Abdominoplasty («tummy tuck»)
Operation | Follow-up care | Frequently asked questions
Abdominoplasty or a “tummy tuck” is indicated when massive weight reduction or pregnancy leaves excess, loose skin and fatty tissue around the abdomen. These noticeable folds of excess skin and fat not only interfere with sport and clothing choices but are also out of proportion to the rest of the body. Many of those affected – particularly women – will understandably want to have this unpleasant effect corrected.
On the day of your abdominoplasty you will arrive at the Pyramid Clinic one and a half to two hours before your scheduled surgery. Our nursing staff and your specialist will prepare you for the operation ahead. This includes taking the “before” photos and marking the new tummy contours on your skin. An experienced anaesthetist you will explain the details of the anaesthetic planned.
The loose skin and excess fatty tissue will be carefully measured and surgically removed. However the incisions will be so well positioned that any scars will be concealed by your underwear or swimsuit. Often some internal tightening is necessary as well as the external tuck. This involves suturing of the abdominal muscles so that they act like an internal corset.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic and takes two to three hours. It requires an overnight stay in the Pyramid Clinic of four nights.
After the abdominoplasty you will be fitted with a special compression garment that you must wear for six weeks – especially when standing up during the day. In the first few weeks you will feel a temporary tautness around the tummy and possibly some muscular pain as a result of the associated muscle firming. Expect to be off work for about two weeks. The abdominal muscles in particular should be rested (e.g. no lifting weights). After about six to eight weeks your scars will have healed.
Situation before surgery
The incisions required to remove excess tissue will be positioned in such a way that they are concealed by your underwear or swimsuit.
Are the results of abdominoplasty permanent?
As a general rule, the more stable your body weight, the better the chance of a permanent result. Even after a slight increase in weight, you can still expect lasting results from this form of figure correction.
Do the abdominoplasty scars remain visible?
Abdominoplasty normally leaves fine, faint scars that will be scarcely visible after a certain period of time. Depending on genetic predisposition and the body’s natural healing ability, in rare cases some thicker or slightly reddish scar tissue may remain. However the incision sites will be well positioned so that any scars will be concealed by your underwear or swimsuit.
Do I need to tell you about any medication I am taking?
It is extremely important in every case that you advise the specialist treating you of any illnesses and any medication you may be taking. For two weeks before surgery you must not take any medication containing aspirin (e.g. Aspirin, Aspégic etc.). These medications may lead to excessive bleeding during the operation and delay the post-operative healing process. The specialist may decline to go ahead with the abdominoplasty at any time if an increased risk is posed as a result of medication taken before the operation.
Are there any risks associated with an abdominoplasty?
As a general rule, any operation carries with it certain risks (e.g. intolerance of certain medication, bruising, delayed healing, inflammation, scar problems or loss of normal sensation). This all depends on the individual’s general state of health. Your specialist will discuss any potential risks with you as part of the consultation process and preparation for surgery.
How long will I be off work?
You should expect to be off work for about two weeks. If your job involves heavy physical activity, you may be unable to return to work for up to six weeks.
When will I be able to play sport again?
Sporting activity may be resumed once the healing process is over (after about six to eight weeks).
How much does abdominoplasty cost?
The cost of an abdominoplasty depends on the type and scope of the surgical procedure involved and can only be determined as part of a private consultation and medical examination. In total you can expect to pay around 10,000 to 20,000 Swiss francs. The preliminary consultation is 200 Swiss francs.
Will this procedure be covered by health insurance?
Abdominoplasty is not normally covered by health insurance. In extreme cases of excessive soft tissue accumulating around the abdomen after massive weight loss, an insurance company may, in rare instances, pay a proportion of the treatment costs.
Our doctors have many years of experience. We guarantee rapid, expert investigation and advice. Treatment is provided using the most up-to-date equipment and facilities. You are also welcome to ask us for a second opinion.
Facts and figures
2 ½ to 3 hours, under general anaesthetic
Length of stay at the clinic
Compression garment for around 6 weeks
Back to school or work
After around 2 weeks, longer if your job involves strenuous physical activity