A tummy tuck, formally called an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove extra loose skin from the abdomen and tighten the abdominal “core" or "six pack” muscles. A tummy tuck can also be combined with other procedures including liposuction with or without fat transfer, skin tightening, breast procedures, arm lifts and others to contour the back and chest at the same time. Combining procedures can help improve the overall silhouette of the body.
3-5 hour surgery length
Outpatient procedure unless combined with other procedures that require overnight stay
Drains usually only required if combined with liposuction
Scars along lower abdomen and around belly button
2 - 4 week Recovery
Improves the abdominal and waist contour
Removes excess skin and fat
Removes stretch marks
Tightens abdominal muscles
Flattens and smooths the abdomen
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
You'll likely be a great candidate for an abdominoplasty if you:
Are overall healthy
Do not smoke or use nicotine products
Are at a stable weight
Are not planning to have any future pregnancies (women)
Have excess abdominal skin and fat
Have diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles)
Desire a flatter, tighter abdomen
Preparing for tummy tuck surgery
If you are considering having an abdominoplasty, the first step is to have a consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Aimé will review your health history, discuss your areas of concern and aesthetic goals and perform a physical exam. It is important to be at a stable, healthy weight and have realistic expectations of the procedure, recovery and results.
Based on your unique body type, she will make recommendations about the best type of tummy tuck for you and any adjunct procedures that can be performed to help you achieve your body contouring goals. There are several variations in tummy tucks (such as mini, full, extended, and wedge) and selecting the right technique for you is an important step.
She will also discuss with you the steps to take in order to prepare for the procedure as well as the typical recovery process so that you are well informed and well prepared. Prior to your procedure, you will have the opportunity to review your surgical plan with Dr. Aimé and ask any questions you may have at your pre-operative appointment.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
There are three main components of a tummy tuck: skin removal, fat removal and muscle tightening.
Just as the abdominal muscles can separate with pregnancy and weight change, skin can become overly stretched out and loose. During the tummy tuck, the abdominal skin is redraped and excess skin is removed along with stretch marks along the lower abdomen. The skin left behind is smooth and tight.
To highlight natural contours of the abdomen, fat is removed from the underside of the skin flap during the tummy tuck. Liposuction can also be performed around the waist during the same procedure to improve the abdominal silhouette.
During pregnancy or weight fluctuation, the supporting tissue that holds muscles close together (the fascia) can get stretched out beyond the point where it can shrink back (called rectus diastasis). The widened space between the muscles allows the abdomen to protrude. To correct this, the muscles are sewn back together to help restore the strength of the abdominal wall.
Recovery after Tummy Tuck
Every person is unique and may have some similarities as well as differences to others in terms of their individual recovery experience. Most patients are able to go home the same day as their procedure so long as they have someone to help care for them at home. Pain and discomfort associated with a tummy tuck is managed with a long acting numbing medication placed during your procedure as well as with prescription medications.
Swelling and bruising are normal and improved with compression garments, which are typically worn for 4 weeks. Patients are typically able to shower 2-3 days after surgery. It is also very important to walk around, wear compression socks and pump your ankles in order to prevent blood clots from forming. Patients are encouraged to resume a regular diet as long as they are able to tolerate it. It takes a significant amount of energy for your body to heal from surgery and it will be important to eat sufficient calories and protein to help with this. Most patients are able to return to normal daily activities within 1-2 weeks and may resume moderate exercise 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Tummy Tuck frequently Asked questions (FAQ)
What happens if I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
How long after my pregnancy should I wait to get a tummy tuck?
Do men get tummy tucks?
Even though I am fit, my abdomen still pooches out. Why is that?
Do I have to have general anesthesia (go to sleep) to get a tummy tuck?
Is a tummy tuck painful?
Will I be able to stand up straight after a tummy tuck?
What are the scars like after a tummy tuck?
Will I have drains after my tummy tuck?
If I have had abdominal surgery before, am I still a candidate for a tummy tuck?
When will I be able to drive after my tummy tuck?
How long should I plan to be out of work after my tummy tuck?
*The persons shown in photographs on this website are stock photography models and are not actual patients of Metropolitan Plastic Surgery unless otherwise stated. Photos in our online gallery are of actual patients of our practice, unless otherwise noted, who have provided consent to display their pictures online. Please keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.