Abdominoplasty: The medical term for a tummy tuck, a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.

Anesthesia: Medication used to prevent pain during surgery. General anesthesia puts the patient to sleep, while local anesthesia numbs only the area being operated on.

Aftercare: The period of recovery and care following surgery. Proper aftercare is crucial for healing and achieving the best results from an abdominoplasty.


Belly Button Reshaping: A component of abdominoplasty that involves altering the appearance of the belly button to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Bikini Incision: A common type of incision for a tummy tuck that runs horizontally across the lower abdomen, typically low enough to be hidden by underwear or a bikini.

Binder: A compression garment worn around the abdomen after a tummy tuck to reduce swelling, support the abdominal muscles, and help the skin conform to its new contour.


Compression Garment: A tight-fitting garment that helps reduce swelling and supports the abdomen as it heals. It is typically worn for several weeks after abdominoplasty.

Candidates: Individuals who are considered suitable for abdominoplasty, usually those with excess skin or fat that doesn’t improve with diet and exercise, and who are in good overall health.

Consultation: A preoperative meeting with a plastic surgeon to discuss the patient’s goals, options, potential risks, and outcomes of the tummy tuck procedure.


Diastasis Recti: A condition where the large abdominal muscles separate, often as a result of pregnancy. Abdominoplasty can repair this separation.

Drainage Tubes: Small tubes that may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess blood or fluid from the surgery site.

Downtime: The recovery period after surgery when activities are limited to ensure proper healing. The length of downtime can vary based on the extent of the procedure and the individual’s health.


Elastic Bandage: A bandage used to wrap around the abdomen after surgery to minimize swelling and support the abdominal area during the healing process.

Excess Skin: Skin that has been stretched due to factors like weight loss or pregnancy and does not return to its original state, often removed during a tummy tuck.

Exercise: Physical activity that is usually recommended to resume gradually after the initial recovery period, following the surgeon’s guidance to avoid complications.


Full Tummy Tuck: A type of abdominoplasty that addresses the entire abdominal area, removing excess skin and fat from the upper and lower abdomen and tightening the abdominal muscles.

Fat Removal: The process of eliminating excess fat from the abdomen, which can be performed using liposuction as part of a tummy tuck procedure.

Follow-up Care: Post-operative appointments with the surgeon to monitor the patient’s healing process, address any concerns, and ensure the best possible outcome.


General Surgeon: A type of doctor who performs a wide range of surgeries, including abdominoplasty, though patients often prefer specialists in plastic or cosmetic surgery for this procedure.

Girdle: Another term for a compression garment, designed to fit snugly around the abdomen to support the muscles and skin as they heal.

Goals: The desired outcomes that patients aim to achieve through abdominoplasty, often discussed during the initial consultation with the plastic surgeon.


Healing Process: The period during which the body recovers from surgery, involving the natural repair of tissue and adaptation to changes made during the procedure.

Hematoma: A possible complication of surgery, characterized by a collection of blood outside the blood vessels, under the skin of the surgery site.

Horizontal Incision: The common type of incision for a tummy tuck, running horizontally across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area, and often hidden within the bikini line.


Incision: The surgical cut made by the surgeon to remove excess skin and fat during a tummy tuck. The location and length of the incision depend on the type of tummy tuck.

Infection: A potential risk after any surgery, including abdominoplasty. It’s important to follow post-operative care instructions to minimize this risk.

Ideal Candidate: An individual who is in good health, has realistic expectations, and meets certain criteria that make them a good fit for abdominoplasty.


Journey: Refers to the patient’s experience from considering abdominoplasty, through the surgery and recovery, to the final results.

J-Plasty: A less common term that might be used in discussions of body contouring techniques, which could be related to specific types of incisions or methods used in abdominoplasty to address skin laxity and muscle separation.

Juvenile Stretch Marks: Stretch marks that are relatively new and might be addressed during a tummy tuck if they are located on the skin that is being removed.


