Tummy Tuck aka Abdominoplasty

Are sit-ups just not giving you the taut tummy you desire? If you've got a little too much flab or excess skin in your abdomen that won't diminish with diet or exercise, you may want to consider an abdominoplasty, popularly referred to as a "tummy tuck."

This procedure flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.

But be cautioned: This is a major surgery, so if you're considering it, take the time to educate yourself, thoroughly analyze your own situation and do not rush to make the final decision.

A tummy tuck should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures, and the procedure should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.


Tummy Tuck Procedure

Who Are the Best Candidates For a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who are in good general health overall.

It should not be confused with a liposuction (the cosmetic surgery used to remove fat deposits), although your surgeon may elect to perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck.

Women who have muscles and skin stretched by multiple pregnancies may find the procedure useful to tighten those muscles and reduce that skin. A tummy tuck is also an alternative for men or women who were obese at one point in their lives and still have excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.

Who Should Not Consider a Tummy Tuck?

If you're a woman who is still planning to have children, then you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you're through bearing children. Here's why: During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened. Future pregnancies can separate these muscles.

Are you still planning to lose a lot of weight? Then you do not want to consider a tummy tuck.
It's important to note that a tummy tuck can cause prominent, permanent scarring. If this is something you don't want, you may want to reconsider. Your doctor will discuss all these options with you when you go for the consultation.

How a Tummy Tuck is Done ?

Depending on your desired results, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. The complexity of your particular situation also will determine whether you have it completed as an in-patient or outpatient procedure.

You will receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. It's important to have someone with you who can drive you home. If you live alone, you also will need someone to stay with you at least the first night after the surgery.

There are two options for a tummy tuck. You and your surgeon will discuss your desired results, and he or she will determine the appropriate procedure during your consultation.

Complete abdominoplasty.
Your abdomen will be cut from hipbone to hipbone in this procedure, the option for those patients who require the most correction. The incision will be made low, at about the same level as your pubic hair.

Your surgeon will then manipulate and contour the skin, tissue and muscle as needed. Your belly button will have a new opening if you undergo this procedure, because it's necessary to free your navel from surrounding tissue. Drainage tubes may be placed under your skin and these will be removed in a few days as your surgeon sees fit.

Partial or mini abdominoplasty.
Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located below the navel and require shorter incisions.

During this procedure, your belly button most likely will not be moved. Your skin will be separated between the line of incision and your belly button. This type of surgery may also be performed with an endoscope (small camera on the end of a tube). The procedure may only take up to two hours, again, depending on your own personal situation and the complexity of your needs.

How to Prepare For Tummy Tuck Surgery?

If you smoke, you will have to stop for a certain period as determined by your doctor. It is not enough to just cut down on smoking. You must stop completely for at least two weeks prior to surgery and for two weeks after. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

Make sure you eat well-balanced, complete meals and do not try to diet excessively before the surgery. Proper nutrition plays a key role in healing properly.

If you take certain medications, your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking these for a certain period before and after the surgery. Your surgeon will determine this as part of your pre-operative consultation.

Before undergoing the surgery, you'll need to get your home ready for your post-operative care. Your home recovery area should include:

Plenty of ice packs
Supply of loose, comfortable clothing that can be taken on and off very easily
Petroleum jelly for incision sites
Telephone within reaching distance
Hand-held shower head and bathroom chair


You know yourself best, so make sure you set up the safest, most comfortable recovery area before you undergo the surgery to meet your personal needs.

What Are the Complications and Side Effects of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

As expected, you will have pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor can prescribe a painkiller if needed and will instruct you on how to best handle the pain. Soreness may last for several weeks or months.

You may also experience numbness, bruising and overall tiredness for that same time period.
As with any surgery, there are risks. Remember, this surgery affects a very crucial part of your body. Though they're rare, complications can include infection, bleeding under the skin flap or blood clots. You may carry an increased risk of complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes or heart, lung or liver disease.

You may experience insufficient healing, which can cause more significant scarring or loss of skin. If you do heal poorly, you may require a second surgery.

As we mentioned before, the scars from a tummy tuck are fairly prominent and though they may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear. Your surgeon may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you've completely healed to help with the scars.

Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery
Whether you're having a partial or complete tummy tuck, your incision site will be stitched and bandaged. It's very important that you follow all your surgeon's instructions on how to care for the bandage in the days following surgery. The bandage used will be a firm, elastic band that promotes proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain.

