tummy tuck abdominoplasty

tummy tuck

Who considers a Tummy Tuck?

Women or men seeing fat, skin, or poor muscle contour of the abdomen often consider abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck. Multiple pregnancies, weight loss, and normal aging can leave the abdominal contour with excess skin and protruding stomach muscles. Occasionally there is enough skin excess to cause rashes or skin breakdown of the lower abdominal skin.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, re-sculpts and contours the abdomen by tightening the tummy muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Depending on the degree of contour and skin problems - incisions are placed low and also around the belly button. The goal is to give a flatter, smoother abdominal contour.




How is the procedure performed?

  • Incisions are placed very low on the abdomen from hip bone to hip bone. An incision also encircles the belly button. Incisions are modified if only minimal contour problems are present or if the excess fat extends further around to the back.
  • The muscles of the abdomen and waist are tightened and the excess skin and fat below the belly button is removed. Stitches close the skin and a drain is placed.
  • Surgery is generally performed in the office surgical suite and patients go home the same day, but can be performed in the hospital setting if patients prefer to stay overnight. General anesthesia is used and surgery takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the degree of contouring required.
  • Some patients elect to have liposuction or breast surgery at the same time as abdominoplasty.

What is normal recovery?

Most patients experience moderate discomfort for the first several days which is relieved with prescription medications. Patients wear a compressive, support garment for the first several weeks. Patients are back to most activities within 2 to 3 weeks, depending on their job requirements, and back to full, unrestricted activity within 4 to 6 weeks.

What are the expected results?

A firmer, flatter, and smoother abdominal contour is the usual outcome. Patients who intend to lose significantly more weight, or plan future pregnancies, should discuss these issues at the consultation so you understand what effect this could have on your results.

Are there any potential complications?

While all surgery carries some risk, abdominoplasty is a common and safe procedure. Minor problems would include scarring, a change in sensation, or delayed fluid and swelling. Rarely, more significant problems can occur and these can be reviewed on the link below.


Copy adapted from the joint ASPS and PSEF website.

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