Doctors of USF Health

Plastic Surgery

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

An abdominoplasty, commonly called a "tummy tuck," is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen. Even individuals that eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly may have a saggy abdomen from pregnancy, aging, heredity, prior surgeries or fluctuations in weight. Along with fat and skin removal, surgeons can also repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles in this procedure.

Who is a good candidate for Abdominoplasty?

Adults who are in good heath without any pre-existing medical conditions or risk factors for surgery. Good candidates are those who are physically healthy and at a stable weight, have realistic expectations and do not smoke. Those who are anticipating further weight loss or pregnancies may want to postpone abdominoplasty. This surgery is not a substitute for weight loss or exercise and may not correct stretch marks or cellulite.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedure is performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. A full abdominoplasty requires a horizontal incision just above the level of the pubic hairline. The length of this incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin needing removal but is usually hip-bone to hip-bone. Through this incision the excess skin and adipose tissue is removed and the abdominal muscles can be repaired. The belly button is freed from the surrounding tissue and replaced in a new position. This procedure will result in a flatter, firmer abdomen. The procedure may take 2-5 hours.