Tummy Tuck – Setting you free from excess fat forever


Are your trying out the weird diets and exercises to get that flat and firm looking tummy? If yes, then you join many such freaks from all over the world.
But even when we try hard, at times the diets and exercises do not work because of the excess flab in our abdomen. To get the taut tummy you always want, you can go for a tummy tuck, medically known as ‘abdominoplasty’.

Tummy Tuck Surgery
In this abdominoplasty surgery, the surgeon removes excess fat from the abdomen and repositions the skin. This, in turn, eliminates the sagging and gives a more toned abdomen. Simply said, the tummy tuck procedure makes you look fit and gives you confidence in the way you look.

Who Can Go for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy Tuck suitability
Tummy tuck surgery is a preferred solution for people who have a flabby stomach and want to eliminate the protruding belly. Generally, people go for tummy tuck surgery for one of the following reasons:
• After pregnancy, your abdominal muscles have started sagging, hence giving you a disproportionate figure.
• Though you tried all kind of diets and exercises, you still can’t get rid of excess fat around your tummy.
• Through rigorous exercises you have lost significant weight and the now the excess skin hangs around your tummy unflatteringly.
• Though the rest of your body looks lean, you have an abnormally protruding belly.
• You went for liposuction but that didn’t adequately remove the excess fat from around your abdomen.
• Ageing has left you with a flabby stomach and you want to get back to your previous flat looking tummy.
If you have any of the above scenarios, you can go for a tummy tuck surgery provided you don’t:
• Plan to lose weight in the future.
• Consider pregnancy after the tummy tuck surgery.
• Have any chronic heart, liver, lung diseases or issues in your abdomen.
The tummy tuck surgery is suitable for patients who are completely healthy, do not smoke and have realistic expectations.

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Probable Risks Associated with Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Risks
Prior to undergoing a tummy tuck, it is important to know the associated risks that you may face.
• The incision scar from the tummy tuck can be visible depending on the kind of surgery performed. This scar will be permanent but the length and the placement of the scar varies.
• The incisions may take a lot of time to heal resulting in the chances of infections.
• There is a risk of excessive bleeding during the surgery due to the negligence of the surgeon.
• There may arise chances of fluid accumulation under the skin which needs removal after the surgery.
• The underlying skin and the tissues may get damaged leading to more complications.
• You may start to feel numbness around your abdomen after the surgery.
• A blood clot may be formed in the operated area, which can lead to extreme pain.
You can avoid most of these risks by choosing the right surgeon for the procedure. An experienced surgeon in tummy tuck will already know the associated risks that crop up along with this surgery. Likewise, he will take the necessary efforts to prevent them accordingly.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

The most important decision while going for your tummy tuck surgery is deciding on the surgeon you choose. Here are some important pointers in this regard:
Qualification: The surgeon should be a qualified and duly trained professional to perform the tummy tuck.
Experience: Make sure to check if the surgeon you are choosing has performed successful tummy tuck procedures in the past. The years of experience in the field also matters a lot.
Photos of patients: You can request to look at the previous and after photographs of the patients. Through these photographs you can see the quality and the effectiveness of the surgeon’s work.
All the pointers will give you an idea about whether the surgeon can give you the results you expect from the procedure.

Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures

Depending on the kind of excessive fat and skin you have, you can go for any of three different kinds of tummy tuck surgeries. After consulting with the patient, the surgeon will generally decide on the tummy tuck procedure based on his current body condition and expectations.
1. Mini Tummy Tuck
If you have any loose skin or a flabby look in the lower portion of the abdomen, essentially below the belly button, then this procedure is right for you. In mini tummy tuck surgery, the surgeon will make a single incision in the lower abdomen area and remove the excess skin.
Through this surgery, you will get a small scar, which you can hide beneath the bikini area. This is the simplest of all tummy tuck procedures as it is less intrusive and has fast recovery time.
2. Full Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Types

If your entire tummy is flabby and big all around your belly button, then a full tummy tuck could be a recommendation. The incision made in full tummy tuck will be larger than the incision made in mini tummy tuck as it needs the removal of excess skin from all around the tummy. The surgeon will make a horizontal incision or a U-shape incision to remove the excess skin and tighten the muscles to give the appearance of a toned abdomen.
This procedure may also leave you with a bigger scar which you can cover under the bikini area while in a swimsuit. You can achieve perfectly flat and tight looking abdomen through this procedure.
3. Extended Tummy Tuck
This procedure is a preferred choice for patients who have a lot of sagging extra skin in their abdomen due to sudden or intense weight loss. For extended tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon will make a much larger incision as compared to the other two procedures. Next, he will remove the excess flab skin and make the abdomen muscles look taut.
You can hide the scar from this tummy tuck procedure in normal clothes as swimsuit may not be enough to cover it.

Cost of Tummy Tuck Surgery

The tummy tuck cost in India varies greatly depending on the type of procedure recommended. Generally, the cost of tummy tuck surgery in India starts at Rs. 1,00,000 and may go up to an average of Rs. 2,00,000 based on your condition. Besides, there will be additional costs for the preparation like scans and examinations as well as the medicines that you need to take post-surgery.

