published Thursday, September 29th, 2011

ASK A DOCTOR

Q: What is a tummy tuck?

A: Tummy tuck is a layman's term for abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen. The typical abdominoplasty patient is a healthy, active woman who, after pregnancy, has developed abdominal muscle weakness and excessive skin and fat in the area below the navel. The abdomino-plasty technique is designed to address these problems by surgically tightening the rectus muscles and excising the excess skin and fat from the lower torso. It is also commonly used to improve the appearance of the abdomen after great weight loss. Abdominoplasty is an outpatient surgery performed under deep sedation. Post-operative management includes the use of drains and compressive garments. Patients with low-impact employment can expect to return to work in seven to 10 days. Return to full activity and exercise programs is permitted after about a month.

-- Dr. Mark Brzezienski, The Plastic Surgery Group; member, Chattanooga/Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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