Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, may help patients experiencing psychological discomfort due to the aesthetic appearance of their abdominal area. People usually seek this procedure in order to remove the excess skin or fat tissue around the lower abdomen, which forms after significant weight loss or pregnancy. In case of the latter, weakness in the abdominal wall results in a protruding postpartum belly, which cannot be eliminated through exercise. Due to separated abdominal muscles, the abdomen also loses its initial shape and looks flabby and
Tummy tuck is the right procedure for you if:
- You have separated abdominal muscles (e.g. after pregnancy);
- You lost significant weight and have excess skin around the lower abdomen;
- You have a protruding postpartum belly due to a weak abdominal wall;
- You do not plan pregnancy in the near future;
- You are not excessively overweight;
- You have no health problems.
What you should know:
- At least one scar will remain on the abdomen after the surgery, but it fades over time and becomes almost imperceptible;
- The final result of the surgery is visible after 4 months.
1. Consultation with plastic surgeon
During your consultation with a plastic surgeon, they will inspect your abdomen and assess your physical health. The surgeon will also discuss with you all available procedures and answer all procedure-related questions you might have.
2. Preparing for surgery
For best results, it is important that you also take steps to prepare for the surgical procedure. This is why you should consider quitting smoking and consuming alcohol and maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
3. Surgical procedure
The surgery takes 2 to 5 hours. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.
The incisions depend on the procedure chosen by the surgeon.
- Standard tummy tuck. A horizontal incision is created above the bikini line, removing the excess skin and fat pockets in the abdominal area. If there is no excess skin or fat and the intention is to correct the separated abdominal muscles, a partial abdominoplasty is performed. Patients will need to wear a compression garment for some time after the surgery.
- Mini tummy tuck. This procedure involves a smaller incision than the standard tummy tuck, removing a smaller proportion of excess skin and fat. Separated abdominal muscles can also be corrected during this procedure.
The incisions can be closed with sutures, skin glue, surgical adhesive tapes, or clamps.
4. Outcome and recovery
The amount of time it takes for recovery varies from one patient to another and depends on the type of tummy tuck procedure performed. You might need painkillers once the anaesthesia wears off.
- It is recommended to return to work in 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery;
- You may resume exercise no earlier than 6 weeks after the surgery, but you should avoid active physical exertion for around 3 months;
- You will need to wear a post-operative compression garment for 22 to 23 hours a day for the first 6 weeks.