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Tummy Tuck (Abdominosplasty)

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Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a "tummy tuck," is a major sugical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. The tummy tuck procedure does, however, produce a permanent scar. The length of the scar will depend on the extent of the original problem. The best candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.

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tummy tuck abdominoplasty

For Your Initial Consultation

Our doctor will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin and abdominal muscle tone. You will have ample opportunity to discuss your expectations with the doctor. He will give you a realistic assessment of what can be achieved.

This will include describing alternatives and the risks and limitations of each option. If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini-abdominoplasty, also know as a mini-tummy tuck which is usually performed in conjuction with liposuction. In some instances in which a patient has good muscle and skin tone, liposuction alone can create the best result. Our doctor will work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour. During the consultation, the doctor will also explain the anesthesia he will use and the type of facility where the surgery will be performed. His office staff will review the costs involved assist you with our various payment options.
tummy tuck abdominoplasty

Best Candidates for Abdominoplasty

Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy

Prepairing for Your Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications. If you smoke, plan to quit at least one to two weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least two weeks after your surgery. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.
Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital, if needed.

tummy tuck abdominoplasty

The Surgery

Abdominoplasty typically takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required. Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, ,just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.

tummy tuck abdominoplasty

After Your Surgery

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you're likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication. For your safety and comfort, the doctor typically asks you to spend the night at the surgical facility. You will be able to go home the following morning. You will be provided with instructions for dressing changes and the drain care. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible. You will be provided with a support garment to be worn for the first three to four weeks after surgery.

tummy tuck abdominoplasty

Getting Back to Normal

It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they'll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.

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Sassan Alavi, MD
In The News
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August 2, 2007
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Sassan Alavi, MD introduces Artefill and the concept of Permanent Wrinkle reduction and Liquid face lift to the audience.

May 5, 2007
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San Diego Liposuction Center was featured on Fox News, on May 5th 2007, as the premier site in San Diego, for best and latest in Plastic Surgery and Skin Care.

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Sassan Alavi, MD has been featured numerous times on CBS News for his expertise in Power Liposuction, Botox and other plastic surgery procedures.

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