Frequently Asked Questions

Q1- What is a tummy tuck?

A- A tummy tuck, technically known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the abdominal area. The abdomen is made flatter by removing excess skin and fat and often tightening the abdominal muscles.

Q2- What is the anesthesia used for the procedure?

A- General anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation is most commonly used for tummy tuck procedures.

Q3- How much time is needed to recover after a tummy tuck?

A- The amount of time needed to recover after tummy tuck surgery will vary for each patient. Most patients are able to go back to work within two to four weeks after their procedure, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for four to six weeks.

Q4- Are there any risks of undergoing a tummy tuck?

A- All types of surgery carry some degree of risk. The potential risks and complications that can occur with tummy tuck surgery include the following: bleeding beneath the skin flap, blood clots, conspicuous scarring, Keloid (heavy scar), Seroma, Fat Necrosis, infection, poor healing, skin loss, Nerve damage and the need for further surgery.

Q5- How much time does the actual surgery take?

A- Tummy tuck surgery typically takes between 2 and 5 hours, though these times can vary according to each patient's particular case.

Q6- Where the scars are located for tummy tuck surgery?

A- A traditional tummy tuck involves one long incision made just above the pubic area and running from hipbone to hipbone. In addition, a second incision is often made around the belly button. For a partial abdominoplasty, the incision around the belly button is usually not required and the one above the pubic areas is usually significantly shorter. The scars that result from these incisions will fade and flatten in time.

Q7- Will weight gain after a tummy tuck affect the results?

A- The results of a tummy tuck procedure can be negatively impacted by any significant amount of weight gain afterwards.

Q8- Are tummy tucks painful?

A- The procedure itself should not be painful as some type of anesthesia will be used. For the first few days during the recovery, patients may feel some discomfort or pain which can be controlled with medication prescribed by your surgeon.

Q9- Can you explain what a partial abdominoplasty is?

A- A partial abdominoplasty, also known as a mini tummy tuck, is a variation of the traditional tummy tuck. This procedure has the added benefit of a much shorter incision and, often, the incision made around the belly button is not required.

Q10- Who is the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?

A- The best candidate for a tummy tuck is a patient who, though in relatively good shape, has loose abdominal skin or a large fat deposit in the abdomen that does not respond to exercise and diet. In addition, women after pregnancy or patients after significant weight loss can particularly benefit from the procedure.

Q11- Will future pregnancy affect the results of a tummy tuck?

A- Future pregnancies can affect the results of a tummy tuck. The procedure often involves the tightening of the vertical muscles of the abdomen, and these can separate with future pregnancy. Because of this, it's best to postpone the procedure if you're anticipating future pregnancy.

Q12- Can stretch marks be removed with a tummy tuck?

A- A tummy tuck will typically remove stretch marks that are located on the lower abdomen. Other stretch marks may not be removed. For instance, stretch marks on the upper abdomen may simply be moved downward, though they may appear somewhat tighter and smoothed out.

Q13- How permanent are tummy tuck results?

A- The results of a tummy tuck can be very long lasting. You can also help to maintain your results by getting regular exercise and following a healthy diet.

Q14- What are the contraindications for abdominoplasty?

A- Contraindications for abdominoplasty include the following:

  • Right, left, or bilateral upper quadrant scars (relative)
  • Severe co-morbid conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, cigarette smoking)
  • Future plans for pregnancy (relative)
  • History of thromboembolic disease (relative)
  • Morbid obesity (BMI >40)
  • Unrealistic patient expectations
  • Patients who tend to form keloids or hypertrophic scars, unless they are willing to accept the scarring associated with these conditions.