Tummy Tuck


Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging.

The most common causes of this include:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.

A tummy tuck is suitable for men and women who are in good health. Women who have had several pregnancies may find the procedure useful for tightening their abdominal muscles and reducing skin. A tummy tuck is also an option for men or women

who were once obese and still have excess fat deposits or loose skin around the belly.

If you're a woman who plans to get pregnant, then you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you're done having children. During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.

Differents ways to do the procedure:

  • Complete abdominoplasty: The surgeon will cut your abdomen from hipbone to hipbone and then contour the skin, tissue, and muscle as needed. The surgery will involve moving your belly button, and you may need drainage tubes under your skin for a few days.
  • Partial or mini abdominoplasty: Mini-abdominoplasties are often done on people whose fat deposits are located below the navel. During this procedure, the surgeon most likely will not move your belly button, and the procedure may only take up to two hours, depending on your case.
  • Circumferential abdominoplasty: This option includes the back region. When there is much excess fat in the back as well as the abdomen, you may have either liposuction of the back region or circumferential abdominoplasty. The latter procedure allows for the removal of both skin and fat from the hip and back region as well, which improves the contour of your body three dimensionally.

Whether you’re having a partial or complete tummy tuck, your incision site will be stitched and bandaged. Your surgeon may have you wear an elastic bandage or compression garment after surgery. It’s very important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions on wearing this garment (if you are given one) and caring for the bandage in the days following surgery. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain.

If you are an exceptionally physically active person, know that you will have to severely limit strenuous exercise for 4 to 6 weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the healing process. You may need to take up to one month off work after the surgery to ensure proper recovery. Again, your doctor will help you determine this based on your personal situation.

If you smoke, you will have to stop for a certain period as determined by your doctor. It is not enough to just cut down on smoking; you must stop completely, at least for two weeks prior to surgery and for two weeks after. You must stop the use of all nicotine gum and nicotine patches at least two weeks before and after surgery. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

Make sure you eat well-balanced, complete meals and do not try to diet excessively before the surgery. Proper nutrition plays a key role in healing properly. Your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking some of your medications and dietary supplements for a certain period before and after the surgery. Your surgeon will determine this as part of your pre-operative consultation.

What are the complications and side effects with a tummy tuck?
As expected, you will have pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor can prescribe a painkiller if needed, and will instruct you on how to best handle the pain. Soreness may last for several weeks or months. You may also experience numbness, bruising, and overall tiredness for that same time period.

As with any surgery, there are risks. You may have an increased risk of complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes, heart, lung, or liver disease, or if you smoke.

Complications can include:

  • Scarring
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Accumulation of fluid
  • Poor wound healing
  • Loss of skin
  • Blood clots
  • Numbness or other changes in sensation
  • Risks related to anesthesia
  • Changes in skin color
  • Long-lasting swelling
  • Fat necrosis (death of fatty tissue located deep in the skin)
  • Wound separation
  • Asymmetry