Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck — also known as abdominoplasty — is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the abdomen.

During a tummy tuck, excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen. In most cases, the connective tissues in the abdomen are tightened with sutures as well. The remaining skin is then repositioned to create a more toned look.

You might choose to have a tummy tuck if you have skin that's accumulated around the area of your bellybutton and a weak lower abdominal wall. A tummy tuck can also boost your body image.


Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

A flabby abdomen is caused not only by the accumulation of fat, but also by the poor elasticity of the skin, excess skin, and the stretching of the inner girdle of connective tissue (abdominal fascia) and abdominal muscles that extends from the ribs to the pubic bone. This inner girdle, which holds the internal organs in place, is responsible for the tone and appearance of the abdomen.

Your abdomen is more likely to protrude after your abdominal fascia has been stretched during pregnancy or significant changes in your weight. A tummy tuck can remove loose, excess skin and fat, and tighten weak fascia. A tummy tuck can also remove stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen below the bellybutton. However, a tummy tuck won't correct stretch marks outside of this area.

You might consider a tummy tuck if:

  • You have excess skin that's accumulated around the area of your bellybutton
  • You have a weak lower abdominal wall
  • Liposuction didn't adequately improve the appearance of your abdomen
  • You previously had a C-section and have retracted scarring

If you've previously had a C-section, your plastic surgeon might be able to incorporate your existing C-section scar into your tummy tuck scar.

A tummy tuck can also be done in combination with other body contouring cosmetic procedures, such as a buttock lift (belt lipectomy).

A tummy tuck isn't for everyone. Your doctor might caution against a tummy tuck if you:

  • Plan to lose a significant amount of weight
  • Might consider future pregnancy
  • Have a severe chronic condition, such as heart disease, diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Have a body mass index that's greater than 40
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