Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, is commonly known as a tummy tuck. It is abdominal surgery which removes excess skin and fat that may accumulate after pregnancy, or due to obesity or age. The benefits of full abdominoplasty are tightening of the abdominal muscles/fascia which may have become stretched out over time. This procedure can dramatically aid in the reduction of a once prominent abdomen. Abdominoplasty can be done in conjunction with a buttock/thigh lift.
Who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your doctor before surgery. Abdominoplasty is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
NOTE: You may not be a candidate for surgery if you smoke, have recently quit smoking, or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke. Primary and secondary smoking decreases blood flow to the body's tissues. This can result in prolonged wound healing, skin loss, infection, increased scarring, and a number of other complications depending on the kind of procedure performed. Click here for more information related to smoking.
Alternatives to abdominoplasty
During your initial physical examination, your plastic surgeon may find that you would be a good candidate for less invasive procedures which would still allow you to meet your appearance goals. Alternative procedures may include a mini-abdominoplasty, liposuction, or a panniculectomy, a procedure which reduces the hanging skin in the abdominal area.
How is the procedure performed?
Most commonly, the surgeon will make two incisions. The first is a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area, with a second incision freeing the navel from surrounding tissue. In a mini-abdominoplasty, the first incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although its appearance may be slightly altered. After the incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs, then lifts a large skin flap, revealing the vertical muscles in the abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
Complete abdominoplasty can take from two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Mini-abdominoplasty may take one or two hours.
List of Physicians Who Perform the Abdominoplasty
For details about education, experience, and specialty in this clinical area, please visit these physician profile pages:
Planning for Your Surgery
First, schedule a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you'd like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation:
Preparing for Your Surgery
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. A pre-operative information packet will be provided that explains everything you should do and know before your surgery date. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and which vitamins and medications should be taken or avoided. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You may also want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. The majority of these procedures are completed on an out-patient basis.
Types of Anesthesia
General anesthetic is used so that you will sleep and remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
After Your Surgery
Click here for information about how to care for yourself after the surgery and what to expect during your recovery. It is very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. Also, it is important that you attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns you may have.