Frequently asked questions about the tummy tuck

Frequently asked questions about the tummy tuck

14th Dec 2017

After giving birth or losing a significant amount of weight, it is possible for your abdomen to develop sagging skin as a result of it. What should have been a cause for celebration may make you unhappy about your body’s appearance? When this happens, some women play sports, do exercises and diets in hopes of resolving this issue. Unfortunately, this is not always the answer when it comes to getting a slimmer body and a flatter abdomen. The reason for this is that pregnancy and weight gain causes the abdominal muscles to stretch, leaving you with a lax and unattractive belly when you do lose the weight. Thus, if you want to tighten the abdomen muscles and get your ideal flat tummy, nothing is more effective than plastic surgery.

The tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can improve your abdominal area by tightening the abdomen muscles, as well as removing the sagging skin and the fat deposits on your belly. It is the perfect procedure for those who have sagging skin on their tummy and want to get rid of it fast and permanently.

Listed below are the answers to the frequently asked questions regarding the tummy tuck procedure:

1. Is the tummy tuck intervention the right choice for me?

The tummy tuck is recommended for both men and women who are in good physical condition but have sagging skin in their abdominal area, with or without the abdominal pouch. Overall, the best candidates for the tummy tuck must meet the following conditions:

  • Excess sagging skin at the abdominal level
  • A tummy that has a projection from the profile and is disproportionate to the rest of the body
  • Lax abdominal muscles caused by multiple pregnancies or the natural aging process
  • Excess fat tissue concentrated under the abdominal skin

However, if you plan on getting pregnant or losing/gaining significant weight after the procedure, you should let your plastic surgeon know about these beforehand. Also, if you have abdominal scars from past procedures, it may limit the results of the tummy tuck.

2. How is the consultation for the tummy tuck performed?

During the initial consultation for the tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your emotional and physical well-being. You must be ready to offer correct and complete information about the following things:

  • The surgical interventions you had in the past
  • Past or present health conditions
  • Medication that is administered in the present, including naturist remedies or supplements

Your plastic surgeon will then evaluate:

  • The quality of the abdominal skin
  • The placement of existent scars
  • The quantity of excess fat tissue
  • The status and aspect of the abdominal muscles

It is important to mention here that your plastic surgeon might also recommend other treatments to achieve the desired results. For example, some patients might benefit from having liposuction along with their tummy tuck.

3. How is the tummy tuck performed?

The procedure usually involves a horizontal incision placed right over the pubic area and between the two hipbones. The length of the incision depends on the quantity of skin that needs to be removed. In other words, the more skin there is to remove, the longer the incision. For female patients specifically, the incision will be placed under the panty line if possible. Skin with stretch marks can be removed too, but this is not the purpose of the intervention. People with a large quantity of sagging skin will have a secondary incision around the navel, which qualifies as a tummy tuck. By doing so, the sagging excess skin above the navel is separated from the deep tissues and mobilized toward the pubic area and then removed.

4. What type of tummy tuck methods are there?

The traditional tummy tuck is not always the best solution is some cases. The partial tummy tuck or the mini tummy tuck addresses the inferior part of the abdomen and is performed without the incision around the navel. It is essential to understand that the tummy tuck won’t correct the sagging skin above the navel.

On the other hand, the hourglass tummy tuck is an intervention performed solely by me and it involves, aside from the traditional tummy tuck, also liposuction and fat transfer to the hips. As a result, you won’t be left with a Sponge Bob rectangular shape after your procedure, rather, you’ll have an attractive hourglass shape.

5. What are the risks of the tummy tuck intervention?

Every year, thousands of people benefit from this intervention without any major complications. During the initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will offer you more information about the risks and benefits of this procedure. What is important is for you to be prepared in order to avoid unnecessary problems.

The general risks that are associated with all surgical procedures are infection, bleeding and swelling, hematoma and seroma and delayed wound healing.

6. How can I prepare for the tummy tuck procedure?

Once you have set the date for your surgical intervention, you will receive all the information regarding both the pre-operative and the post-operative period:

  • You will need to avoid medication that may cause complications during the surgery or the recovery period. Pills like aspirin should be avoided for at least a month before the procedure, as well as birth control pills.
  • Smokers will be strongly advised to quit smoking for a period of at least two weeks before and after the surgery to allow the wound to heal properly.
  • The plastic surgeon will give you a list of clinical investigations that need to be performed in order to evaluate your health condition before surgery.

The tummy tuck procedure can only be performed in an operating room in a medical facility, under general anesthetic or under local anesthetic with IV sedation. You will be administered adequate medication for your comfort during the intervention.

7. How is the post-operative period going to be after the tummy tuck?

Once the intervention is complete, you will be put in a recovery room. You will most likely have drain tubes in your stomach in order to prevent fluid accumulation. Any type of discomfort or pain can be minimized with specific medication. The operated area will be covered with elastic bandages. Also, the doctor will recommend you to carefully move as soon as possible in order to avoid blood clots.

While every body heals differently, we can talk about the general process after the tummy tuck procedure:

The first week

  • The drain tubes will be removed
  • The suture material will be removed
  • The swelling and bruising will be at its peak during this period

After two months

  • The doctor will allow you to stop wearing the girdle
  • The level of the physical effort can be increased
  • The swelling and bruising should gradually diminish
  • The first final results will be visible
  • You can get therapeutic massages to improve the results of the surgery

4 months after the surgery

  • The final results of the surgery are clearly visible
  • The numbing sensations will start to disappear
  • The incision lines will start to fade away and become less visible
  • It is important to give additional care to the skin, which means avoiding sun exposure and moisturizing

Immediately after the surgery, you will notice a significant difference in regards to the shape and appearance of your body. Consequently, many patients feel a self-esteem boost.


The tummy tuck gives permanent results, with the exception of those cases where the patient experiences a significant weight gain or loss after the surgery was performed. Having said that, gravity and the natural aging process can also affect the results later on and cause a loss of skin elasticity. In this case, your plastic surgeon will suggest additional treatments to restore the abdominal contour in the most natural way possible. This is why you will need several post-operative consultations to allow your plastic surgeon to evaluate the results over a longer period of time.

The tummy tuck procedure is quite a complex surgical intervention, and while it is becoming more common and performed every day all around the globe, most patients still have questions about the procedure, particularly the recovery period and the preparation for the procedure. This is not a bad thing because being prepared and informed before scheduling the date for your intervention can lead to more favorable results. Knowing exactly what to expect after the surgery will help you understand if this procedure is ideal for you and prepare you for possible complications that may occur.

Therefore, you should discuss all your questions and concerns with your plastic surgeon before the procedure. The initial consultation is important to help you understand the procedure, especially in terms of the requirements from you before and after the surgery. Also, get a list of recommendations from your plastic surgeon before scheduling the appointment.

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