What is abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck surgery, is a procedure in which excess skin is removed from the lower abdomen. In most cases, the procedure also helps to strengthen weakened or separated muscles to restore smoother, firmer contours. The extent of the abdoplasty depends on the amount of skin excess and abdominal wall laxity.

What does the procedure involve?

Prior to surgery the indications, contra-indications, possible complications and future implications of this surgery will be discussed with you in detail by Dr van den Bergh.

During an abdominoplasty, Dr van den Bergh will make an incision from one hipbone to the other, horizontally between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The abdominal skin will be lifted, and the underlying muscles are repaired and contoured. The second incision is made in the upper abdomen to remove excess skin. During a complete abdominoplasty, the belly button will be moved. A new opening will be created through which the belly button can be pulled and secured in place. Once all of the excess skin has been trimmed and removed, the incisions are stitched closed. Lipo-suction/-sculpting may also be combined with abdominoplasty, to address excess fat deposits in the upper abdomen or flanks. This surgery is known as a lipo-abdominoplasty and may be done before closing the incisions.

A mini-abdominoplasty may also be considered in which only the excess skin below the navel is removed. For this surgery there is usually no need to move the belly button.

Who is a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty?

An abdominoplasty is best suited to those who are generally healthy and at a stable weight. It is a popular option for women who have been through pregnancy and childbirth, and who are struggling to get rid of excess fat deposits and loose skin in the abdomen.

It is important to note that the abdominoplasty is a body shaping technique, rather than a weight loss technique. The procedure effectively gets rid of excess skin, after weight loss and can be combined with a lesser degree of liposuction as discussed above.