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Step by step – this is what happens during a tummy tuck

a tummy tuck step by step

An abdominoplasty is a high tech and safe, but quite extensive, procedure that will need both preparation and a recovery period. In this blog post, you’ll find out how the surgery is performed, step by step.

A standard tummy tuck operation will take about 2,5-3 hours – a long procedure that will require the patient to stay at the hospital for at least one night. Here at the Aesthetic Institute in Dublin, we normally perform abdominoplasties under a full general anaesthesia, to make everything as comfortable as possible.


Step 1 – liposuction

Most abdominoplasties are combined with a liposuction, which is great for removing some excess fat around the tummy area. This will be the start of the procedure, making it more convenient for the surgeon to handle any excess skin and possible rectus diastasis.


Step 2 – loosening of the skin

The incision is made horizontally on the lower part on the belly (somewhere under the bikini line for women). The surgeon will then release the attachments of the skin from the muscle abdomen, and carefully loosen the navel at the surface. This is the second step of the tummy tuck, made to later be able to redrape the skin around the belly.


Step 3 – repairing the abdominal muscles

Almost every tummy tuck patient have rectus diastasis – a condition where the abdominal muscles have separated, causing a bulging tummy, pain in the back, or other discomforts. The next step in the tummy tuck procedure is therefore to restore the muscles, where they are carefully and thoroughly tightened and sewn back together, deep down in the structure of the belly.


Step 4 – redraping the skin

After tightening the stomach muscles, the surgeon will the redrape and remove some excess skin to create a flat tummy.


After the surgery, nurses will take care of the patient making sure the pain isn’t too bad, and continue caring for them during the 1-2 nights following at the hospital. If you want to know more about what an abdominoplasty is really like, from consultation to recovery, you can download our free guide below!


Download our free guide: Abdominoplasty – how does it work?