Abdominoplasty: The Consult, Procedure, & Recovery


At Macleod Trail Plastic Surgery, all 3 of our Royal College-certified plastic surgeons perform an Abdominoplasty surgery. People from Edmonton and Calgary trust us to perform this significant surgery, which corrects loose or sagging skin and creates a firmer, flatter, slimmer midsection. It’s especially helpful after pregnancy or dramatic weight loss, which can cause stretching of the abdominal skin and separation of the abdominal muscles—a condition called diastasis recti.

Many people who have undergone Abdominoplasty comment that they wish they had done it sooner. Many people put off the surgery because of the fear and anxiety that comes from not knowing what’s involved with the procedure. If you’re considering an Abdominoplasty, this post was written to help you understand what to expect from the process—from consultation through recovery.

Your Consultation

Your first step is to request an initial consultation. During this, you’ll meet with the surgeon who will be performing your surgery to discuss your goals and concerns surrounding the procedure. Your doctor will review whether you are a better candidate for a full Abdominoplasty or the more limited mini Abdominoplasty.  He may provide recommendations for other procedures, such as liposuction, that can help you achieve the results you want.

You may be well-suited for a mommy makeover, which combines Abdominoplasty with breast enhancement. As we discussed in a previous blog post, this procedure is extremely popular, and for good reason. Your consultation is the perfect time to bring up your interest in any additional procedures.

At your appointment, you’ll also be given more detailed information on pricing and pre-op preparation. Our goal is for you to leave our office feeling informed and confident about your next steps.

The Procedure

Your procedure will be customized to suit your specific needs, but it will follow the general Abdominoplasty protocol.

During a full Abdominoplasty, your surgeon will make a very low incision on the abdomen—from hip bone to hip bone. This is easily covered by underwear or a bikini. He will remove excess skin, tighten the underlying abdominal muscles as needed, and reposition the belly button using a well-concealed incision within the navel.

With a mini Abdominoplasty, the incision is shorter and the belly button is not repositioned, though it may be reshaped. Only skin below the navel is addressed.

Abdominoplasty Recovery

You will be discharged once you recover from anesthesia, which typically takes about 2 hours. It’s important to have a friend or family member stay with you overnight. You will have surgical drains in place to prevent fluid buildup, and these will usually be removed within a week. Information on how to care for them is included in the comprehensive post-op instructions you’ll be given.

A few helpful tips for recovery:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid salt to help reduce swelling
  • Eat lots of fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains to prevent constipation
  • Walk around for a few minutes every hour to promote circulation

Abdominoplasty patients generally take about 2 weeks off work, during which time it’s essential to keep physical activity light and wear the compression garments we provide. Each patient returns to daily activities at their own rate, so communication with us about your guidelines is key. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns along the way.

If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery and planning your own procedure, please contact us online or call (403) 452-7953 to request your initial consultation. We look forward to meeting with you.