Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

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Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

What is Tummy Tuck? 

A tummy tuck, also known as ‘Abdominoplasty,’ is a kind of cosmetic surgery used to improve the shape and size of the abdomen by removing excess fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightening the muscles of the muscles the abdominal wall with sutures.  Other than surgery, a tummy tuck is often achieved through exercises or tummy tuck belts—a slimming belt, accompanied by a slimming cream, alleged to burn away fat after 10 minutes of using it every day and performing some abdominal exercises. We do not know how good tummy tuck belts are at performing tummy tucks, but sometimes, people get to a dead-end where belly fat doesn’t just cut down, and then a tummy tuck surgery becomes the only option.  Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty Picture Courtesy: hospitals

What are the types of tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery?

Abdominoplasty is basically of two types: Types of tummy tuck Picture Courtesy: west country
      • Mini Tummy Tuck
This surgery is for a person with a small amount of loose abdominal skin or loose skin below the belly button. The loose skin is removed in this procedure, and abdominal muscles are tightened through a low scar above the pubic area [1].
      • Full Tummy Tuck or Extended Abdominoplasty
Also, a ‘plus-size tummy tuck is meant for a person with excess skin extending from the abdomen to the flank accompanied by the laxity of abdominal muscles. During this procedure, a large amount of skin is removed from the abdomen and flank skin, followed by the tightening of the abdominal muscles. The low scar runs along the lower flank, abdomen, and pubic area.  Who should do a tummy tuck procedure? A person to undergo an abdominoplasty procedure should undergo certain criteria. They are:
      • A person should have loose, hanging, and sagging skin around the abdomen. 
      • A person should be healthy to undergo the procedure.
      • Non-smoker
      • Women who had several pregnancies may find it useful as it can help tighten the abdominal muscles and skin.
      • It is considered the best option for someone who is obese and still has an excess amount of fat and loose and saggy skin around the belly [2].

What are the steps for the tummy tuck procedure?

Procedure for a Tummy Tuck Surgery. In preparing for an Abdominoplasty, there are specific steps the patient has to take and follow guidelines for better outcomes.  First, a consultation with the family doctor and a plastic surgeon:
      • The surgeon examines the patient thoroughly and records the patient history of medications, allergic history to any medications, and history of undergoing any surgeries.
      • The patient is advised to undergo a couple of blood tests and radiological tests to ensure the patient is fit for the surgery. Once the patient is medically fit for the procedure, the doctor counsels the patient regarding the type of procedure suitable for the patient and explains the pros and cons of the procedure and their associated risk factors and outcome in detail. 
The patient is advised to follow pre-operative instructions strictly. They are:
      • Avoid certain medications, as directed by the surgeon, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements—drugs that can increase the rate of bleeding.
      • Eat well-balanced meals, and minimize your eating level. Do not try any drastic meals.
      • Be able to maintain a stable weight for more than 12 months. A weight gain creates complications, and a weight loss can render the results of the surgery null.
      • Take anticoagulant medications to prevent blood clotting.
      • Stop smoking as this will help prevent complications associated with surgery.
      • The patient has to make arrangements for assistance during recovery. Someone has to stay with the patient at the hospital and at home while the patient recovers completely after the procedure.  

How a Tummy Tuck is Done

How a Tummy Tuck is Done Picture Courtesy: discover surgery During your surgery:
    1. General Anesthesia.
The patient will be completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during the entire procedure. 
    1. On Sedation;
      • An incision is made depending on the type of tummy tuck the patient opts for. 
      • The surgeon will remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal region.
      • Permanent stitches are used to tighten the connective tissues over the muscles.
      • The skin below or around the belly button will be brought back to its normal position through an incision and sutured tightly over the abdomen, from hip to hip.
      • The surgeon will trim off excess skin, and the incision will be closed off with final stitches and dressing done.
After the procedure:
      • The surgeon will cover the abdominal incision and belly button with surgical dressing. 
      • There will be small tubes placed along the incision for draining excess fluids and blood. The medical team will assist the patient in disposing of the drains and show the patient how to do it on their own.
      • The patient is most likely to feel pains and experience some swelling around the region. The doctor prescribes a few medications for the patient for pain management.
      • Walking around in the hospital is advised to prevent the formation of blood clots.
      • The patient will be advised to wear an abdominal binder for about 6 to 7 weeks after the surgery to prevent fluid build-up and support the abdomen while the wound heals.
      • Great care should be taken while moving around, and avoid positions and activities that strain the incision line to prevent the reopening of wounds.
      • The patient is advised to have a regular check-up with the surgeon to avoid post-operative complications.

 Why is tummy tuck surgery done?

Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, improves the contour of the waist and abdomen. A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure for flattening the stomach area by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the muscles. A tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty is the only solution when a person cannot achieve the above by dieting or exercising.


How Painful is a Tummy Tuck? 

The patient might experience pain for a few days initially after the procedure. As the wound heals, the pain will fade away. Initially, the doctor prescribes painkillers for pain management.

 The patient might also experience swelling, bruising, numbness, and fatigue initially, for which the surgeon will advise on how to handle them.

How long does it take to recover from a Tummy Tuck?

The recovery rate of an abdominoplasty depends on the individual and how quickly they heal. 

The patient can get back to work after two weeks.

The patient should avoid strenuous activities for 8 weeks and perform moderate exercises like walking and swimming can be done during recovery.

How long does tummy tuck surgery last?

Tummy tuck surgery could last for a lifetime by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy and nutritious food, and regularly doing physical activities [3].

What are the risk factors associated with tummy tuck surgery?

Risk factors associated with tummy tuck surgery are listed below:

      • Seroma collection (fluid collection beneath the skin)
      • Poor wound healing
      • Unexpected scarring
      • Infection at the incision site
      • Blood clots
      • Numbness or pain in the operated area
      • Fat necrosis
      • Wound separation [4]

What are the contraindications for tummy tuck surgery?

The contraindications for the procedure are:

      • A patient who is suffering from chronic ill conditions is not fit for the procedure
      • Pregnant females cannot undergo the procedure
      • Chronic smoker or drug abuse
      • A person who’s planning to lose a significant amount of weight has to wait till the person reaches his desired scale [5]



    1. https://westcountyplasticsurgeons.wustl.edu/surgery/body-contouring/tummy-tuck.htmlhttps://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-tummy-tuck
    2. https://www.altosoaksplasticsurgery.com/blog/how-long-do-tummy-tucks-last#:~:text=By%20leading%20a%20reasonably%20active,the%20results%20of%20your%20procedure.
    3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11017-abdominoplasty-tummy-tuck
    4. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-tummy-tuck