Pregnancy, dramatic weight loss and aging can make the abdominal muscles less elastic over time, despite how healthy you eat or how much you exercise. To combat those effects, tummy tuck surgery—also called abdominoplasty—tightens the stomach muscles and reduces fat and skin around the midsection. This makes the abdomen appear flatter and smoother.
The ideal tummy tuck candidate will have one or more of these conditions or symptoms:
- Excess or sagging abdominal skin
- Separated or weakened abdominal muscles
- Excess fat in the abdomen
- Currently at an ideal weight
- Overall healthy
- No future pregnancies planned
The Penn Experience
What to expect before, during and after tummy tuck surgery
When you first meet with your plastic surgeon, you’ll discuss several tummy tuck options, including a complete or partial tummy tuck, sometimes called a mini tummy tuck. Most patients opt for the complete tummy tuck, which requires just a two-week recovery. A partial tuck involves a smaller incision because it focuses more on removing loose skin rather than fat.
Regardless of the type of tummy tuck, your surgeon will make a horizontal incision across your pubic area near the navel. Your surgeon will repair weaker abdominal muscles and remove excess fat and skin before closing the incision.
Prior to surgery, you’ll receive instructions on how to prepare and help your surgery go smoothly, including any foods, drinks and medications to avoid.
You may spend up to two days in the hospital. Discomfort and swelling are standard during that time. Pain plays a role in the recovery process, but can be managed through medications your surgeon prescribes.
Most people return to their usual activities after six weeks, but they may have to wear a compression garment for support for two to three months. Your desired results will become more visible as swelling decreases, and you’ll see less scarring after a few months. Healthy diet and exercise will maintain your results.
Tummy tuck cost
The cost of a tummy tuck varies based on your specific treatment goals and other services you may also undergo. Your surgeon will discuss the cost of your tummy tuck with you during your consultation.
Tummy tuck risks
While complications are uncommon, the most common tummy tuck surgery issues are infections and scarring. To avoid these, follow your care team’s pre- and post-operative instructions, and keep an open dialogue about any concerns you have throughout the recovery process.
Is tummy tuck surgery right for your transformation? Contact us by filling out our online form or calling us at 610-902-1828.