Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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Once the abdomen has been stretched by pregnancy or weight gain, it often fails to return to its original shape. Because they are lengthened beyond the capacity to return to normal, these tissues typically do not respond to exercise or dieting efforts. In these cases, abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck surgery") can provide a long-lasting solution.

Highly requested for its effectiveness, the tummy tuck procedure is used to tighten overly-stretched abdominal muscles and skin, as well as remove a portion of excess fat for a smoother, flatter appearance.

If you are considering abdominoplasty, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a qualified plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck surgery.


*The national average surgeon fee for Tummy Tuck in 2012 was $5,241.

Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separeted and weakened by pregnancy. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearence of stretch marks.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a procedure with permanent results.









  1. Ideal candidate:
  2. The tummy tuck – what to expect during and after surgery:
  3. Tummy tuck recovery:
  4. How long does the procedure take?
  5. What is the long-term outcome for most people?


What will happen at the initial consultation?

During the consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He/she will explain the details of the tummy tuck surgery, including its risks and limitations. Your anesthetic options will be addressed as well. Your surgeon will also evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone.

Be sure to ask all the questions you have about tummy tuck surgery, and ask to see tummy tuck before and after pictures of the doctor' s recent patients. The practice' s tummy tuck pictures may be a key factor in determining if this surgeon is right for you. You can also ask for his/her patient references. Learning everything you can about your options, risks, and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.

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Ideal candidate:

In general, the best candidate for tummy tuck surgery is:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Mature enough to fully understand the procedure
  • In relatively good shape, excluding the abdominal area
  • Not pregnant or planning to become pregnant (pregnancy after tummy tuck surgery is generally unadvisable)
  • Not obese, and in generally good health
  • Not planning to lose a large amount of weight (your surgeon can explain why)
  • Wanting to improve his/her appearance and/or comfort
  • Realistic in his/her expectations

The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in determining whether tummy tuck surgery is appropriate for you.

Note: If you have scarring from a previous tummy tuck, your doctor may recommend against abdominoplasty, or may caution you that tummy tuck scars could be unusually prominent.

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The tummy tuck – what to expect during and after surgery:

Bed rest for two to three days is recommended following tummy tuck surgery. While in bed, your legs should be bent up towards the hips in order to reduce the strain on the abdominal area. You will be provided with a firm abdominal binder to offer support to the tightened areas.

Your doctor will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. Although you may not be able to stand straight up at first, you should start walking as soon as possible, which will help promote blood circulation.

Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures will come out in two to three weeks.

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Tummy tuck recovery:

Following surgery, tummy tuck recovery time may vary for each patient. It may take you several weeks to feel completely back to normal. If you are in top physical condition, recovery will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others may take four weeks to recuperate.

Even if you've never exercised before, you should begin a light exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and improve muscle tone. However, vigorous exercise, especially lifting, should wait until you can do it comfortably and your surgeon gives you permission.

Although you can discuss the possibility with your surgeon, there is generally no guarantee of a scarless tummy tuck. Often, tummy tuck scars appear to worsen during the first few months, but typically flatten out and lighten in color over the course of a year. While tummy tuck scars may never disappear completely, your incisions will be placed so that they will be undetectable under a bathing suit or underwear.

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How long does the tummy tuck take?

Tummy tuck surgery may take place in a time frame of two to five hours, depending on the extent of the repair. A partial abdominoplasty, or "mini tummy tuck," should be shorter, generally taking one to two hours to complete.

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What is the long-term outcome for most people?

When a patient keeps his/her weight relatively consistent, eats a healthy diet, exercises regularly, and follows post-operative instructions regarding physical activity, long-term tummy tuck results are generally excellent.

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The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.

*Disclaimer: Source: According to the  American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), nationally in 2010. Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may vary depending the extensiveness of the procedure, location, and other factors. Costs are provided solely for research purposes. For specific estimates, please contact a qualified plastic surgeon. 

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