What is a tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck,” is a procedure to minimize the abdominal area. Using a long incision from one side of the hipbone to the other, excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen, and the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened.
A less complex procedure is called a “mini tummy tuck,” or a partial abdominoplasty. This procedure is ideal for individuals who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.
Each tummy tuck procedure varies; however, the following are general guidelines for the surgery:
- Outpatient surgery center
- Hospital outpatient
- Hospital inpatient
- Local anesthesia
- General anesthesia
Average length of procedure
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes several hours, depending on the extent of work required.
Possible short-term side effects
- Abdomen is swollen
- Abdomen is painful
Healing is a slow and gradual process. It may take weeks or months to reach a full recovery.
Scars may appear to get worse during the first three to six months, as they heal. It may take up to a year for scars to flatten out and lighten in color, although they may never completely disappear.
Possible complications associated with abdominoplasty may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Visible scarring - If the incision area does not heal properly, there is a chance for visible scarring. This can often be treated by a second operation.
- Blood clots and infection - As in any surgery, there is a risk of infection, blood clots, or reaction to the anesthesia.
Who is a candidate for a tummy tuck?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in good physical condition, but are bothered by large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that does not respond to diet or exercise.
People who intend to lose weight, and women who plan future pregnancies, should postpone the surgery.