What is an abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty, also called a “tummy tuck,” is a surgery that flattens and firms the midsection through the removal of excess fat and skin and the tightening of abdominal muscles.

People often have this surgery after pregnancy or after losing a significant amount of weight, both of which can stretch abdominal muscles and leave excess skin. If you’ve tried to flatten and tone your protruding or sagging abdomen through weight loss and exercise but haven’t achieved your goals, this procedure might be right for you.

How abdominoplasty works

Abdominoplasty is performed while you’re under general anesthesia.

Your surgeon will make an incision in your bikini line, and will elevate the upper abdominal tissues to expose your abdominal muscles. The muscles can be sewn together to flatten the abdomen or reduce your waist. If you have excess skin above your navel, the belly-button will be re-positioned. Excess lower abdominal tissues are removed, and the skin incision is closed.

After the surgery, you’ll have tubes in place to drain excess fluid for one to two weeks.

How long does it take to recover from abdominoplasty?

Recovery from this procedure usually takes about two to three weeks, but as with every surgery, recovery is highly individual. During your consultation, your doctor will talk with you about what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Q. Who Is a good candidate for abdominoplasty?

A. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are nonsmokers who are at or close to their ideal weight and have loose, sagging skin or a protruding abdomen even with a healthy diet and regular exercise.  However, patients above ideal body weight may be candidates for modified abdominoplasties (lipoabdominoplasty).

Q. Will I have scars after abdominoplasty?

A. The scar from an abdominoplasty incision is usually low enough to be well hidden by clothing or a bathing suit (even a bikini).

Q. Can I lift my kids after having abdominoplasty?

A. Tummy tucks are popular among moms after pregnancy, so this is a common concern. For several weeks to months after surgery, you’ll have limits as to how much you can lift. If you lift too much too soon, you risk stressing your incision site, which can delay your recovery and affect your cosmetic result.

Q. How long will abdominoplasty results last?

A. Abdominoplasty results are meant to last, but pregnancy or weight gain can affect the results. Most doctors recommend waiting until you’ve had your last child or reached your goal weight before having abdominoplasty.