• Jay M. Pensler, M.D.
  • Chicago Plastic Surgeon
  • 680 North Lake Shore Drive
  • Suite 1125
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • 312.642.7777
  • info@plasticsurg.org
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Abdomen Surgery - Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen more firm. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery is usually sought by patients with loose tissues after pregnancy or individuals with sagging after major weight loss. It is also a major modality of treatment in later life for neonates born with Triad Syndrome. Abdominoplasty operations vary in scope and are frequently subdivided into categories. Depending on the extent of the surgery, a complete abdominoplasty can take 1 to 5 hours. A partial abdminoplasty (Mini-Tuck Abdominoplasty) can be completed between 1 to 2 hours.

More than 130,000 tummy tucks were performed in the United States in 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a major cosmetic plastic surgery that tightens abdominal muscles and gets rid of excess fat and skin. Tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure — you can expect a considerable recovery time compared with other plastic surgeries. Most people require one to three weeks before returning to work and a normal schedule. Some patients may not need an overnight hospital stay. But many patients spend one or two days in the hospital, depending on the extent of the procedure. Your abdomen will be swollen and sore for the first few days. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medication as needed.

The purpose of tummy tuck plastic surgery is to change your body shape, not to lose weight. If fat is localized in the abdomen, but there is no excessive skin, then liposuction is an alternative to tummy tuck. Liposuction and tummy tuck are not usually done at the same time, because suction of the skin during liposuction may damage the skin that is being stretched and repositioned. Tummy tuck surgery, like other cosmetic plastic surgery, is a means to enhance body shape, but it cannot create a perfect shape. You should have realistic expectations and understand that a tummy tuck is not a "quick fix" or a substitute for diet and exercise. Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you decide which surgical options are best for you.