Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty surgery is performed to tighten and smooth the belly area. We remove the excess skin and fat as well as tighten the underlying muscle. This operation is especially powerful after pregnancy and is a common part of “mommy makeovers”. Dr. Street adds liposuction to this in almost all cases. Smaller abdominoplasties in just the lower abdomen are termed “mini” abdominoplasty. In those cases, there is no incision around the belly button.

Anesthesia: General
Operative Time: 2-3 hours
Incisions: Lower abdominal incision; Incision around belly button
Drains: Yes; 1-2 drains
Recovery Timeline:

  • 1 week – Suture removal; Typical time off work
  • 2 weeks – Both drains usually removed in first 1-2 weeks
  • 3 weeks – Resume low-impact exercise
  • 6 weeks – Resume all exercise without restrictions
  • 3 months – Majority of swelling gone and wounds 90% strong
  • 1 year – Final healing

*Please note that each patient and case is unique. Nothing in surgery is a guarantee. Please talk with Dr. Street more in person about your individualized surgical plan. All general anesthesia is performed by a board-certified anesthesiologist.

FAQs

Do I need drains after tummy tuck?

Most times.  Because of the large area of surgery for abdominoplasty, your body is at risk of a fluid accumulation (seroma) after.  Leaving a drain will empty the surgical area of fluid until the body is ready to handle the fluid on its own. Typically patients have drains for 1-2 weeks following tummy tuck.  Though, very large abdominoplasties may have drains longer.

What is rectus diastasis?

The rectus abdominis (6 pack) muscles can spread apart over time with weight gain or, more commonly, with pregnancy.  Often these muscles won’t move back together on their own. In surgery, we can suture the muscles back together at the midline.  This is a common part of abdominoplasty.

What if I have an umbilical hernia?

Small umbilical hernias can sometimes be fixed during abdominoplasty.  Larger or more complicated hernias should be fixed by a general surgeon before surgery and often involve the insertion of mesh.

Can I have liposuction at the same time?

Liposuction is safe during abdominoplasty and often combined with this procedure.  Dr. Street frequently uses liposuction around the abdomen, flanks and suprapubic area during tummy tuck.  If a patient wants more areas treated with liposuction, is usually possible and can be discussed during consultation.

What if I have a c-section scar?

C-section scars are common and do not create an issue during surgery.  Your surgical incision will be placed below the level of your c-section scar.  So, your c-section scar will be removed during the procedure.

What is a “mini” tummy tuck?

A “mini” tummy tuck uses a shorter incision to perform an abdominoplasty on the lower portion of the abdomen only.  This does not address the muscles or the skin above the belly button. If a patient does not need a large amount of skin removed, then mini-abdominoplasty is a good option because there is no scar around the umbilicus (belly button).

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