A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. A tummy tuck is used to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen while also restoring weakened abdominal muscles. Learn more about tummy tucks and recovery.
Who can benefit from a tummy tuck?
The effects of pregnancy, weight fluctuations and the normal aging process can all contribute to the appearance of excess skin and fat on the abdomen. A tummy tuck is ideal for patients who are unable to minimize this excess tissue with proper diet and exercise.
You may be a potential candidate if:
- You are at or near an ideal weight for your height
- You have no plans for future pregnancies
- You have a moderate amount of excess skin and fat
- You possess good physical and psychological health
Through tummy tuck surgery, you can achieve a flatter, more contoured abdomen. Other body contouring procedures such as liposuction may be performed in conjunction with your tummy tuck to create an overall slimmer body profile.
A tummy tuck may not be right for everyone. The best way to find out if you are an ideal candidate is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon.
What to expect during your surgery
This 3-4 hour procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on your surgeon’s recommendation. Following sedation, a horizontal incision will be made on your lower abdomen. The skin will then be gently separated from the underlying tissue so that excess skin, fat and tissue can be removed or reshaped. A second incision can also be made around the navel so that excess tissue can be removed from the upper abdomen.
Following the removal of excess skin, fat and tissue, the stretched out stomach muscles are repaired and tightened with suturing. The remaining skin will then be re-draped over the abdominal wall. Incisions will be closed with stitches, skin adhesives or clips. Temporary drains may be placed at incision sites to collect excess fluid buildup. Your abdomen will also be wrapped in gauze and an elastic compression bandage to minimize excessive swelling and bruising.
After your tummy tuck surgery
Following surgery, you will experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area for several days. Your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with personalized aftercare instructions. Oral pain medication will also be made available to help manage discomfort. You should be up and walking within a few days of surgery, but strenuous physical activity should be avoided for several weeks.
Recovery times vary, but most patients are able to resume work and other normal activities within two weeks. It may take several weeks before the final results of your tummy tuck are visible, as swelling and bruising gradually subside. It may take several months before incision lines begin to fade and flatten.
Understanding the risks of tummy tuck surgery
All surgical procedures, including a tummy tuck, present a degree of risk and uncertainty. During the consultation process, your cosmetic surgeon will discuss all of these risks with you in depth. Some risks include adverse reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, slow healing, excessive scarring or undesirable cosmetic outcome.
If you’re ready to take the next step
Contact us to schedule a consultation for a tummy tuck. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to review photos and discuss details such as the cost and expected recovery time.