Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

If You're Considering Abdominoplasty . . .

Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck as it more commonly known is a procedure that:

  • Removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen
  • Tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall

By combining these two, the procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.

Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?

Men and women who have localized fat deposits but are otherwise in good shape  are perfect candidates for this procedure. It is essential to be as close to your ideal weight as possible. Men and women who exercise regularly but have failed to lose fat around their love handles and tummy are suitable candidates too. Many patients have lost excessive weight following a weight loss surgery and would benefit by having the pannus excised. Multiple pregnancies can also result in flabby muscles and excess skin that may benefit by an abdominoplasty. You should wait to have the surgery if:

  • You intend to lose a lot of weight
  • You plan more pregnancies

What are the risks?

There are always some risks and specific complications after any procedure.  You can rarely have collection of blood following surgery. It that happens you may need to have an additional surgery to have the clot removed. Rarely you can have infection in the incision. Antibiotics are given prior to surgery and for few days after surgery to reduce the chance of an infection following surgery. Smoking prior to and after surgery certainly increases the risks of these complications. Sometimes you can have a small collection of fluid or a seroma after surgery. They will generally resolve on their own. Sometimes a small needle may be needed to remove the collected fluid. Your skin on the tummy may be numb for four to six months and this will resolve after that time. The incisions generally heal with a minimum scar line which can be well hidden.

Plan for Your Surgery

During your initial visit I will ask what medications you take and whether you smoke or not. It is very important that you stop smoking prior to and after the surgery. If you have minimum or mild excess of skin I will recommend a mini-adominoplasty. If you have excessive skin you will require a regular abdominoplasty. It is not unusual to add liposuction to your love handles, or the thighs and abdomen to further enhance your outcome. You will need to wear a compression garment for around six weeks to reduce pain and swelling following surgery.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

I perform both mini and complete abdominoplasties in an outpatient surgical center.

Types of Anesthesia

I select general anesthesia, so you'll sleep through the operation.

The Surgery

Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two and half hours, depending on the extent of work required. Mini abdominoplasty may take an hour or two. The skin incision is commonly made form the right to the left hip bone just above your pubic area so that the final scar is very well hidden. The procedure is involves lifting the skin and the fat from the underlying fascia all the way up to your ribs. The skin around your navel is released. I will then tighten the muscles (your abs) and contour them by suturing them together. This dramatically changes the contour of the abdomen. If you have some laxity of skin in your flanks or on the outside of your thighs, I may sometime extend the incision into the flank. This allows me to remove excess skin from the flank and lift up your thighs. This will result in an hour glass shape and allow you wear low cut jeans and tuck your shirt in. No more of bulging on the sides. The excess skin and the fat is then trimmed so that you have no excess and wrinkly skin. A new navel is created for you and the incision is closed in many layers. You will have two drains that will be left for around three to five days.

After Your Surgery

You will have pain on the first few days following surgery. You will receive pain medications to control the pain. You will have some swelling and bruising after the surgery which will resolve soon. The compression garment will help keep this under control. The stitches are under the skin and do not need to be removed. The drains are removed in three to five days and you will have to wear a compression garment for 4-6 weeks.

Getting Back to Normal

It generally takes two to three weeks to get back to normal. You can drive in a week to ten days after surgery. It may take you two to three weeks to feel like your old self again. Generally younger patients are up and about earlier. You should be able to walk briskly in three weeks and this includes swimming. You can perform aerobic exercises in six weeks.

Your New Image

At three weeks when the swelling has all but gone you will see yourself in the mirror and see the flat tummy and the dramatic change in the contour of your abdomen. You will simply love it. Keep in mind that you will need to continue to exercise and have balanced diet to eat lifelong if you wish to enjoy your body.