Abdominoplasty - Tummy Tuck

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Fat rebound effect, quick weight gain and loss or situations such as after pregnancy, there may be a flabby bulging of abdomen, excess skin that does not retract. This skin, after great distension, loses its previous elasticity, causing the so-called “apron abdomen”. In addition to this leftover skin, there is usually a distension of tissues with separation of the abdominal muscles, increasing abdominal deformity. 

During abdominoplasty, it is possible to reshape the abdomen by removing the excess tissue (skin and fat) that lies mainly below the navel, as well as adjusting the loose abdominal muscle strap. It is also often associated with tummy tuck liposuction in regions that have localized fat, especially in the upper abdominal region (called "stomach fat"), on the flanks, back, and breeches. However, just like liposuction, the goal of tummy tuck is to reshape the abdomen and not lose weight. 

Anesthesia Type: 

Epidural or general anesthesia, depending on each patient. 

Surgical technique: 

The abdominoplasty scar begins in the pubic region, close to the pubic hair (in the same place as the cesarean section scar, usually) and its lateral extension depends on the patient's sagging abdomen. Abdomins with slight sagging skin may have smaller scars, such as those performed with mini abdominoplasty, however those with greater sagging need longer scars to remove all excess skin. Inside the belly button there will also be a scar that over time becomes imperceptible. With these scars we can treat the entire anterior abdomen by adjusting the loose muscle strap and removing excess tissue. Usually, a drain is left in the abdomen that has the function of preventing the accumulation of secretions, remaining for 24 to 48 hours with the patient. Check out the illustrations for a better understanding of the surgery. 


Length of hospital stay: 

Generally 24 hours. 


The abdominal drain will remain for about 48 hours, with variations between each patient. Rest and maintain a stooped posture for 10 to 15 days to avoid strain on the scar. Physical activities will be allowed after 1 month and the abdominal brace will be worn for at least 2 months, according to each patient. It is normal to feel some pain in the first days after surgery, however it is perfectly provided with common painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Decreased sensitivity in the region near the scar is also common, but it usually returns within a period of up to 6 months. Sun protection is recommended for at least 3 months in order to keep the scar clear and of good quality. 

Possible complications 

  • Occurrence of hematoma, infection and seroma;
  • Poor healing or opening of the scar with ruptured stitches;
  • Venous thrombosis;
  • And anesthetic complications.

Some of these complications, such as necrosis and surgical infection, are more frequent in smokers, so it is recommended that they refrain from smoking for at least 1 month before surgery to avoid such complications. 

The unfolding of complications in cosmetic surgery is actively dependent on the patient's genetic predisposition. To prevent complications it is important to follow the preoperative and postoperative recommendations. 

Preoperative Recommendations 

  • Fasting at least 8 hours before surgery, including water, avoiding drinks and overeating on the days preceding the procedure;
  • Smokingshould be stopped30 days before surgery; 
  • Communicate changes in health and medication use on the eve of surgery;
  • Do not wear dark colored nail polish on the day of surgery and avoid wearing jewelry and watches;
  • Attend surgery with a companion.


Final result: 

The abdominoplasty scar is expected to remain reddish and hardened in the first 2 months after surgery, but it gradually fades to whitish and finer texture around the 6th postoperative month. The swelling is also gradually decreasing, and by 3 months of surgery at least 80% will have decreased. As with most plastic surgeries, the definitive result is achieved after the 6th month of surgery, a period in which the tissues gradually decrease their edema and the scar acquires its permanent color and texture. 

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