Health Tip: Tummy Tucks Explained

What happens during surgery

(HealthDayNews) -- Abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a tummy tuck, is one of the more common cosmetic surgery procedures.

Multiple pregnancies or big fluctuations in weight can stretch muscle and skin beyond the point where they return to normal. This causes many women to seek surgical removal of the excess abdominal fat and loose skin.

The procedure usually takes from two to five hours, says Detroit Medical Center.

Here's how it's done:

  • A long incision is made from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area; another incision is made around the navel.
  • The large skin flap is then separated from the abdominal wall and lifted all the way up to the ribs to reveal the muscles.
  • The muscles are pulled close and sewn together to tighten and narrow the waistline.
  • The skin flap is then stretched down and the excess skin is trimmed away.
  • A new hole for the navel is made since the old opening is now too low.
  • Incisions are then closed and an elastic dressing put in place.
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