Tummy Tuck Summary

Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is used to treat loose or sagging abdominal skin. This loose or sagging skin causes the abdomen to protrude. Most commonly this occurs after drastic weight loss or pregnancy. The surgery is intended for individuals in good health who are unable to correct the problem with their loose skin through diet and exercise.

Length of the procedure: 1 to 2 hours

Hospital Stay: Most patents are released form care within 1 to 2 days their procedure.

Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking a tummy tuck through medical tourism can return home within 7 to 10 days of their procedure.

Travel Tip: It is best to plan an extended stay after your tummy tuck surgery to allow for post operative care. Most surgeons require several follow-ups in the days immediately following the surgery. Find a hotel near the clinic where you have the surgery for easy access to medical care. It is best to find a hotel room that is handicap accessible so you can recover with ease.

Procedure Details

Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a horizontal incision above the pubic hairline. They may also need to make an incision around the belly button to remove excess skin from the upper part of your abdomen.

Once the incision is made the surgeon will cut away excess fat, tissue and skin. They will tighten loose abdominal muscles with sutures. Then, they will create a new belly button if an incision around was necessary there. The incisions will then be closed with sutures, tape or staples.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. When you have woken from the surgery and your vitals are stable you will be moved to a regular hospital room or released from care.  After the surgery your abdomen will be wrapped or you will be required to wear a support garment. This will help reduce the amount of bruising and swelling that takes place. You will also have surgical drains in place to remove excess fluid. Your sutures and drains will be removed within 7 to 14 days of your procedure.

Self care after abdominoplasty:

  • Avoid straightening the torso for 1 week
  • Avoid showering until surgical drains are removed
  • Resume light activity and movement with 24 to 48 hours
  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 8 weeks
  • Wear compression garment for 2 weeks
  • Resume work between 2 to 4 weeks post-op


Generally, most patients satisfied with the results of their tummy tuck surgery. In fact, more than 95% of patients report that they are satisfied with the results of their tummy tuck. Scars from the procedure usually fade between 6 to 12 months after the procedure.

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with tummy tuck surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Reaction to anesthesia or medication
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Infection of surgical wound
  • Delayed healing
  • Skin or fat necrosis
  • Hematoma
  • Seroma
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Numbness of the abdomen or thighs
  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive scarring

Contact your physician if any of the following occur:

  • Incision is red, swollen or warm to the touch
  • Stitches pull apart
  • Drainage from surgical wound is yellow, green, thick or foul smelling
  • Severe pain develops and does not subside with medication
  • Fever above 100.5 degrees
  • Chills
  • Bandage is soaked with blood
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Rash or signs of allergic reaction