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An Interview with Dr. Michael Niccole on Tummy Tuck
Dr. Michael Niccole is a plastic surgeon and has answered some of the common questions bizymoms visitors have about Tummy Tuck.
Q. What is a tummy tuck?
A. A tummy tuck is also called an abdominoplasty and does two important things. It tightens the stomach muscles by running a "dart," to use the sewing term, up the center of the abdomen from the top of the pubic bone to the bottom of the breast bone or sternum. It also removes a crescent of skin from the lower area of the abdomen usually from the hairline to the belly button.
Q. What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?
A. It tightens the abdominal wall and muscles and removes excess saggy skin and any stretch marks that are in that area.
Q. Who is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?
A. The ideal candidate is someone who is at the ideal body weight but has some saggy skin and abdominal wall looseness and if that person is a woman it would be best to wait until after the last pregnancy although a tummy tuck would not preclude having another child.
Q. How is a tummy tuck performed?
A. An curved incision is made from hip bone to bone dipping down to the hairline in the center. The skin of the abdomen is lifted off the muscle wall and the wall is tightened by sewing the medial edge of the two large muscles that one sees in well defined individuals on either side of the vertical center line that goes through the belly button to each other and pushing in the excess abdominal wall into the abdomen. The skin and underlying tissue from the belly button to the hairline is removed as a crescent and then the incision is sewn closed. The belly button is left attached to the body at its original position and then a new hole is made through the skin that is stretched over the area.
Q. How long does tummy tuck surgery take?
A. Any day pretty much anywhere will bring you across a large number of different sized tummies. The time will vary widely just like the tummies but the minimum time for a complete procedure would be around two hours for a reasonably fit person with a small tummy.
Q. Is anesthesia used during the tummy tuck procedure?
A. The area is large so general anesthesia is usually always required. More interestingly a pump has been developed so that continuous anesthesia can be provided by implanting a wire thin cannula so that an automatic local anesthetic infuser can numb the area for days after the procedure and that makes the recovery process much more pleasant. The pump itself is carried in a belt like a fanny pack and after a few days the cannula is removed just like a long suture.
Q. Are there risks and complications to a tummy tuck?
A. The usual risks of any procedure such as infection or possible accumulations of fluids can occur and it is routine to administer antibiotics and insert drains to help prevent these things from occurring or becoming too serious.