In today's figure conscious society greater attention is directed to the size and shape of our bodies. In an attempt to control any bodily changes which may occur in this respect, we try to make use of exercise and diet to the best of our abilities. Certain areas of our body, in particular the abdomen, can become stubbornly resistant to our efforts. In some individuals the localized deposits of fat in the abdominal region combined with muscle laxity can make any hopes of a "flat tummy" very difficult to achieve. This may be particularly true in women who have stretched and loose skin that appears following a pregnancy.

The goals of an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" are to both remove the lower abdominal skin while keeping the scar hidden and to tighten the waist-line with internal suture techniques. This leaves a more pleasing curvature of the abdomen.

The tummy tuck procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The first step is to cut the skin between the belly button and top of pubic hair. The belly button stays in place. The muscles are then tightened from the sternum to the pubic bone. The skin above the belly button is then stretched down to the pubic area and stitched in place. Finally, the belly button is brought out through the overlying skin to occupy its original position. Some liposuction is performed to fine tune the new shape of the abdominal area.

Abdominoplasty has always been a popular cosmetic surgery request. It is an excellent solution to difficult situations in which individuals are troubled by redundant abdominal skin, lax muscles and excess fat. Providing one accepts the scar and recovery period, the results are quite pleasing. The procedure will give confidence to the individual and allow them to wear clothes that were previously unsuitable. The effects are generally long lasting provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.