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Tummy Tuck

  • Standard Recovery Time:
    4 Weeks
  • Average Cost:
    $5,000 - $12,000
  • Anesthesia Required:
    Yes
Tummy-tuck-female-image

About Tummy Tuck

A Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is an outpatient surgical procedure that improves the appearance and contours of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, while tightening the underlying muscles.

Commonly asked questions about Tummy Tuck

1. What is a tummy tuck?

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a major surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. The surgery also tightens muscles. It can be appropriate for women who have had many pregnancies or anyone who has lost a lot of weight.

2. What are the most common types of tummy tucks?

The tummy tuck types vary due to the amount of excess skin that patients may have.

Full: Addresses both the upper and lower abdomen – people who have weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin around their midsection may consider a full tummy tuck to flatten and contour the areas above and below their belly buttons.

Mini: Only addresses the lower abdomen – an alternative option if you only need a small amount of excess skin or fatty tissue removed below the belly button. A less invasive procedure but provides the same great results as a traditional tummy tuck, this version is ideal for a patient with a small area or “pooch” below the belly button that they have been unable to get rid of despite diet and exercise efforts. A mini tummy tuck involves a much smaller incision just above the pubic area and doesn’t involve the belly button needing to be repositioned. Due to its smaller incision, scarring is more limited.

Extended: Addresses the upper and lower abdomen and flanks – this can be an effective treatment for patients that have lost a substantial amount of weight and are looking to refine the contours of their body.

Tummy Tuck with Liposuction: Addresses the same components as a full tummy tuck with the addition of liposuction – which is a procedure that contours the body by removing pockets of fat. Combining liposuction with a tummy tuck procedure is common and allows for greater fat removal and contouring (shaping).

3. Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Your doctor might caution against a tummy tuck if you:

  • Plan to lose a significant amount of weight
  • Might consider future pregnancy
  • Have a severe chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes
  • Have a body mass index that’s greater than 30
  • Are a smoker
  • Had a previous abdominal surgery that caused significant scar tissue

4. How is a tummy tuck performed?

In a traditional, full abdominoplasty, the surgeon removes excess fat and sagging skin from above and below your belly button, tightens the remaining skin and muscles, creating a flatter tummy, and repositions the belly button.

Step One –  Anesthesia

The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step Two:  The Incision

A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed, and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.

Step Three – Closing the Incisions

Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.

Step 4 – See the Results

Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.

5. How long does tummy tuck surgery take to complete?

Depending on its complexity, a tummy tuck procedure can take between 90 minutes and 5 hours.

6. What is the recovery after surgery?

After a tummy tuck procedure, most doctors recommend planning on at least two weeks of downtime and up to six weeks of total recovery time before you’ll be healthy enough for strenuous activity or exercise, lifting heavy items, etc.

Your doctor will prescribe pain medication as well as antibiotics to stave off infection. You can expect to have swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the incision sites, especially during the first three days.

Your abdomen will be bandaged, and you will likely start using a compression garment  – which should be worn 24hrs/day for at least the first 4 weeks. This will help reduce swelling, prevent the formation of blood clots, and aid your body in healing into the desired contour. Bandages should be changed, and the area should be carefully cleaned every day.

You won’t be able to stand up straight for a week or two due to significant tightness across the abdomen.

During your healing process, you’re going to need support. It’s especially important to have someone available to assist you for at least the first five days; you’ll continue to need help the following week with things such as sitting, standing, changing compression garments, etc.

It is also encouraged to get up and move around a few times a day in order to increase circulation and prevent blood clots.

You may need to sleep on your back or in a reclined position for the first few weeks of recovery.

7. When will I see the results of my tummy tuck?

Those who have had significant excess skin and fat prior to surgery will almost immediately be able to see a significant change after surgery – although you will only be able to see your final results once all swelling has subsided, which can take up to 3 months.

8. How long do the results last?

Tummy tuck results are considered permanent in that the skin and fat cells removed during the procedure cannot grow back. Likewise, any internal sutures placed to repair stomach muscles are designed to remain in place indefinitely. However, significant weight fluctuations could re-stretch the skin and bring fat back to the abdomen.

To ensure that your aesthetic results from a tummy tuck are long-lasting, it is crucial to be at a stable weight (that you feel you can maintain after surgery) prior to undergoing tummy tuck surgery. If you are a woman who plans on getting pregnant, you should wait until you are finished having children before pursuing tummy tuck surgery. By maintaining a stable weight, following a healthy diet, exercising consistently, and not smoking, you can ensure your aesthetic results from tummy tuck are long-lasting.

9. How much does a tummy tuck cost in Canada?

The cost of a tummy tuck depends on things like geographic location, the surgeon & their experience, and the complexity of your procedure. Typically, the surgery ranges from $5,000 to $12,000. The lower end is for a mini tummy tuck without muscle repair and the higher end is for a full tummy tuck.

10. What are the risks of a tummy tuck?

Most patients experience only minor side effects, including bruising, swelling, and temporary numbness around the incision site. But, as with any surgery, there are risks. You may have an increased risk of complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes, heart, lung, or liver disease, or if you smoke.

Complications can include:

  • Scarring.
  • Hematoma (bleeding).
  • Infection.
  • Seroma (accumulation of fluid).
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Blood clots.
  • Numbness or other changes in sensation.

Other complications include:

  • Fat necrosis (death of fatty tissue located deep in the skin).
  • Wound separation.
  • Asymmetry (unevenness or lopsidedness).

11. Is a tummy tuck worth it?

3,356/3,542 people who have undergone a Tummy Tuck procedure have rated the procedure “Worth It” (95%)

– Source: realself.com