The duration of a tummy tuck will depend on the size and profile of the patient and the extent of surgery required; whether full or partial. A full tummy tuck procedure may usually take between two to three hours. However, in exceptional circumstances where the patient’s size is large, or the patient has multiple scars, the surgery may take a longer time. Each patient is unique, so each surgery is unique and the duration of surgery may vary accordingly.
The tummy tuck is considered to be a major surgery. In many cases, a circumferential incision must be made which is an elaborate task and will take a longer time. It also depends on the skills and experience of the performing surgeon. Surgeons who are highly experienced in the tummy tuck procedure can perform the surgery more efficiently. That is a conservative approach because it minimizes the time that the patient remains under anesthesia.
A partial or mini tummy tuck may take about one and a half hours to complete. The patient should be educated about the expected duration of the procedure well in advance. Even though the patient is usually under sedation during the procedure, it is still important that he or she should be informed in advance about the expected length of the surgery.
An experienced surgeon will always do detailed and careful advanced planning for the surgery. He or she will discuss with the patient the entire procedure, and decide the placement of the incisions in consultation with the patient. This is important because scars will remain after a tummy tuck. So the area of scars should be such that they can be hidden as far as possible.
With advance treatment planning, the surgeon is able to execute the procedure with optimal efficiency. The rule of thumb of any surgery is that the shorter the duration of surgery, the lower the risk. This is primarily on account of anesthesia and sedation that can be used in lower concentration if the duration of the surgery is shorter.