An Abdominoplasty also known as a tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure often administered for aesthetic purposes that shrinks your stomach by eliminating excess skin and fat as well as tightening the abdomen muscles.

The Procedure

A tummy tuck is typically administered with general anaesthesia, but a local anaesthetic with a sedative is also an option in some cases. This procedure generally lasts for up to five hours depending on the extent of the tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck typically begins with an incision on the abdomen, spanning from one hip bone to the other. The form of the incision looks similar to a smile that has a flat bottom. Another incision is made over the belly button to separate it from the tissue.

The epidermis is then disconnected from the abdominal wall, and moved higher up to the ribs, uncovering the abdominal muscles. (These abdominal muscles are usually already elongated from past pregnancies.) As soon as the abdominal muscles have been uncovered, they are relocated and then tightened, and the excess skin is removed.

Preparing for Surgery

Prior to your surgery, you need to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. This assessment will determine if you are a suitable candidate for surgery.

Your surgeon will evaluate you by getting your medical history and going over any medications you are currently taking, any allergies and whether or not you’ve had any previous pregnancies and surgeries. The surgeon will also administer a physical exam to determine the amount of extra fat and the extent of sagging skin in the abdominal area. Your surgeon will also ask you what your expectations are regarding this surgery.

As soon as you are certain that you want to have the surgery, chosen a plastic surgeon and have scheduled your tummy tuck surgery, your surgeon will provide you with a list of preoperative instructions. This list will include a cardiac workup if you have a history of heart disease and routine blood work.

Your pre-op instructions will contain a list of what you can and can’t-do before the procedure including; smoking and what you can eat and drink. Ideally, one would stop smoking for at least one month before and after the procedure. Smoking can cause a delay in wound healing as well as skin necrosis.

Recovery

During your recovery, you can expect to experience some discomfort ranging from mild to moderate. You will need to take prescription pain medications for about two weeks following your procedure. Dr Scamp Gold Coast & Brisbane surgeon will advise you on when you can return to your regular activities. You can expect to see some bruising and swelling, which will improve in about ten days but will take months to subside entirely.

Possible Risks

All surgeries, including a tummy tuck, carry certain risks, including anaesthesia complications, infection, seroma and hematoma. Risks can be decreased by going with a board certified plastic surgeon and closely follow his/her pre- and post-op instructions.