Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Reasons for this operation include the following: a protruding abdomen with superfluous skin, a “fatty apron,” and laxity of the abdominal muscles.

What you should keep in mind

Length of operation:
2 – 3 hours
Patient status:
inpatient, at least 3 days
Side effects:
swelling, tension, haematoma, wearing of a compression garment for 3 weeks, 24 hours of bed rest after the operation for preventing seroma
back to work: 2 to 3 weeks
lasting in case the body weight stays constant

The operation

Abdominoplasties consist of the resection of superfluous skin and subcutaneous fat, usually via a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen (that can be hidden by pants) . When the regions of lax skin are small, the abdominoplasty is performed without a transposition of the umbilicus (mini-abdominoplasty). When laxity is greater, the abdominal wall is largely undermined and lifted. The umbilicus is then fixed in its new position. If necessary, the abdominal musculature is tightened with two layers of burried sutures.

If the superfluous tissues are very pronounced and extend to the back, the incision and resection can be performed circumferentially. This type of body lift has become necessary in the field of bariatric surgery where patients are left with a huge amount of lax skin after massive weight loss.

If a patient has a body mass index greater than 40 kg/m2, an abdominoplasty is not indicated as the only intervention. Before abdominoplasty is considered, weight reduction is necessary (often with the aid of some other bariatric surgery). 

An abdominoplasty can also be combined with liposuction.

Praxis Prof. Dr. med. Beer, Zürich
Abdomen before (red) and after the abdominoplasty (blue).

Treatment options

Treatment areas