Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is one of the most frequently performed types of cosmetic surgery. This surgery restores, reshapes and tightens the abdomen by removing excess fat from the abdominal area, repairing abdominal muscles and tightening the skin in the abdominal area.


Tummy tuck surgery can be valuable for patients of almost any adult age and with a wide range of body sizes. If you are considering a tummy tuck at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre, Dr. Chivers will assess you to ensure you are in good health, have not smoked for at least two weeks before the surgery and that the surgery will provide the benefits that you are looking to achieve. In general, anyone with mild excess belly fat, abdominal stretch marks or lax abdominal muscles will benefit from this surgery. Anyone who has had significant weight loss or is post-pregnancy will usually benefit from this procedure. Patients who have previously undergone a bariatric weight loss procedure (ex. gastric bypass surgery) will usually also benefit from this surgery.



Procedure Details

One common misconception is that a tummy tuck is a weight loss procedure. It is not. While some excess fat is removed, the amounts lost in the procedure are not significant. The procedure is more about sculpting and tightening the body while maintaining the current weight. Although a tummy tuck does not interfere with later pregnancies, women considering children in the future may wish to wait until they are finished having children, as further pregnancies may result in future skin laxity and repeat muscle separation.
A tummy tuck is always performed under general anesthesia and a more complex procedure performed for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons involving the removal of tissue above the umbilicus and repositioning the umbilicus itself back into the midline, liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks, and tightening of the rectus diastasis muscles. The incision for the procedure is made below the bikini line in order to ensure that it will be mostly invisible.
An abdominoplasty is sometimes mistaken for a panniculectomy, which is a medically necessary procedure that removes excess skin in the abdominal area after major weight loss, but which is not a complete tummy tuck.

Follow-up instructions at a glance:

  • Dressings are changed the day after surgery and at 1 week.
  • Pain medication and antibiotics are prescribed for the first week following surgery. Any post-operative pain is typically mild to moderate.
  • Patients are able to walk the day after surgery.
  • Drains inserted during the procedure are painlessly removed at 1 week.
  • Incisions are to be kept dry for the first week. Patients can shower after that.
  • Patients are able to return to light duties at work typically after 2 weeks.
  • Ends of dissolving sutures are trimmed at 3 weeks.
  • Abdominal binder given to the patient is to be worn for 6 weeks and until the final follow-up.
  • Patients are able to resume full activities and to exercise after 6 weeks.
  • Immersion of incisions in baths, hot tubs, pools, oceans should be avoided for 6 weeks.


The recovery for an abdominoplasty is similar in length of time to a panniculectomy procedure. It is usually a little shorter given that both are different procedures. If patients follow the above instructions, recovery is in general uneventful and complete after 6-8 weeks.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you live within the Greater Toronto Area and are considering a tummy tuck procedure, simply contact the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre to book an initial consultation with Dr. Chivers. During the consultation, he will ensure that you fully understand the procedure, the realistic outcome, as well as any potential risks, and then determine if this the right procedure for your needs.

Schedule a Consultation