Tummy Tuck

What is a tummy tuck?

Medically termed abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a procedure in which excess fat and skin are removed from the abdomen area to create a smoother and firmer appearance that is proportionate to your body type and weight. Weakened or separated muscles may be restored as well.

What does a tummy tuck improve?

A tummy tuck can:

  • Help flatten and reduce the size of a protruding or sagging stomach due to heredity, pregnancy, aging, or weight fluctuations.
  • Reattach abdominal muscles that were separated during pregnancy.
  • Remove hernia surgery scars or stretch marks from pregnancy, if the marks are located on excess skin to be removed.

Those considering a tummy tuck should also consider whether or not they're likely to be pregnant or experience significant weight gain in the future.

How is the procedure performed?

A tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The procedure requires an incision between the pubic hairline and bellybutton. The length of the incision depends on how much skin is to be removed. Skin is then lifted and the abdominal muscles repaired. Excess skin and tissue are removed and the skin pulled back over the abdomen and sutured. A new opening can be created for the bellybutton, which is popped through and sutured in place.

What are the risks?

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Poor healing
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Potential damage to underlying organs, tissues
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac or pulmonary complications
  • Skin discoloration/swelling
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Fat necrosis (when fatty tissue found deep in the skin dies)
  • Pain
  • Asymmetry
  • Unsatisfactory results

What can be expected after the surgery?

Will I have bandages/drainage tubes?
Elastic bandages and/or a compression garment may be used over the treated areas to reduce swelling and help shape skin into the body's new contours. Also, drainage tubes may be used to remove excess fluid.

How soon until I can return to work?
Every patient is different. Heed the surgeon's advice about when to return to work and resume your typical activities following surgery.

How soon until I see results?
It could take two weeks or more to see the results of your procedure, after swelling subsides.

Is a tummy tuck covered by insurance?

A tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure and is generally not covered by insurance companies.