Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty


In the course of time, camber forms in the abdominal are and sagging occurs in the abdominal skin as a result of giving birth and weight gain/loss. The existing excess skin becomes more noticeable when bending forward. The causes of this undesired appearance are;

  • Looseness in the abdominal muscles and cambering of the internal abdominal organs
    • Excess abdominal skin
    • Excessive adipose accumulation under the abdominal skin.

Abdominal Aesthetic Surgery

tummy2When all the above-mentioned causes are eliminated, an aesthetic abdominal appearance emerges. If there is not too much looseness in the abdominal muscles, if there is a small amount of excess skin, and if exact cause is the fat accumulation under the skin, the problem can be solved with fat removal (liposuction). But if the looseness in the abdominal muscles and the excess skin are highly noticeable, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery is required. Mostly ideal results are achieved by applying abdominoplasty followed by liposuction for the fat accumulations in the frontal abdominal wall, waist and back regions.

Abdominoplasty and Weight

Abdominoplasty operation should be done in the period when the weight is fixed at the end of the weight-loss process. Additional weight losses after surgery may cause abdominal skin and muscles to get loose again.

Abdominoplasty and Pregnancy

The the patient plans to have a baby, the abdominoplasty surgery should be postponed. The abdominal muscles and skin will get lose again during the pregnancy period.

Pregnancy after Abdominoplasty

We encounter some questions such as; “I had a tummy tuck operation a short while ago, and now I learned that I’ pregnant. Should I have an abortion?”. The answer to this question is: “you can maintain your pregnancy because tummy tuck operation does not adversely affect pregnancy”. In literature, there are many studies supporting this response.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) after Pregnancy

It would be useful to lose the extra weights gained during the pregnancy, and ensure the abdominal muscles to change back into their previous form. This takes 1 year on the average.

Is It Possible to Have a Second Abdominoplasty?

Having an abdominoplasty surgery does not obstruct having a second surgery later. If the abdominal muscles get lose and the abdominal skin sags gain in the course of time due to any reasons, the abdominoplasty surgery can be repeated by using the scars of the previous surgery, without leaving new scars.

Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery

The operation is done in fully-equipped hospital conditions and usually under general anesthesia. It lasts 2-3 hours. The patient needs to stay in the hospital for one or two days.

An incision is made, which extends from just above the genital region (the region of cesarean scar) to the two sides. The incision location is planned in such a way as to hide the scare in underwear. The length of incision varies depending on the state of the excess skin. The abdominal skin is separated from the underlying anterior abdominal wall muscles. The navel is left in its place, with an incision made around it. The abdominal muscles are tightened by means of sutures. The abdominal skin is pulled downwards, and then the excess skin is removed. Generally the skin below the navel level is removed by this way, and then the skin above the navel is pulled downwards and is fixed in its new place with sutures. With these procedures, both the looseness in the abdomen and the excess skin are eliminated to form a tight abdominal skin. The navel is removed through a newly opened incision and is fixed in its new place with sutures. The excess adipose tissue left under the stretched abdominal skin during these procedures can be removed in the same session or in another session, depending on the preference of the surgeon.

If there is a big amount of excess fat accumulation in the genital region, it is eliminated as well.

Small tubes called drains are inserted to drain the blood and tissue fluids that accumulated during the surgery, which will be removed one or two days after the surgery. The incision is closed with self-dissolving hidden sutures, which are generally placed subcutaneously. If there is a suture placed on the skin, it is removed a week after the surgery.  The surgical site is supported by using a waist corset for a period of 4 weeks.

Partial Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)

If there is a camber and sagging especially in the region below the navel level, the part of the abdominal skin below the navel is separated from the muscles with a shorter incision, the abdominal muscles are tightened, and then the excess skin is removed. The navel and the area above it are not intervened in (or only liposuction is applied).

After Abdominoplasty

The patient begins to take nourishment orally and walk 6 hours after the surgery. The patient may feel a tension or tightness in the abdominal area. A pain that can be controlled with analgesics may be felt. It is recommended to put a high pillow under the head and another one under the legs for prevent the suture line from getting excessively stretched, and walk by slightly leaning forward in the first days of the postoperative period. There may be discomfort in the intestines due to gas accumulation, for which it would be useful to walk and avoid consuming flatogenic foods.

The patient can go to work a week after the surgery, on condition that he/she will avoid strenuous activities. The patient begins to walking, sit and stand up in a normal way. It takes 4 weeks to feel the abdominal region comfortable, like how the patient felt before the surgery. The suture scars are very noticeable in the first months, and it takes averagely 1 year for the scars to gradually fade and turn into skin color.

Complications of Abdominoplasty

Infection, wound dehiscence and fat necrosis in the surgical site, fluid accumulation under the skin (seroma), circulatory disorders in the abdominal skin and partial loss of skin may be observed in the early postoperative period. These complications are more commonly seen in overweight people and smokers. In addition, the surgical scar may poorly heal and asymmetries may occur in the appearance of the abdomen. The patient must be attentive not to gain weight and must do regular abdominal exercises in the postoperative period. Detailed information about the possible risks of the surgery (consent form) should be requested from the doctor and should be read carefully in the preoperative period.

To get information about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), please fill out the contact form.

Prof. Dr. Cengiz Açıkel, Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon, Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty, Aesthetic Abdominal Surgery