Tummy Tuck - Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles (plication) creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. Many of us strive for a toned abdomen, however sometimes this goal cannot be achieved through diet and exercise. A tummy tuck may also include liposuction to the front and sides of the abdomen, known as the flank area. The navel (umbilicus) may also be readjusted during a tummy tuck so that it is restored to a natural position after the excess skin is removed. If you are very thin but have a roll of excess skin at the very bottom of your abdomen, a mini-tummy tuck may be appropriate for you. This procedure assumes you do not need your muscles tightened (plication) and that you don't need additional liposuction in the flank area. Athletic patients with a firm, tone abdomen that only have a small amount of excess hanging skin at the bottom of their abdomen are the best candidates for a mini tummy tuck.
- Tummy Tuck - Traditional with liposuction of the hips
Courtesy of Dr. Samuel Shatkin Jr.
What should I expect?
What a tummy tuck won't do: No procedure should be a substitute for a weight loss or exercise program. Stretch marks may not be corrected by a tummy tuck unless they are located on the excess skin to be removed, which is usually below the navel.
How should I prepare?
Refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen or certain herbal supplements, as these can increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to disclose everything you are currently taking, regardless of how menial. Stop smoking and all other nicotine products several weeks prior to your procedure. Your surgeon will discuss the recovery with you as well.
What are the risks?
If you are smoking or having your tummy tuck in combination with an abdominal hernia repair, you risk having the incision breakdown and require gauze dressing changes and worst of all, navel necrosis when the "belly button" does not have enough blood supply and dies. This will leave a scar in place of your navel.
How do I ensure my safety?
Be sure you have this procedure performed by an appropriately trained plastic surgeon in an accredited facility. Also, ask to see photos of previous results.
What will recovery be like?
Generally, you are able to return home the same day as your procedure, however be sure to make arrangements for someone to drive you. Should your procedure be more extensive, you may be required to spend one or two nights in the hospital for recovery. You will be sore after a tummy tuck, mostly from the tightening of the abdominal muscles. You are NOT expected to stay in bed after the operation since that would increase the risk of blood clots in the leg. Get out of bed and move around but don't overdo it. A compression garment will be worn after your operation to help with swelling and improving the contour of your abdomen during the healing process. You can shower but check with your doctor regarding how soon they want you to get your incisions wet. Any sutures or drains will be removed within 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Immediately following a tummy tuck procedure, you may experience soreness and tenderness. Any discomfort can be managed by pain killers. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic. Common side effects experienced by abdominoplasty patients include redness, bruising, and swelling. As your body heals and adjusts to the changes after one to three weeks, these side effects will decrease. You may need to stay home from work for 1 to 2 weeks depending on the extent of your operation. After six months, the full effects of your procedure will be evident. Your results will be long lasting, however fluctuations in body weight may alter the abdomen's appearance.
How much does it cost?
In the United States, the average cost of a tummy tuck is $6,791, according to BuildMyHealth's Pricing Database.This includes costs of anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees.
See more detailed pricing for this procedure
Questions & Answers
Prepare for your consultation. View these common questions you should ask your surgeon.
Liposuction of Abdominal Flank, Body Lift, Brazilian Butt Lift, Removal of Excess Abdominal Skin