Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a common surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen for both men and women by removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen (middle or lower) and tightening the abdominal wall muscles. Individuals considering abdominoplasty should:

  • Contemplate whether having excessive fat deposits around the abdominal area or loose abdominal skin (regardless of diet and exercise) is bothersome
  • Set realistic expectations before and after surgery
  • Understand the complications that can occur after surgery, including infections, blood clots, pain, swelling and delayed healing

The Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers comprehensive surgical procedures for abdominoplasty. Surgeons use leading-edge technology and world-class surgical techniques.

Surgical Procedure

Depending on the needs of each patient, abdominoplasty can take between two and four hours. During surgery, surgeons:

  • Apply anesthesia (general, epidural or intravenous)
  • Make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone
  • Make another incision to free the navel from surrounding tissue
  • Separate the skin from the abdominal wall, revealing vertical muscles
  • Tighten abdominal muscles
  • Stretch the skin flap and remove extra skin
  • Cut a new hole for the navel and stretch it into place

Surgical Procedure for Partial Abdominoplasty

Partial abdominoplasty can take an hour or two to complete. It is mostly used for patients who have limited excess skin around their abdomen. Surgeons:

  • Apply anesthesia (general, epidural or intravenous)
  • Make shorter incisions (navel may not be removed) than for a full abdominoplasty
  • Separate the skin between the incision line and the navel
  • Stretch the skin flap down, remove excess skin and stitch it back into place

After Surgery

Following surgery, the abdomen can swell, which can result in pain and discomfort. Surgeons prescribe medication or use other methods to resolve these issues. Patients may be released from the hospital within a few hours or remain hospitalized for a few days depending on the case.