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Like many other procedures, tummy tucks have been greatly influenced by endoscope technology. An endoscopic abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have weakened muscles of the lower abdomen, but still have relatively tight abdominal skin. Endoscopic abdominoplasty will help tighten the abdominal muscles and can be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat, but endoscopic abdominoplasty is unable to tighten loose skin in the abdominal region. In some studies, research indicated that an endoscopic abdominoplasty was more beneficial to male patients than to females in addressing the muscle laxity when skin elasticity still existed, but there is no doubt that an endoscopic abdominoplasty can make a big difference for patients of both sexes, so long as the skin has retained a certain amount of elasticity.
An endoscopic abdominoplasty, like other endoscopic procedures, is performed using a small camera, called an endoscope, which is attached to small surgical instruments. This gives endoscopic abdominoplasty a major advantage over the traditional procedure: the surgery can be performed using very small incisions that are easily concealed. The incisions used in an endoscopic abdominoplasty are usually placed above the pubis or inside of the navel. The muscles are tightened and sutured through the incision. Liposuction performed during the endoscopic abdominoplasty removes fat, a drain is placed to prevent fluid buildup, and the incision is closed.
Recovery from an endoscopic abdominoplasty is also greatly aided by the minimally invasive nature of this procedure. Patients will still feel slight to moderate discomfort after an endoscopic abdominoplasty, and some swelling is to be expected. Like any other surgical procedure, exercising and stopping smoking prior to undergoing an endoscopic abdominoplasty will help speed recovery and aid in the healing process. Most patients who undergo an endoscopic abdominoplasty are able to return to their normal daily activities within a week or two of surgery, although they will need to put off heavy exercise and strenuous activity until they are fully recovered.