Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty Quick Facts

Flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and, in some cases, adjust the muscles of the abdominal wall.

1 to 2 weeks out of work, 4 to 8 weeks before strenuous exercise

Outpatient Surgery?:
Only for a mini-tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck often requires a stay in the hospital

Tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a surgery to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and give you a flatter, leaner silhouette. Often the effects of age and childbearing can leave a woman with a saggy abdomen, which is why a tummy tuck is often part of a Mommy Makeover. A Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to reshape a women's body after the child-bearing years. Tummy tuck, breast augmentation surgery and liposuction are performed, but not at the same time. However, tummy tucks are often performed on men, too!

Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery

There are several types of abdominoplasty. A full tummy tuck is an extensive procedure that also repairs the rectus abdominus muscles that run vertically down the center of the abdomen. These muscles can become stretched out and separated due to age, pregnancy, or weight gain. A mini-tummy tuck usually involves only removing some excess skin and fat, but not repairing the muscles. If a lot of loose skin is removed, you may need to have the skin redraped around your navel (bellybutton). During this procedure, the plastic surgeon loosens the skin, redrapes it, and then makes a hole in the redraped skin at the site of the navel and sews the skin around it.

Because a full tummy tuck in an extensive surgery, you may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. For a mini-tummy tuck, but you can go home within a few hours after the procedure. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to the thighs and hips or with breast augmentation or a breast lift. Most tummy tucks are performed under general anesthesia, but intravenous sedation may also be used for less extensive techniques.

One potential drawback to tummy tuck is that there is usually an extensive scar, one that runs across the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. This is usually placed low enough on the abdomen to be hidden by a bikini bottom, but that may not always be possible.

Tummy Tuck Risks and Recovery

Because tummy tuck is extensive surgery, it has a greater degree of risk other types of  cosmetic surgery. Some of the more serious potential risks include the following. You could contract a serious infection or experience excessive bleeding. You could have a bad reaction to anesthesia. You may also develop a hematoma or seroma. A hematoma is a pocket of clotted blood, while a seroma is a pocket of blood plasma. Both harden and shrink, but take several weeks or months to completely resolve.

There is also the possibility you will not like the results. You may dislike the length and size of your scar.

Because this is extensive surgery, you may need help around the house in the first few days after abdominoplasty. You should not pick up anything that weighs more than 10 to 15 pounds (inlcuding your children!) for 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery and you should avoid bending over. Most patients can go back to work (with some limitations) about 2 to 3 weeks afterward, but it varies with the extent of the surgery and what kind of work you do. Returning to full activity, including sports, can take 6 to 8 weeks.




Better Business Bureau Logo


Try our Financing

to see how affordable
cosmetic surgery
can be!
Financing Calculator
See if cosmetic
surgery is for you
Important Factors to