American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

The Procedure

Step 1 - Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.  Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 - Tummy tuck incision

A tummy tuck involves the surgical removal of excess abdominal fat and skin and includes tightening of the abdominal wall where muscles have weakened.

A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin.

Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together.

A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.

When a correction is isolated to the area below the navel, a limited or "mini tummy tuck" with a shorter incision at the pubic bone level may berecommended. Liposuction may be performed witheither a full or mini tummy tuck where excess fat is a factor.


Tummy Tuck, Outline


Tummy Tuck, Pre-Interior Incision


Tummy Tuck, Interior Incision


Tummy Tuck, Exterior Incision


Tummy Tuck, Lower Incision Outline

(4) Before

Tummy Tuck, Lower Incision

(4) After

Step 3 - The breast lift incision

During the breast lift part of the surgery, excess skin is surgically removed to raise the nipple and  tighten the breast tissue. Incision patterns vary,  depending on degree of excess skin and the amount of lifting required as well as patient and surgeon preference. There are three common incision patterns:

•  Around the areola


  •  Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease



  •  Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the  breast crease


Step 4 - Reshaping your breasts

After your doctor makes the incisions:

  • · The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and  firmness.
  • · The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height.
  • · If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
  • · Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.

Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift. An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.

Step 5 - Closing the incisions

Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue and the abdomen to create and support the newly shaped breasts and abdomen. After your breasts and abdomen are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed with sutures, skin  adhesives, tapes or clips.

Drains may be placed under the skin to remove any weeping bloor or serum after the surgery. The drain will remain until this weeping stops, usualy one to three weeks. You will be asked to empty and record the volume of drainage so that your surgeon can know when it is safe to remove the drain. You will often be asked to wear a compression garment (girdle) after abdominal surgery to minimize the bruising and swelling, for a few weeks.

Your surgeon will try to make sure that all of your breast and abdominal scars are hidden beneath your underwear or a bathing suit. However when you are naked, these scars will be visible. While your plastic surgeon will do everything possible to assure you get the best possible scar, scar formation depends on your own genetics and wound healing capabilities. Scars do tend to improve over time, but it may be months to years before the scars fade as much as they will.

Many women desire the smallest scars possible. However, your plastic surgeon will recommend the incision which best suits your anatomy. Listen to your surgeon and do not diminish your result by demanding an incision that will not be appropriate for you.

Step 7 - See the results

The results of your mommy makeover surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal of a more youthful body shape.

While you may be very pleased with your "perky" breast shape, it is prudent to protect your investment by wearing a supportive bra.




Patient Care Center