How Abdominoplasty Surgery Is Performed

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to smooth and flatten your abdomen.



Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. If there is loose skin above the navel, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel. Skin in the shaded area is separated from the abdominal wall.

To tighten the abdominal wall, the surgeon brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures.

Abdominal skin is pulled downward, and the excess is removed. A small opening is made to bring the navel through.

Where are the incisions placed?

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. The contour of this incision will vary somewhat according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of bathing suit or undergarments that you prefer. Your plastic surgeon will try to keep the incision within your bathing suit lines, but this may not always be possible.

Some patients have loose skin above the navel. In such cases, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down. The excess abdominal skin is then removed. The position of the navel remains unchanged.

Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well. Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance.

The procedure may include tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles using sutures.

What are some variations to the common abdominoplasty technique?

There are many variations both to the design of the incisions and the technique itself. In some instances, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel. When the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial, or mini tummy tuck.

Sometimes liposuction may be used alone, or in conjunction with mini tummy tuck, to remove abdominal fat. Endoscopic abdominoplasty is another technique for minimizing scars and may be useful when patients have only a mild degree of excess fat and muscle laxity.

Your plastic surgeon will discuss with you the particular method that he or she recommends for achieving the best result in your particular case.

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**Info provided by Dr. Sam Speron
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Copyright 2003 Park Ridge Center For Plastic Surgery, SC
Last modified: 05/17/07