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Before the procedure begins, you will receive general anesthesia. This procedure will take two to five hours and requires a short stay in the hospital.

How the Procedure is Performed

A complete abdominoplasty begins with a long incision above the groin area, from hip to hip, and a second incision that separates the navel from surrounding tissue. After the incisions are made, the abdominal skin is separated from the fat and muscle below; a flap of skin is raised from the incision up to your ribs.

The plastic surgeon pulls the vertical abdominal muscles together and sews them. This tightens the muscles, making the abdominal wall firmer and the waistline narrower. Then, the surgeon removes excess skin, stretches the remaining skin back into place, and makes a new opening for your navel.

When the procedure is complete, your surgeon closes the incisions with small stitches and covers them with bandages. A small drainage tube may be inserted under your skin for several days to drain excess fluid from the surgery.


All surgery involves some risk and uncertainty. Serious complications or side effects of this surgery are rare, but they include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Bad reactions to the anesthesia
  • Need for additional surgery to correct the scar created by the first procedure