What is a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty, or "tummy tuck" as it is commonly known, is a procedure that minimizes the abdominal area.

In abdominoplasty, the surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hip bone to the other. Excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen and the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened.

A less complex procedure is called a "mini tummy tuck", or a partial abdominoplasty. This procedure is ideal for individuals who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.

Possible complications associated with abdominoplasty:

  • Visible scarring - If the incision area does not heal properly, there is a chance for visible scarring. This can often be treated by a second operation.
  • Blood clots and infection - As in any surgery, there is a risk of infection, blood clots, or reaction to the anesthesia.

Who are candidates for tummy tuck?

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in good physical condition, but are bothered by large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that does not respond to diet or exercise.

People who intend to lose weight and women who plan future pregnancies should postpone the surgery.

About the tummy tuck procedure:

  • Location options include:
    • Surgeon's office-based surgical facility
    • Outpatient surgery center
    • Hospital outpatient
    • Hospital inpatient
  • Anesthetic options include:
    • Local anesthesia
    • General anesthesia
  • Probable length of procedure: Complete abdominoplasty usually takes several hours, depending on the extent of work required.
  • Short-term side effects of surgery: abdomen is swollen and painful
  • Final results:
    • Healing is a slow and gradual process. It may take weeks or months to feel completely well.
    • Scars may appear to get worse during the first three to six months as they heal. It may take up to a year for scars flatten out and lighten in color, although they will never completely disappear.

Contact Us

For more information about UM Division of Plastic Surgery or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-492-5538 or 410-328-2360 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).