An Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat, improve the abdominal contour, tighten any loosening of the muscles in the abdominal wall and improve any scarring. (A ventral hernia can also be repaired at the same time).
Generally the need for an Abdominoplasty arises after considerable weight loss and with women this this generally occurs after pregnancy, when the muscles of the abdominal wall are weakened and actually pull apart. Stretch marks (striae) can occur following extreme stretching of the skin and depending on the the skin type this can also be reduced by abdominal reduction, as the skin is tightened making the marks look less obvious. There is also some benefit in an abdominal reduction for those who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall with exercise.
During the Abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat between the navel and the pubic area is removed, leaving the umbilicus in place.The skin of the abdominal wall is then drawn down and sutured at the pubic level. Liposuction may also be carried out during the procedure to thin the abdominal wall. In a Mini-Abdominoplasty surplus skin below the navel is removed leaving a low abdominal scar at the level of the pubic hair. The navel is left undisturbed.