The abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” utilizes an incision above the pubis within the underwear line to remove excess skin and fat of the abdomen. In addition, tightening of the abdominal muscles by plication or imbrication is performed. The skin and underlying fat are undermined (released from the abdomen) and the excess tissue is removed and discarded. A mini abdominoplasty does not include releasing the umbilicus (belly button). A good candidate for this procedure only has excess skin and fat below the belly button. In a full abdominoplasty the umbilicus is released in order to release excess tissue above the belly button. In this case, the umbilicus is brought through a small incision in the abdominal tissue which has not been pulled down to meet the incision at the pubis once the excess had been removed. Liposuction of the flanks is often combined with both the mini and the full abdominoplasty. Two drains are placed at the time of surgery. They stay in a week on average.
Patients are prescribed narcotics, muscle relaxants and antibiotics. They are placed in an abdominal binder. Patients may need to remain slightly flexed at the waist the first week or two because of tightness. Abdominoplasty can restore the waistline and contour of the abdomen that one had before childbearing.