Abdominoplasty: All You Need to Know About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Ideal Candidates for Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

A tummy tuck, also known as “abdominoplasty,” is designed for those who have difficulty achieving the flat stomach they desire by natural means. Ideal candidates are those who:

  • Diet and exercise regularly but cannot eliminate extra fat deposits and loose sagging abdominal skin
  • Have stretched out their abdominal muscles as a result of pregnancy
  • Have lost skin elasticity, most commonly from age or significant weight loss

It is also important to have realistic goals, be aware of possible risks, and be in good physical and mental health. Abdominoplasty is designed to smooth and flatten the abdomen when the muscles of the abdomen have become distended and the skin is loose.

Description of Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery

Prior to surgery: lab work will be performed and possibly an EKG and/or chest x-ray. These tests are included in the price of your procedure.

The surgery consists of making incisions either horizontally above the pubic area outward toward the hips or a smaller incision above the pubic area and incisions vertically up both hips, as if you would be wearing a French-cut bikini. Working through the incision, your surgeon may tighten the underlying muscles by pulling them together and stitching them in place, and any excess skin will be trimmed. After surgery, the surgeon usually recommends his patients have a one-night stay at the hospital, after which you will go home. A large bulky dressing is applied and drains will be in place fore a few days.

The first week after surgery: you will need to walk hunched over to avoid any tension to the suture lines. After two weeks you may resume most normal activities, but any strenuous activities such as exercise must wait approximately three months. During this time you are required to wear a corset.

The surgery itself is about 2.5 hours under general anesthesia, after which you will be in recovery for about 2 hours.

You will also receive a medication bag with pain meds, antibiotics, sleeping pills, and nausea medicine. After your dressings and drains have been removed, a compression girdle must be purchased and worn day and night for 3 weeks, then at night only for 3 more weeks. You will see quite a difference after surgery, and as the months pass your incision line will fade. Abdominoplasty produces long-Iasting results. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, you should expect to retain your new shape for many years.

Within the past 2 years, I can use a One stage alternative. To patients that are in good health and motivated, I now offer a one stage approach, liposuction / tummy tuck combined in one setting.

Indeed, a recent anticoagulant has the precious properties of being potent without significant risk of bleed post-op. It is the difference with Heparin and the like, Lovenol for example. It is injected once per 24 hours with a very small needle, making its use easy for anybody. It is started about 8 hours after surgery and continued until the patient is fully ambulating, usually 5 days. Its cost is covered by Insurance, PPO or HMO. On the 4th post-op day, a Doppler study (sort of x-ray, non-invasive) is done, that was scheduled pre-operatively.

These precautions are taken, because the blood clot is the most serious complication of that surgery. It must be emphasized that Arixtra is no substitute for early mobilization (start walking with or without walker or help on the day of surgery and increase the distance every day, 4-5 times a day minimum).

It doesn’t replace wearing compressive stockings that are on, when you wake up and must stay on for 10 days. Today, patients understand and comply by these instructions, making the one stage approach very safe.

Instructions for Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

The following information has been compiled for your Pre and Post operative care. These guidelines are based on experience and thousands of operations. No matter how minor or insignificant these instructions may appear to you, EACH IS IMPORTANT to the ultimate success of your surgery. Read them well and follow carefully

  • STOP TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS, INJECTIONS, AND HORMONES SIX (6) WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY. It is known that the coagulability of the blood will increase while doing so, thereby causing blood clots after surgery.
  • ABSOULUTLY NO SMOKING ONE MONTH PRIOR TO AND AFTER SURGERY. Please inform your surgeon and Staff of ALL MEDICATIONS including vitamins, herbals, supplements, etc., you have taken recently or are currently taking either prescribed or over-the-counter, any ALLERGIES, and any Medical/Psychological condition(s).

If you are being treated for ANY condition(s) by a Medical or Psychological doctor, you are required to get clearance (Dr.’s Note) by the treating physician prior to surgery. The Dr.’s Note must say that there are NO CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR SURGERY in regards to the condition(s) they are treating you for.

