Abdominoplasty, better known as a "tummy tuck," is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.

A tummy tuck is nearly always performed under general anesthesia, but can be performed under local anesthesia, along with intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia depending on your health, the extent of the procedure and whether you are having other procedures at the same time.

Some surgeons perform abdominoplasty in an outpatient surgical center, but most prefer a hospital setting where you can recover overnight. An abdominoplasty usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two.

A tummy tuck is not an alternative to losing weight.

In fact, many board certified surgeons will suggest alternatives for patients who are more than 15 percent over their ideal body weight. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are those who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise.

Women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal are good candidates for this procedure, as well as older patients who have experienced a loss of skin elasticity.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

What is a tummy tuck?

Otherwise known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is an operative method intended to make the abdominal region look better. By getting rid of the extra fat and skin and reducing the muscles of the abdomen, the tummy is made flat.

How long does recovery take following a tummy tuck?

Recovery time is different for each individual. Some, within two to four weeks, can go back to work after the operation, however laborious work should be delayed for four to six weeks after.

How long do tummy tuck operations take?

Even though times are different depending on each individual's situation, the common tummy tuck surgery can be anywhere from two to five hours long.

Will getting a tummy tuck hurt?

If anesthesia is used for the operation then it should not hurt. You will, however, feel uncomfortable and have some tenderness. Your surgeon will provide you with medicine for these symptoms.

Will my tummy tuck results change if I get pregnant?

Yes, your tummy tuck results will change should you get pregnant. Pregnancy can take apart the tightening of the vertical muscles which is done during the procedure. If you plan on getting pregnant then it’s best to wait until afterwards to get the operation.

Does insurance cover tummy tucks?

Usually the price of a tummy tuck is not covered by insurance, although in some situations, such as spreading of the anterior muscles or a hernia, insurance may cover a portion of the cost.

Are tummy tuck results permanent?

Tummy tuck results can be extremely long-term. By eating well and remaining in good physical shape you can preserve your new shape.

For a tummy tuck, what areas will the scars be placed?

Usually for a tummy tuck a lengthy cut is made right over the pubic region and runs across to each hipbone. Another cut is typically around the belly button. If you’re getting a partial abdominoplasty, then the belly button is not cut and the opening over the pubic region is considerably shorter. The resulting scars will become paler and smooth out over a period of time.

What is a partial abdominoplasty?

Otherwise known as a mini tummy tuck, partial abdominoplasty is another form of the conventional tummy tuck. The surgery has a smaller cut, and the cut around the belly button is not necessary.

Can a tummy tuck get rid of stretch marks?

If the stretch marks are in the lower abdomen region, then a tummy tuck generally will get rid of them, however, other stretch marks may not be removed. For an example, on the upper abdomen, stretch marks can be relocated further down, but they could become visually smoother and flatter.

What type of anesthesia is applied during the operation?

Either a mixture of local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia is typically used for the tummy tuck operation.

What types of dangers are involved for getting a tummy tuck?

Danger can be involved with many types of surgeries. During tummy tuck surgery, the possible problems that can happen are: bleeding under the skin flap, blood clotting, prominent scarring, a virus, slow healing, loss of skin, and the requirement for additional surgery.

If I gain weight after a tummy tuck surgery, will my results be affected?

Following a tummy tuck, gaining any quantity of weight will be harmful to your overall results.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

If you are in good health and have hanging abdominal skin or a fat deposit that is large and doesn’t go away with exercise and eating right, then you may be a good person for getting a tummy tuck. Some women after being pregnant or after gaining a large amount of weight will predominantly have an advantage in getting the operation