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Plastic Surgery FAQ Provided by The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Abdominoplasty / tummy tuck surgery removes excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery also tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall and can dramatically reduce a bulging abdomen. Abdominoplasty does, however, produce a permanent scar that may extend from hip to hip. Tummy tuck surgery is one of the post-bariatric cosmetic surgery procedures we offer at our practice.

Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Surgery

Abdominoplasty / tummy tuck surgery usually requires two to three hours depending on the extent of the procedure. A mini tummy tuck usually requires one to two hours. Two incisions are made during tummy tuck surgery: One long incision is made above the pubic region extending from hipbone to hipbone; another is made to free the navel and surrounding tissue. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall, in order to reveal the abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles are tightened and pulled together, resulting in a firmer abdominal wall. The skin is stretched back down and any excess skin tissue is removed.

After Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Surgery

After visiting our cosmetic surgery office in Nashville, Tennessee for abdominoplasty / tummy tuck surgery, you will experience some swelling and discomfort for the first few days. Any pain or discomfort you experience can be treated with medication. If you have undergone an extensive tummy tuck surgery, you may need to remain hospitalized for a few days. After five to seven days, surface stitches will be removed. After two to three weeks, we will remove deeper surgical sutures. Support garments can replace any dressings on your surgical incisions.


Following an abdominoplasty, it may take several weeks or perhaps even months before you start feeling normal again. Expect it to take a minimum of four months for the swelling to resolve completely. Those in good physical condition, with strong abdominal muscles, will experience a quicker recovery from tummy tuck surgery. Exercise is helpful in improving post-surgical healing, though you should avoid strenuous activity or vigorous exercise until you feel comfortable. During the first three to six months of the healing period, the surgical scars may appear to worsen, though they will eventually flatten out and fade in nine months to a year. The scars from an abdominoplasty won't disappear completely, but most types of clothing, as well as bathing suits, usually conceal them.

Potential Risks

At our cosmetic surgery office in Nashville, Tennessee, we perform abdominoplasty / tummy tuck surgery regularly and with excellent results. Complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection after an abdominoplasty can be treated with antibiotics and drainage, but this treatment will prolong your stay at the hospital. Moving around as soon as possible after tummy tuck surgery can minimize the risk of blood clots. A second operation may be required if a patient is healing poorly, in order to avoid conspicuous scarring. It is important to be honest with your surgeon. We are able to get a tighter, better contour safely if you can quit smoking.


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Mary Gingrass, M.D. and Melinda Haws, M.D.
The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville
Office Address:
1915 State Street
Nashville, TN 37203
Email Dr. Gingrass and Dr. Haws
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