Two Weeks Prior to Surgery

  1. Surgical fee paid in full by the due date listed on the FEE SCHEDULE.
  2. Do not sunburn or over-expose yourself to sunrays.
  3. Do not take Aspirin or Ibuprofen, or any medications containing these drugs or any other anti-inflammatory drugs, two (2) weeks prior to and two (2) weeks after surgery; these will promote bleeding. If you are a CHRONIC ASPIRIN USER, you will need to discontinue one (1) month prior to surgery. No Vitamin E. It is okay to take Tylenol.
  4. Abdominal binder: You will need to purchase a corset in order to apply compression to your abdomen two weeks prior to surgery. You need to wear the corset 24 hours a day during that time preoperatively. The need to wear the corset preoperatively is based on the intra-abdominal pressure. The corset, by increasing your intra- abdominal pressure prepares your lungs and your abdominal veins for the pressure resulting from the muscle tightening. This preparation decreases the risk of complication due to the increase of the intra-abdominal pressure. The corset is cumbersome, but IMPORTANT. Then starting two (2) weeks after surgery AND ONLY AFTER Surgeon’s instruction (Post-op) you will need to wear a corset daily for 2-3 months. Your Surgeon will advise you on the type to get.


  1. Diet before surgery: NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY (No gum, water, mints, etc.). You may brush your teeth the morning of surgery, but spit the water out. Do not swallow it.
  2. Laboratory work: You must have your laboratory work completed prior to surgery. A request laboratory slip will be given to you with the appropriate “Carli Panel” checked.
  3. Medications: As a service to our patients, your medications will be given to you on the day of your surgery. Written instructions will be provided and discussed in detail by the nurse. Or, you can purchase your prescriptions at the pharmacy of your choice. We are unable to dispense Narcotics and some antibiotics. You will be given a prescription for these on the day of surgery.
  4. Clothing on the day of surgery: Wear freshly laundered, loose fitting, clothing which is easy to slip on and off with minimal use of your arms, clothing that buttons-up or zips-up, in the front. (i.e. sweatsuit, jogging suit, pajamas). Bring flat shoes and warm socks to wear home. Do not wear any jewelry the day of surgery, since it will have to be removed for the operation and may be misplaced in our office. We cannot assume responsibility for these items. Do not wear contact lenses, make-up, or dark nail polish.
  5. Showering: Using the Surgical Prep provided, wash your body from your shoulders down to your upper legs with ½ of the bottle the night before surgery, and ½ the morning of surgery. Allow the prep to remain on your skin for about 10 minutes prior to rinsing off. Do not wear any moisturizers, hair spray, perfumes, deodorant, etc. on the day of surgery.
  6. Illness: If you develop any signs or symptoms of a cold, cough, flu, fever, sore throat, rash, boils, or infection prior to surgery, please notify the office immediately.


