Information on Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Surgery

Gaining a flat and firm stomach area

The aim of abdominoplasty is to remove excess sagging skin from the middle and lower abdomen. The abdominal muscles may also be surgically tightened during the procedure to improve the abdomen’s function and appearance.

Abdominoplasty is also referred to as a tummy tuck. It is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon and is very effective for giving a flatter firmer tummy. Post pregnancy women are often left with muscle damage and a pouch of fat and loose skin.

Abdominoplasty will improve the function of the abdominal muscles, create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance of the abdomen and remove what is called the ‘apron’ of fat that causes discomfort.

After rapid weight loss, abdominal muscles are weaker and the skin in that area can become much looser. No matter how much exercise and healthy diet regimes are undertaken, this excess skin may be difficult to tone up and can cause self-consciousness.

Having a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure can help. During the procedure the muscles can be tightened and excess skin removed, leaving a flat and firm abdomen.

Many patients choose to combine a tummy tuck procedure with having liposuction to their waist area to create a new slim waistline and better contour.

The benefits include increased overall self-confidence and self-esteem. You will have the ability to wear more fitted clothing or clothes that you may have previously avoided.

You will regain a more toned and youthful body shape which means no more hiding behind big tops or T-shirts. It will even get you back to the beach with confidence.

It is usually the only option left for people with excess skin that resulted from massive weight loss or from child birth. The main benefit of the tummy tuck is the general improvement of the abdomen. Each layer of the abdomen has to be taken into consideration and they are the skin, the fatty tissue, and the underlying muscle. All these layers will be stretched or weakened through pregnancy or weight loss. In summary, the benefits that can be derived from a tummy tuck are the following

  • improvement of the abdominal wall so that it becomes firmer and flatter
  • reduction of the tummy bulge after pregnancy
  • improvement of the appearance of stretch marks, especially those situated below the   navel
  • improvement of your self-esteem and general level of confidence

Abdominoplasty surgery is not a weight loss tool. It is a procedure involving the removal of excess skin following weight loss or exercise.

Very often this procedure is carried out with liposuction or liquid liposuction to define body shape. This procedure tightens the muscles and removes excess skin to leave a firmer and flatter abdomen.

At Profile Perfection we will support you and your decision, guiding you from the initial consultation all the way through to recovery.

Your surgeon will advise you about the surgery, discuss your medical history (when you are to discontinue or resume activities like smoking, or taking aspirin or any other medication). They will ensure that you are medically fit for the procedure.

You will be able to present your expectations to your plastic/cosmetic surgeon.

Your Profile Perfection nurse will be available at all times to answer any questions you have post consultation with the surgeon.

The surgery plan will be made between you and your plastic surgeon, but the final decision whether to have the surgery is always yours and should not be made in a rush. Contact with your nurse counsellor at Profile Perfection is vital through these stages of decision making.

The plastic surgeon will visit you in your room and may mark the abdomen with a pen in preparation for your surgery.

The plastic surgeon will also obtain your final consent, and answer any last minute questions you may have.

The abdominoplasty procedure takes around two hours under general anaesthetic.

Abdominoplasty procedures require a one or two night stay in hospital.

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to smooth and flatten your abdomen.

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area.

The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin that needs to be removed.

The shape of this incision will vary somewhat according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of bathing suit or undergarments that you prefer.

Your plastic surgeon will try to keep the incision within your bathing suit lines, but this may not always be possible.

If there is loose skin above the navel, the surgeon may make a second incision so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down.

The excess abdominal skin is then removed. The position of the navel remains unchanged.

To tighten the abdominal wall, the surgeon brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures.

Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well.

Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance.

Abdominal skin is pulled downward and the excess is removed. A small opening is made to bring the navel through.

The abdomen will be swollen and tender. Moderate pain can be expected for the first few days but this will be well controlled by post-operative pain relief.

You will need to rest considerably after this operation. During the first week post-surgery you will need to be careful not to put a strain on your lower abdomen.

It is advisable to refrain from any strenuous exercise for up to 6 weeks. Most patients can expect to return work after 2-3 weeks.

