Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that dramatically reduces the appearance of a chubby abdomen. This section overviews the procedure, who would be a good candidate, the end results of the procedure, along with the disadvantages of it, such as scarring.

Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure which will remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the muscles of your abdomen, making a more flat abdomen. This plastic surgery procedure can take anywhere from 2-5 hours. Most patients are back to work within 3-4 weeks.

Important Note: Every single patient is different, and has a different scenario. Because of that, it is very important that prior to making a decision, you contact a board certified plastic surgeon, and consult with them about your goals, desires and to see if you are a good candidate for this plastic surgery procedure.

Are you a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Abdominoplasty are both men and women, who are not excessively over weight.

Is this you?

  • In pretty good shape, but having trouble losing a large fat build up that either diet, or exercise, or the combination of the two can not lose
  • Have you given birth and you body is not returning back to normal? Pregnancy stretches out abdominal muscles and skin, usually beyond the point where they can return to normal

If you:

  • Intend to lose a lot of weight in the near future, you should not have this surgery until you lose the weight
  • If you intend to have a child, or additional children, you will want to wait because vertical muscles in the abdomen, which are tightened during this plastic surgery procedure, can separate during pregnancy
  • Are you in good health? For any surgical procedure, it is important that your body can handle it, so you must be in good health
  • Have you had abdomen surgery before? You will want to point this out to your plastic surgeon, as you may be cautioned in reference to unusually large scarring

The Procedure

A full abdominoplasty will take anywhere from 2-5 hours. A partial abdominoplasty usually will take less than 2 hours.

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision from hipbone to hipbone. This is done right above the pubic area. A second incision is then made to free the navel from the surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Your plastic surgeon will then separate your skin from the abdominal wall, all the way up to your ribs. This will then reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. The muscles are then pulled close together, and then stitched into the new position. This is known as muscle tightening and will give you a firmer abdominal wall, and a narrower waistline.

The skin flap, is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. For your navel, a new hole is cut and stitched in place. The incisions will then be stitched, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain any excess fluid from the surgical area.

In a partial abdominoplasty the skin is only separated between the incision line and the navel.

After Surgery, Your Recovery

The first few days your abdomen will be swollen and you will be in some pain and discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe you with some medication for this pain. Typically, but dependant on the degree of your surgery, you will be released within a few hours.

Before you leave, you plastic surgeon will give you instructions on exactly what you can and can not do. To answer a couple of common questions, your plastic surgeon will direct you on how to change your dressings, how to shower, and how to be most comfortable. Your surface stitches will be removed within one week, and the others will come out within 3 weeks.