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Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) removes excess fat and sagging skin from the front of the midsection and tightens the abdominal muscles. Abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who cannot address these concerns through diet and exercise alone.

A tummy tuck is designed to create a firmer and smoother abdominal appearance. A flat, toned stomach provides a more physically fit appearance. This allows patients to wear certain clothing and bathing suits with more confidence.

Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Men and women with excess skin and fat in the abdominal area are generally good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. Patients who have significant excess skin and stretched muscles due to pregnancy or weight loss will benefit the most from this procedure.

While other procedures like liposuction can address excess fat, only tummy tuck surgery can improve your abdominal body contours overall.

Tummy Tuck for Men

Male patients usually desire tummy tuck surgery to help look younger and more fit after significant weight loss or aging. Often, a healthy diet and exercise are not enough to remove unwanted fat and skin. Tummy tuck surgery can provide tight, sculpted abs that leave you looking young, slim, and strong.

Tummy Tuck for Women

In women, loose skin and sagging tissues usually result from pregnancy or weight loss. Abdominal muscles can be stretched, weakened, and pulled apart in the midline (a condition known as diastasis recti).

Fat and muscles may be affected in the lower half of the abdomen alone due to a genetic predisposition. This can give the appearance of continuous pregnancy, leading to an inability to wear certain clothing. This condition can cause frustration, social isolation, and a decreased quality of life.

Sometimes, abdominoplasty can be undergone in a hospital in conjunction with gynecological operations.

Can a Tummy Tuck Remove Stretch Marks?

Tummy tuck surgery can treat some post-pregnancy stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused by extreme stretching of the skin during pregnancy or weight gain. This can leave your abdominal skin covered in small red scars, mainly on the lower abdomen. Some stretch marks are eliminated during tummy tuck surgery as the excess skin on the lower abdomen is removed.

How Do I Prepare for My Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Before tummy tuck surgery, you should lose all the weight you can and exercise to get good muscle tone. For ideal results, patients should maintain their current weight for at least three to six months before the operation.

You are advised to stop smoking two to three weeks prior to surgery. You are also advised to avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs two to three weeks before surgery. Birth control pills should be avoided for six weeks before surgery as well.

What Is Covered During My Consultation?

After a thorough physical examination and discussion about your expectations, your plastic surgeon will determine if abdominoplasty is the appropriate procedure for you. Your surgeon will also answer any questions you have about the procedure and provide you with a personalized cost quote.

How Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?

The procedure can be performed in an outpatient clinic under local, epidural, or general anesthesia. The use of anesthesia will vary depending on the extent of your operation.

Several abdominoplasty techniques are available, including mini tummy tuck, extended or regular abdominoplasty, and endoscopic abdominoplasty.


The tummy tuck incision is usually made just above the groin. A full tummy tuck will stretch from hip to hip, while other techniques may use a longer or shorter incision.

Your tummy tuck scars will be concealed within the bikini line so that you can wear a bathing suit comfortably.

Muscle Tightening

Once the incision is made, your muscles will be tightened with sutures, and any hernias will be repaired.

Fat Removal

Liposuction surgery is often combined with tummy tuck surgery to thin out the abdominal wall and remove unwanted fat deposits.

Skin Removal

Next, excess skin is removed from the lower part of the abdomen. This involves first tightening the skin across the abdomen to create a smoother overall abdominal contour.

What Will My Tummy Tuck Recovery Look Like?

After the operation, a tight girdle is worn for three to six weeks to support the tightened muscles and reduce swelling. Pain is controlled with injectable or oral painkillers. You are encouraged to move about, such as taking periodic light walks, and drink about half a gallon or two liters of water per day.

Drainage tubes are used to prevent fluid accumulation within your incisions, and these will be removed in about a week. Stitches are removed around two weeks after your operation.

You should avoid smoking for at least six weeks after your surgery. Sports and vigorous exercises can be resumed after six to eight weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck Surgery

How much is a tummy tuck?

The cost of a tummy tuck will vary depending on the technique you choose, the degree of correction required, and any combination of procedures you choose to add. Every tummy tuck surgery is a bit different, and the price of abdominoplasty reflects that. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a personalized tummy tuck cost during your consultation.

Do I need tummy tuck surgery or liposuction?

Liposuction is effective at removing unwanted fat deposits but cannot treat separated muscles. Liposuction also cannot tighten or remove lax skin. If you only want to eliminate unwanted fat, liposuction alone may be sufficient for you. However, if your concerns include skin or muscle laxity, abdominoplasty is likely required.

How long does abdominoplasty take?

Most tummy tuck procedures take between two and four hours to perform. This depends on the degree of correction required. Patients should plan for a four-hour operation to be safe.

How should I prepare my tummy tuck recovery area?

Before your operation, you should prepare a recovery area. The most important part is ensuring you can sleep in a vertical position there for a few days to a week. This will help prevent swelling while you sleep.

In addition, you should ensure you have access to all necessary medications and entertainment options in your recovery area before you leave for surgery.

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