Tummy Tuck | Abdominolplasty

About Abdominoplasty

abdominoplasty 01 updatedThis is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat from the lower part of the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are tightened to further contour the waist and shape the abdomen. The incision lies in the crease of the lower abdomen concealed below underwear. The length of the scar is determined by the amount of skin and fat to be excised. The umbilicus(belly button) is repositioned once the excess abdominal skin is removed.

This procedure is most commonly performed on patients who have either lost weight orfollowing pregnancy, once their family is complete.

An abdominoplasty should not be performed on someone who intends to have more children.


Two to three hours.


The procedure is most commonly performed under general anaesthesia, augmented with local anaesthetic.



An overnight stay at renaissance clinic is compulsory with this procedure as nursing supervision will be required in the first 24hrs.


Smoking increases the risk of complications significantly and should be stopped 4 weeks prior to and aftersurgery.


As an increase in weight after surgery will affect the result, one should be at one’s preferred ideal weightbefore proceeding with surgery.


No alcohol 48 hours before surgery.


Be well nourished, hydrated and rested before your surgery.


A script will be issued for antibiotics and pain tablets. You will need to purchase them from a chemist andbring them with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff willadvise you and your carer on how to administer them.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and aftersurgery as they can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase bleeding.

These include Aspirin & anti-inflammatories (Voltaren, Brufen etc) which should be avoided for 2 weeksbefore to surgery.

Avoid Omegas, Vitamin C & E & Arnica for 3 days before your operation as well as red wine.Stop all herbal medications 1 week before surgery. These include Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng,Ginkgo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian.

*(Please ask us for a more comprehensive list if required.)

Consult Dr Geldenhuys before stopping any chronic medications.

After discharge arrange to have an adult stay with you for two nights at least, and transport to the followup visits.


Report any signs of a cold or infection, either skin (boils, bites scratches etc) or dental within two weeks ofyour surgery, as these may increase the risk of surgical infection and may result in surgery being deferred.

Obtain any desired “comfort items” before surgery e.g. music, comfortable clothing, pillows, healthyprepped meals - anything that will facilitate a pleasant environment for your recovery.

Avoid sun/UV exposure for two weeks prior to surgery. Any evidence of sunburn will result in your surgerybeing cancelled.

Do not save questions for the morning of your surgery. This is a busy time for us and it should be arelaxing time for you. Please contact the office PRIOR to your surgery if you have any questions.


You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery. If you need to take chronic medication during this time, do so with a sip of water.

On arrival at the clinic you will be offered a pre-med to ensure that you are relaxed & calm for the procedure. Dr. Geldenhuys & your anesthetist will see you in the ward before surgery.


  • Any current medicines and those which have been prescribed.
  • Medical Aid membership card• ID Document
  • Credit Card or other agreed means of payment
  • Toiletries if required and suitable clothing for discharge.


Medicated soap will be provided to be used on the morning of your operation.


Do not apply make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Gel and acrylic nailsare to be removed before admission.


Remove all jewelry.


Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. Front opening garments are ideal.



You will need to rest frequently during the first week. Avoid stairs if possible. You may walk around the house as tolerated, at a 45 degree angle bent at the hips. Your back may become sore in this position but this will improve as you recover. Rest & sleep on your back for at least 7 days with your head elevated and knees bent and supported with a pillow as this will keep the tension off your abdomen. Do not sleep on your side. During the day, get out of bed every two to three hours and walk for short stints to stimulate circulation, then return to resting.


Most patients resume driving on their own after 14 days though this will vary. Proceed when you arecomfortable, off pain medication and cleared by Dr Geldenhuys to do so.


Return to normal activity should be a gradual process and should never cause discomfort. Stop if you areuncomfortable!

  • First 3 weeks: You may take a gentle walk within a few days, “short Sunday stroll”.
  • Weeks 4-6: Legs & light cardiovascular exercise only (lower body movement, no arms)
  • Week 7-12: Gradual increase in cardio exercise & light upper body training( abdomen, biceps - no peck exercises for first 3 months )


There will be several drains and you will have dressings on your abdomen. The drains evacuate the fluidthat accumulates after surgery and facilitates healing. Dressings and drains will be removed 4 – 6 daysafter surgery. A pressure garment will be fitted after surgery and should be worn day and night for 12weeks after surgery. (You may, of course, remove it to shower and launder). This minimizes swelling andimproves the final result. A second garment will be supplied on request.


Have shallow baths until the drains have been removed. After the drain removal you may shower. If youprefer to bath, do not allow the incision lines to soak for more than a few minutes. After your stitches havebeen removed you may bath normally.


Most of the sutures are under the skin and do not need to be removed. There may be some suturesaround the belly button and ends of incision sites which will be snipped between days 7-10.


Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from thesun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of UV radiation can reach the skin and causedamage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times when outdoors.


It is common for the skin of the abdomen to remain partially or completely numb for several months orlonger. Your abdomen will feel tight for a few weeks. Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicateregeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm.It may take as long as two years for sensation in the abdomen to be completely restored.


The incisions will be covered with Micropore & Bactroban ointment for about 10 days after surgery, andthereafter topical Vitamin A or Silicone will be used for 8-12 weeks. (this will be explained to you aftersurgery).


Take medication as directed.Contact Dr Geldenhuys if you develop nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation or bloating. If painpersists despite pain medications please contact Dr Geldenhuys.


You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) postoperatively.If required these will be fitted and supplied to you. The nursing staff will advise you on howlong you need to wear these.


Have 3 meals a day with sufficient fiber, protein & carbohydrate and stay hydrated with plenty of fluid.Water and non-carbonated juices are preferable.

CALL ROOMS (021) 424 5218 IF YOU HAVE:

  • A temperature greater than 37’C.
  • Bleeding from the incision or drain sites.
  • A sudden increase in pain, or swelling of the breast or around the incision site.
  • Any questions regarding your care.