If you are an exceptionally physically active person, beware: You will have to severely limit strenuous exercise for at least six weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the process. You may need to take up to one month off of work after the surgery to ensure proper recovery. Again, your doctor will help you determine this based on your personal situation.



Return to Living
Generally, most people love the new look after they've undergone this procedure. However, you may not feel like your normal self for months after the surgery. You've gone through a tremendous amount to make this happen, both emotionally and physically, and it's very important that you follow proper diet and exercise to maintain your new look.

Does Insurance Cover a Tummy Tuck?

Be warned: Insurance carriers generally do not cover elective, cosmetic surgery. But, your carrier may cover a certain percentage if you have a hernia that will be corrected through the procedure, or your anterior muscles are abnormally spread.

It's extremely important that you begin communicating with your insurance company early on, and that you discuss your insurance concerns with your surgeon. In most cases, your surgeon will write a letter to your insurance carrier, making the case for medical necessity, if it applies to you.

It's also very important to realize that insurance may only cover certain portions of the surgery, so make sure you get details. With any cosmetic surgery, this may affect future insurance coverage for you and your premiums may increase.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic, Department of Plastic Surgery.

For related before and after images click Tummy Tuck Photos, Abdominoplasty Before and After.

Tummy Tuck before and after images

35 comments:

  1. Hi there
    i had a tummy tuck nearly 4 years ago and it went very wrong.i have images which I would like to show but have no idea how to upload them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had TT done 7/8/2010 it went wrong also paid so much and turns out I have to redo it all! one surgery i did and said never again the pain was very scary...but now ive made up my mind i will redo with a new doctor who corrects TT gone wrong. I would like to see ur photos as well and know how you feel. my email is vyarellano@hotmail.com

      Delete
  2. Marion I hope you're reading this. If you have got the pics, send me to beingaquatic@yahoo.com if you have a mail acount like yahoo or hotmail, you can attach pics and send me. If you need further details, feel free to post a comment on this page again. Thank you for visiting my blog.
    -Ana

    ReplyDelete
  3. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE YOUR PICTURES TOO.I AM ABOUT TO HAVE THIS SURGERY SOON AND I WANT TO BE CAREFUL......IF YOU WANT TO I HAVE A YAHOO ACCOUNT.......www.lizlevasa@yahoo.com FEEL FREE TO SEND THEM TO ME IF YOU CAN.......AAAHHHH!!!!!
    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marion I too would like to see pics

    chantalfournier@live.com

    i'm considering a tummy tuck after having my twins. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi i was so up for getting a tummy tuck i have looked at so many sites different hospitals ect.Think ill change my mind now i have a 2yr old but perhaps 3 or 4 yrs down the line i would like another child do u think this would effect my chances of becoming pregnant in the future if so then i better reconsider
    Im also diabetic but i have heard of people with diabetes getting it done

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi i was so up for getting a tummy tuck i have looked at so many sites different hospitals ect.Think ill change my mind now i have a 2yr old but perhaps 3 or 4 yrs down the line i would like another child do u think this would effect my chances of becoming pregnant in the future if so then i better reconsider
    Im also diabetic but i have heard of people with diabetes getting it done

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a tummy tuck done but the top portion of my stomach is big and swollen, It doesn't look like the pictures of people who have had this procedure done. I don't know if this is normal for me or if something went wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello All I had a abdominoplasty about a month ago on the 27 and am so unhappy with results i still have lots of fat on hip area and my pannus is huge i mean the size of a grapefruit if that's not bad enough I have 2 seromas from drains sights im so depressed and regretful for doing operation any advice or uplifting advice would be great thanks :( Sad all advice and comments welcome SABRIN2808@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello I was reading some materials on tummy tuck surgery as I am thinking of having one. Now I read your comments I am a little afraid. I am really frustrated by all that extra skin but i see it can go worse.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had a tummy tuck a year and a half ago and I am having some complications now I do not regret what I have done my insurance covered my surgery bcuZ I hAd lost over eighty pounds and had to remove the skin cuz of excess Skin So happy I had the Surgery!Feel free to ask me anything! Silva.sylvia@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi I had a full TT after having 3 children (2 by c-sec) and losing 80 lbs. I was down to a size 4 jeans with excess loose skin. My TT was 3/15 - my 2 drains are about dried up - im only on Rx meds at nite and doing well except I can't stand not being able to go to the gym and wear my reg clothes due to the drains and binder. Question - how long once the drains are out can you return to your regular size? Right now I feel quite swollen still and hardly a size 4!
    leslee @ choclabs@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a very interesting method. And some people can really benefit from this. Is it expensive?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi, i am a male,i was 275 lbs, since 2004 i began eating healthy as a result i have lost much weight.
    on the 21st December 2007i was 173lbs,i had a full tummy tuck done in Trinidad and Tobago, hmm i feel its the best thing ever happen to me.at the time i was 39 years, after surgery i weight 170 lbs as i had lost all the excess weight.it was the flaccid skin that was removed. surgery took about 4 hours, when i wake i was given trabadol injection for slight pain which lasted a day or two. my new tummy has remain numm. i have a scar from hipbone to hipbone, i have continue to eat healthy as a result i am now weighting 156lbs. if you have a tummy tuck it doesn't prevent weight gain.
    be care full of the Doctor you choose , get many opinions, 3ask lots of questions.remember it is mainly intended to sculpture your tummy, yes you would look flatter but if you eat wrong you can regain all the weight ,even more weight . you should loose all the required amount of weight and then have the surgery. my Doctor told me he would have also liposuction but he didn't needed too. it is a dangerous surgery you can have complications, if it is you are not a suitable candidate or from the procedure.you can die from fat embolism. never think because it name plastic surgery its a simple surgery. in my view no surgeries are simple , all carries complication or even death. please don't rush any surgery

