Abdominoplasty is also called a "tummy tuck." It's a procedure that contours the belly (abdominal area). With this procedure, the surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hipbone to the other. Extra fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen. The muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened with stitches (sutures).
Possible complications linked to a tummy tuck may include:
A lot of scarring. If the incision area does not heal properly, there is a chance of poor quality scar. This can often be treated by a second operation. There can be delays in wound healing if you have problems with the blood supply in your skin.
Blood clots and infection. As in any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, blood clots, or reaction to the anesthesia.
Changes in how the skin feels. You may have numbness or pain in the area of surgery. This can be short term (temporary) or permanent.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in good physical condition, but are bothered by large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that does not get better with diet or exercise.
People who intend to lose weight and women who plan future pregnancies should postpone the surgery.
Although each procedure varies, tummy tuck surgeries generally cover the following considerations:
Surgeon's office-based surgical facility
Outpatient surgery center
Local anesthesia along with IV sedation. This lets you stay awake but relaxed.
A complete tummy tuck usually takes several hours, depending on how much work is required.
Abdomen is swollen
Abdomen is painful
Healing is a slow and gradual process. It may take weeks or months to reach a full recovery.
Scars may appear to get worse during the first 3 to 6 months as they heal. It may take up to a year for scars to flatten out and lighten in color. They may never completely disappear.