body contouring

Tummy Tuck

Substantial weight gain, weight loss, and pregnancy can leave sagging skin and stubborn fat on your abdomen.

When diet and exercise are ineffective, tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) can restore a more balanced, attractive figure.

Why should I consider surgical body contouring?

body contouring

Tummy Tuck Provides Dramatic, Lasting Effects

Unparalleled Results

Removing excess skin and fat is simply the most effective way to slim some patients’ midsections

Immediate Transformation

While swelling can take several weeks to subside, surgery achieves an immediate enhancement.

Permanent Treatment

Though some degree of sagging is a natural part of the aging process, mindful eating and regular exercise can help to sustain a dramatic transformation

Tummy Tucks Are Among the Top 5 Most Commonly Performed Cosmetic Procedures

Tummy Tuck Candidates Are Healthy and Want to Achieve Life-Changing Results

Good Overall Health

In order to undergo tummy tuck surgery, you need to be in good overall health. You should refrain from smoking, as the habit has been linked to an increased risk of surgical complications

Unhappy with Your Abdominal Area

Women who have had several pregnancies or those who have experienced massive weight loss are typically great candidates for this procedure because it addresses the after-effects of both.

Previous Attempts with Diet and Exercise

Before considering surgical options, most surgeons recommend that you make a conscious effort to achieve results with diet and exercise alone

Stable Weight

If you want to grow your family, your surgeon may recommend waiting since pregnancy can reverse the results of your tummy tuck. You should also be committed to maintaining a healthy, stable weight.

Realistic Expectations

While a tummy tuck can help you achieve a dramatic transformation in your abdominal area, it is not a solution to all of your cosmetic concerns. Talk to your surgeon about what surgery can or cannot do to ensure that your expectations align with the possibilities. 

Undergoing a Tummy Tuck after Massive Weight Loss

Your skin has a certain amount of elasticity that allows it to return to its original shape if it is stretched. However, when the skin is stretched beyond a certain point for extended periods of time, it loses its elasticity. Due to this process, many patients who lose significant amounts of weight are left with loose, sagging skin in their abdomen.

A tummy tuck can be a great option for patients with excess skin and tissue in their midsection. The process for receiving an abdominoplasty after massive weight loss is very similar to a regular tummy tuck and can help you achieve the results you deserve.

But Isn't the Procedure Risky?

No surgery is without risks, and your surgeon will inform you of these considerations prior to the procedure. 

According to a study published by the Archives of Plastic Surgery, fewer than 1 percent of abdominoplasty patients suffered a systemic complication.

By completely reviewing your medical history before your procedure, your surgeon can help reduce the risk of major complications.

If your doctor finds you are eligible, your surgery will generally consist of several steps:

Day of Procedure

Step One

Anesthesia will be used to numb the area and help you relax. Many doctors use general anesthesia for optimal comfort.

Step Two

A discreetly placed horizontal incision will be made between the hip bones, allowing access to deeper tissues. A second incision may also be made around the navel.

Step Three

The doctor will work carefully based on your unique needs, removing excess fat and skin.

Step Four

In some cases, separated abdominal muscles (a common side effect of pregnancy) will be repaired.

Step Five

The belly button may be placed in a higher position to achieve a natural-looking result.

Step Six

The incisions will be closed and surgical dressings will be applied.

The Results Are Noticeable Almost Immediately

Although swelling and sutures will initially affect your results, you will be able to see a slimmer midsection immediately after treatment. After the first two weeks, you will start seeing even more dramatic results. 

Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that you are healing properly. Patients who undergo a tummy tuck should also expect some scarring, although your doctor will create incisions in discreet areas which can often be hidden by underwear or bikini bottoms. Surgery scars also begin fading around the one-year mark

If excess fat or loose skin around your midsection previously made you feel self-conscious, your results can give you a renewed sense of self

before/after tummy tuck before/after tummy tuck

You Play a Significant Role in Maintaining Your Results

Immediately after your surgery, be sure to avoid touching the treatment site. Excessive motion or force around the incisions can cause bleeding and affect the appearance of your scars. Your doctor will provide post-operative instructions so that you go home feeling confident in your recovery. 

