Abdominoplasty procedures, also known as the “tummy tuck,” have grown in popularity over the last several years, to become one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures in the nation. The procedure works to improve body shape and overall body tone, improving the appearance of a patient’s abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the underlying muscles, giving the patient a stronger abdominal profile.

What benefits can a tummy tuck give me?

Tummy tucks offer patients a number of benefits.

  • Tummy tucks are a great option for patients who have an excessive amount of skin accumulating around the area of the belly button. This condition is very common for patients who have undergone drastic weight-loss but whose skin has become too overstretched, leaving it sagging across the abdominal area.
  • As a person ages, it is common to see protruding abdomens that are caused mainly by fat accumulation and by the loss of skin elasticity. As the lower abdominal walls begin to weaken, the abdomen starts to sag.
  • Mothers who have delivered their children via C-section often experience retracted scarring that can be alleviated with a tummy tuck procedure.
What can I expect during a tummy tuck?

All tummy tuck procedures are performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. In most abdominoplasty surgeries, the surgeon will make a horizontal incision running across the patient’s pubic hairline. This gives the doctor access to the abdominal area to remove excess fat and skin. The muscle fascia of the underlying abdominal muscles will also be tightened during the procedure to strengthen the abdominal wall and give the patient a stronger abdominal profile afterwards.

After the excess skin has been trimmed off, the remaining skin will be draped across the abdomen, and the belly button will be repositioned accordingly. The incision will then be closed using stitches, ideally following the patient’s natural bikini line to make the scarring less obvious.

In some cases, particularly in patients who have experienced significant weight loss, a vertical incision is required.

What can I expect during recovery from a tummy tuck?

Patients should remain in an upright, slightly raised position for a few days after surgery to help reduce swelling, bruising and tenderness of the treated area. Normally, drainage tubes will be put in place to help drain out excess blood and fluids from the surgical site. The patient will be advised to avoid rigorous activities during recovery to avoid any complications. Compression garments are also recommended for a few weeks after the surgery to help reduce swelling and give the patient extra support during recovery.

Is a tummy tuck right for me?

To determine whether or not abdominoplasty is the right procedure for you, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. During your visit, your doctor will speak with you about the goals you have for your appearance. In addition to deciding on your treatment plan, your doctor will also ask you about your medical history. Bring a list of medications, supplements and vitamins you take, and have a list prepared of the questions or concerns you may have, as being open with our specialists is key to a safe and successful surgery.

Contact us for a consultation

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Tacoma: 253-403-2120

Facial Plastics & Medical Aesthetics

Puyallup: 253-697-8980
Auburn: 253-545-5880