Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a procedure to reduce excess skin and fat around the abdomen and strengthen the abdominal wall muscles. The aim is to remove excess skin in the abdomen that cannot be removed with exercise. The operation also tightens the muscles. It may be suitable for women who have had many pregnancies or for anyone who has lost a lot of weight. A tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who are generally at a healthy and stable weight. It is best to be a non-smoker.

What are the types of abdominoplasties?

There are two types of abdominoplasties and both are done under general anesthesia. Partial abdominoplasty includes:

  • Making a large incision across the lower abdomen
  • Separating the skin from the abdominal wall below the navel
  • Removing excess oil and skin
  • Gathering the remaining skin and stitching it in place

A complete abdominoplasty includes:

  • Making a large incision across the lower abdomen, from hip to hip, just above the groin area
  • Making a second incision to free the navel from the surrounding tissue
  • Separating the skin from the abdominal wall
  • Rearrange the abdominal muscles
  • Removing excess oil and skin
  • Drilling a new hole for the belly button and sewing it back in place
  • Gathering the remaining skin and stitching it in place

When should you avoid a tummy tuck?

If you are a woman who is still planning to have a child, you may want to postpone your tummy tuck until you have children. Your vertical muscles are stretched during the surgery. Future pregnancies may separate these muscles once again. If you are still planning to lose a significant amount of weight, it is recommended that you do not have a tummy tuck immediately and wait until your weight stabilizes.

How is life after surgery?

The operation can take between 2-4 hours. Patients need to stay in the hospital for 2 nights. There is probably some pain after waking up from general anesthesia. Pain medication can be given if needed. You can be discharged from the hospital with a dressing and a garment (corset) that puts pressure on your abdomen.

You may need to be away from work and exercise for about 4-6 weeks. It takes about 6 weeks for the tummy tuck operation to fully heal and see its full effect. You will usually need to wear a special corset or tummy control pants for 6 weeks to encourage your skin to heal properly and reduce any swelling. In general, you need to stay comfortable during this time and bend your knees while in bed to avoid straining your seams. After a few weeks, you will probably be asked to go to a follow-up appointment to make sure the wound is healing properly. After 6 weeks you will usually be able to stop wearing the corset and return to doing most of your normal activities.

It is important to remember that tummy tuck surgery causes scarring in the abdomen. The length of the trace that runs along the bikini line depends on the amount of excess skin. Mini abdominoplasty with minimal extra skin results in a short scar.

You can always consult experienced plastic surgeon Dr. Umut Suadiye to learn more about your personalized aesthetic needs.


Cleveland Clinic, Abdominoplasty, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11017-abdominoplasty-tummy-tuck. Last Accessed: May 2023.

NHS, Tummy Tuck, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/cosmetic-surgery/tummy-tuck. Last Accessed: May 2023.

Regan JP, Casaubon JT. Abdominoplasty. StatPearls Publishing; 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058/