Tummy tucks, or abdominoplasties, are ideal for those who’ve lost a lot of weight, who are seeking a pre-pregnancy silhouette, or who have simply been struggling with stubborn tummy fat despite having a healthy lifestyle.

Target Areas

There are various considerations when it comes to tummy tucks and the different approaches to them, namely:

  • Amount of excess fat (abdominal, ante-muscular);
  • Amount of excess skin;
  • Any muscular laxity;
  • Surrounding areas, e.g. groin, under the armpits, etc.

A more toned, trimmed appearance is the result, but a long scar in the lower abdomen (bikini line area) is inevitable.  Despite being major surgery with significant downtime, satisfaction is typically very high, and nearly all patients find the operation to be life-changing.  Note, they are totally unsuitable for smokers.

Some interesting points:

  • Men may also get tummy tucks with liposuction, but it’s important to remember that the distribution of fat is different between men and women;
  • Abdominal fat is found under the skin but in front of the muscles, and also around the abdominal organs, behind the muscles;
  • A mini-tummy tuck (limited to the lower tummy area) may be performed if there isn’t too much abdominal fat AND if the excess skin is limited to below the belly button.  Note, that a mini-abdominoplasty cannot, by definition, provide the same amount of tissue reduction and, therefore, consequential tautness.  It is important to stress that a limited abdominoplasty is advisable for onlt those with tight skin around the upper abs.
  • The use of a compression garment is nearly always required, and drains are frequently used, also.

Indeed, my favourite operation is easily a ‘modified radical Avelar approach’, which is a radical lipoabdominoplasty (liposuction combined with a full tummy tuck) with my personal tweaks to optimize the outcome.  Juarez Avelar, a Brazilian cosmetic surgeon, pioneered this approach, and Tony Mangubat, an American cosmetic surgeon, helped to promote this blood-vessel-preserving procedure, where there is no absolute requirement for in-hospital admission.

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