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had a tt & lipo 8-23-10 and am very unhappy with my results. I still have a protruding belly, and it's sagging a bit on the right(skin apron). My midsection is like jello! My knees were done and instead of removing the fat pocket above my knees, she went more inward and now I'm left with ditches!! I looked deformed! It's even obvious with jeans! My drains were in 8 weeks and 11 weeks! Still had high 20's to low 30's of drainage but the other doctor in the practice removed it anyway. Had not seen MY surgeon since my surgery. Now she's left the country!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Am 43 and I have a 21 year old son and a 18 year old daughter. During my pregnancy I went from 135 to 205 pounds. My last child was born when I was 26. I look very very young but I have good jeans from my mom. If I would up load my pictures people would never believe that am 43 going on 44. Anyway am single and looking but am very uncomfortable with my lower belly. Am 150 pounds and I want to loose about another 20 pounds but still I want to have a tummy tuck but am scared. I do smoke but have not smoked for 2 months because I want to do the surgery. I hear good and bad stories but still am stuck on my decision . I have checked and seen so many surgeons but still nothing. U would think living in New York you would find one good surgeon. Help me... Still scared.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It,s only been 3 weeks but I can't stand up straight. Is that normal or will I be hunched over for life?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am 50 with 3 children. I had a full Tummy Tuck and Breast Aug. on 4/11 and I am off all the pain meds and can stand up straight. My scars are not bad. I believe that the most important part of any surgery is choosing to right Doctor. Please do your research and don't pick by the cost, it could be the biggest mistake of your life.

    I am having fun trying on all my old clothes and seeing the big difference in how they look.

    I was 176 lbs on 2/01/11. I dieted and exercised down to 161 before surgery on 4/11/11 and am now at 151. I believe a tummy tuck is not a cure for being overweight but a way to look better after you have lost most of the extra. I am looking forward to exercising again. I hope to get down to 145.

    ReplyDelete
  18. i had a tummy tuck and breastimplants october of 2010, it was my b-day present from me to me, i saved for 5 years for this surgery. now since everything is done and over with, my left breast never dropped, (after implants) my right breast dropped to much...
    the scar on my belly way to high and my belly is not as flat as i was told. my doc is a board certified doc. (like that makes a differense to my problem now) as i was trying to tell my doc that i was not happy with the outcome, he came up with a hole bunch of excuses, but for a small fee ($ 200) he could fix some of it in his office with only local anastesia.
    are you kidding me????
    i paid this guy $9500.00 and you want more for a shity ass job you did????
    you got to be out of your mind. i live in florida and i need to find out if there is something i can do about this.
    even if it is fixable, it surely is not going to be the same doc. i will see a different doc. for a second opinion and go from there.....
    if someone can help me and maybe others in the same situation please do so.
    thank you...

