Abdominoplasty

\ Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that treats loose or sagging abdominal skin, leading to a protruding abdomen that typically occurs after significant weight loss. Good candidates for abdominoplasty are individuals in good health who have one or more of the above conditions and who have tried to address these issues with diet and exercise with little or no results.

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\ Women who have had multiple pregnancies often seek abdominoplasty as a means of ridding themselves of loose abdominal skin. While in many cases diet and exercise are sufficient in reducing abdominal fat and loose skin after pregnancy, in some women these conditions may persist. Abdominoplasty is not recommended for women who wish to have further pregnancies, as the beneficial effects of the surgery may be undone.

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\ Another common reason for abdominoplasty is to remove excess skin from a person who has lost a large amount of weight or is obese. A large area of overhanging skin is called a pannus. Older patients are at an increased risk of developing a pannus because skin loses elasticity as one ages. Problems with hygiene or wound formation can result in a patient who has multiple hanging folds of abdominal skin and fat. If a large area of excess tissue is removed, the procedure is called a panniculectomy.

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\ In some instances, abdominoplasty is performed simultaneously or directly following gynecologic surgery such as hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). One study found that the removal of a large amount of excess abdominal skin and fat from morbidly obese patients during gynecologic surgery results in better exposure to the operating field and improved wound healing.

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