Although natural aging will gradually affect the way your body looks, you can help your abdominal area stay trim and contoured by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you enjoy the results for as long as possible. 

What If I'm Not Sure I Can Afford Treatment?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average tummy tuck cost in 2017 was around $5,990. While this may seem high, consider that severely stretched skin can only be corrected with surgery. The cost of special supplements, personal trainers, and dieting gimmicks can really add up, without producing substantial results. Consider whether the surgery is a good investment in your confidence and comfort. Plus, most doctors accept flexible financing, which can place the total cost of treatment within your reach – on virtually any budget. 

Factors That Influence the Cost of a Tummy Tuck

Surgeon's Experience

Surgeons with advanced training, continuing education, and extensive numbers of surgeries under their belt will typically have higher fees than less experienced surgeons. If you choose a surgeon whose focus area is body contouring, your procedure might be more expensive, but your results might align more closely with your expectations.

Your Body and Your Goals

Tummy tuck cost will largely depend on the extent of your concerns as well as your ultimate goals. If you need only minor modifications to your midsection, you may qualify for a more cost-effective mini tummy tuck. However, if you have extensive concerns, you might be better suited for a more expensive extended tummy tuck. 

Sedation and Overnight Stays

A tummy tuck is a complex procedure that can last several hours. To ensure your comfort, you will receive sedation or be placed under general anesthesia for the length of your surgery. If you undergo a more extensive procedure, you might also need to stay at the hospital for observation which may add to the cost.


Combining Procedures

For the most dramatic, comprehensive results, many patients choose to combine other body contouring procedures with their tummy tuck. Because this increases the amount of surgical time and modification necessary, combining procedures will typically make treatment more expensive

The Lasting, Comprehensive Benefits Make Tummy Tuck Well Worth the Price

Although a tummy tuck is more expensive than liposuction, it offers unparalleled results. While liposuction removes fat, it does not address loose skin or allow your surgeon to restructure your abdominal muscles. 

Liposuction Tummy Tuck
Average Surgeon's Fee in 2017* $3374 $5992
Recovery 2 days to 2 weeks 2 to 4 weeks
Single Treatment
Removes Fat
Tightens Excess Skin
Repairs Abdominal Muscles (If Needed)

You May Qualify for Non-Surgical Treatment or a Mini Tummy Tuck

Feature Mini Tuck Traditional Tuck Extended Tuck
Average Surgeon's Fee* $4000 $5800 $12000
Lower Abdomen Addressed
Upper Abdomen Addressed
Hips or "Love Handles" Addressed

Liposuction is less invasive but only removes fat, not excess skin. CoolSculpting® is a popular non-surgical contouring method but again, its focus is on fat reduction. Laser skin tightening is appropriate for some patients and can be used on the midsection. But most of these alternatives will not be recommended unless the cosmetic concerns are fairly minor and easy to correct. Keep in mind a mini tummy tuck can often achieve dramatic effects with less scarring and a reduced recovery time. 

If you have exhausted lifestyle changes, a doctor can determine whether tummy tuck surgery is right for you. Learn more about this life-changing treatment by scheduling an appointment today.  

SP Plastic Surgery, LLC

Dr. Stephanie Peng is a board-certified plastic surgeon who closely partners with every patient to achieve their aesthetic goals. She is affiliated with various national organizations, including: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery

Together with Dr. Jennifer Harrington, she provides patients with life-changing surgical care and transformative results. To request a consultation with our doctors, contact our Plymouth office online or call us at (763) 999-4170.

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Abbott Northwestern - WestHealth
Harrington Associates

2805 Campus Dr
Ste 485
Plymouth, MN 55441

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