    ReplyDelete
  19. I Had a Breast Augmentation and A Tummy Tuck on April 27, 2011.
    I Had My First Daughter at 14 and she is NOW 18 I also have a 7 year old Daughter.
    I HAVE BEEN SICK FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT ALSO.
    My Breasts were always Large B - C. and as Time went On I was left with BREASTS THAT WERE *JUST SKIN *LITTERALY AND WITHOUT A BRA THEY LAID FLAT AGAINST ME.
    (I was suppose to get new Breasts several years ago-He Got His Harley & I still Didn't Get My Breasts Done as Agreed)
    So after the Divorce I DECIDED IT WAS TIME.
    I DID MY RESEARCH AND FOUND A GREAT DOCTOR
    WHO DID A WONDERFUL JOB;}

    EXCEPT ~ WHILE IN THE RECOVERY ROOM THE NURSE REFUSED TO GIVE ME MY *REGULAR MEDICATIONS* AND ALSO
    ***REFUSED TO GIVE ME
    "ANY PAIN MEDICATION!!"
    I WAS IN SUCH EXCRUSIATING PAIN I WAS CRYING AND SCREAMING AND ASKING EVERY NURSE THAT CAME IN FOR HELP AND WAS TOLD OVER AND OVER THAT THEY COULD NOT GO OVER THE HEAD NURSES ORDERS.
    I EXPLAINED THAT IT WAS HURTING SO INCREDIBLY BAD AND WAS ACTUALLY **ARGUING WITH THE HEAD NURSE FOR 4 HOURS ABOUT MY PAIN AND THAT I NEEDED PAIN MEDICATION. {EXPECIALLY SINCE I HAVE A PAIN DISORDER THAT AMPLIFIES MY PAIN LEVELS}
    SHE STILL REFUSED...

    I DEMANDED MY DOCTOR!!!

    HE CAME IN THE ROOM AND SAID TO THE NURSE
    "!!WHY IS THIS BED FLAT ~ GET IT TO A 45 DEGREE ANGLE NOW!!!! BEFORE YOU RUIN WHAT I JUST DID!!"

    WELL I AM NOW LEFT WITH A 2INCH X 2INCH HOLE BECAUSE IT TORE THE STITCHES AND WHAT WAS DONE. I HAVE MORE SPOTS OPENING UP. THERE IS 2 HOLES INSIDE THE BIG HOLE AND IT LEADS TO A POCKET UNDER THE SKIN THAT IS APPROX. 6INCH LONG BY 4INCH HIGH.
    I'VE BEEN TOLD IT HAS TO HEAL FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
    IT IS PAINFUL
    UGLY
    I CANT ENJOY MY SUMMER WITH SWIMMING
    WILL HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER SURGERY IF NOT SEVERAL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh GOSH so sorry for you I have had a similar experience and have suffered for 15 years and now can longer work ladies if you would like too chat or see my picts please send me an email rb_talent@yahoo.ca

      Rebecca.

      Delete
  20. This procedure will ensure you satisfaction seeing all those flabby skin gone. You just have to be sure that you only deal with the professional and licensed surgeon for this procedure.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Could you recommend a good doctor?? For a Tummy tuck

    ReplyDelete
  22. I got a full tummy tuck a few months ago and could not ask for a more perfect stomach. Having stretch marks from 2 pregnancies, I got in the shape I was happiest with and then had the surgeory. It was expensive but now I wear a bikini to the beach with a flat stomach and pure confidence. You can't get a tummy tuck and expect to lose weight anywhere else on your body... make your body perfect and then get a tummy tuck... it's the icing on the cake! Also, they can do full tummy tucks without drains. I did not have drains and the 1 scar is just from hip to hip that you can hide under a very small thong!

    ReplyDelete
  23. im going to have a TT in May of this year..... i cant wait to share my out come...... wish me luck!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi, i am 28 ,i am arabic from jordan , i am mamy for 2 baby , i have tummy tuch month ago, its worth it , i am very huppy , i had 2 ceserian and my tummy destroied after it . . Now i am new women with great feeling . . Yes its worth it.. Good luck 4 all

    ReplyDelete
  25. HI, I HAD ABDOPLASTY DONE MARCH 2010 AND JUST 3 WEEKS AGO HAD FURTHER SURGERY AS I WAS IN PAIN ALL THE TIME AND ONE OF MY SUTURE SIGHTS HAD BEEN DISCHARGING FOR ALL THIS TIME, I EVENTUALLY ASKED FOR AN ULTRASOUND IM A NURSE AND THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE A SINUS. I WAS RIGHT AND IT WAS TOLD TO ME THAT A NYLON STITCH HAD BEEN LEFT IN FROM OP WHICH CAUSED THE SINUS. I WAS TOLD I WOULD BE OFF 6WKS NOT 5 AND A HALF MONTHS DUE TO BREAKDOWNS IN SUTURES AND HAVE SINCE HAD TIME OFF DUE TO SINUS WHICH I DIDNT KNOW I HAD AND NOW AGAIN HAVE LOST ALOT OF WAGES IM THE ONLY WAGE EARNER AND I HAVE A BIG HOLE AND A DOGS LEG PLUS MY BELLY BUTTON IS AWFUL I HATE LOOKING AT MYSELF NOW THE SCARRING IS SHOCKING AND I ONLY WEIGHED 59KGS SO I WAS NOT A BIG PERSON AT ALL WOULD NOT DO IT AGAIN I ALSO BLED OUT AND ENDED UP IN ICU NOW I AM SUEING FOR LOSS OF WAGES THE SCARRING NOT WORRIED ABOUT JUST WILL NOT GO AND SHOW MY MESS OFF AND THE DOC NEVER ASKED FOR AN AFTER SHOT I WONDER WHY THINK TWICE PLEASE IM FROM AUSSIE MY OUTCOME NOT GOOD I HAVE CRIED MANY TIMES

