Abdominoplasty (Tummy-Tuck)

Indications

Women with loose and sagging abdominal skin are the best candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). This procedure helps correct sagging skin which as stretched beyond its elastic limit and cannot return to its normal shape on its own. It also re-contours the abdomen, providing a more youthful shape as it helps restore a lost waistline.

Often, due to pregnancies, weight gain and loss, the lower abdominal muscles separate resulting in a “mommy pouch”. This can also be repaired at the same time.

Where there is drooping of the pubic region (ptosis) following weight loss and pregnancy, the repair can often be done at the same time as the abdominoplasty.

Anesthetic

General anesthesia

Technique

In a standard abdominoplasty, skin and fat between the umbilicus and pubic hair is removed. An incision is made above the pubic hair extending out towards the hips; another, incision is made around the umbilicus. The abdominal wall skin and fat are freed off the underlying muscles and excess skin and fat from below the umbilicus is then pulled down and cut off. Weaknesses of abdominal wall muscles are repaired at the same time.

Tubes are placed to remove excess fluid and the incision is stitched with dissolving stitches. Other types of abdominoplasty use different skin incisions (usually in the same place but longer or shorter; occasionally a vertical midline incision may be used).

Abdominoplasty may be combined with liposuction to thin certain parts of the abdominal wall, particularly the hips and flanks. Liposuction may be done at the same time or as a separate procedure.

No posts found.

Length of Operation

2 – 3 hours

Time in Hospital

2 – 5 days

Postoperative Discomfort/Limitations

Significant postoperative discomfort can be controlled with pain-relieving drugs. In the first few days after the operation, the knees and hips should be kept bent to take the strain off the stitches. Swelling and numbness of the abdominal wall for several weeks are common. Mobility is limited for 2 – 4 weeks; lifting and sports should be avoided for 6 – 8 weeks.

Abdominoplasty will not improve the appearance of the waist. If this is needed, an additional vertical mid-line scar which will be conspicuous, can be considered. Abdominoplasty will not remove stretch marks above the umbilicus. The scar of an abdominoplasty is noticeable and long; the main scar runs horizontally across the lower abdomen.

Secondary procedures are sometimes necessary to improve the results of abdominoplasty. This commonly involves tidying up scars and liposuction.

Time off Work

4 – 6 weeks

Who is a Candidate

  • If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin.
  • If you have abnormal relaxation of the anterior (front) abdominal wall muscles due to weight gain or loss, pregnancies, or prior surgery.
  • If you are unable to tighten abdominal wall skin with exercise.

Intended Result

  • A smoother flatter abdomen.