Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Description: ”Abdominoplasty,” or a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure designed to
flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, tightening the muscles of the
abdominal wall. Tummy tucks can dramatically reduce the appearance of a
Length: 2 to 5 hours. A partial tummy tuck may take 1 to 2 hours (see description
Side Effects: Patients may experience temporary pain, bruising, swelling, soreness,
or numbness in the abdominal skin for several weeks or several months.
Back to work: 2 to 4 weeks.
More strenuous activity: 4 to 6 weeks or more.
Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.
Risks: Possible risks may include infection and blood clots, poor healing with
conspicuous scarring or skin loss, and the need for a second operation.
Results: Usually long lasting if the patient follows a balanced diet and regularly
Technology: Most commonly, a surgeon will make a long incision across the hipbone
directly above the pubic area, with a second incision following to free the navel from
surrounding tissue. The surgeon will separate the skin from the abdominal wall up to
the ribs, lifting a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in the abdomen. He or
she will eventually tighten the muscles by pulling them close together and stitching
them into their new position. Some patients qualify for a ”minimum” tummy tuck, if
most of their fat is carried below their navel. This is considered a less complex
Patient Status: Inpatient 2 – 3 days