    ReplyDelete
  26. i have a enlarge liver . my tummy is sagging i love to get rid of it . i know i would do anything to get rid of this tummy it really bothereds me . i dont even have a sex life because of it im too embarrest please help

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am 2 weeks out tomorrow from my full TT. The first week was pure HELL! The drains were the worst. I am able to stand straight now but I have to get up slowly. I use bio oil all over the stomach, making sure not to get it on the incision or belly button. Then I take a cotton ball with alcohol and gently rub it over the entire scar and a q-tip in alcohol in my belly button. The nerves are starting to heal now, and I have sensitive areas (feels like a bad sunburn that is sensitive to touch) my first week, I cried and wondered why I did this to myself. Thanks to my amazing family and friends, I waited it out... And I'm so glad I did! I have a flat tummy, my belly button is looking more normal. And I look Good in my clothes! Can't wait to see what my before and after pictures look like at my 4 week follow up. Good luck ladies. I went with the first doctor I met. He was honest, nice and answered all my questions clearly and honestly. He was great.

    ReplyDelete
  28. should have found this site earlier. had a tummy tuck 2yrs ago and is you see my tummy now you would vomit. i had it done in a big private hospital and damn i don't think anybody would give me a second look at the beach. i used to be a "head turner"... can't even sue. the people who posted that TTs will do wonders for you is full of crap, maybe doctors. for god's sake you people are supposed to save lives not ruin them.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You have observed quite interesting things! ps decent web site.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The post is talking if the sit ups are not just giving you taut muscles.

    ReplyDelete
  31. HI I'M THANKING ABOUT HAVE MY BREAST DONE I AM A 40DD AND THEY HURT AND ARE MOSTLY SKIN, AND MY STOMACH IS UNLOOKABLE I CAN'T UNDRESS IN FRONT OF MY HUSBAND, AND MY SEX LIFE IS A NO NO, I REALLY NEED HELP WITH MY BODY, AND WANT TO HAVE THE SURGERY REAL BAD BUT I'M SO SO SCARE, I DON'T WANT THE PROBLEMS THAT I'VE BEEN READING ABOUT ON THIS SITE, WHAT SHOULD I DO? PLS HELP

    ReplyDelete
  32. HI I'M THINKING ABOUT GETTING TT AS WELL.I was A LITTLE CONCERN, BUT NOT A HOLD LOT.I JUST PRAY ABOUT IT AND TRUST GOD IN EVERYTHING I DO.THE REASON FOR MY DECISION IS BECAUSE I HAVE
    GASTRIC BYPASS DONE 12/19/09 AND IT WENT WELL I HAVE LOST 135 pd MY WEIGHT NOW IS 155pd (NO MORE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.)(I FEEL GOOD)NOW I JUST
    NEED THE EXTRA SKIN TO BE REMOVE.I HAVE DID MY STUDY ON TT
    TO MAKE SURE IF THATS WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO AND I HAVE PRAY ABOUT IT AND GOD HAVE GIVING ME THE COURAGE TO DO.I HAVE FAITH IN GOD HE HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN YET.SO TO ANYONE OUT THERE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT GETTING TT DONE PRAY ABOUT IT FIRST DO YOUR STUDYS ON IT AND LET GOD LEAD YOUR HEART ON
    MAKING YOUR DESCISION.REMEMBER GOD LOVES YOU AND PUT HIM
    FIRST IN EVERYTHING YOU DO, AND YOU WILL NOT GO WRONG IN ANYTHING YOU DO.TRUST GOD HAVE FAITH THATS ALL YOU NEED THOSE TWO THINGS IS THE KEY TO A BETTER AND PROPITIOUS LIFE.


    '

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to post comments on whatever you think about surgery or anything.