Length of surgery:   4 hours, depending on the individual case
 Type of anesthesia: General anesthesia, twilight sleep
 After surgery: 0 – 1 day
 Nach der OP: Intense recovery period of 2 weeks, sports & strenuous physical activities after 6 weeks

An abdominoplasty is performed to remove excess fat and skin tissue.

If necessary, the abdominal muscles can be tightened, scars on the lower abdomen (e. g. after a caesarean or any other surgical procedures) can be eliminated and hernias can be repaired. If it can be seen before the surgery that a rupture of the abdominal wall (hernia) has to be repaired, this part of the operation will be explained to you separately.

An abdominoplasty is advisable if the elastic fibers of the skin have been destroyed, resulting in excess, hanging skin (e. g. after pregnancy or massive weight loss). An abdominoplasty is usually not advisable in cases of extreme obesity.

Under certain circumstances, it can be performed if the abdominal wall has been previously reduced through liposuction. If you are a candidate for this type of additional treatment, it will be explained to you separately.


Surgical procedure

The procedure is normally performed under general anesthesia.

Different incisions are possible:

  • Horizontal incision above the pubic hairline
  • W-shaped incision (see illustration 1b)
  • Anchor-shaped incision (see illustration 2)


The type of incision suitable for you depends on the type and size of the exceeding skin. The doctor will discuss the suitable incision type with you.

The excess abdominal skin is then separated from the muscles together with the fat tissue lying underneath, tightened downwards and excess skin and fat removed. This phase of the operation also allows for corrections of the abdominal muscle wall. If there is a lot of excess skin, the navel has sometimes to be cut out and repositioned. If the repair of abdominal wall hernia is envisaged, you will be advised separately. Before the incisions are closed with sutures, one or several drains are usually inserted to drain off blood and wound fluids. A compression bandage is applied to reduce swelling and pain and to support the reshaping of the skin.

Success of treatment

The results of this operation and the persistence of its results depend on the type of procedure, on the post-operative treatment and the patient’s behaviour, but also on the general health of the patient, skin characteristics, patient age and weight and hormonal influences. As tissue reactions can never be exactly foreseen, despite all care taken, slight asymmetries could persist after the healing of the wounds. Occasionally, excess tissue remains on both scar ends, making a subsequent correction desirable.