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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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Technical name: Abdominoplasty
Body Parts: Abdomen
Recommended Age: When you have decided not to have any more children
Anesthesia: General or local with sedation
Surgery time: On average 2 hours, but there are cases where the surgery could take up to 5 hours
Clinic stay: 24 hours
Scar: At the base of the abdomen, hidden beneath underwear
Pre-operative: Lab exams
Post-operative: Use of a belt garment for the 2 months following the surgery
Recuperation period: 2-3 weeks
Tip: Avoid sun-tanning in the region where the scar is located for the 3 months following surgery

What is Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?

Abdominoplasty , known more commonly as a tummy tuck surgery, is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and Lower Abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the Abdominal wall.

The Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery can dramatically reduce the appearance of a Protruding Abdomen. Keep in mind; it does produce a permanent scar, which varies in length, depending on the original problem and on the surgery used to correct it.

Who is the best candidate for an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?

The best candidates for the Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery are men and women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose, stretch marked abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise.

The Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal.

Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the Abdomen are tightened during the surgery and can separate again during pregnancy.

The Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence; since it has certain limitations, your expectations should be discussed in consultation.


This Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery may be carried out using general Anesthesia, in which case you will sleep through the operation. Another option is an epidural block, the same type of regional Anesthesia commonly used in childbirth; it may be combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. With this type of Anesthesia, your abdominal region and your legs will be numb to pain.

Intended Results of Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

The Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery , whether partial or complete, can produce excellent results for patients with weakened Abdominal Muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

If you are realistic in your expectations and prepared for an adequate recovery period and a permanent scar which may be hidden with your clothing or bathing suit, an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery may be just the answer for you.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Procedure Description

A complete Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery usually takes two to four hours, depending on the extent of work required. A partial Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery may take an hour or two.

Most commonly, a long incision is made from hipbone to hipbone, going down from one hipbone and passing just above the pubic area, then going up to the other hipbone.

A second incision is made during the Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With a partial Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery , the incision is much shorter and the navel nay not be incised, although it may be pulled downward a bit, as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, the skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and a large skin flap is lifted to reveal the vertical muscles (the Rectus Abdominis Muscles) in your Abdomen.

These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together at the midline of the body and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed.

A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.In a partial Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery , the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. The skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.

Recovery and Healing After Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Healing from tummy tuck cosmetic surgery is an individual matter, but in general you should plan to miss a week or two of work as part of your abdominoplasty recovery period. Some patients will require up to four weeks of tummy tuck recovery time.

Although it takes most patients several weeks or more to feel completely "back to normal" and to see their final tummy tuck benefits, patients who were in good physical condition at the time of the surgery will have a shorter tummy tuck recovery time.

Depending on the type of tummy tuck surgery performed, a patient may have to stay in a hospital for at least one night. In the first few days while healing from tummy tuck surgery, it’s likely that you’ll experience some discomfort, swelling, and pain, which can be made tolerable with medication. Many surgeons will also provide their patients with tummy tuck drains. It’s common for tummy tuck surgeons to recommend a few days of bed rest.

The stitches from abdominoplasty surgery are usually removed within five to seven days of the surgery, or in stages. Your surgeon will give you guidelines for activities such as changing the surgical dressings, showering/bathing, and walking. It’s usually recommended that tummy tuck patients begin walking as soon as possible after the surgery, as gentle exercise helps the healing process and can prevent the formation of blood clots.

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