Tummy Tuck FAQs – Questions about Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty Surgery can help remove loose skin after weight loss and repair tummy muscles after pregnancy. Here are the most common Questions Dr Carmen gets asked about Tummy Tuck – abdominoplasty Surgery.

Download Dr Carmen’s Guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery – Abdominoplasty

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Qualifying for Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty FAQs

Do I have enough skin for a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Most people assume that if you have excess skin on your abdomen, you can qualify for an abdominoplasty. However, this is not the case. Ideally, there needs to be enough skin that can stretch from the belly button to the pubic hairline. Booking a consultation is the only sure-shot way to determine that whether you are the right candidate for the surgery or not.

Do I need to lose weight before a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Yes, if you are too overweight, your surgeon will advise you to be in your ideal weight range and maintain that stable weight for a period to qualify for a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty.

How close do I need to be to my goal weight for an abdominoplasty?

  • Well, ideally you would have abdominoplasty if you are < 10kg above your recommended weight. Ask your surgeon.

How soon after pregnancy can you get an abdominoplasty?

  • Generally, surgeons recommend waiting for anywhere between six months to a year after pregnancy before getting a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty. This time frame allows your body to heal completely and allows you to return to your normal weight.

Are abdominoplasties covered by Medicare?

  • Medicare will not pay for your plastic surgery unless it is a result of massive weight loss and you meet the strict criteria – it is causing infections, skin rashes, and leading to other medical conditions and is deemed necessary by your doctor or surgeon. Read our blog Will Medicare Cover My Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty?

Will I need a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty after weight loss?

  • It varies from person to person. Not all people are left with loose skin after weight loss. If you are one of those who are left with unsightly hanging skin in your tummy area, you can opt for an abdominoplasty.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty FAQs

What do I do before surgery?

  • Here are some tips to follow prior to the tummy tuck – abdominoplasty surgery:
    • Quit smoking and drinking two weeks prior to the surgery.
    • Do not take aspirin or any other blood-thinning medications.
    • Eat healthily and drink loads of water.
    • Take a few weeks off from work in advance.
    • Get all the lab tests done your surgeon has asked you to take.

What to pack for tummy tuck – abdominoplasty surgery?

  • Here are few things to pack for abdominoplasty surgery:
    • A support cane or stick to help you move more comfortably
    • A water bottle
    • Healthy snacks
    • Toiletries
    • Ice packs
    • Traction socks
    • Loose and comfy clothing
    • Straws
    • Sleepers
    • Ice packs
    • Cleansing wipes
  • Read our blog article on packing for hospital

How to prepare for a Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty?

  • Well, for starters, get all the tests done which are required by your plastic surgeon. Apply for leave from work, pack your hospital bag, quit smoking, and drinking for two weeks before the surgery.

What is the maximum weight for an abdominoplasty?

  • At maximum, you should be 10kg heavier than your goal weight.

Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery FAQs

Is an abdominoplasty major surgery?

  • Yes, it is a major surgical procedure that will require many weeks to heal. Hence, be prepared for at least a few weeks off from work and lots of rest after that.

What are dog ears on a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Dog Ears are the triangular-shaped excess pucker skin at the end of the abdominoplasty incision line, which resembles dog years. In some patients, it can occur on one side or both sides. Big Dog ears are a sign of cheap surgery or that the incision was possibly too small. See your surgeon about a scar revision.

What are the different types of tummy tucks/ abdominoplasties?

  • The most common types are:
    • Standard abdominoplasty
    • Mini Abdominoplasty
    • Fleur de Lys Abdominoplasty
    • Extended Abdominoplasty
    • Full Body Lift or Circumferential Abdominoplasty

What is a full tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • A full abdominoplasty tightens the tummy muscles in the abdominal area. A mini abdominoplasty is generally skin only.

What is an extended tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • An extended abdominoplasty is ideal for those people who have lost a lot of weight. It removes excess skin from the abdomen, hips, back, and thighs to give you a sculpted look.

