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Abdominoplasty (ab-dom'in-o-plas"te), also referred to as a Tummy Tuck, is a procedure to flatten the abdomen by tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall in addition to removing excess fat and skin.

A Tummy Tuck can produce dramatic results for both men and women. A smooth, flat and firm abdomen implies a healthy, fit and youthful body. This also may be combined with liposuction to increase body contouring.

This procedure is particularly helpful to those patients with a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that is exercise resistant. Women who are unable to return their abdominal muscles and skin to normal after multiple pregnancies find this procedure very appealing.

A Tummy Tuck usually takes between two and four hours to complete and is customarily performed under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia with sedation may also be used.

Depending on the amount of work to be done, we may require that you spend the night following a tummy tuck procedure in the hospital,  particularly if work is done to tighten the abdominal muscles. Recovery time will vary for each individual, but we tell our patients that they will return to work within one to two weeks and resume more strenuous activity within four to six weeks.

While we strive to minimize complications and maximize patient satisfaction, we would be remiss if we did not remind you that there may be side effects and there are risk. These will be discussed more fully during your consultation.

For additional information on abdominoplasty or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 520/297-3300 or by e-mail.

Additional References

Frequently Asked Questions- Tummy Tuck

What might a tummy tuck do for me?

This procedure tightens the abdominal muscles making the abdomen tighter and creating a narrower waistline. Excess skin is removed and the belly button is reattached. Those patients with a protruding abdomen, multiple pregnancies or significant weight-loss would benefit most from this procedure.

How long do the results last following a tummy tuck procedure?

This procedure usually lasts indefinitely assuming no significant weight gain or pregnancy.

How long is a tummy tuck surgery?

Depending on the amount of work to be done, this procedure can take from 2-1/2 to 4 hours (may be longer after massive weight loss).

What will my recovery be like following a tummy tuck procedure?

You may be unable to stand up straight for several days and may need pain medication for 5-10 days. You will have drains to remove excess fluid from under the skin for 3-10 days and must wear an abdominal binder for 3 weeks.

Will I have restrictions after a tummy tuck procedure?

You should avoid vigorous activities for 4-6 weeks.

When will I be back to work after my abdominoplasty?

You will be able to return to work in 1-3 weeks.

Where is the surgery performed?

Our physicians perform the majority of these procedures at Northwest Medical Center.  For your safety, Dr Hess and Dr Sandeen prefer that you spend the night at the facility following your procedure..

What type of anesthesia is used for a tummy tuck procedure?

General anesthesia (asleep) is the choice of most patients. A less extensive tummy tuck may be performed using local with IV sedation by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist.

Where will the scars be after my tummy tuck procedure?

Your scars will be located on the lower portion of your abdomen and around the inside of the belly button.

What are the risks for a tummy tuck procedure?

Complications are infrequent The risks include infection, bleeding and scarring, as with all surgical procedures. Wide scarring or delayed healing of the abdominal skin or belly button is specific to this procedure. Patient must be completely nicotine free for 6 weeks prior & 6 weeks post surgery!

American Society of Plastic Surgery's Abdominoplasty web page.