Tummy tuck surgery (properly called an abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure whereby the excess skin and fat of the belly are removed (dermatolipectomy) and the loose muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened. A tummy tuck is most popular with mothers who want to regain the appearance of a tight, smooth belly like they had before pregnancy or those who have had dramatic weight loss. While motherhood can be a beautiful journey it does take it’s toll on the body of many women. 

Tummy Tuck (with breast lift) by Dr. Sofia Kirk

During the tummy tuck procedure an incision is made from one hip bone to the other and the area of loose skin from the pubic mound to above the navel is removed along with any excess fat. The remaining space is then closed and the navel is realigned to maintain it’s original position. The surgeon also rejoins the stomach muscles that have become separated by the pressure of accommodating the growing child or excessive abdominal size. The separation and weakening of these muscles is what allows for the belly area to have a protruding appearance.

The end result is a flatter, tighter stomach without the loose, flaccid skin and stretch marks. Tummy tuck scars run across the abdomen from one hip bone to the other, although this is almost always hidden from view below the bikini line. Abdominoplasty is often done in conjunction with liposuction to give enhanced results. The before and after results of a tummy tuck can be quite astounding. The procedure itself takes between 2 and 4 hours and a tummy tuck’s recovery time is about 2-3 weeks of full rest, after which you can begin to resume light activities with caution.

There are some instances in which it would be advisable to postpone undergoing a tummy tuck. If you have plans for further weight loss after the procedure then you will risk having more loose, excess skin and the effects of the abdominoplasty will be reduced. Also if you intend to undergo childbirth it is advisable to wait since the tightening of the vertical muscles in the abdominal wall will be reversed as the muscles separate again under pressure.

The doctor may also advise against a tummy tuck procedure if you have had previous abdominal surgery as the compounded effect of the scars may be particularly prominent and unsightly.

Tummy Tuck by Dr. Sofia Kirk

Tummy Tuck by Dr. Sofia Kirk

Bear in mind that a full abdominoplasty is a large and extensive procedure. Your plastic surgeon should give you a good idea of what to expect regarding the realistic outcome, healing process and costs of a tummy tuck as well as a set of guidelines for the weeks following surgery and it is advisable that you follow these guidelines closely to ensure a quick and successful recovery. If you have any doubts or questions regarding the then please be certain to discuss them fully with your surgeon before you commit to the procedure.