Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)
Tummy Tuck Surgery, technically known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular and preferred plastic surgery procedures. It is a main surgical procedure that can remove sagging in the abdomen and strengthen the abdominal wall muscles, revealing a well-shaped and smooth abdomen with thinner lines. It is important to have a basic understanding of this process on the website to ensure that you obtain the results you desire due to the scope of the operation and to help you prepare accordingly.
It is a surgical procedure in which the weak abdominal muscles are strengthened by stretching and the excess fat and sagging skin in the anterior part of the abdomen are removed. This surgery, which corrects the appearance of the belly and the abdomen, leaves a permanent scar, but this scar is hidden under the underwear. Abdominoplasty surgery can be performed together with other surgeries such as hysterectomy and ovarian surgeries, except for the reduction of very large breasts. The operation lasts for 1.5 to 4 hours. Stitches are taken between 10-14 days according to the healing process. Hospitalization is usually overnight according to the patient’s condition. Usually, patients can return to work after 2-4 weeks. Aesthetic surgeons recommend that patients wear corsets for up to two months after surgery and keep away from active exercises.
It is necessary to stop smoking 4 weeks prior to tummy tuck surgery and not to smoke at least 2 weeks after the operation. If antidepressant and weight-loss medication are used, it should be stopped 3 weeks before the operation according to your surgeon’s warning. You should be protected from the sun after the surgery. Vitamin E, aspirin or similar medicines preventing blood clotting should not be used for the time determined by the surgeon. Heavy diets should also be paused. If there is an infection (inflammation) anywhere in the body, the surgery should be postponed until the end of the disease. In patients with diabetes, unless blood glucose levels reach the normal under the control of a doctor, the operation cannot be performed.
In full tummy tuck operation, an incision is made between the pubic hairline and the belly button.
With this incision, weak abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured; and excess fat, tissue, and skin removed.
Your plastic surgeon shrinks and sutures the underlying muscle and tissue, thereby narrowing the waist and strengthening the abdominal wall.
In full tummy tuck operation, a second incision may be required around the belly button to remove the excess skin from the upper abdomen.
After the surgery, the patient will have a smooth and well-shaped abdomen. Scars are permanent but they fade over time.
What is Tummy Tuck Surgery and how is It Performed?
Tummy tuck surgery is a surgical procedure in which the weak abdominal muscles are strengthened by stretching, and the excess fat and sagging skin in the anterior part of the abdomen are removed. It is not a weight loss or slimming surgery. It is recommended that overweight patients should undergo weight loss and exercise before the operation. Correcting satisfactorily the appearance of the belly and abdomen, this surgery leaves a permanent scar, but this scar is hidden under the underwear. Abdominoplasty surgery can be performed together with other surgeries such as hysterectomy and ovarian surgeries.
Plastic surgeons examine you after discussing your complaints and expectations. Then, the amount and placement of the fat deposition in the abdomen, sagging and excess skin, and its quality are evaluated. Previous diseases (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, etc.) and surgeries, habits (smoking, alcohol, etc.), medicines used (aspirin, antidepressants, weight loss drugs, etc.) should be explained to your surgeon in detail. While in some cases only liposuction may be sufficient in patients, sometimes the combination of liposuction with tummy tuck operation may be useful.
You should discuss with your surgeon your post-examination recommendations and considerations. The type of anaesthesia that will be used for surgery, how many days you will stay in the hospital and the risks of the surgery will be informed by your plastic surgeon. Abdominoplasty operations are performed under general anaesthesia in hospital conditions except for partial abdominoplasty.
Types of Tummy Tuck Aesthetics
The three main types of tummy tuck surgery can be summarized as follows:
- Full tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty): There are two types; the type in which the belly button is displaced and the type in which the belly button is not displaced.
- Reverse tummy tuck surgery (reverse abdominoplasty): In this type of abdominoplasty surgery performed by plastic surgeons, scars remain slightly under the breasts. Therefore, it is rarely preferred.
- Mini tummy tuck surgery (mini-abdominoplasty): Abdominoplasty known as tummy tuck is a major surgery to remove the excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and stretch the abdominal wall muscles. Mini-abdominoplasty, called mini-tummy tuck, is a modified process of the traditional tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck is a procedure that is applied to patients with excess skin and excess fat under the belly button. If required, muscles can be stretched. Compared to the traditional tummy tuck, the belly button is not displaced in the mini tummy tuck. If you are interested in the mini tummy tuck process, consult your doctor to see if you are a suitable candidate for this operation.
The Ideal Candidate
Like most procedures, tummy tuck operation is effective in people with certain criteria. People who do not meet these criteria may also be appropriate candidates for the operation, but understanding the role of the criteria in the operation results will help you decide if this is the best option for you.
The ideal candidates for tummy tuck operation are people who are fit but have troublesome areas where their diet and exercises do not benefit. Tummy tuck is not a weight loss process. It is beneficial for people who want to firm the appearance of the abdomen; it does not completely change the volume and shape of the abdomen.
If you are planning to get rid of your excess weight or get pregnant, it is recommended to wait until your body size and weight become stable.
Many women, especially those who have a pregnancy, may experience the case of vertically opening of the abdominal muscles and wall called diastasis recti, known as an umbilical hernia. This can only be corrected by surgery. Tummy tuck allows the abdomen to reshape as the pre-pregnancy form and to strengthen the abdominal wall.
Stages of Tummy Tuck Operation
Preparation for the Surgery
In your examination, your surgeon should determine whether tummy tuck operation can give you the desired results. A number of standard tests will be required to determine if you are healthy enough to be operated. Your abdomen is carefully examined to assess the scope of the operation to be performed.
At this stage, the questions will be asked to you about your medical history, including pre-existing conditions, medications you are currently using, smoking or drug habits, and other factors that may affect your recovery and the surgery. You will also be informed about the type of anaesthesia to be used, the location and cost of the surgery.
In the tummy tuck operation, your surgeon will make an incision from the hip to the other hip with another incision around the belly button. A part of the abdomen will be separated from the abdominal wall to allow the stretching of the anterior abdominal wall and supporting with sutures. With the latest techniques, the planned liposuction process may also be a part of this operation to reshape the skin or to reduce the thickness of the tissues.
The abdomen is then covered again on the tightened abdomen and underlying excess skin is removed. In these operations, the new belly button is formed in the most natural appearance by protecting one’s own belly structure. Then this area is cleaned and wrapped. In some cases, a small tube or drain is inserted in the operating area to drain any fluid.
Depending on the scope of the operation to be performed, completion of many tummy tuck operations takes approximately 2-3 hours.
Recovery and Results
For the first few days following tummy tuck surgery, the patient can feel a slight tension and discomfort. With modern anaesthesia and other approaches, many patients can go home the next day. In some cases, two-night hospitalization is required. Any discomfort or pain can be controlled by medicines. Generally, some abdominal support and compression forms such as a surgical abdominal belt, special supportive clothing or abdominal corset are recommended.
Your recovery duration depends on your general health condition, the scope of the operation and your body’s natural recovery degree. Some patients may return to their daily life functions within a few days. It takes 10-15 days for your incisions to fully heal, and 6 weeks for the muscles to be repaired and hardened. Therefore, we recommend that you limit the exhausting activities for the first 3 weeks after the surgery and avoid abdominal exercises for 6 weeks. It is important that you rest sufficiently and do not force your body or abdomen unnecessarily, no matter how long it takes.
When you are fully recovered, your abdomen will look smooth and tight and you will feel stronger. It will take several months to obtain the final results of the surgery, but the results obtained are long-lasting for many years and you can maintain your new appearance with regular exercises and a proper diet.