Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Brief Overview:
One of the most important operations in cosmetic surgery. The first part of the mommy makeover is the tummy tuck. When done correctly, this surgery results in the very happy patients after years of struggling post multiple pregnancies.

The tummy tuck is an operation that is designed to remove excess skin from the abdomen at the same time, tightening the abdominal muscles. It is indicated in cases where there is laxity of the abdomen resulting in bulging due to abnormal stretching of the abdominal muscles and skin. Unlike liposuction surgery, which just removes fat, this operation involves removal of skin and fat, with tightening of the abdominal muscles. For this reason, it is more extensive than liposuction. The actual extent of surgery will depend on the amount of excess skin and the laxity of the abdominal muscles.

In some cases, liposuction surgery can be combined with excision of excess abdominal skin instead of a more complete tummy tuck. Although this does not give as good a skin tightening, it does result in much smaller scars and a shorter recovery period. When a full tummy tuck is contemplated, however, extensive liposuction is best delayed until a later time, since there seems to be a higher chance of complications when the two procedures are combined. Occasionally, minor additional liposuction is done after the original operation.

For patients with bulging muscle and excess fat, whose skin is relatively tight, an endoscopic abdominoplasty is an option that is rapidly gaining popularity. It is reserved for the patient who has good skin tone, but bulging underlying muscle. Only a small percentage of patients with abdominal complaints fit into this category.

Prior to tummy tuck surgery, the amount of skin that is to be removed is carefully marked. The operation is usually carried out under general anesthesia. An incision is made in the bikini line and the excess skin is pulled down and inward, and is removed along with underlying fatty tissue. The muscles are tightened as required, the skin is carefully redraped and the incision closed with several layers of suture. In most cases, the belly button will have to an incision around it in a circular fashion because of the amount of skin removed. Contrary to what you may think, the belly button is NOT removed during the operation!

Following surgery, a compressive girdle and stockings are worn for a few weeks. There may be considerable discomfort for several days following surgery but most patients resume limited activity in a day or so. Plastic drains are kept in place for a few days to help prevent the accumulation of fluid.

It is absolutely important to quite smoking at least 3 weeks prior to surgery and for 2 weeks after surgery to allow skin to heal. It is very dangerous to have this procedure done if you are actively smoking.

  • Hospital or in-office procedure?
  • Recovery time (home rest)?
  • Incision and Scar?
  • Operation time?
  • Discharge from hospital?

Hospital or in-office procedure?


Recovery time (home rest)?

14 days

Incision and Scar?

Incision is hip-bone to hip-bone below the bikini line. Incision heals very well at 4 months. Compression Garment is worn for two weeks.

Operation time?

2.5 hours

Discharge from hospital?

Stay over night at hospital. Discharge the next day.

Body Procedures

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