  1. Do not drive home: On the day of surgery, someone MUST drive you to the office. For extensive tummy tucks (full), your sureon may require you to stay overnight at Corona Regional Medical Center. For less extensive tummy tucks (mini), you may not be required to stay over night, depending on surgeon’s recommendation. If overnight care is not required; a responsible adult MUST take you home after surgery. A responsible adult MUST stay with you on the first night.
  2. During the first 24 hours: Quiet rest is recommended immediately after surgery for the first night. Sleep in a bed, elevated with two (2) pillows and one (1) pillow behind your knees. You MUST engage in light to moderate physical activities by the second post-op day. Walking around in a cool setting is mandatory by the second post-op day. Early ambulation (walking) helps prevent blood clots. When walking, stay hunched over to avoid tension on the suture lines, continue to do so for one (1) week, after surgery.
  3. Diet: After surgery, drinking generous amounts of water and fluids will prevent dehydration. Light meals are recommended for the first day after surgery. Then, you should resume your usual diet. Do not take medications on an empty stomach (It can make you nauseated).
  4. Activities: For the first week you must walk hunched over to avoid tension on the suture lines. You must walk around in a cool setting, starting on the second post-op day. Early ambulation (walking) prevents blood clots. After two (2) weeks, you may resume most normal activities, except for strenuous things, such as weight lifting, tennis, golf, swimming, or vigorous exercise for at least 3 months.
  5. Showering: For the first few days you must sponge bathe. After the drains are removed and the incisions have closed; you may shower briefly in lukewarm water. your surgeon will advise you on when to shower. Once your dressings are removed by your surgeon, it is important to apply Bacitracin ointment three (3) times a day and before and after you shower, especially to the drain sites. Do not soak in a bath, swimming pool, etc. for 3-4 weeks after surgery.
  6. Abdominal binder: You will need to purchase a corset in order to apply compression to your abdomen two weeks prior to surgery. Then starting two (2) weeks after surgery AND ONLY AFTER your surgeon’s instruction (Post-op) you will need to wear a corset daily for 2-3 months. The surgeon will advise you on the type to get.
  7. Medication: Take all medications as instructed until completed. If you become ill after taking medications or develop a rash, please notify us IMMEDIATELY.
  8. Wound care/Dressings: A large bulky dressing is worn for about 5-7 days after surgery. Do not remove it. Once your surgeon removes the dressing, apply Bacitracin ointment three (3) times a day and before and after showers.
  9. Suture/Drain Removal: The sutures will be inside your body and will dissolve on their own. You will have drains coming from your lower abdomen following surgery. The drains will be removed after approximately 5-7 days. It is important to apply Bacitracin ointment to incision and drain sites prior to and after showering.
  10. Discomfort, swelling, and bruising: You may experience mild to moderate amount of discomfort for the first couple of weeks. For relief of pain, we will prescribe pain medication for you. After the first week you may take Extra-Strength Tylenol as needed. Do not take any medications with Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Most of the bruising disappears about 2-3 weeks after surgery. Swelling usually decreases significantly within 2-3 weeks. For all of the swelling to subside, it usually takes about 2-3 months. Some patients may remain swollen longer. The ultimate result may take up to 6 months to be achieved. There may be some feelings of numbness or tightness, which will disappear after a few months.
  11. Call the office: If you experience any fever, excessive pain, excessive bleeding, continuous bleeding, unusual discharge from incisions or excessive swelling.
  12. tummy tuck surgery scars: Avoid sun exposure for 6 months to 1 year after surgery. Be patient while awaiting final healing. It takes several months for a scar to revise itself. The best results are always observed after proper healing, not after only a few days. An Abdominoplasty does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your underwear or bathing suit. If desired, you could get a decorative tattoo to conceal the lower abdominal scar. You could start with a Henna tattoo (temporary) and if you like it you could switch to a permanent tattoo.
  13. Foley Catheter: A foley catheter will be inserted during surgery and will remain in for 24 – 48 hours after surgery.
  14. Anti-Embolism stockings: You will be fitted with anti-embolism stockings to increase your blood circulation and help prevent blood clots after your surgery. The stockings are to be worn for ten (10) days after surgery and can be removed for 30 minutes several times a day. You may launder them during this time.
  15. Arixtra injections (Anticoagulant): The surgeon will give you a prescription to be filled at any pharmacy for Arixtra (Fondaparinux) 2.5mg injections sub-cutaneously once a day, starting 8 hours after surgery. You will continue to take the injections until you are fully ambulating (walking), usually about 3-5 days. A nurse will instruct you on how to administer the injections on the day of surgery. Once you are fully ambulating, switch to taking (1) one Baby Aspirin 81mg tablet daily for (7) seven days. You can purchase this over-the-counter. This will help to prevent blood clots.
  16. Ultrasound: It is mandatory on the fourth post-op day for you to have an ultrasound of the lower extremities to rule-out a possible blood clot. If you have a PPO Insurance, the test is usually covered.
  17. Alcoholic beverages: Alcohol is permissible. There are even some medical studies indicating that moderate amounts can help prevent blood clots. But, NO ALCOHOL THREE (3) DAYS PRIOR TO SURGERY OR WHILE ON PAIN MEDICATIONS.
  18. Constipation: If needed, you may use any brand of laxative or enema from over-the-counter. Use as directed.
  19. Itching: Some patients experience itching staring after 48 hours, which is not unusual. You can purchase Benadryl, 25mg, over-the-counter and take as needed.
  20. Follow-up appointments: Please keep all follow-up appointments.

What should I expect during tummy tuck recovery?

You will receive instructions from your surgeon or the facility staff to aid your tummy tuck recovery: how to care for the surgical site and drainage; medications to apply or take orally to help healing and reduce infection risks; specific concerns to examine at the surgical site or in your general health; and when to contact your physician for a follow-up.

Expect to take some time away from work and not engaging in exercise while your body heals, as a tummy tuck requires time for recovery. Your abdominal muscles do a lot of work during the course of a normal day, and you can expect that it will take some time to get back to your daily routine when your abs are cut and repositioned. You may be unable to fully stand straight until you have healed internally. You should be able to stand upright within 1-2 weeks. Patients should plan meals in advance and have pain medications on hand before returning home in order to get the rest that they need during their tummy tuck recovery.