Keloid: A type of raised scar that can occur where the skin has healed after surgery. People prone to keloids should discuss this with their surgeon before undergoing abdominoplasty.

Knit Together: Refers to the process of the abdominal muscles healing and reattaching after they have been sutured together during an abdominoplasty, particularly if diastasis recti is corrected.

Knowledge: The information and understanding a patient should acquire about abdominoplasty before deciding to undergo the procedure, including risks, benefits, and recovery expectations..


Liposuction: A procedure that may be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck to remove excess fat from the abdomen and improve the contour of the waistline.

Laxity: The looseness or sagging of skin, which can be addressed through abdominoplasty. Skin laxity in the abdominal area is a common reason for seeking this surgery.

Local Anesthesia: A type of anesthesia used to numb only a specific area of the body. While less common for full abdominoplasty, it might be used for smaller, less invasive procedures.


Mini Tummy Tuck: A less invasive version of abdominoplasty that focuses on the lower abdomen. It involves a smaller incision and less recovery time compared to a full tummy tuck, suitable for individuals with minimal excess skin and fat.

Muscle Repair: A key part of many abdominoplasty procedures, where separated or weakened abdominal muscles (often due to pregnancy or weight fluctuations) are tightened and sutured together to improve the abdominal profile.

Medical Clearance: A pre-operative evaluation by a healthcare provider to ensure a patient is healthy enough to undergo surgery and anesthesia. This may include blood tests, a physical examination, and a review of medical history.


Navel Respositioning: In a full tummy tuck, the belly button is often repositioned to ensure a natural-looking outcome as the skin is tightened and reshaped.

Necrosis: A rare complication where there is a loss of skin or tissue around the surgical site, often due to poor blood supply. Immediate medical attention is required to address this issue.

Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial for healing after abdominoplasty. A balanced diet can help accelerate recovery, reduce swelling, and improve wound healing.


Quality of Life: Many patients report significant improvements in their quality of life after a tummy tuck, including increased self-esteem, comfort, and satisfaction with their body image.

Quilting Sutures: A technique used in some abdominoplasty procedures to attach the lifted abdominal skin back to the underlying muscle, reducing the need for drainage tubes and potentially lowering the risk of seroma formation.

Quick Recovery: While recovery times vary, advancements in surgical techniques have led to faster recovery periods for some patients. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice for the quickest and safest recovery.


Post-operative Care: The care and instructions that a patient follows after surgery, including wound care, activity restrictions, and follow-up visits. Effective post-operative care is essential for a smooth recovery and optimal results.

Pain Management: Strategies and medications used to control pain and discomfort after abdominoplasty. This may include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, and ice packs.

Plastic Surgeon: A medical doctor who specializes in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, including abdominoplasty. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in tummy tucks is crucial for achieving the best outcomes.


Quadrantectomy: A type of breast-conserving surgery or lumpectomy where approximately a quarter of the breast tissue is removed, typically performed when dealing with breast cancer. Not strictly a plastic surgery term but relevant in reconstructive breast surgery contexts.

QuickLift®: A minimally invasive facelift technique designed to lift and tighten the skin of the face and neck to reduce signs of aging with less downtime than traditional facelifts.

Q-Switched Lasers: Specialized lasers used in dermatology and plastic surgery for removing tattoos, pigmented lesions, and for skin rejuvenation by emitting high-energy pulses.


Recovery Time: The period needed for a patient to heal after a tummy tuck. This can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the extent of the surgery and the individual’s health.

Risks: As with any surgery, there are risks associated with abdominoplasty, including infection, bleeding, and scarring. Patients should discuss potential risks and complications with their surgeon.

Revision Surgery: A secondary surgery that may be required if the initial tummy tuck results are not as expected, or to correct complications. Revision surgeries are generally more complex and may result in additional costs.


Seroma: A common complication after abdominoplasty, characterized by the accumulation of fluid under the skin. It may require drainage to resolve.

