Tummy Tuck

A toned, contoured midsection is symbolic of health and fitness, but for some people, diet and exercise are not enough to achieve this goal. If you have loose or excess abdominal skin and fat, or muscles separated by pregnancy, you may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck. At our Kitchener-Waterloo clinic, our team specializes in tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) and other body contouring procedures.

Women and men travel to The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic for tummy tuck surgery from Guelph, Cambridge, Windsor, and London, Ontario. Request a consultation online to meet with one of our plastic surgeons, or call our office at (519) 746-1132 to schedule an appointment.

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How should I prepare for surgery?

You will first have a thorough consultation at The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic with one of our surgeons to determine your cosmetic goals. The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic's patient coordinator will guide you through all the details of the planning process for your procedure, including financing, scheduling, and paperwork.

Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery.

You are to have nothing to eat or drink for the 12 hours immediately before your surgery.

Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos

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Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos

Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
  • Tummy Tuck case #177
    Before
    Tummy Tuck case #177
    After

    Case #177

    This 39-year-old patient was unhappy with her abdominal contour, excessive fat, loose skin, and a belly button that she could no longer see.  She had a standard abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) whi... View Case 

  • Tummy Tuck case #506
    Before
    Tummy Tuck case #506
    After

    Case #506

    This 40-year-old mother was unhappy with the bulging appearance and excess skin and fat on her abdomen after having her children. During her consultation with us here at The Cosmetic Surgery Cli... View Case 

  • Tummy Tuck case #386
    Before
    Tummy Tuck case #386
    After

    Case #386

    This healthy 35-year-old mother was unhappy with her abdominal wall laxity and bulging appearance that she felt made her look pregnant.  She came to us at The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic for an ab... View Case 

  • Tummy Tuck case #149
    Before
    Tummy Tuck case #149
    After

    Case #149

    This healthy 54-year-old mother was unhappy with the appearance of her abdomen.  She could not improve it no matter how physically active she was. She underwent an extended abdominoplasty w... View Case 

  • Tummy Tuck case #256
    Before
    Tummy Tuck case #256
    After

    Case #256

    This healthy 54-year-old mother was unhappy with her abdominal contour, excessive fat and the loose skin she was left with after having her children and the natural aging process.  She had an... View Case 

How is an abdominoplasty performed?

Abdominoplasty is a 3-step procedure. First, the contour of the abdomen is improved by repositioning the muscles of the abdominal wall. Second, excess skin and fat is removed. Third, liposuction is used to contour the abdominal wall and flanks. The incision required starts at the pubic hair line and extends horizontally towards each hip. The length of the incision depends entirely on the anatomy to be corrected and your goals.

How is a drainless tummy tuck better?

At The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, we always stay abreast of the latest innovations in surgical techniques. Our clinic now offers drainless tummy tuck surgery. This advanced surgical tummy tuck technique offers several major advantages over older techniques that used 1 or even 2 drains.

The drainless method reduces the risk of seroma formation — an accumulation of fluid in a standard tummy tuck that can increase swelling and the incidence of secondary infection.

The drainless method involves "progressive tension sutures" (PTS) that "quilt" the tummy tuck skin flap down to the underlying abdominal wall. This technique prevents fluid from spreading from one area to another.

Another major advantage is that the progressive tension sutures take the tension off the final skin closure, which can ultimately result in a much finer and aesthetically pleasing scar.

And finally, let's be honest. No one likes having to empty a yucky drain, filled with residual blood and fluid. Drains that need to be emptied multiple times a day can be hard on both patients and their caregivers. Now, at The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, they're a thing of the past.

Can I combine my tummy tuck with other procedures?

Patients who are in good health and want to improve multiple areas with a single surgery and recovery period can combine tummy tuck surgery with one or more other procedures. Popular choices include:

These combination procedures are sometimes called a Mommy Makeover because they are popular with women who want to address the changes from pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

What will the day of surgery be like?

You will arrange for someone to drive you to The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic and to pick you up after the procedure. Our staff will assist you with planning for your ride home.

Our surgical staff will ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure. The procedure is done under a general anesthetic. Typically, an abdominoplasty requires 2 to 3 hours. Gauze or other dressings will be applied to your abdomen.

