Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck,” is a procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from your abdominal area. It also involves tightening the underlying (rectus) muscles so that you are left with as flat as tummy as possible.

Age, weight changes, and pregnancy can leave you with a less than flat abdomen that no amount of exercise and diet can fix. This is because that sagging belly is due to the muscles on either side of your belly button stretching and separating due to weight gain or pregnancy. This can cause a rounding out of your abdomen and potentially increase lower back pain. If you were to do a 1000 sit ups it still would not give you those washboard abs because the fascia around the muscles is torn and stretched. A Tummy Tuck not only tightens and repairs this weakness, but also removes the excess skin and fat from your belly button to pubic bone.

Procedure

A Tummy Tuck involves:

  • Removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen,
  • Removing stretch marks below the belly button
  • Reconstructing any separation of the muscles

The procedure results in faint scar that runs all along the lower abdomen below the bikini line.

Graphic showing abdomen before abdominoplasty

Before

Graphic showing abdomen after abdominoplasty

After

Are you a Good Candidate?

The best results are achieved on patients who have excess skin and fat concentrated in the abdomen, and/or a protruding abdomen which is out of proportion with the rest of the body. It is best if you are close to a good weight as this procedure is not intended to achieve weight loss but to improve body contouring and definition.

Your Consultation

Your first step will be to have a detailed consultation with Dr MacDonald where she will listen to your goals and concerns and complete a careful examination. Then, Dr. MacDonald will discuss the treatment options that best address your concerns and particular situation.

Dr. MacDonald and her staff will:

  • Give you detail information about the surgery and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure
  • Discuss any concerns or questions that you may have
  • Discuss potential risks of the procedure

Surgery

An abdominoplasty is a day surgery, meaning you go home the same day. It requires a general anesthetic so we have you complete a pre-operative questionnaire to ensure you are healthy for surgery. You will be given instructions on what time to arrive and reminded not to eat or drink anything the night before surgery after midnight. The surgery is approximately 3 hours and recovery time is 3 hours, so plan to spend the day at the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics before leaving the hospital.

Recovery

You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first few days. You have two small drains (tubes) in place when you leave the hospital and the nurse will show you how to care for them. Dr MacDonald will see you 3-5 days after surgery to determine if the drains are ready to come out. Do not shower until the drains are removed. All the stitches are dissolving and wound care is simply ointment and gauze. You will have a wrap or binder around your abdomen on from the day of surgery and this is worn full-time until the healing is complete - 4-6 weeks.

If you have a very physical job either at home lifting children or at work, I recommend you plan to have 4-6 weeks of healing time. If you have a fairly sedentary job then some have returned to work as early as 2-3 weeks. You need to avoid activities that may increase your blood pressure, i.e. running or lifting weights, until 6 weeks after surgery. I encourage you be out walking as soon after surgery as possible.

Complications

As in any surgery risks include: infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, or bleeding. Issues specific to this surgery are asymmetry, seroma, or numb skin. Complications in this procedure are relatively uncommon but will be discussed further at the time of consultation.

Cost

The surgery suited best for you will be discussed at the time of consultation and Dr MacDonald’s assistant will e-mail you a detailed cost breakdown.