It is very important that you attend the follow up post-surgery appointment that will be made for you to care for your incision site, and to see your plastic/cosmetic surgeon post-operatively to make sure that you are healing well.

You will have your own personal nurse counsellor at Profile Perfection available after your surgery to answer all of your questions. However it is recommended that you arrange someone to stay with you for the first few days.

Although walking may feel uncomfortable post operatively it is important to do so to enable healing and to reduce the risks of deep vein thrombosis.

Rest is also very important and you will be required to wear a light support garment.

After at least two weeks you may return to light exercises to start toning muscles.

There are many variations both to the design of the incisions and the technique itself. In some instances, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel.

When the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial or “mini”.

Sometimes liposuction may be used alone, or in conjunction with abdominoplasty, to remove abdominal fat.

Laser skin tightening to the abdomen can be an alternative option to a tummy tuck. This, however, will not improve muscle separation, only skin quality.

Liquid liposuction with laser skin tightening can reduce the abdominal fat and improve the skin quality but, again, will not improve any muscle separation.


Your abdomen will be naturally swollen for a couple of days. If you want to control the pain then you should ask for prescription medication from your surgeon.


You should put a couple of pillows behind your knees in order to keep them bent and reduce the tension on your abdominal muscles.


You may not be able to stand up immediately although you must be able to walk as soon as possible.


The stitches used will usually be dissolvable so you should not worry about them. The clips should be removed after five days.


You will need to wear a comfortable support garment for six weeks. You will also be required to have follow-up visits in the months after the surgery in order to check your progress.


Abdominoplasty produces permanent scars. They will usually be situated across the full length of the bikini line. However, the goal of the surgeon during the procedure is to make the incisions in the natural creases and in places that can be hidden easily by clothing.


Recovery will vary from individual to individual. There are some patients who can return to work after only two weeks while other will take more than three to four weeks to get back. On average, you should be back to full activity after six weeks. Moreover, you should not lift or carry heavy objects for the first six weeks. You should avoid any strenuous activity as well. You can do some moderate exercising like walking during this period.


Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years. However, gravity and the effects of aging can eventually take their toll.If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to restore a more youthful body contour.

Here are some of the questions that you may want to ask your surgeon

  • Am I a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty?
  • Will my belly button be repositioned after the tummy tuck?
  • Where will the incisions be placed?
  • What are some of the variations to the common tummy tuck technique?
  • How should I prepare for the surgery in order to have the best results?
  • What will the day of surgery be like?
  • How much pain will I experience during the surgery and after the surgery?
  • Are you going to give me anything that will alleviate the pain?
  • When will I be able to resume normal activities?
  • How long will the results from the tummy tuck last?
  • What are some of the other cosmetic procedures that can be combined with the tummy tuck surgery?
  • What are some of the instructions that I should follow after the tummy tuck surgery?
  • How much will the tummy tuck operation cost?
  • Will you be able to show me before and after pictures of some of your previous  patients?
  • Will I be able to eat and drink normally after the tummy tuck procedure?

These are just some of the commonly asked questions but please feel free to ask your nurse counsellor at Profile Perfection for more information…

It is important that your decision to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is considered carefully.

There are also some possible risks, as with all surgical operations, which your plastic surgeon will talk through and explain to you at your consultation, answering any questions you may have.

This is your opportunity to discuss your intended surgery so that the plastic/cosmetic surgeon can ascertain your expectations as to what can realistically be achieved.

Initially you should have a detailed consultation at Profile Perfection to discuss the different types of procedure options available to you. Together we can discuss the options of which surgeons are specialised in this type of procedure and organise a consultation.

Once all of your questions and queries have been answered and you are ready to go ahead with the procedure, we can start your journey. You will have a high level of support from beginning to end.

Having a procedure can be very daunting and you may feel that you do not know which procedure will be best for you. Which surgeon should I pick? Who will answer all of my questions when I get worried? What questions should l ask the surgeon?

At Profile Perfection we will support you and your decision, guiding you from the initial consultation all the way through to recovery.

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