Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Male abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” involves slightly different surgically skills and expectations form abdominoplasty in women.

The principle reason for this is that the primary cause of the excess tissue is different. As with any abdominoplasty, the intention is to provide a flatter abdomen with a smaller waist. Surgery corrects primarily loose, sagging skin and excess fat outside of the abdominal wall. In men there has been no pregnancy and therefore the distention often goes hand in hand with intra-abdominal fat that can’t be corrected by abdominoplasty. Where sagging excess skin results from weight loss then the procedure is ideal.


Male patients present for abdominoplasty with a variety of complaints but but the main reason is excessive, loose or hanging abdominal skin following weight loss that won’t go despite diet and exercise. This weight loss can be considerable.

The precise procedure suggested to you by your specialist surgeon will depend upon examination of specific anatomical features.

These will include excess skin, muscle laxity and any residual fat that may still exist both inside your abdomen and externally under your skin. He/she will bring together all of these factors and together with your expectations, formulate a plan for you.

In general however, surgery involves making an incision that hides low on the abdomen. Through this same abdominoplasty incision a space is created which allows loosening of retaining ligaments allowing the edges to be pulled together at just the right tension. The tummy button is preserved.

There are several possible variations on this technique depending upon your requirements:

Once you and your surgeon have agreed on the precise details of the surgical plan, they will outline a likely recovery, including time frame for return to normal activities including work, management of young children and exercise.

Tummy tuck or (abdominoplasty) is performed under general anaesthesia and therefore you won’t be able to eat or drink for six hours before the operation.

You should expect detailed instructions to be provided by your hospital on exactly what you should and should not do before surgery. The procedure usually takes around 2-3 hours and a 1-2 night stay is usual.

On the day of surgery you will be seen by your surgeon and your anaesthetist pre-operatively. They will discuss with you the procedure and reaffirm the surgical plan. Your anaesthetist will speak to you about previous anaesthetics and provide a plan for minimising the discomfort that you will feel after your operation.

After your surgery is complete you will awake gently in the recovery ward and you will be seen by your surgeon and anaesthetist to make sure that you are comfortable post operatively.

You will then return to your ward. The following morning discharge a plan will be made for you to be reviewed in the outpatient dept for a wound check.

The precise recovery plan as discussed with you pre-operatively and be confirmed by your surgical team and any modifications made. Most surgeons will allow you to return to work in one week and to begin some gentle physical exercise within the first week.

  • As a general rule of thumb, however, following abdominoplasty surgery:
  • Most patients who have abdominoplasty are back to work within two weeks
  • You will need to wear support garment for two weeks during the day.
  • You should be able to drive after a week or two.
  • You’ll be able to walk around straight away but it will be three months before you can run again and around six months before you can do sit-ups
  • In terms of discomfort this should be controlled with simple analgesia such as paracetamol.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help prepare for my surgery?

Most patients will be comfortable driving in one to two weeks.

What are the risks?

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