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Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is popularly known as tummy tuck. This procedure is used to remove excess fat from the abdominal region and give a taut stomach to an individual who wished for it. Dietary changes and exercising is one way to keep the body sleek and taut. However, sometimes even exercising may not help reduce abdominal fat. Abdominoplasty is opted by individuals who are in dire need of losing abdominal fat. This surgery works by removing extra fat and by tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall.

A tummy tuck is not the same as liposuction, however, both the procedures can be conducted together. Abdominoplasty may seem like a simple procedure, however, it is a major surgery. Abdominoplasty should only be preferred by men and women who are in overall good health but need to tone loss excess fat from their abdomen. Women who have had given birth to several children can also opt for this procedure for the tightening of the abdominal muscles. Additionally, this procedure is also suitable for people who have lost a considerable amount of weight and now need to get rid of loose skin around their abdomen.

A tummy tuck is not suitable for the following people:

  • Women planning pregnancy
  • Individuals looking forward to weight loss
  • People worried about having a scar post surgery

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Before the Treatment

Before the treatment, you should thoroughly discuss your options with the cosmetic surgeon. During the meeting, the surgeon will evaluate your overall health and ask you about your medical history. Most likely, you will be given the following two options to choose from:

  • Complete tummy tuck surgery:

    During this procedure, the surgeon will completely cut the abdomen to contour the skin, muscles, and tissues as needed. Drainage tubes may be attached for a few days after the surgery.
  • Mini tummy tuck surgery:

    This is a preferred approach for people who have fat deposits below the navel. During a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon does not move the belly button and it only takes one to two hours to contour the muscles and tissues.

Once the approach to tummy tuck surgery is decided, you will be asked to take the following steps before the surgery:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat well-balanced, complete, and healthy meals.
  • Stop taking herbal and blood-thinning medications.

How it is Performed

Both complete tummy tuck surgery and mini tummy tuck are conducted under the influence of general anesthesia. Before the surgeon cuts the abdomen of the patient, general anesthesia is administered to put the patient into a temporary sleep. This is done so that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort during the surgery.

The following steps are performed once the patient is under the influence of general anesthesia:

  • The surgeon makes a horizontally-oriented incision between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and the size of incision depend on whether the patient is having complete tummy tuck surgery or mini tummy tuck and also on the extent of fat in the abdominal area.
  • A second incision around the navel may be made in the case of complete abdominoplasty to remove excess fat.
  • The upper abdominal skin is pulled down and the excess fat or skin is trimmed.
  • The remaining skin is attached with the help of sutures.
  • A new opening for belly button is created in the case of complete tummy tuck surgery.
  • Adhesive, tape, clips, or sutures are used to close the incisions.


You are likely to experience some pain and swelling after the surgery. The surgeon is most likely to prescribe a few medications to handle pain and other discomforts. You may experience the following discomforts:

  • Soreness
  • Numbness
  • Tiredness
  • Bruising

You are likely to have a scar on your tummy even after years of the surgery. The surgeon may prescribe a few creams and ointments for scar healing but some of it will always be there in the future. Make sure to follow the guidelines given by the surgeon about managing the surgical wound. You will be given specific instructions on how to position yourself during sitting and sleeping so that you experience minimal discomfort. Avoid doing any strenuous activity for at least six weeks after the surgery.

Almost all individuals are happy with the final results after having a tummy tuck. It is important for them to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen to maintain the results.

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Q: At what age is abdominoplasty usually performed?

A: There are no defined age criteria for having a tummy tuck procedure. It is usually conducted in case of women who have had multiple births and individuals who have already lost weight that they initially targeted to lose.

Q: Am I likely to experience pain after tummy tuck procedure?

A: The severity of pain that you experience after the procedure may vary considerably. Whatever be the severity of the pain, the surgeon can always prescribe painkillers to manage it.

Q: When can I return to work after tummy tuck procedure?

A: The time it takes to recover completely and return to work may vary from one individual to the other and also depends on the type of surgery conducted. Some patients may be able to return to work within two weeks of the surgery while others may be able to do so only after a month.

Q: How long do the results of tummy tuck last?

A: The results last for many years. However, it totally depends on how careful you are towards gaining weight.

Q: Can tummy tuck help with stretch marks?

A: Whether tummy tuck surgery can help stretch marks or not depends on the exact location of marks. But generally, tummy tuck procedure is highly beneficial towards the elimination of stretch marks.

Q: What is the tummy tuck cost?

A: Depending on the country where you decide to undergo this treatment, the tummy tuck cost may vary from $2000 to $14000.

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Abdominoplasty ( Tummy Tuck)