Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)



Abdominoplasty is a surgery that gets rid of excess fat and skin from the abdominal region (belly).  Certain muscles can be relocated to enhance abdominal weakness. Results will definitely differ for each person. Consult your doctor on your treatment plans ahead of time. He/She will tell you more about what the surgery can do for you.


Inform your doctor on the types of medications you take, including herbs and other supplements as well as illegal or illicit drugs. Also add any blood thinners, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or daily aspirin. You may need to avoid taking some or all of them before surgery. You may need to avoid food or drinks 8 hours before your surgery, or as prescribed by your surgeon. This includes coffee, water, gum, and mints. (If you have been advised to take any drug, take them with little quantity of water).

The surgery takes about 2 to 3 hours. You may be discharged that same day, or you may stay for the night. Before the surgery begins, An IV line is inserted into a vein in your arm or hand. This line passes fluids and medications.  A general anesthesia will be administered to relief you from pain during the surgery. This medication makes you unconscious through the surgery. An endotracheal tube may be inserted into your throat to help you breathe.

During the surgery, an incision is made in the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. This is frequently along the lower part of the abdomen just on top of the pubic hairline. Often, your doctor may ask you to select the exact incision site before to surgery. An incision is also made around the naval or umbilicus (bellybutton).

The skin and fat are elevated to expose the abdominal wall beneath. The abdominal wall consists of fascia (fibrous tissue) and muscles. Also, the abdominal muscles are pulled together to constrict the abdominal wall. Stitches are used down the middle of the abdomen, to clamp the muscles in their new position. After the abdominal wall is constricted, the skin and fat are drawn back down. Excess fat and skin are then removed from the Abdomen.

Once the excess skin and fat are drawn down, the bellybutton may be closed up. In such cases, an incision is made so the naval can be seen. The skin is then sewn into sites around the naval. Small tubes (drains) may be kept near the incisions. These drains the fluid that may accumulate as the wound heals. Any incisions made during the surgery are guarded with stitches, surgical glue, or both. If stitches are used, they may dissolve on their own or will be taken away by the doctor at a later date.


You will be moved to a ward to wake up from the anesthesia. You may feel sleepy and nauseated. If an endotracheal tube was used, your throat may be sore at first. Also, you will be given medication to relief pain. If you need to stay for the night, you might be moved to another room. Once you are prepared to go home, you will be discharged to an adult family member or friend.


Follow any instructions or directions you are given by your doctor. Also, your doctor will inform you when you can return to your normal routine. During your recovery:

• Take any prescribed medications exactly as instructed.

• Walk slightly bent at the waist, if directed by your doctor. This helps protect the abdominal wall as it heals.

• Take care of your incisions and the bandage over them as directed by your doctor.

• Don’t bath for 72 hours after surgery, or as directed by your doctor. Don’t swim, bath, using a hot tub, and other actions that cause the incisions to be covered with water until your doctor approves it.

• When you bath, gently wash your incision sites. Then pat the incisions dry. Avoid applying lotions, oils, or creams to the incisions until after they have fully recovered.

• Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least 14 days.

• Avoid stressful activity and exercise as directed. Discuss about light exercises with your doctor, such as walking, that you can do to maintain your weight until have fully recovered.

• Avoid driving until you are no longer taking pain relief medications.

• If recommended by your doctor, use a cold pack wrapped in a thin towel to ease discomfort and control swelling. It’s essential not to leave the cold pack on for long, or your skin could be damaged. Put the pack over your bandages for not more than 20 minutes at a time. Then, leave it off also for at least 20 minutes. Continue this as often as needed during waking hours until swelling starts to improve. Don’t fall asleep with the cold pack on. If you’re not sure how to safely use the cold pack, ask your doctor.


You will have follow-up visits so your doctor can see how well you are recovering. If needed, stitches or drains will be removed at one of these visits. To maintain the results of your tummy tuck, take steps to avoid gaining weight. Discuss with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.


Risks and possible complications include:

• Bleeding

• Infection

• Blood clots

• Excessive scarring

• Changes in sensation, such as numbness or pain

• Skin discoloration

• Death of fat cells deep in the skin

• Damage to surrounding nerves, blood vessels, soft tissues or organs

• Not being happy with how it looks

• Risks of anesthesia

DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by

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