What happens during the tummy tuck surgery?
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to three hours. Mini tummy tucks need take only an hour or two. Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is then made to free the navel from surrounding tissue.
With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not need to be moved, although it may be pulled into a lower position as the skin is tightened and stitched.
Next, your surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are then pulled together and stitched into a new position so that they are tighter. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then pulled down and surplus skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place.
Finally, the incisions are stitched and dressings applied. A temporary drainage tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid. In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is pulled down, the excess is removed and the flap is stitched back into place.