A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is an operation in which excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen is removed. As well, the abdominal muscles, which are stretched by weight gain and pregnancy, are tightened to form an internal corset and slim the abdomen. Excess skin and fat in the abdomen can be a result of weight gain or pregnancies. There are 2 types of fat on the abdomen. The first type of fat is inside fat, or intraabdominal fat, which is fat around the organs. This is not addressed with a tummy tuck. Only weight loss can get rid of inside fat. The second type of fat is outside fat, or extraabdominal fat, which is the fat that you can grab in the lower abdomen. This is the fat which is removed with a tummy tuck. The stretch marks that occur with weight gain and pregnancy, which are below the belly button, as well as, any scars in the lower abdomen and excess skin folds can be removed with a tummy tuck.
During the operation, the skin and fat extending from the belly button to just above the pubic hair is removed. The abdominal muscles are tightened for an internal corset. The upper abdominal skin and fat are lifted and dragged down to the pubic incision. All the stitches are desolving. Drains, which are plastic tubes which drain out fluid, are inserted. They stay in for typically a few days. We always try to keep the scar low in the abdomen so that a bikini can be worn without seeing the scars. A girdle is worn for one month for support and compression. Sometimes an overnight stay in the hospital is required.
Liposuction can be done at the same time to slim other areas like the upper abdomen, hips and flanks. If there is no excess of skin on the abdomen , no overhang on the abdomen, the abdominal muscles are tight, and the elasticity of the skin is good (ie. no stretch marks), it is sometimes possible to just do liposuction without a tummy tuck.
Below are some before and after photos for comparison.