A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a popular plastic surgery procedure that can help you achieve a flatter, firmer abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery involves removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles. It is often performed for people who have lost weight or women who have loose abdominal skin after pregnancy.
Specialists at The University of Kansas Health System offer tummy tuck surgery to help you look and feel your best. Our board-certified plastic surgeons are highly experienced in performing this highly rewarding body contouring procedure.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck:
- Removes excess abdominal skin and tissue
- Slims down the midsection after pregnancy or weight loss
- Repairs abdominal wall muscles
One of several options for body contouring, a tummy tuck is often combined with additional procedures for more comprehensive results. A lower body lift can include a tummy tuck, while a mommy makeover combines a tummy tuck with breast enhancement.
Who can have a tummy tuck?
To be considered an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck, you should have a stable body weight and be a nonsmoker. For best results, it is usually recommended that women postpone a tummy tuck if they are planning to become pregnant in the future.
We may advise you to not have a tummy tuck procedure if you have:
- A history of DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
- Bleeding diathesis
- Morbid obesity
How does a tummy tuck work?
During abdominoplasty surgery, your plastic surgeon will make incisions to access your abdomen. From there, he or she can repair the abdominal muscles if they've become weakened or separated. Any excess skin is removed, as well as fatty tissue. Often, the navel is also reshaped or relocated during tummy tuck surgery for a more pleasing aesthetic result.
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Benefits and risks of a tummy tuck
A tummy tuck is a highly rewarding plastic surgery procedure. The results can often be quite dramatic, while still looking very natural. Men and women who have tummy tuck surgery enjoy a flatter, firmer midsection and more flattering silhouette.
Like all surgical procedures, there are risks involved with a tummy tuck. Possible complications associated with abdominoplasty can include noticeable scars, infection, tissue loss and blood clots. If you are concerned about the risks of surgery, talk to your doctor during your consultation.
What happens during a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery may take between 2-5 hours to complete. Abdominoplasty is typically done with a general anesthetic. Before surgery, your surgeon marks incision sites on the lower abdomen, where they can be concealed, and areas for liposuction as necessary.
Your surgeon then makes 2 horizontal abdominal incisions: 1 above the pubic line and 1 at the bikini line. The skin is pulled down and inward, and abdominal muscles are repaired and tightened with sutures. The overlying skin is redraped and the incision is closed. The belly button is also reshaped and possibly relocated.
The tummy tuck is an extensive procedure, so you should expect a total recovery of up to 3 weeks. Immediately after your surgery, gauze and compression garments will be applied and may need to be worn for up to 6 weeks. We advise you to begin to move around within 12-18 hours after surgery. Any pain can be managed with medication and the sutures will be removed after 1 week. Follow your surgeon's instructions for recovery and postoperative care.