Outpatient Tummy Tucks Deemed Safe and Effective

With proper follow-up care, abdominoplasty may be performed in an accredited ambulatory setting

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) announced on July 12, 2007 that ambulatory abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) may be safely and effectively performed at an accredited outpatient surgery facility.  Findings from a retrospective analysis of outpatient abdominoplasty procedures performed over the past ten years are published in the May/June 2007 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (ASJ), the Society’s official peer-reviewed journal. According to ASAPS data, abdominoplasty is one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the United States, with approximately 172,500 tummy tucks performed in 2006, compared with just 34,000 in 1997. 

“Even though these procedures are commonly performed on an outpatient basis, we had few large, published studies to support outpatient abdominoplasty as a safe and effective operation,” said W. Grant Stevens, MD, lead author of the study. "This large, long-term study clearly illustrates that these procedures may be safely performed in an accredited outpatient facility."

The authors of the study cautioned, however, that although outpatient abdominoplasty is safe and effective, proper follow-up care is imperative, and patients need to have responsible caretakers stay with them after surgery.

“Patients must ambulate the day of surgery and take in adequate oral fluids, and all patients need a caregiver to prompt them and help them to do this,” added Dr. Stevens. “Embolism precautions must be taken, and patients with a higher risk for medical complications may still need to be treated as inpatients.”

All ASAPS members perform surgeries that require general anesthesia only in an accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facility.  To locate an ASAPS member-surgeon who is board-certified in your area go to “Find-a-Surgeon”.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery.  ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

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