Everything You Need to Know About Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): A Comprehensive Guide by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

In the field of plastic surgery, a tummy tuck, or complete abdominoplasty, is a major surgery that can significantly improve the shape of the abdomen. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, this surgical procedure helps in removing excess skin and fat, providing a firmer and well-toned abdomen. If you’ve had significant weight loss and are struggling with extra fat or loose skin in the abdominal area, a tummy tuck procedure may be a viable solution.

Understanding the Tummy Tuck Procedure

A typical tummy tuck is done by making an incision along the bikini line. In an extended tummy tuck, the incision might be longer, and in a mini tummy tuck or mini abdominoplasty, it might be shorter. The plastic surgeon may also perform liposuction to remove fat deposits and the excess fat and skin. The abdominal muscles are tightened to give a sleeker appearance.

After the surgery, drainage tubes might be used to remove fluid after surgery, minimizing the risk of excess fluid accumulation. It’s common to stay overnight in the hospital for at least the first night following the procedure. The first few days following surgery are crucial for monitoring the incision site and managing pain and swelling effectively.

Who Are the Best Candidates?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery suggests that the best candidates for a tummy tuck are individuals at a stable weight who have a significant amount of weight to lose. Those who have undergone substantial weight loss surgery and mothers who have had multiple pregnancies may find the procedure useful for removing excess skin and fat. However, if planning more pregnancies, it’s better to postpone a tummy tuck.

Types of Tummy Tucks

Various types of tummy tucks can be performed. Apart from the full, extended, and mini tummy tuck, there’s also the option of a partial or complete tummy tuck. The choice of type of procedure depends on the amount of correction needed and past medical history.

Post-Operative Care and Possible Complications

It’s essential to have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night post-surgery. You’ll be advised to quit smoking before the surgery to ensure optimal healing and reduce the risk of complications. The surgeon will also guide on how to manage drainage tubes effectively to prevent the risk of bleeding and infection.

Ensuring A Successful Procedure

Before the procedure, the surgeon will review your medical history. Discussing your expectations and getting all doubts cleared is essential. It’s crucial to understand the potential risks and possible complications following abdominoplasty. A typical tummy tuck scar is usually along the bikini line, hidden under clothing.

When to Postpone a Tummy Tuck?

If there’s a medical reason or you’re planning to lose a lot of weight, you might want to postpone a tummy tuck. An unplanned significant weight change post-surgery can affect the abdominoplasty results negatively.

FAQs about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

What issues can a tummy tuck correct?

A tummy tuck can effectively remove fat deposits or loose, excess skin in the abdominal area that you may find difficult to get rid of through diet and exercise. Problems related to sagging skin and weakened abdominal wall can also be corrected through the procedure.

When can I return to work after the surgery?

It depends on the complexity of the surgery and your occupation. Generally, most patients can return to non-strenuous work after the surgery within 2-3 weeks. It’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s advice to avoid complications and ensure optimal healing.

Can a tummy tuck surgery be performed with other surgeries?

Yes, a tummy tuck can be performed alongside other cosmetic procedures such as liposuction or breast augmentation. Combining surgeries can help to enhance the overall body contour more comprehensively.

How can a tummy tuck surgery help in improving my abdominal appearance?

Tummy tuck surgery can help by removing excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen, tightening the abdominal wall muscles, and repositioning the belly button, leading to a more toned and flat abdominal appearance.

What type of anesthesia is used during a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia. It ensures that you are asleep and comfortable throughout the surgery, making the experience pain-free.

What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?

A full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdominal area, including above and below the belly button, while a mini tummy tuck targets only the lower abdomen below the belly button. The choice between them depends on the extent of correction needed.

Can a tummy tuck eliminate stretch marks?

A tummy tuck may reduce the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located on the excess skin in the lower abdomen that is removed during the surgery. However, it’s not primarily designed for stretch mark removal.

How does a tummy tuck affect future pregnancies?

Future pregnancies post a tummy tuck may alter the surgical results by stretching the abdominal wall and skin. If you’re planning future pregnancies, it’s advisable to discuss this with your surgeon, as you might want to postpone the tummy tuck until after completing your family.

Can a tummy tuck improve the appearance of my belly button?

Yes, during a tummy tuck, the belly button is typically repositioned to ensure a natural-looking result as the excess skin is removed and the abdominal wall is tightened.

By thoroughly understanding these aspects and consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can make an informed decision regarding undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, ensuring your safety and satisfaction with the surgical outcomes.


In conclusion, a tummy tuck is also a body contouring procedure that flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin. The results can be long-lasting if you maintain a stable weight post-surgery. Understanding the extent of the procedure, possible complications, and ensuring meticulous post-operative care is crucial for achieving the best results and satisfaction from a tummy tuck procedure. Contact us today and learn how board-certified plastic surgeon, Keyian Padyar, MD can customize a tailored plan to your unique aesthetic goals and body type.