Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal wall. This procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. The length of the scar is determined by the extent of excess skin and fat and the laxity of the abdominal wall. In a mini tummy tuck, the scar is the shortest but the amount of loose skin removed is lesser. In a typical abdominoplasty, the scar can stretch from hip to hip and a new belly button is created.
The best candidates for tummy tuck are women who are in relatively good shape but have abdominal muscles and skin that will no longer return to normal after multiple pregnancies.
What does the surgery involve?
The surgery is done under general anaesthesia in hospital. Surgery takes 3 to 4 hours and the patient will need to stay in hospital for 3 to 4 days. There will be drains which will be removed before discharge from the hospital. Sutures will be removed between 10-14 days after surgery. Patient will need to wear a support garment for about 3 weeks.
How is the post op recovery?
Generally, patient can return to light work after 7 to 10 days. Light exercises can start after 2 weeks. They should avoid lifting heavy objects for 6 weeks. The scars will improve over the next six months to a year. The scars are initially reddish in colour but will lighten over time. There is usually numbness in the lower abdomen and this will gradually decrease in the next 3 to 6 months.