Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty, often referred to as a “tummy tuck,” is a procedure designed to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the stomach. In many cases this is coupled with liposuction to enhance the contour of the abdomen. Abdominoplasty is frequently combined with other operations such as breast augmentation or lift as part of a “mommy makeover.”
Click here or on the photo to the left for before-and-after pictures of this procedure. All patients shown have given expressed written permission for this purpose.
How will a tummy tuck improve my appearance?
An abdominoplasty is a procedure that improves the abdominal profile, creating a more slender and natural contour. This is accomplished by first removing excess skin and tissue from the abdomen, and then by tightening the abdominal wall (rectus plication). This results in direct removal of a large amount of extra skin and fatty tissue, which may remove stretch marks and the “saggy stomach” appearance. Waistline definition and core strength are improved by realigning the rectus muscles.
Patients who receive the most benefit from this procedure are those with extra skin and tissue of the abdomen but who are not considered obese. Patients who see the most significant results are those who have more excess skin than extra fat, however a broad range of patients benefit from the operation. At your free consultation, Dr. McDaniel will tailor the procedure based on your individual body shape and concerns.
How does a tummy tuck work?
Most patients receive the most benefit from a standard abdominoplasty. This procedure involves an incision around the belly button and across the lower abdomen, around the level of a C-section scar. The length of the incision is typically from hip to hip in order to allow maximal improvement without bunching in the corners. Once extra skin and fatty tissue is loosened from the abdominal wall, the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack,” muscles are brought back together in the middle of the abdomen. This helps abdominal strength and “hourglass” figure. Permanent sutures are used for this purpose to reduce the risk of future muscle separation. The excess skin and fatty tissue is then removed directly and the incision repaired. Finally, the belly button is brought up to the surface and secured in place.
One or two drains are used, depending on the length of the incision. These help to prevent formation of fluid pockets, which can require weekly drainage. The drains are typically removed by two weeks after surgery.
Can other procedures be added to a tummy tuck?
Liposuction is often used as part of your tummy tuck in order to further enhance the contour of the flanks. Additionally, breast procedures are very frequently done at the same time (see “Mommy Makeover”), and these may include breast lift or breast augmentation. Each patient has unique goals, and we will work with you to create your individualized treatment plan.
What will my recovery be like?
Abdominoplasty and any combined procedures may be done in our private AAAASF-certified operating room, and does not require you spend time in the hospital. Dr. McDaniel will see you in the office the next day to examine your surgical site, review your activity restrictions, and help you transition into the first stage of your recovery. Our staff will help you schedule follow up appointments with Dr. McDaniel throughout the next year as you complete your recovery. (These visits are free of charge.)
Patients who undergo abdominoplasty will often experience tightness of the lower stomach skin due to the significant degree of tissue removal during the operation. While this sensation usually lasts about week, you may feel more comfortable walking with slightly bent posture.
You will be given a post-surgical abdominal binder the day of your procedure. It is important that you wear this continuously for four week. It will also help lessen the swelling and soreness.
After any procedure, it is important to allow your body the time and the rest it needs to heal properly. Giving thought to your recovery, keeping your plan reasonable, will make your recovery significantly easier. In general, patients are able to return to work one week after their procedure. Cardiovascular exercise or activities that elevate your heart rate or blood pressure must be avoided for three weeks. Stretching of the torso, which can occur with yoga, pilates, extended reaching, and other activities, should be avoided for 6 weeks after surgery to minimize scar widening.
How uncomfortable will I be after a tummy tuck?
Pain from an abdominoplasty is typically moderate. Unlike surgeries that involve the abdominal or pelvic cavities (such as appendix or gallbladder removal, Cesarean section, hysterectomy, etc.), tummy-tucks are performed outside of the more sensitive tissues and cause less pain. Additionally, Dr. McDaniel will give you a numbing injection at the surgical site during the procedure which will last up to three days and significantly reduces post-surgical discomfort. Oral pain medication is typically prescribed for one to two weeks, and thereafter you will transition to over-the-counter medications.
Often times pain in the first stage of your recovery, and even up to a few months after your procedure, can be attributed to an increase in your activity level. Even if you feel like you are ready for more activity, following activity restrictions is still very important.
What kind of scarring can I expect?
Abdominoplasty scars typically involve a scar around the belly button and from hip to hip. It is natural to be concerned about scarring, however, scars usually become flatter and lighter as they mature. Most patients agree that once these scars have “matured, ” they are worth the trade-off for enhanced body contour.
What does a tummy tuck cost? Are there financing plans?
We are committed to delivering excellence in every aspect of your care, and keeping costs reasonable is part of that commitment. A tummy tuck costs between $7,800 and $8,800, which includes the cost of CosmetAssure coverage as well as the surgical, facility, and anesthesia fees. We are also offer a multi-procedure discount.
Gallatin Plastic Surgery offers a variety of financing plans through Care Credit. You can apply online or at our office, we are happy to answer any questions that you might have.
"A tummy tuck can help transform your appearance. Getting rid of loose, wrinkled skin and fat deposits from pregnancy or weight loss can completely change how you view yourself."
-Dr. Jarred McDaniel
“Doctor and staff did a great job allowing me to ask questions and I did not feel rushed. I leave feeling that my issues were discussed and I have an understanding of what is expected. I do also feel if I do have questions or concerns that I may ask at anytime after leaving the office.”