An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, will improve the abdomen by reversing the effects of pregnancy, weight loss, surgery, injury or body development. A tummy tuck removes excess skin (panniculectomy) and tightens the abdominal muscles to restore the appearance and strength of the abdominal wall. It can also be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat. Overall it creates a flatter midsection.
There are different ways to perform a tummy tuck. They are explained below:
- Mini Tummy Tuck: the lower abdominal muscle is tightened with a small incision. Liposuction can be done at the same time if needed.
- Standard Tummy Tuck: a long, low incision is made to remove the excess skin, repair the abdominal muscle and remove any fat if needed. The belly button is repositioned.
- Designer Tummy Tuck: special techniques are used to meet a patient’s particular needs. Some examples are the skin only Tummy Tuck if no muscle repair is needed or the “fleur de lis” vertical incision to remove a great deal of skin or an extended tummy tuck that goes around to the back.
A tummy tuck is a major surgery. It is done in the operating room under general anesthesia. Drains are usually needed under the skin for 1-5 days. Assistance will be needed to get in and out of bed and a walker is recommended to be used as support while getting around after the procedure. Patients’ that take care of young children, do housework and prepare meals will need help for 2 or more weeks while healing. Depending on the occupation, 2-6 weeks will be needed off from work. A surgical garment or similar compression garment will need to be worn for 4-8 weeks after the surgery. A mini tummy tuck or skin only tummy tuck has an easier recovery.