The abdomen is a frequent site for fat deposition. Much of this fat deposits around the abdomen below the umbilicus (navel).
In a complete abdominoplasty procedure, a long horizontal incision is made in the natural fold under the belly, the "bikini line." Skin is also cut around the umbilicus, and the fat and skin are pulled away from the muscle in a large area.
Abdominal muscles are tightened under the flap of fat and skin.
Skin is stretched downward, excess skin and fat trimmed away, and a new hole is cut for the umbilicus. The incisions are stitched closed.
The patient can expect to feel some pain and discomfort for several days after surgery, which can be managed with pain medications. Resting with the legs and hips bent (flexed) will reduce pressure (tension) on the abdomen during the recommended 2 - 3 day hospital stay. The remaining scar will fade with time.
Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.