Also called a tummy tuck, an abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure used to improve the appearance of the abdominal region. During a tummy tuck, the surgeon removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen, and tightens connective tissues and muscles with sutures. The skin is repositioned to create a toned, sleek look.
The abdomen may protrude after abdominal fascia is stretched from significant weight gain or loss. A tummy tuck can be used to remove the loose, flabby skin and fat, as well as tighten the fascia. A tummy tuck is good for anyone who:
Before scheduling an abdominoplasty, the plastic surgeon will want to meet with you for the initial consultation. The doctor will:
Before your abdominoplasty, you should:
Before the procedure, you are given general anesthesia, which means you will be put to sleep. The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic, and incisions are made along the pubic region (bikini line). The surgeon tightens the abdominal muscles and fascia, removes excess skin and fat tissue, and holds connective tissues up with sutures.
The incision is closed using sutures. Liposuction may be used to remove fat tissue from the abdomen and flanks. This involves insertion of a cannula into the abdomen and gently suctioning away fat cells.
You will be monitored by a nurse for around 45 minutes following the surgery. Expect to have 2 small drains to remove excess body fluid, as well as bandages and a compression garment. Bruising, soreness, and swelling is common after abdominoplasty.
Soreness for a week is common and swelling can remain for up to a month, especially if liposuction is also used. You are positioned in the bed with your body raised and your knees slightly bent for a few days after surgery, in a “beach chair” position. We recommend that you move about your home, but avoid strenuous activities, lifting, or bending.
You will return to the surgeon’s office in 4-10 days to have drains, bandages, and sutures removed. You cannot soak in a sauna or hot tub until wounds have healed, and should wear the abdominal binder for 6 weeks. It takes around 6-8 weeks to recover from a tummy tuck, but you are permitted to return to work in a couple of weeks if you have a desk job.