Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a "tummy tuck," is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. However, it does produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.
Candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good physical condition but are bothered by loose abdominal skin that has not responded to a healthy diet or regular exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful for women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where it can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved with a tummy tuck.