Scarring: All tummy tucks result in some degree of scarring, although the incision is typically placed in an area easily concealed by underwear or a swimsuit. The appearance of scars can improve over time with proper care.

Skin Tightening: One of the primary goals of abdominoplasty, removing excess skin to create a smoother, firmer abdominal area.


Tummy Tuck Belt: A type of compression garment that supports the abdomen during the recovery period, helping to reduce swelling and shape the abdominal contour.

Tightness: A sensation often reported by patients following abdominoplasty, resulting from the tightening of the abdominal muscles and skin. This feeling usually diminishes during the recovery process.

Transverse Abdominoplasty: Another term for a traditional tummy tuck, involving a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen. This procedure is designed to remove excess skin and fat and to tighten the abdominal muscles.


Umbilicoplasty: A surgical procedure often performed as part of a tummy tuck to reshape or reposition the belly button (navel) for cosmetic reasons, ensuring it looks natural after the removal of excess skin.

Underlying Muscles: Refers to the abdominal muscles beneath the skin and fat. Tummy tuck surgery often involves tightening these muscles to create a firmer abdominal wall and contour.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL): A technique that may be used in conjunction with abdominoplasty to remove excess fat. It uses ultrasound waves to liquefy the fat, making it easier to remove and resulting in smoother contours.


Vertical Scar Tummy Tuck: Less common than the traditional horizontal incision, this technique involves a vertical incision and is sometimes used for patients with excess skin above the navel as well as below.

Visceral Fat: The type of fat located deep inside the abdomen, surrounding the internal organs. Visceral fat cannot be removed with abdominoplasty or liposuction; reduction typically requires diet and exercise.

Vaser Liposuction: A specific type of ultrasound-assisted liposuction that may be used during a tummy tuck. It’s known for its effectiveness in removing fat and promoting skin contraction for smoother results.


Waistline Contouring: A goal of tummy tuck surgery, focusing on creating a more defined and aesthetically pleasing waistline by removing excess skin and fat and tightening muscles.

Wound Healing: The process by which the body naturally repairs itself after surgery. Proper care and following the surgeon’s instructions are crucial for healthy wound healing after a tummy tuck.

Weight Stability: It’s important for patients considering a tummy tuck to have a stable weight before the surgery. Significant weight fluctuations after the procedure can affect the long-term results.


Xiphoid Process: The lower, narrow portion of the sternum (breastbone), which serves as an anatomical landmark in certain abdominal surgeries, including tummy tuck procedures. Surgeons may reference this point when planning the incision to ensure symmetry and proper contouring.

Xerosis: A medical term for dry skin, which some patients may experience in the abdominal area during the healing process. Proper hydration and moisturizing, as directed by the surgeon, can help manage this condition.

X Marks: In surgical planning and marking, surgeons might use a special surgical marking pen to create “X” marks or other symbols on the skin to guide incisions and tissue removal or repositioning during a tummy tuck.


Youthful Contour: A term often used to describe one of the goals of abdominoplasty – to restore a more youthful and toned appearance to the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the muscles.

Y-Graft Technique: While not specifically related to tummy tuck procedures, this is a technique used in various types of reconstructive surgery. In the context of abdominoplasty, innovative techniques and approaches are continually being explored to enhance results.

Yearly Follow-Up: While not always necessary, some patients might be advised to have yearly follow-up appointments after their tummy tuck, especially if combined with other procedures or to monitor the long-term results and any potential changes.


Z-Plasty: A surgical technique used to improve the functional and aesthetic appearance of scars. While not a standard part of a tummy tuck, it may be employed in revision surgeries or to refine the appearance of scars from previous procedures.

Zero Visibility: Refers to the goal of placing tummy tuck scars in locations where they are least visible, such as below the bikini line. Scar visibility can be a significant concern, and surgeons strive to minimize it through strategic incision placement.

Zinc: An essential nutrient that plays a role in wound healing and immune function. Adequate zinc intake, either through diet or supplements, can be beneficial during the recovery period following a tummy tuck or any surgery.

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