There are many different forms of cosmetic surgery that can be performed on people for a huge variety of reasons. They can be for purely cosmetic reasons, such as a face lift or nose job or the highly popular plastic surgery breast augmentation procedure. They can also be performed for reasons where a disfigurement has occurred and can be made right by a cosmetic surgery procedure.

The cosmetic procedure popularly known as the plastic surgery tummy tuck is also called a tummy tuck or more correctly referred to as an abdominoplasty, to give it its medical term. It is performed in order to remove the excessive skin and fat that can occur in the stomach or lower abdominal area. The procedure has the effect of tightening the abdominal wall muscles as well as reducing any protrusions of sections of the stomach itself.

The plastic surgery tummy tuck operation is not meant as a means of weight loss, but is more to create a cosmetic, visually more pleasing appearance. The reason it is generally performed is following excessive and rapid weight loss in order to improve the abdominal appearance as losing large amounts of weight in a short time may result in an unsightly excess of loose skin around the abdomen. Similarly, following pregnancy there is excessive loose skin or scarring known as stretch marks which the plastic surgery tummy tuck can effectively remove.

During the tummy tuck surgery, most of the excess fat and skin that have accumulated in the lower and middle abdominal areas are removed. The result is a flatter and firmer abdomen that is achieved by the tightening of the abdominal wall and the muscles will, when fully healed take over the job of keeping the area firm looking.

There are several different kinds of plastic surgery tummy tuck procedures that are available at plastic surgery clinics. The right one for a particular person will be recommended by the clinic's professional staff depending upon several factors, such as the amount of excessive skin, the amount of excessive fat, whether there are stretch marks or other areas of scarring or skin damage.

In cases where only a relatively minor excess of skin or fat exists, the procedure known as a mini abdominoplasty is recommended. Alternatively, where a greater amount of excessive skin and fat exists, the procedure known as a full abdominoplasty is recommended for achieving a flat, firm stomach.

The procedure requires an incision to be made in the lower abdomen area and depending upon the extent of the surgery, this will leave a scar after surgery of varying length. The scar's location is discussed with the surgeon prior to surgery, although it is common to have it horizontally just below the bikini line enabling the patient to cover the scar with underwear or a swim suit when out in public so that there is no outwardly visual evidence of the surgery. The scar will generally appear quite red shortly after surgery, but will fade to pink over time until it eventually settles to a silver grey.

The recovery time for a plastic surgery tummy tuck operation varies from patient to patient as this is not a simple procedure and causes trauma to the patient's abdominal area, which is very sensitive to body movement such as twisting or bending. Such movements will impact greatly on the recovery time so it is quite common to be more or less immobile for anything up to two weeks after the surgery. During this time, you are required to stay at home, preferably remaining in bed in order to allow your stitches to heal. There will be some pain and discomfort during this time as well as some swelling in the abdominal area. After 4 weeks it is usually possible to be able to return to work and after 6 months, all normal activities will be possible.

Undertaking this procedure is something that should not be taken lightly. It should be realised that this procedure does not represent cheap plastic surgery and in fact can seem rather costly, so this a factor that needs to be weighed up before making a decision. Most reputable cosmetic surgery clinics have counselling staff to hand to help prospective patients through the decision process and to advise them on what they will have to expect from the surgery.