Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty

Surgical Procedures

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An abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck”, is a procedure designed to remove excessive skin from the abdomen.  Excessive skin may be as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, or post surgical change.  Stretch marks may exist between the belly button and the pubic hairline which may also be addressed.  During this procedure excessive fatty tissue is also removed and, if required, the abdominal muscles are tightened.  Repair of the abdominal muscles will narrow the waistline and flatten the stomach.  Abdominal skin is then stretched down to the lower incision and the belly button is repositioned to its new position.  Repositioning of the belly button leaves a scar around the belly button as well as a scar above the pubic hairline.

Patients that are not candidates for this type of surgery include smokers, patients with significant comorbid disease such as diabetes or wound healing difficulties, patients currently on immunosuppressives, patients who are currently planning an additional pregnancy, and patients with a BMI of over 35.

Abdominoplasty is performed as a day care procedure and patients are typically discharged home the same day.  If combined with a secondary procedure such as a breast lift, patients may stay overnight.  Two drains are placed, exiting through the abdominal incision, and removed three to five days after surgery.  Patients may return back to work within two weeks and back to physical activity within six to eight weeks.

Patients are asked to refrain from vigorous exercise for a period of six to eight weeks following surgery.  For the first seven to ten days after surgery, patients are asked to walk flexed at the hip to limit tension on the abdominal incision.  Patients may not shower while the drains are in place.  Bruising may occur in areas of liposuction.  Swelling may last six to twelve weeks or as long as six months.  Postoperatively, patients are asked to wear a compressive binder or garment to minimize swelling and bruising.  (Download postoperative brochure for abdominoplasty).

Please download the post-operative instructions.

Deep venous thrombosis:  Less than 1%
Pulmonary embolus:  Less than 1%
Infection:  1%
Hematoma:  1%
Seroma:  10-15%
Wound healing problems:  1-3%
Incision visible outside of under line:  1-3%
Incisional asymmetry:  1-3%