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Abdominoplasty procedures improve the aesthetics of the abdomen and trunk. Liposuction alone is usually rewarding if the skin elasticity is favorable and there is no laxity of the muscular/fascial layer that forms the cylinder of the abdomen. When the skin of the abdomen and trunk is loose, abdominoplasty procedures are a better option. These procedures require longer incisions but improve appearance and contour by removing both skin and fat. Frequently, liposuction is performed at the peripheral zones to feather the contours.
Abdominoplasty procedures also target the muscular-fascial wall of the trunk. The muscles may have lost their position or integrity. This is corrected by plication, which is similar to a corset arrangement of sutures that tighten the rectus abdominus muscles.
Abdominoplasty is commonly referred to as tummy-tuck surgery. This is an unfortunate misrepresentation. The surgeon does not tuck any tissue but elevates the skin and fat as an abdominal flap, tightens the muscular wall of the abdomen, and applies downward traction of the flap after removal of excess skin and fat.
Abdominoplasty procedures can vary in accordance with the aesthetic problem. Abdominoplasty, extended abdominoplasty, limited abdominoplasty and mini-abdominoplasty procedures share similarities and differences and are tailored toward individual patient problems and goals. Formal abdominoplasty is most frequently recommended for patients with significant skin laxity/excess, fat accumulations and muscular/fascial weakness
Extended abdominoplasty is required in patients when skin redundancy and excess extend posteriorly over the back. These procedures require longer time for completion and changes in position during surgery. Extended abdominoplasty procedures differ from standard abdominoplasty in that drains are left in place for a longer time period. Liposuction is always necessary in certain areas. The recovery is longer than that for standard abdominoplasty.
Limited abdominoplasty and mini-abdominoplasty procedures also have a role in body contouring and are offered for patients with little skin excess that is confined centrally, frequently following cesarean section.
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