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Abdominoplasty

An increase in abdominal volume from pregnancy or weight gain causes the skin to stretch and the abdominal muscles to separate along the midline. Unfortunately, the skin does not shrink and the abdominal muscles never return to their midline position, which permanently changes the contour of the abdomen and flanks. An abdominoplasty, also referred to as a tummy tuck, returns the muscles to the midline, moves the belly button up, and takes away the excess skin. This results in flattening of the abdomen, a decrease in the overall circumference, and tapering the waist inward above the hips to restore curves.  At Froedtert South Plastic Surgery our cost for a full abdominoplasty is $6,000, which includes anesthesia, all surgical fees, and follow-up care. Not everyone needs a full abdominoplasty; lessor variations of an abdominoplasty are referred to as a mini-tummy tuck and cost less than a full tummy tuck.

Indications for surgery

Candidates for an abdominoplasty are at or near their ideal weight. An abdominoplasty is not a weight loss surgery but is a body contouring procedure.   Exercise, special diets, and supplements cannot restore tightness to the skin or musculature.

Types of Abdominoplasties 

​There are two main types of abdominoplasties: full abdominoplasty and mini abdominoplasty. A full abdominoplasty involves a lower incision from hip bone to hip bone, just above the pubic area, and an upper incision above the navel. It addresses the entire abdominal area, tightening the muscles and removing excess skin. A mini abdominoplasty involves the same lower incision, and an upper incision made below the navel. It focuses on the area below the navel and is suitable for individuals with les excess skin and fatty tissue.  ​

Recovery

Immediately following surgery, it is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. It is important to keep the abdomen compressed with an abdominal binder for four weeks. Wearing a compressive garment will minimize swelling and support the abdomen. Two drains will be placed and collect excess fluid. Patients may gradually return to light activity; however, it is important to avoid core activities including crunches and sit ups for 8 weeks. Final results will become visible over several months, and scars will fade but may take up to a year to mature.

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