There will be pain involved in the recovery process. Don’t wait for pain to be unbearable before taking the pain medication; you end up using less pain medication if you take it on time and before it worsens than if you wait for it to become severe. Pain also interferes with healing.

After the surgery, you may be given dressings or bandages to put on the incisions. You might be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment to minimize swelling and support the abdomen as it heals. A small, thin tube might be placed underneath your skin after the procedure to drain surplus blood or fluid to minimize swelling from fluid collection.

Some antibiotics may interfere with birth control pills, so it is recommended that you use a second form of protection when engaging in sexual intercourse. That said, do not have sex until you get approval from your doctor, as it could cause complications with healing including wound opening, suture popping, and infection.

Ask your surgeon specific questions about what to expect during your recovery, including what medication you will be given or prescribed after the procedure; where you will be taken after the surgery; if you will have dressing and/or bandages after the tummy tuck, and whether they will be removed; if stitches are removed and when; when to return for a follow-up appointment; and when you can resume normal activities and exercise. Previous tummy tuck surgery may limit the potential results of the most recent procedure. Women that have undergone a cesarean section surgery might experience the new scar being incorporated into existing scars.


Swelling after tummy tuck surgery is normal and a part of the body’s effort to heal itself. Your body won’t look or feel the way that you would like immediately following surgery, and final results may be masked initially. Give yourself at least a month before you evaluate the work that has been done. A tummy tuck is a major procedure that takes a reasonable amount of recovery time.

Patients with tummy tuck recovery stories lament the swelling and inflammation that accompanies the recovery period. Most patients want to see the results of the surgery immediately, but inflammation is definitely part of the procedure and the recovery period.

Resist the urge to analyze your reflection in the mirror for at least seven days following your surgery. You will not see the full results until your body is healed enough for you to go about a normal day without pain in your abdominal region which usually takes at least one month of recovery.

Preventing Infection

Though swelling after tummy tuck surgery is normal, it can also be a sign of infection if it is accompanied by redness, fever, or an overall feeling of malaise. Take all of your antibiotics on schedule and do not stop taking them until you have finished the entire prescription. Call your doctor immediately if your suspect infection while you are recovering from surgery.

Take your temperature regularly. An increased temperature may signal an infection. Take your antibiotic prescription on time and use the whole amount, as not taking the medication for the prescribed number of days may result in a drug-resistant infection.

Rest and Movement

It’s important that you move around and walk during tummy tuck recovery. Walking and movement that is gentle and not excessive can help your body heal and keep you from developing dangerous blood clots. You will naturally crave rest following the procedure because rest is definitely an important ingredient in the healing process, but a healthy amount of movement will promote blood flow and help your body get stronger while it heals. Balance activity and rest during recovery to achieve the best results and avoid complications following surgery. Doctors will recommend to patients that they prepare in advance for their post-operation downtime including the creation of a special area in the home to sit comfortably and entertain themselves until their body has healed enough to engage in normal daily activities.

You may feel groggy from the anesthetic and/or oral medications the evening after your tummy tuck surgery. You may not remember much of the first day or two.

Sleep with your head and shoulders elevated for the first 7 to 14 days to counter soreness and obtain the most rest to help you heal.

is tummy tuck Surgery safe?

A tummy tuck is a serious operation. Risks include infection, poor wound healing, numbness to the area, scarring, and bleeding. This makes it vital to seek out a properly qualified and experienced surgeon who can minimise risks and treat any complications.

Is liposuction or tummy tuck better?

If you’re looking to get rid of sagging skin and fat, while making your abdominal wall stronger, a tummy tuck is right for you. If you just want fat removal and a flatter tummy, liposuction is better.

How much weight can i lose after tummy tuck?

tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery or treatment. However, patients will lose some weight afterward with the removal of excess skin and fat.

How long does a tummy tuck last?

Tummy tuck results are considered permanent, insofar that the fat cells and skin removed during an abdominoplasty cannot grow back. Likewise, the internal sutures placed to repair abdominal muscles are designed to remain in place indefinitely.

Tummy tuck Surgery Costs in Dubai?

The national average for Tummy tuck Surgery Cost is between 17,000 and 26,000 AED.