What is involved in the procedure?
A “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty is a powerful surgical procedure that is meant to address a number of related issues that develop after pregnancies or significant weight loss. First, there is excess skin below and often above the umbilicus (“belly button”). The excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is stretched down in order to smooth and tighten it. This also has an added benefit of providing a lift to the mons pubis region when needed. Next, the abdominal muscles are often spread apart (due to stretching of the fascia, a tough layer over the muscles that holds them together). The muscles are brought back together and secured with sutures to flatten and reshape the abdomen. Also, often an abdominoplasty includes some liposuction of the waist and sides to help sculpt out an improved shape. Lastly, a new opening is created for the umbilicus to give it a rejuvenated appearance as well.
What will the scar look like?
The scar can vary person-to-person depending on the amount of skin excess. In general, however, the scar is kept low below underwear or bathing suit lines and extends from hip to hip. If there is an existing C-section scar, the abdominoplasty scar will be planned below this scar and the old scar will be removed.
How is the recover after tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is generally performed as a day surgery, with patients able to go home the same day as the procedure. Patients are encouraged to walk the same day with help and try to sit in a chair as much as possible rather than lying down. Most patients are able to return to work in 10-14 days, and are able to resume full activity at 6 weeks after surgery.