Tummy Tuck Procedure

Last Updated: May 28, 2012

Each year, thousands of people improve their appearance and self esteem by undergoing abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck procedures. The goal of abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery is to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, tighten abdominal muscles, and create a more firm abdomen and enhanced appearance.

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116,000+ tummy tuck procedures were performed in the US in 2010. Tummy tucks are the 5th most popular cosmetic surgery procedure.

Tummy Tuck Trends

Over 116,000 tummy tuck procedures were performed in the US in 2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Also tummy tuck operations are the 5th most popular plastic surgery procedure. These type of plastic surgery has not shown the highest rate of increase over the past 3 years. The number of procedures in 2010 was only 1% more than in 2009.

The duration of the procedure is usually two to five hours; however, partial abdominoplasty lasts from one to two hours. During the surgery, an incision is made from hipbone to hipbone and a second incision is made to release the naval from surrounding tissue.

The skin from the abdominal wall is then separated and lifted to gain access to the abdominal muscles. The muscles are tightened by pulling them closer together. Finally, the skin flap is pulled down and excess skin is removed. The belly button is then recreated and repositioned and all incisions are closed and stitched.

Types of Tummy Tucks

There are two types of tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) operations: Full or mini (aka partial)

  1. A "full" tummy tuck targets the middle and lower abdomen.
  2. A partial or "mini" tummy tuck targets the lower abdomen only.

Both procedures remove excess fat and skin, improve muscle strength and create a tighter, more toned stomach profile. Women who are good candidates for a tummy tuck operation are generally healthy and within 20-25 pounds of their ideal weight, but are looking to tone up after pregnancy or moderate weight loss.

To have all your questions answered or to receive a free consultation from a certified tummy tuck surgeon in your area, be sure to fill out the form to the right of the page.

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Good candidates for a tummy tuck operation are generally healthy and within 20-25 pounds of their ideal weight.

Tummy Tuck Benefits

Make no mistake - a tummy tuck is not a shortcut for weight loss.

But a tummy tuck is a very successful solution for many women, like those who have had multiple pregnancies, who are no longer able to tighten their abdomen or lose stubborn belly fat through exercise.

If you are a healthy woman close to your ideal weight but have lost much of the elasticity in your skin in your abdomen, a tummy tuck will absolutely tighten and smooth the abdomen and help to remove any stretch marks.

Read more on the benefits and expected results of a tummy tuck here.

Procedure - Full Tummy Tuck

During a full Tummy Tuck, after the anesthetic is administered an incision is made from one hipbone to the other, right above the pubic region, followed by another incision to allow the navel to detach from the surrounding tissue.

Is Abdominoplasty Right for You?

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can significantly enhance the waistline and overall body image; however the procedure is not for everyone. Good candidates for tummy tuck procedures are in overall good shape, but desire to have some loose skin removed and muscles that are unresponsive to good diet and exercise tightened. Women planning to become pregnant or individuals preparing to lose a significant amount of weight are not considered good candidates for abdominoplasty.

A second incision is made around the navel to free the navel from surrounding tissue. The skin flap is separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up to the ribs to reveal the underlying abdominal muscles.

These muscles are then tightened and stitched together in their new position to create a firmer abdominal wall and narrow the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down and excessive skin is trimmed away. Following that a new hole for the belly button is made and sewn in place. A temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

A full tummy tuck surgery takes a few hours to perform, but the time it takes to complete the surgical procedure will depend on the extent of the work being done.

Most patients that have undergone full abdominoplasty stay overnight at the surgeon's inpatient facilities or hospital

Mini Tummy Tuck (Partial Abdominoplasty) Surgical Procedure

For a partial abdominoplasty, or a mini tummy tuck, the procedure is similar except that only one incision is made above the pubis and the incision is shorter.

Mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck will usually take just an hour or two to complete and patients are treated on outpatient basis.

The skin is separated between the incision line and the navel and the flap is stretched down and the excess fat and skin is removed before the flap is stitched back into place. There's no need for a new belly button to be created in this procedure.

Read more about the mini tummy tuck here.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

After tummy tuck surgery, either partial or full, your abdomen will be swollen and you will feel some pain and discomfort. There will be some bruising along with the swelling, and some patients will feel numbness around the navel.

Again, depending what kind of a tummy tuck surgery you've had, you will either be released from the hospital within a few hours or you'll stay overnight. Complete recovery times will vary, but most women are back to their regular lives within six weeks.

You should always have a consultation with an experienced and qualified doctor prior to any cosmetic procedure. Before having your tummy tuck costs, expectations and details of the procedure should be thoroughly understood. Some individuals who are not good candidates for abdominoplasty may choose liposuction as an alternative procedure.

Free Consultation with a Board Certified US Tummy Tuck Surgeon

To learn more about Tummy Tuck Surgery please complete the contact form below, or call us today at the number found in the upper right corner of this page. You will then get the option to schedule a free consultation with a Board Certified Surgeon in Your local area. The majority of surgeons have financing plans available to offer their customers.

Read more on the three stages of tummy tuck recovery here.

Find more specific details about the tummy tuck before and after process here.

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