How Can You Get Prepared?

After confirming you as the right candidate for the tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will give some instructions to prepare you for the surgery. He will perform a physical examination of your abdominal area and recommend the best tummy tuck surgical method depending on your physical condition.

Tummy Tuck Preparation

Here are few concerns that the surgeon will probably raise prior to starting the surgery:
• Medical history: The surgeon will also ask for your entire medical history to see if there may be any complications as a result of the surgery.

• Medications: He will ask about all the medications that you regularly take, any surgeries you had or any other health issues you have or had. If you have been taking any anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin, you will need to stop them a few weeks before the surgery as these medications may increase bleeding.
• Weight concerns: If you are overweight, then the surgeon may ask you reduce your weight before surgery. Weight loss after the surgery have chances of reducing or nullifying the results of the tummy tuck procedure.
• Weight fluctuations: It is important to maintain a standard weight for about 12 months before surgery. If you have severe weight fluctuations, the surgeon will recommend you to bring it under control at first.
Do you smoke? You need to quick smoking at least two months before the surgery. Smoking slows down the process of healing and may even lead to complications during the surgery.
In addition to all these concerns, you should also be keen enough to give a go ahead for the surgery. It is good to communicate your expectations clearly to the surgeon. Make sure to tell the surgeon about what kind of results you are looking for. Last but not the least, before leaving your home for the surgery; place all your daily necessities like water bottles, hand washes, gadgets, remotes, food items, toilet rolls, etc. in the hip level to ensure that you do not bend after the surgery.

How the surgeons perform Tummy Tuck Procedure

Tummy Tuck Procedure

The expert surgeon will perform tummy tuck surgery in a fully equipped surgical facility or a hospital.
• He will give you general anaesthesia which renders you unconscious throughout the entire surgery.
• Will also monitor your body conditions during the surgery for your own wellbeing.
• The surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen area depending on the kind of the tummy tuck procedure that was previously discussed with you.
• Next, he will remove fat and the excess skin around the abdomen and reposition your belly button to make the abdomen look natural.
• Will tighten your abdominal muscles stitch them back together with permanent stitches.
• The expert may also place surgical drains based on your current condition.
• After the surgery, the staff will take you to the recovery room where you will gain consciousness.
• The surgeon will keep you under observation for a few hours after which you are free to go home.
It is important to ask the help of someone to take you home from the hospital as you may not completely recover from the anaesthesia given earlier. This is also important because you need some support to walk carefully after the procedure.

Post-Surgery Care and Recovery

In the initial days
You may feel a bit uncomfortable in the initial days after the tummy tuck procedure but it is common. You may be drains placed in the incisions temporarily to remove the fluid that gets accumulated after the surgery. Before you leave the facility after the tummy tuck, ensure that you are comfortable with operating the drains on your own. Follow the instructions of the surgeon properly about maintaining the bandages and the drains.
The first few weeks
For the first week after the surgery, the expert will recommend you to be cautious with your abdomen area. You shouldn’t engage in activities that may put pressure on the operated area like bending down, lifting heavy weights, exercising, running, etc., although you will be encouraged to walk around the home to maintain blood circulation.
It is important that you get help for the first two weeks in your home. It is crucial that you do not engage in any household activities however small it is. You may also need the support of someone to help you up and move for the first few days.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

The First 6 weeks
You will feel some pain in the initial days and some swelling which can last for about a month on the abdominal area. Your surgeon will prescribe you painkillers and anticoagulant medicines to prevent the formation of blood clots. Do not miss taking these medicines as instructed by the surgeon. Most surgeons will recommend you to wear an abdominal band like a garment to support your newly operated abdomen and prevent swelling. This band may be recommended to be worn for about 4 to 6 weeks.
Depending on your procedure, the surgeon may allow you to take leave from work for 2 to 5 weeks. Those who have undergone mini tummy tuck may recover to their normal life soon as compared to those who went for full or extensive tummy tuck procedures. Till the first 6 weeks of the surgery, you will be advised against participating in any strenuous activity, which may open up the incisions and result in bleeding and infections.
It is always best to consult the surgeon before you engage in any unadvised activity. Follow up with the surgeon for regular checkups till you are fit enough to go out on your own. In case you notice sudden redness or bleeding, it is best to visit the surgeon immediately.
Retaining The Effects of Tummy Tuck
You can retain the resulting flat and firm abdomen after the tummy tuck for your entire lifetime as long you take proper measures. You need to maintain a stable weight. Excessive weight gain or weight loss may result in diminishing the effects of the tummy tuck. Similarly, pregnancy after the tummy tuck will also negate any results of the procedure.
To maintain that youthful and slim body obtained from the tummy tuck procedure, it is important to stay and eat healthily.

Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kulwant S Bhangoo, Plastic Surgeon

The information is being provided by and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon on: 20-JUN-2020