Tighten your tummy and feel confident again.
Tummy Tuck in a Nutshell
2 - 3 Hours
- Invasiveness 90% 90%
- Pain Factor 90% 90%
Spinal or General Anesthesia
6 - 8 weeks before resuming physical exercise
Learn more about
Who Should Consider a Tummy Tuck?
What a Tummy Tuck Can Do for You
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
Cost of Tummy Tuck
Step-by-Step: Tummy Tuck Surgery
Other Types Of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy Tuck Scar
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery
More On Tummy Tuck
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Should Consider a
You may be a candidate for a tummy tuck if you:
- Have stretched abdominal skin that hangs over your waistband.
- Have fat on the front and sides of your abdomen that you’ve been unable to lose with exercise and a healthy diet.
- Have weakened and separated abdominal muscles, either as a result of pregnancy or excessive weight gain or loss.
- Are at a stable weight.
- Are not planning future pregnancies.
- Are in good health.
- Are a non-smoker, and you don’t drink alcohol to excess.
- Are emotionally and mentally prepared with realistic expectations of what a tummy tuck can accomplish.
Please remember that abdominoplasty is not intended as an alternative to weight loss, or a treatment for obesity. It’s also not a replacement for healthy eating habits and regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you maintain your tummy tuck results.
Can Do For You
You can see several benefits from a tummy tuck including, but not limited to:
- A more defined waistline.
- Removal of excess skin, which can help you fit into your clothing better.
- Removal of some or all unsightly stretch marks caused by pregnancy or weight gain.
- Removal of fat, which can not only improve your appearance, but your health.
- Toned and tight abdominal muscles.
- A flat and smooth midsection.
- Improved confidence and boosted self-esteem.
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How is a Tummy Tuck
When the tummy tuck begins, your surgeon will make a horizontal an incision positioned along the bikini line, from hipbone to hipbone. Then he'll make a second incision around your navel. Next, the skin and other tissues are separated from the muscles, and this flap is pulled upwards from the bikini line to expose the muscles underneath.
Your weakened and separated abdominal muscles are realigned, and sutured together vertically. If part of your procedure, liposuction will then be performed on your abdomen and any other area you and your plastic surgeon identified.
Next, excess fat and skin—including stretch marks—that hang below the incision line are removed. An incision is made where your new navel will be located. Your navel is brought up into the new incision, and sutured into place. Finally, the rest of the horizontal incisions are sutured together.
Devices called Jackson-Pratt drains will be placed in tiny incisions located near the main horizontal incision line. Then bandages and an abdominal binder will be placed on your body to secure and wrap the area.
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Step-by-Step: Tummy Tuck Surgery
Other Types of Tummy Tuck
Most patients want a full tummy tuck as this procedure rejuvenates the entire abdomen. However, some patients require minimal correction, so a mini tummy tuck is a better option.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck, sometimes also called a partial tummy tuck, is ideal for people who are within about ten percent of their desired weight, but who still have small deposits of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. In addition, those fat deposits are limited, for the most part, to the area below the navel.
Only the horizontal incision along the bikini line is made, and is usually a bit smaller than if a full tummy tuck was performed. Since the area of concern is confined to below navel, the belly button will not need to be relocated. Liposuction can still be performed if needed.
Floating Tummy Tuck
Sometimes also referred to as a modified tummy tuck or extended mini tummy tuck, a floating tummy tuck is basically a combination of a full and a mini tummy tuck. This procedure is good for patients who have mild muscle laxity, and who only need a small degree of skin tightening above the navel.
Instead of creating a second incision around the navel, the navel is simply detached from the abdominal surface in order to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. Once the muscles are sutured together, the navel is brought down vertically just by just a few centimeters, and then reattached to the surface. This downward pull corrects loose skin, and the only incision visible afterward is a horizontal line along the pubic hair.
People who have too much or too little loose skin above the navel are not good candidates for this procedure.
