Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the stomach area for a smoother, tighter mid-section. Abdominoplasty surgeries are often combined with other procedures such as liposuction, umbilicoplasty, and muscle tightening.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Over time, the body begins to naturally sag and lose firmness in the skin and muscles—and the abdominal region is no exception. The stomach can change in appearance due to fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, and natural aging. Skin may appear loose and crepe-y, the abdomen may look distended, and excess fat can cause a distorted body contour making it difficult to wear certain clothing as well as negatively impact self esteem. An abdominoplasty procedure can be performed to correct the sagging, tightening both skin and muscle. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is commonly combined with other procedures. Typically, a tummy tuck will be done at the same time as a thigh lift, pubic lift, breast augmentation, or liposuction. When several of these procedures are combined to contour a mother’s postpartum body, it is referred to as a mommy makeover. Patients will be placed under general anesthesia throughout the procedure. Incisions will be customized to achieve individual patient goals, however a horizontal incision between the belly button and the pubic hairline is required. The overlying skin will be undermined for removal. Underlying weakened muscles will be repaired to correct any sagging or herniation. If upper abdominal skin is being removed, a second incision around the navel may be required. The abdominal skin will be pulled downwards and any excess skin and fat will be excised. Skin will be sutured into its new, lower, and tighter position. If needed, a new opening for the belly button will be created and suture into position. Sutures and skin adhesives will be used to close incisions.
The goal of an abdominoplasty is to correct an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging which can be caused from aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery, or significant fluctuations in weight.
What to Expect
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the stomach area for a smoother, tighter mid-section. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an abdominoplasty procedure.
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- Stop using blood thinning medications for at least 1-2 weeks
- Start taking stool softeners 2 days before surgery
- General anesthesia
- Horizontal incision above pubic hairline
- Skin undermined for removal
- Muscles repaired to correct herniation
- Incision around the navel may be required
- Abdominal skin pulled downwards
- Excess skin and fat excised
- Skin sutured into lower and tighter position
- New opening for belly button created
- Sutures and skin adhesives to close incisions
During the recovery process, bandages and compressive garments may be applied over the treatment area to support and minimize swelling in the abdomen. Drainage tubes may be placed in incisions to help remove any excess fluid. Recovery will occur over a period of 6 months or longer depending on the extent of the procedure.
The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty is physically healthy, at a stable weight, and is bothered by the appearance of the abdomen due to excess skin and fat.
Not Recommended For
Abdominoplasty is not recommended for patients who are significantly overweight or who do not have a stable weight.
Side effects from an abdominoplasty can include bruising, swelling, pain, discomfort, and unsightly scarring.