates are non-smokers, those in good health, and those who are experiencing stable weight.
Tummy Tuck Procedures and Techniques
There are several different tummy tuck procedures that remove skin and fat, as well as help to tighten the muscular structure of the abdomen. These include the most common:
• Traditional tummy tuck
• Mini tummy tuck
• Circumferential tummy tuck
• Endoscopic tummy tuck
• Extended tummy tuck
Traditional tummy tuck procedures are still the most commonly performed by a cosmetic surgeon. This method involves an incision that extends between the hipbones, and may include incisions around the belly button area as well. This type of procedure is often performed in conjunction with liposuction.
Partial abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a mini tummy tuck, is ideal for those individuals within 10% of standard body weight. This technique focuses on the part of the tummy found immediately beneath the belly button and is performed through a small incision. While recovery time is shortened with this procedure, effects are not quite as dramatic as with other methods.
Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery generally choose a circumferential tummy tuck because massive amounts of weight loss leave behind a great deal of skin that has lost its elasticity. This type of tummy tuck procedure is ideal to eradicate sagging skin not only in the abdominal area, but also from the thighs, buttocks and hip areas. Individuals should be advised that this type of procedure does result in some scarring.
Individuals who have a hard time eradicating their "love handles" often choose extended tummy tucks, which involves the removal of fat and excess skin not only from the stomach area, but excess skin and fat on the side of the waist.
For individuals suffering from weak abdominal muscles and a small amount of abdominal fat, an endoscopic tummy tuck is one that is typically relegated for those experiencing medical conditions, such as men and women who may suffer from separated abdominal muscles at the midline.
Your cosmetic surgeon will assess your condition and general overall health and make recommendations to which method or procedure is best suited to individualized cases. The number and length of incisions will depend on the type of procedure that is chosen.
How Much Does it Cost?
Tummy tucks surgical procedures will very in cost depending on the type of procedure that is chosen. Other mitigating factors include the size of the patient as well as the location of the facility that is chosen. In the United States, tummy tuck procedures may range between $3,000 and $10,000. Surgical costs may or may not include anesthetics and consultations and surgeon's fees, so always ask. Fees in Argentina are typically 50% less than those in the United States, while procedures performed in India average $2,000, and in Turkey cost around $5,000.
Finding a Surgeon You Trust
Tummy tucks are considered to be major surgical procedures and should only be performed by qualified cosmetic surgeons in properly regulated facilities. Surgeons should be certified and trained in at least two years of plastic surgery that includes procedures not limited to reconstruction, body, and breast augmentation procedures. Qualified cosmetic surgeons are board-certified by medical organizations and associations in their country of origin. Whenever possible, seek facilities that have been accredited by the JCI (Joint Commission International) to ensure quality of care.
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