Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims at removing fat and excess skin from the middle and lower abdomen and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. Both women and men may undergo this procedure. Women are submitted to abdominoplasty mostly after one or more pregnancies, for treating disagreeable stretch marks brought about by pregnancy while both men and women choose this procedure to deal with lack of elasticity and skin laxity following weight loss. The term “abdominoplasty” includes three kinds of procedures depending on each person’s particularities.


Regular abdominoplasty refers to the removal of the abdominal wall with an incision extending from one iliac crest to the other thus allowing us to remove a great amount of loose skin brought about either by pregnancies or significant and sudden weight loss.

Circumferential abdominoplasty is one of the most extensive plastic surgery procedures and is mainly advised to obese persons with great laxity in several parts of the body. Skin and fat is removed from around the waistline while this procedure is very often combined with simultaneous thigh and buttocks lift. <br /><br /> Mini abdominoplasty, also known as Californian Tummy-Tuck is a less invasive abdominoplasty procedure performed with an incision at the lower part of the abdominal wall (similar to that of the caesarean section). A smaller part of the skin is removed while the procedure – that can be easily combined with liposuction – is usually performed on women who are relatively thin and who want to address stretch marks or malformations on the lower abdomen. Only a small part of the skin is removed while the incision is relatively small and can be made in an area covered by underwear.

These procedures usually require 1 overnight stay at the hospital and recovery time is about 7-10 days. They deliver a beautiful aesthetic result, particularly when performed on patients who meet all criteria for this type of surgery.

How painful is an abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin from the abdominal area and in many cases sutures on the abdominal muscles. This may cause a certain degree of discomfort to the patient during the first three or four days after surgery. This discomfort can be easily handled with analgesics and most of the times the patient may gradually resume his daily activities within seven to ten days.

How low can the abdominoplasty incision be placed and how long is it?

The abdominoplasty incision can be made 5cm above the pubic area extending from one anterior superior iliac spine to the other. The length of the incision depends on the type of the problem to be corrected. In the case of a mini abdominoplasty, the incision will be made lower and may reach higher (along the iliac crest) in cases of a hanging tummy correction after great weight loss.

Can an abdominoplasty be combined with liposuction in the tummy or in other areas of the body?

These procedures can be performed in combination for better results and less recovery time. However, when this is considered necessary, these procedures must be performed in two different stages in which abdominoplasty will follow liposuction.

Can an abdominoplasty be combined with other surgical procedures?

In order to achieve aesthetic homogeneity in the body’s appearance and when such practice bears no risks to the health of the patient, due to increased surgery time, an abdominoplasty procedure may be combined with breast reduction, a gynaecomastia procedure in men, etc.

How long after childbirth should a woman be submitted to an abdominoplasty? Can this particular procedure be combined with general surgery procedures such as e.g. cholecystectomy?

The time interval following which a woman may be safely submitted to this particular procedure is at least six months. Abdominoplasty should not be combined with any procedure that involves handling of abdominal organs to avoid serious post-operative complications.

How long after one operation can another one be performed?

The period between operations in the same area of the body should not be less than six months.

When is liposuction selected as a method of treating accumulated fat in the abdomen and when is an abdominoplasty advised?

Liposuction is a procedure of choice for the treatment of abdominal fat, both in the anterior as well as the lateral abdominal areas, when skin laxity is limited and abdominal muscles are in good shape. In these cases, liposuction in the abdominal area may yield magnificent results and no restrictions apply should a woman consider a pregnancy following the procedure. However, in cases where abdominal skin laxity is obvious as well as in cases where abdominal muscles are unable to maintain a satisfactory tone (e.g. following pregnancies, hernias, extended weight fluctuations etc), then an abdominoplasty is the only available option since it is the only procedure that can deal with these particular problems.

How common is this procedure in men?

Abdominoplasty can deal once and for all with skin laxity in the lower abdomen of the male body, and when this is necessary, it may be combined with a gynaecomastia procedure for best possible aesthetic result.

How long do the results of a well executed abdominoplasty last?

The results of this particular procedure may be permanent provided that the patient avoids significant weight fluctuations.

How safe is this procedure when performed on smokers?

Fully refraining from smoking for at least three weeks is a prerequisite for a patient to be safely submitted to abdominoplasty. In any other case, the patient is in high risk of delayed incision healing.

Is hospitalisation necessary?

The patient is advised to stay at the hospital mostly for benefiting from higher safety and for avoiding intense movements as well as for receiving intravenous antibiotics for 24 hours which is only possible at the hospital.

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