Your surgery will be done in an operating room in a hospital. You will receive general anesthesia. This will make you sleep and keep you pain-free during the procedure. The surgery takes 2 to 6 hours. You can expect to stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after surgery.
After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a cut across your abdomen to open up the area. This cut will be just above your pubic area.
Your surgeon will remove fatty tissue and loose skin from the middle and lower sections of your abdomen to make it firmer and flatter. In extended surgeries, the surgeon also removes excess fat and skin (love handles) from the sides of the abdomen. Your abdominal muscles may be tightened also.
Mini abdominoplasty is performed when there are areas of fat pockets (love handles). It can be done with much smaller cuts.
Your surgeon will close your cut with sutures (stitches). Your surgeon may insert small flat tubes called drains to allow fluid to drain out of your cut. These will be removed later.
A firm elastic dressing (bandage) will be placed over your abdomen.
For less complicated surgery, your surgeon may use a medical device called an endoscope. Endoscopes are tiny cameras that are inserted into the skin through very small cuts. They are connected to a video monitor in the operating room that allows the surgeon to see the area being worked on. Your surgeon will remove excess fat with other small tools that are inserted through other small cuts. This surgery is called endoscopic surgery.