What is an FDL abdominoplasty?

  • FDL refers to the traditional abdominoplasty in which excess skin is removed and tucked vertically across the lower abdominal area.

What is a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty revision surgery?

  • A tummy tuck revision simply refers to secondary abdominoplasty surgery. It can take many forms, from minor trimming to complete abdominoplasty.

Does an abdominoplasty get rid of stretch marks?

  • A tummy tuck – abdominoplasty can potentially hide and reduce stretch marks on the belly by removing the skin with stretch marks, but it is not regarded as a stretch mark removal treatment.

Does an abdominoplasty lift your pubic area?

  • The basis of tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is skin tightening which can have a positive impact on your pubic area or mons. However, if it is extremely saggy, an abdominoplasty will be of less help. You can also have liposuction in the mons area for a better result.


Can a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty fix diastasis recti – split tummy muscles?

diastasis recti split tummy muscles

Can an abdominoplasty reverse diabetes?

  • No, a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is a purely cosmetic procedure and has no impact on diabetes.

Can I have an abdominoplasty after c section?

  • Yes, you can get a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty after a c section. It is advised to wait for six months to a year to ensure your body is properly healed. Do not choose a cheap “wedge lipectomy surgery” offered by some general surgeons immediately following your C Section – it results in a very poor aesthetic outcome compared with an abdominoplasty.

Does an abdominoplasty help the pelvic floor?

  • Yes, a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty has been shown to actually help tighten the pelvic floor muscles and reduce incontinence.

How long is a tummy tuck -abdominoplasty surgery?

  • The surgery can take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the technique used.

How many hours does an abdominoplasty take?

How many sizes do you lose with the surgery?

  • You can expect to lose between 2 to 3 pant sizes after the surgery.

How much skin can be removed?

  • The amount of skin removed can vary from person to person. It can be anywhere from 10lbs to 70lbs.

How much weight do you lose with an abdominoplasty?

  • You will not lose much weight after the surgery. Instead, you will lose a few pant sizes. The only weight you will lose will be the weight of the excess skin.

What kind of tummy tuck – abdominoplasty do I need?

  • The kind of surgery you need can only be determined once you come in for a consultation. Each patient is different and requires a different kind of technique.

What’s a reverse tummy tuck- abdominoplasty?

  • It is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the upper abdomen by pulling the skin upward under the bra line. Very few surgeons offer this surgery as results are usually not as good as a the traditional method..

Will an abdominoplasty help with prolapse?

  • Yes, a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty can help with prolapse.

What hurts worse, c section or tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Well, both will not hurt during the process as the surgery is done under general anesthesia. After both surgeries, you will be given painkillers to counter the pain. So, they both are pretty similar.

Recovery After Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty FAQs

How bad is the pain after the surgery?

  • Your surgeon will give you painkillers after the surgery, which will help you counter the pain after the surgery.

Can you sleep on your side after the procedure?

  • You should sleep on your back for the first 10 to 12 days. After that, you can sleep on your side.

How to get out of bed after an abdominoplasty?

  • Move-in a pendulum format to get up and down to bed. Avoid any sudden movements.

How long after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty can you stand up straight?

  • Typically, it will take you 3 to 4 days to stand up straight after the surgery.

How long after tummy tuck – abdominoplasty do you wear a compression garment?

How long do tummy tuck – abdominoplasty scars take to fade?

  • It can take anywhere from six months to a year for the scars to fade completely. Some patients also need to opt for scar removal treatments.

How long do I wear a bandage after the surgery?

  • You need to wear bandages for two weeks and a compression garment for six to eight weeks after the surgery.

How long do you wear a compression garment after the surgery?

  • It is advised to wear a compression garment for six to eight weeks after the treatment.

How long does a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty take to heal?

  • It can take anywhere between two to three months to heal completely after the surgery.

How long does numbness last after an abdominoplasty?

  • It can take anywhere between six months to one year for the numbness to completely go away after the tummy tuck – abdominoplasty.

