A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the midsection while tightening the abdominal muscles. The optimal result of a tummy tuck surgery is a tighter, smoother, and flatter stomach.
A tummy tuck operation is fairly complex and depends upon the patient’s needs. The best results of abdominoplasty are achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for your individual case will be determined by your surgeon.
There are three main types of tummy tuck procedures, and these options will be discussed fully between you and your cosmetic surgeon.
Standard tummy tuck – The surgeon makes incisions into your abdomen and above your bikini line. Your belly button is cut from the surrounding skin. Muscles that are stretched or torn are pulled together and stitched into place, and excess fat is removed. Next, your skin is then pulled down, and the excess trimmed off. Your belly button will then be repositioned to align with the new shape of your tummy. The incisions are closed with stitches, and your lower abdomen is firmly supported and wrapped in bandages. You will likely have a scar around your belly button and a long curved scar along your bikini line, typically the scar sits below the line of your underwear.
Mini tummy tuck – The skin and fat below your belly button are removed leaving a long curved scar along your bikini line.
Extended Full tummy tuck – Excess skin and fat from your abdomen and your back is removed by your surgeon. You will have a scar around your belly button and a long curved scar along your bikini line and around your back.
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required, and partial abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) may take an hour or two.
You may expect the following to occur after the procedure:
- Your abdomen may feel very sore or tender. The pain you will feel can be controlled with pain medications.
- Tummy tuck patients typically require several days of bed rest.
- Your incision sites will be bandaged to keep the area clean and protected. You will also be fitted with a wide elastic compression garment to reduce swelling and provide support to the skin as it tightens. You must continue to wear this garment for several weeks.
- Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may have tubes in your incision to drain away fluid. It is important to empty the drains a few times a day and keep track of how much fluid comes out. The drains are usually removed from three to fourteen days after your surgery, depending on how much fluid is coming out.
- If you have non-absorbable sutures, they can typically be removed within the first week or two.
- Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for managing your drains, changing your bandages, and showering during recovery. You will also be told whether you can put any ointment on your incisions to reduce discomfort.
- Common side effects from abdominoplasty patients include redness, bruising, and swelling. These effects typically subside in one to three weeks as your body adjusts to the new contours and the incisions heal.
Most Patients can return to work within two weeks. Patients typically wait at least four to six weeks before beginning light exercise.
Full recovery from a tummy tuck procedure occurs over a period of six months or more.
Note: Your individual concerns and particular medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation. While the information provided above is meant to be educational, it is not meant to be conclusive or comprehensive. Please take the time to do extensive research on the procedure(s) you are considering and the risks associated with those treatments. My Secret Fountain of Youth Limited is a medical tourism facilitator and supplies this general information to its prospective clients on behalf of the hospitals, surgeons, and dentists that we feature. This website and the information it provides shall not be construed as offers to provide medical advice. No information provided on this website should be interpreted as My Secret Fountain of Youth Limited or its personnel offering or providing medical advice or recommendations.