Drainless abdominoplasty uses sutures to bind the soft tissues and abdominal wall together. Unfortunately, the quilting technique used to suture the muscle and tissue together may be visible in the skin, creating the appearance of skin irregularities. In addition, it doesn’t completely do away with the risk of forming seromas. The drainless technique also requires the patient to be under anesthesia for a longer period of time, and the less time under general anesthesia, the better it is for the patient.
For these reasons, we do not perform drainless tummy tucks at TCC. While surgical drains may be an annoyance after surgery, our plastic surgeons find there is less risk of complication when drains are used.
What Will My Tummy Tuck Scar Look Like?
To see what your tummy tuck scar might look like, take a look at our gallery of tummy tuck before and after photos. Bear in mind that everyone’s results are different, but this should give you a general idea of what to expect.
In addition, we offer non-surgical laser scar removal procedures that can help diminish the appearance of tummy tuck scars, if you feel self-conscious about them.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
It’s true that liposuction can be performed on the abdomen. While removing fat from this area can improve your appearance, and can reduce health risks related to the amount of fat in your body, if your underlying abdominal muscles are weak or separated, you may still have a loose midsection after liposuction.
Performing liposuction in conjunction with a tummy tuck provides both a tightened midsection and a smoother abdomen carrying less fat.
Recovering from Tummy Tuck Surgery
Immediately following surgery, you'll not only be bandaged, but will be wearing an abdominal binder garment to help keep everything in place while you heal. You will also have Jackson-Pratt drains extending from your abdomen to help avoid seroma, or fluid buildup, which can impede healing. The drains are usually removed about one week after surgery. How long you have to wear the abdominal binder will depend on the extent of your surgery. Your doctor will provide instructions.
While you should be able to return to work about two weeks after surgery, it will be longer before you're completely healed and able to return to all your previous activities.
Question & Answer
When will I see results?
Immediately! After surgery, you’ll be able to see how much slimmer and more contoured your abdomen is. However, you will also be experiencing some swelling which will take several weeks (even up to a few months) to completely subside.
Is a tummy tuck a treatment for obesity?
No. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss method. It is intended to remove excess fat, loose skin, and tighten the abdominal muscles.
Does a tummy tuck help with stretch marks?
It’s possible. While the surgery is not recommended specifically to remove stretch marks, if stretch marks happen to be on the skin that is excised, then yes, they will be removed as well.
How long do the results last? Is a tummy tuck permanent?
The results can last a lifetime, if you do not gain a large amount of weight in the future, do not get pregnant, and if you take care of your body. Remember also that your body will change with age, and so will your appearance.
Can I go home the same day?
Yes. Abdominoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can home the same day of your surgery. You can expect to be at our clinic for about five or six hours, depending on the type of tummy tuck you are having, and whether you combine any other procedures with it.
Is a tummy tuck painful?
Because you will be under general anesthesia during surgery, you won’t feel anything during the tummy tuck. Be aware, though, that it is a rather invasive procedure, so you will be uncomfortable for about one or two weeks following surgery. You’ll receive a prescription for pain medication to help manage any discomfort. Most patients find the surgery is more tolerable than they anticipated.
When can I start exercising?
For the first week after surgery, it will be uncomfortable for you just to get up and move around. However after about a week, walking lightly will help with the healing process. After about six weeks, you can begin a light exercise regimen, and should be able to return to your full exercise routine after about three months.
When can I return to work?
If you have a job that doesn’t require much physical movement (a desk job, for example), you may be able to go back to work after about two weeks. If you have a more physical job, you may need more time off from work, or may have to request lighter duty until you’re able to return to your pre-surgery tasks. Your doctor can provide you with a letter supporting this request.
Can I combine breast surgery with my tummy tuck?
Most definitely, if you are a good candidate! This is a common request, and is sometimes referred to as a “mommy makeover.” You may be able to have breast augmentation, a breast lift, liposuction, or vaginoplasty along with your tummy tuck.
I find the surgical garment uncomfortable. Do I really have to wear it?
Yes. Absolutely. You need to wear the abdominal binder for at least two weeks after surgery. This is to make sure swelling is controlled, and to provide support to your midsection while your muscles heal. Usually after two weeks, and after confirming with your surgeon, you can switch to a tight leotard, such as Spanx®.