How long for the tummy tuck- abdominoplasty incision to heal?

  • It will take six weeks or more for the incision to heal completely.

How long off work for an abdominoplasty?

  • It is advised to take 3 to 4 weeks or more off from work after the surgery to heal completely. Depends on your occupation.

How long it will take to recover from a mini tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • It will take three to four weeks for you to recover from a mini abdominoplasty or skin only removal surgery.

How tight should the binder be after an abdominoplasty?

  • Binder needs to be snug but not too tight to the point that it causes discomfort.

When can I stop wearing a compression garment after an abdominoplasty?

  • It is advised to wear a compression garment for a minimum of six weeks.

How to drain a seroma after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Avoid draining seroma yourself and leave this job to your doctor.

How to prevent seroma after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Your surgeon will use drainage tubes. It is done to prevent seroma. This prevents any fluid build-up, which leads to a seroma.

How to reduce scar tissue after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Follow all the post-care instructions religiously.
  • Do not skip on topical treatments recommended by your surgeon.
  • Keep your skin moisturized at all times.
  • Wear sunscreen and prevent direct sun exposure.
  • Avoid using any products or clothing that can lead to irritation.

How to reduce swelling after the surgery?

  • Wear compression garments at all times, use icepacks, drink plenty of fluids, and you will be good to go.

When can I return to work after the surgery?

  • You can return to work three weeks after the treatment.

How long after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty can I do sit-ups?

  • It is advised to wait for 8 to 10 weeks before resuming exercise.

When can you have sex after the surgery?

  • Most patients have to wait for two weeks after the surgery prior to having sex.

When do you start driving after the surgery?

  • Wait for two weeks before you start driving after the surgery

When does tummy tuck – abdominoplasty pain go away?

  • It will go away completely two weeks after the surgery.

How long is the recovery time?

How painful is the recovery?

  • It is very bearable. Your surgeon will give you a handful of medications to counter the pain so the entire process will go smoothly.

How to sleep after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Sleep on your back for 10 to 12 weeks after the surgery.

How to stand up straight after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Do not push it. You will be able to stand up straight with the help of your surgeon within a week after the surgery.

What is the best scar treatment?

  • Your surgeon will give you a handful of topical ointments which you need to apply daily. Your scars will take about a year to fade away. If not, you can discuss various options with your surgeon, from laser to microdermabrasion and more.

What is the recovery time after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • Generally, patients recover six to eight weeks after the surgery.

Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Risks and Longer Term FAQs

Is tummy tuck – abdominoplasty safe?

  • Yes, it is a completely safe procedure, given that you choose the right surgeon.

Do dog ears go away after an abdominoplasty?

  • Yes, they generally subside within three to six months of the surgery. A scar revision may be necessary for big dog ears.

What causes necrosis?

  • Tissue Necrosis (or tissue death) is caused due to flap ischemia. Blood flow has been restricted to the area and some tissue has died. Typically caused by smoking and nicotine inhalation. Tissue loss can be treated with debridement and use of Vac Pack dressings but they are very expensive, need constant monitoring and not easy to wear. Please don’t smoke before or after surgery. Follow your surgeons instructions.

Can you have two tummy tucks – abdominoplasties?

  • Yes, it is entirely possible. Some people opt for a second abdominoplasty years down the line if they become pregnant to have significant changes in their weight.

Can you have a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty before getting pregnant?

  • It is generally not recommended, but you absolutely can get it done.

Does the fat come back after a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty?

  • An abdominoplasty is a procedure to remove excess hanging skin, not fat. Hence, fat can come back if you gain weight.

What happens if you gain weight?

  • Well, if you gain access weight and decide to lose it again, you might be left with excess skin.

Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty and Pregnancy

Can a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty affect pregnancy?

  • An abdominoplasty is purely a cosmetic procedure, so it probably won’t have much impact on a woman’s ability to become pregnant. However, if you are planning to become pregnant, it is advised to get a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty after your pregnancy.

Further Reading about Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Surgery with Dr Carmen

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