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Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is performed to flatten your abdominal area.


Complementary Surgeries for tummy tucks

A breast surgery is often combined with a tummy tuck surgery. For further information on combining your tummy tuck with a breast surgery, please discuss with Dr. Trevor Brooks at the time of your consultation.

    • At the time of your initial consult, you will meet with Dr. Brooks to discuss your tummy tuck goals in detail. The surgical steps are explained and all your questions are answered. 

    • General anesthesia is used so you will be extremely comfortable and asleep during the surgery.

    • A bikini line incision will be made horizontally, from hip bone to hip bone. The incision line may be placed lower or higher to some degree depending on your preference. A second hidden incision will be made around your belly button.

    • Once the incisions are made, your skin and fat will be elevated from your abdominal muscles. The elevated skin will be lifted and gently placed up towards your chest giving Dr. Brooks the appropriate space to work on your abs. Your abdominal muscles will be tightened and diastasis-recti repaired with sutures for a firm midsection. Once the muscle tightening is complete, your elevated skin will be gently pulled down toward your bikini line incision, any excess skin and fat that hangs over the incision line will be removed.

    • Before closing your incisions, Dr. Brooks will make a small opening through your remaining abdominal skin. Your belly button will be pulled through the opening and sutured in its position. Drainage tubes will be placed, then your incisions will be sutured.

    • A tummy tuck surgery typically takes 1.5-3 hours to perform.  

    • Call Dr. Brooks or go to a walk-in-clinic if you have any of the following:

      • A fever over 37 degrees.

      • Yellow, green or foul-smelling drainage.

      • A large red area around the incision.

      • An allergic reaction to the medications or dressings (this could be shortness of breath, a rash/redness, hives, etc.)

    • You must stay in Medicine Hat for 1-3 days post-surgery, as per Dr. Brooks, due to post-surgery complications that could occur. This policy is in place for other procedures as well.

    • Once you are awake from the surgery, and our recovery team has cleared you to go, your arranged ride can drive you home.

    • You will be asked to walk with a slight bend at the waist for the first 5 days. You will be able to stand up straight after 1 week. 

    • Dr. Brooks prescribes pain medication to help alleviate post-surgical discomfort. 

    • You will see the results of your tummy tuck surgery immediately.

    • Your follow up appointment:

      • Dr. Brooks will want to see you 7 days after your surgery. To ensure you get in within this time, please call 403-487-0460 promptly after your surgery to set the appointment up.

    • Dressing/Bandages after surgery:

      • Your dressings applied in the operating room should remain on, dry and intact for 5-7 days following surgery. You should not shower during this time.

      • Your binder should be worn at all times for 6 weeks. If you take it off to launder, please rest while you are not wearing it.

      • You will see Dr. Brooks at his office 7-8 days after your surgery for your first dressing change. 

      • You may shower the day after he sees you. Dry the area by patting with a clean towel or allowing to air dry. If you have Steri-strips, let them fall off on their own.   After each shower, place a very thin layer of Polysporin on the incisions.

      • There will be bloody drainage on the dressings, this is normal. 

      • If bleeding occurs, hold constant & firm pressure for 10 minutes with a clean towel. If bleeding continues and cannot be stopped, seek emergency care and then contact Dr. Brooks to inform him.

      • Do not submerge the area in water for 3 weeks (no baths, hot tubs, pools, ocean/lake water). Your sutures are dissolvable and submerging them in water could open your incision up.

      • You will see the nurses at Day Medicine Hat (MHRH 2nd floor) for your drain removals once drainage is less than < 20 ml over 24 hours. You will be taught how to monitor your drain output before you are discharged from the hospital on the day of your surgery.

    • Medication after surgery:

      • Take your regular medication as prescribed (unless Dr. Brooks has specifically instructed you otherwise). Typically a pain medication and an antibiotic will be prescribed after surgery.

      • Do not drive while taking the pain medication.

      • Make sure to finish the entire antibiotic prescription.

      • Once done the pain prescription, you may use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) unless Dr. Brooks has instructed you otherwise.

      • Avoid ibuprofen (Advil) and inflammatory medication (Aleve) for the first 4 days.

    • Return to work after surgery:

      • Most patients are able to return to work 3-4 weeks after the surgery. 

      • People with jobs that require heavy lifting may require more time before returning to full duties. Dr. Brooks can provide you with a work note.

    • Activity after surgery:

      • You should take it easy for the first week but you need to be up and walking around 4-5 times/day to decrease the risk of blood clots. 

      • Swelling is normal. For the first week keep your torso elevated with pillows and your hips at an angle like in a lazy-boy chair while sleeping on either your back or side. Or feel free to actually sleep in a lazy-boy reclining chair. Continue on your back or side for the first 4 weeks. If comfortable, you may sleep on your stomach after 4 weeks.

      • Beginning the second week of recovery, you may begin to be fully upright as your pain tolerance permits.

      • Avoid lifting, pushing and/or pulling any object heavier than 10 lbs for the first 4 weeks (for reference, a 4L milk jug is 9 lbs).

      • Avoid sexual activity for the first 2 weeks, and then be careful for the next 2 weeks.

      • Do not do sports, heavy house/yard work, or use exercise equipment until 4-6 weeks after surgery or when Dr. Brooks has given you the go ahead.

      • You may begin scar massage at 3 weeks (if there are no open areas to the incision). Use firm pressure and cream (Vitamin A, Vitamin E or Aloe Vera are all excellent choices), and push against the direction of the scar (perpendicular).

      • A high quality vitamin and silicone scar gel is available at Dr. Brooks’ office, but there are many available at most pharmacies as over-the-counter products.

    • Sunshine:

      • After 3 weeks, if your surgical site is to be exposed to sun, apply an SPF 45 or higher sunscreen and for at least 1 year after continue to do so to prevent the scar from changing to a darker colour.

    • Diet after surgery:

      • Resume your regular diet.

      • Drink plenty of fluids.

      • Stay away from alcoholic beverages for 1 week.

      • Limit caffeinated beverages for 1 week.

      • Avoid smoking/vaping for 3 months before and 6 weeks after surgery for better wound healing. Nicotine constricts blood vessels.

What to expect  from tummy tuck surgery

What is tummy tuck surgery?

With an abdominoplasty surgery, Dr. Brooks removes excess fat and skin from the stomach and tightens the abdominal muscles to reveal a slimmer, smoother midsection. If you have strechmarks, depending on the placement of them, most or all can be removed during your tummy tuck procedure.


A tummy tuck surgery is common for women after pregnancy, or in men following weight loss.

Results of Dr. Trevor Brooks’ surgeries can be viewed on his social media feed.

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