Following your surgery, you will be taken into our recovery area where you will be closely monitored. You will be in the comfort of your own home approximately 2 to 3 hours after surgery.

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How will I look and feel initially?

While recovery varies between patients, it generally proceeds along the following timeline:

When you get home

Starting the day of or morning after your surgery, you should walk short distances every few hours to promote blood circulation. At first, this may be a walk from your bedroom to your kitchen.

First few days

You won't be able to stand perfectly straight for a few days because there will be tension on the lower abdomen. However, you should move around to promote blood circulation. It is not recommended to sit for long periods of time during the first several days.

Any straining, bending and lifting must be avoided as these activities may cause swelling or bleeding. You will be instructed to wear a support garment for 6 weeks.

Within 48 hours following your surgery you will have a follow-up appointment at the Clinic. Your dressings may be changed or removed between 3 to 5 days after surgery. Generally, stitches will dissolve on their own.

First few weeks

While you'll still be fairly sore and swollen, you will be able to stand up straighter and get around better. Patients with non-strenuous jobs are usually ready to return to work. A second follow-up appointment will be scheduled for 2 weeks after your surgery.

6 to 8 weeks

Swelling and bruising have usually faded at this point. Patients are usually cleared to stop wearing their compression garment and return to their normal exercise routine.

First few months

Your third follow-up appointment will take place 3 to 6 months after your surgery. If you had numbness over portions of your abdominal area, it will likely begin to fade at this time. At this stage your swelling should have mostly subsided, and you'll be able to get a better idea of what your final results look like.

First year

You will be invited to return yearly for ongoing follow up.

When can I resume my normal activities?

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. In many instances, patients can resume most normal activities, including some form of mild exercise after 4 weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling during this time, but such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be reported to The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic.

Any sexual activity should be avoided for a minimum of 2 weeks, and your surgeon may advise you to wait longer.

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Results of your abdominoplasty

It typically takes months before all swelling subsides and patients achieve a firmer and flatter abdomen. Patients often feel more comfortable in clothing and are more confident about their appearance.

Do scars from tummy tuck surgery go away?

Tummy tuck incisions will initially be red or pink and will remain this way for many months following surgery; they may even appear to worsen before they finally begin to fade. While the appearance of the scars from the procedure will heal and fade over time, they will not completely go away. In some individuals, the scars become only faint lines; in others, the scars are more noticeable. Fortunately, the tummy tuck incisions are usually placed in locations concealed by most bathing suits and undergarments.

How long will results last?

Your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years, unless, of course you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant. However, gravity and the effects of aging will eventually take their toll. If after a period of years you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen, you may choose to undergo a second procedure aiming to restore a more youthful body contour.

Frequently Asked Questions

How painful is a tummy tuck?

Abdominal wall tightening causes some degree of discomfort after a tummy tuck. A local anesthetic pain pump placed during surgery works wonders to keep patients comfortable for the first few days when relief is needed the most. Oral pain medication may be helpful as well. Learn more about post-opt pain control at TCSC in this blog post.

When will I be able to stand up straight after surgery?

Skin removal and muscle tightening during tummy tuck surgery and swelling after surgery will make it difficult and uncomfortable to stand upright for about 2 to 3 weeks. Your surgeon will let you know when it's safe to resume your normal posture gently and gradually.

Can abdominoplasty surgery really fix separated muscles?

Yes. Surgery is usually the only way to repair diastasis recti.

What happens if I don't wear a compression garment following my procedure?

Compression garments help the healing process in a variety of ways, including:

  • Minimizing swelling
  • Supporting muscle repair
  • Relieving tension on the incision
  • Limiting muscle strain when you cough, sneeze, or laugh

It's important to wear the compression garment as directed for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery to avoid excessive swelling, discomfort, and trauma to the surgical area and a longer recovery.

Can a tummy tuck get rid of some of my stretch marks?

Stretch marks below the bellybutton are removed along with the abdominal skin during a complete tummy tuck. Any stretch marks that were above the bellybutton will be moved below the bellybutton, where they will be easier to conceal with clothing.

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The talented, experienced plastic surgeons at our Kitchener-Waterloo clinic have the advanced training to create exceptional, natural-looking results that meet the individual needs of our patients. The collaborative nature of our practice benefits patients in many ways.

Dr. Robert Shenker Dr. Stephanie Ma

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