Tummy tuck surgery is needed when liposuction itself is not enough as a single procedure to correct excess abdominal skin and subcutaneous tissue which gets loose because of recurrent births and excessive weight gain and losses.
Tummy tuck is performed both for women and men. The aim of this surgery is to remove the loose and deformed parts of the abdomen skin and replace it with the intact skin from the upper part of the abdomen. During tummy tuck, loose muscular structures, which form the abdominal wall are also pulled over and consolidated. If any exist, abdominal hernias are also fixed. For better results, the excess fat at each side of the abdomen and back can be removed by liposuction during the operation.
Tummy tuck should not be performed for over weight patients as it might lead to potential serious complication. It is advised that over weighted patients to lower their weight to the defined weight range where it is possible to perform the surgery. For over weight patients who are not able to lose weight, it is possible to remove loose tummy skin by a different surgery "abdominal dermolipectomy".
Even though there are different versions of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) operations, complete abdominoplasty is the most frequently performed version. In this technique, skin between belly button and pubis is removed according to preoperative drawings, belly button left in its place. Intact skin in the upper part of the belly is peeled off (decollated), and replaced over the removed skin. Belly button is then pulled out from where it was marked.
Tummy tuck leaves a thin scar, depending on the size of the removed loose skin. This scar is generally hidden in panties or the bikini. The location or the size of the scar is known before the surgery from the preoperative drawings and the patient would be informed about it.
This technique is applied for conditions where the loose skin is less but liposuction alone is not enough to resolve it.
In this surgery, belly button is not touched and the skin at upper part of the belly is not decollated (not peeled off). The surgical intervention is applied only to the lower part of belly. Mini abdominoplasty would also leave a scar at bottom part of the abdomen but this will be much shorter compared to the complete tummy tuck surgery
Mini tummy tuck rarely performed alone. Most of the time it is applied together with liposuction of the upper part of the belly and sometimes with liposuction of the waist area.
Smoking must to be given up 2 months before the surgery. If birth control pill is being used, it has to be stopped 1 month before the surgery. Additionally, from 15 days before the surgery, aspirin and other blood thinner drugs, Omega-3 capsules, green tea and herbal teas should not be used.
Tummy tuck operation takes about 2 to 3 hours and is usually performed under the general anesthetics. It is necessary to stay in the hospital 1 or 2 days to observe the recovery.
A belly corset, which presses on the abdominal area, is worn for 3 weeks - 1 month after the surgery. It is possible to start doing sports after 2 months after the surgery. Scars are red in the first 2-3 months, they get white over time and they gain their final shape after 1 year.
Definitive assessment of the result should be done 1 year after the surgery.