Tummy Tuck Surgery Obtaining a Shapelier Figure

By Leeann Morrissey © 2008-2009
PlasticSurgery.com Staff Writer


Across the United States, people are turning to plastic surgery. Utilizing any number of surgical techniques, virtually all areas of the body can be enhanced by a skilled physician.

If you are interested in having the size of your stomach reduced, you may be an ideal candidate for "abdominoplasty," more commonly known as tummy tuck surgery. For a better understanding of this procedure, please take a look at the following information regarding some of the most commonly asked questions prospective patients are asking:

What is the difference between abdominal liposuction and tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominal liposuction vs. tummy tuck surgery is a debate that many patients contemplate when considering plastic surgery. To help you understand the difference between the two procedures, here is some information pertaining to both:

Abdominal liposuction is used to remove fat from the midsection, targeting fat deposits in the stomach. It is performed by inserting a cannula (a long, skinny tube) into small incisions. After placing this surgical instrument under the patient’s skin, the doctor then suctions fat deposits from the area. This procedure allows the surgeon to sculpt the patient’s stomach.

“…A mini tummy tuck takes about one to two hours, while a traditional tummy tuck ranges from two to five hours. ”

On the other hand, tummy tuck surgery addresses excess fat and skin that result from lax abdominal muscles. During this surgery, a horizontal incision is made just above the patient’s pubic bone. Then, the excess tissue is removed from the stomach and the underlying abdominal muscles are tightened, producing a flatter tummy.

While both work to create a more slender waistline for the patient, they each target different factors that cause a patient to have a bulging belly. For optimal results, both procedures can be utilized in conjunction with one another. An examination during the initial consultation will determine the best course of action for you.

No matter which procedure is performed, it is important to realize that these surgeries are used to make improvements and do not guarantee perfection. Patients should first try to attain a better-contoured stomach with diet and exercise. It is also imperative that following the surgery, the patient maintains their body weight to ensure that their figures do not return to their pre-operative state.

Does a mini tummy tuck take less time than a full tummy tuck?

Typically, yes. A mini tummy tuck takes about one to two hours, while a traditional tummy tuck ranges from two to five hours. Because a mini tummy tuck is only used on the lower portion of the stomach (below the belly button), there is less removal of excess tissue and tightening of muscles.

“When electing to undergo any procedure, no matter the extent, be sure to educate yourself. ”

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the national average cost of tummy tuck is $5,263. Ultimately, the fee will depend on various factors such as doctor location, expertise, and demand, as well as hospital and anesthesiologist fees

What financing options are available?

PlasticSurgery.com can help you attain plastic surgery financing, and your surgeon may also offer a program at their practice.

Is abdominoplasty the best procedure to get rid of excess, loose skin surrounding the abdomen?

If a patient is looking for results solely in their abdominal region, a tummy tuck is typically the procedure most plastic surgeons would recommend.

How do I prepare for tummy tuck surgery?

When electing to undergo any procedure, no matter the extent, be sure to educate yourself. Understand the associated benefits and risks, and have a realistic expectation of the results that you can expect.

Plastic surgeons recommend that a patient be at, or near, their ideal body weight when going into a procedure. Abstaining from nicotine and certain medications at least two weeks before tummy tuck surgery is also requested of a patient. Smoking right before or after surgery can cause a variety of complications, including a slower healing process and the greater chance of contracting an infection.

Also, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and home from surgery. This procedure is routinely performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, so you will not have an overnight stay in the hospital, unless advised by your surgeon.


What are the most common side effects and risks?

The most frequently experienced side effects associated with tummy tucks are temporary pain, swelling, bruising, and/or numbness that can last for several weeks or months.

Tummy tuck surgery risks include the possibility of infection, blood clots, poor healing, skin loss, prominent scarring, and the need for a second operation.

Are scars noticeable?

A tummy tuck incision is made just below the bikini line and above the pubic bone so that the scars can be easily hidden. However, the size of the scar usually runs from hip bone to hip bone. Over time, tummy tuck scars should become less noticeable, fading in color and flattening against the skin’s surface.

What is the best way to go about finding a qualified tummy tuck specialist?

Right here on PlasticSurgery.com, we can help you find a skilled tummy tuck surgeon who can help you attain your desired body contour. We can even help you contact several surgeons at the same time through a single e-mail. You may search our doctor directory by physician name, location, or specialty.

Feel free to meet with as many doctors as you would like until you find the one who is just right for you.

“Patients should first try to attain a better-contoured stomach with diet and exercise. ”

What other body contouring procedures can contribute to a flattering figure?

If you desire a full body makeover, you may consider an arm lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, breast reduction, a breast lift, and/ or thigh lift. These procedures can effectively enhance a patient’s figure, correcting flaws, and providing a better-toned shape.

Patients who have undergone a significant amount of weight loss may also benefit from a post-bariatric body lift, or a "trunk lift," which consists of a series of the above procedures. By utilizing various plastic surgery techniques, a physician can remove the excess skin and tissue that typically results from diminished skin elasticity, which develops when weight is lost too rapidly (often following gastric bypass surgery).

Be sure to browse PlasticSurgery.com to obtain additional information regarding tummy tuck surgery, as well as view tummy tuck pictures and locate a plastic surgeon.