The abdominoplasty, or what is more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is an invasive procedure designed to help tighten, reshape and restore a flat, smooth abdomen. This procedure removes excess fat and skin, as well as restores weakened or separated muscles.
Tummy Tuck Expected Results
- Tighter stomach muscles that have been weakened over time, commonly seen with pregnancy (Plication)
- Contouring of abdomen and waist line to more shapely figure
- Less stubborn fat and loose skin that is resistant to exercise and diet
- Improvement in scars from prior abdominal or pelvic surgery
- Possible removal of stretch marks
- Possible correction of any abdominal hernias
- Improved overall self-confidence and self image
- Clothing and swimwear fitting nicer and compliment your figure
|Pain Level After Surgery||Moderate|
|Duration of Surgery||2-4 hours|
|Final Results||3-6 months|
|Return to Regular Activity||7-14 days|
|Resume Vigorous Exercise||4-6 weeks|
|Price Range (not including anesthesia/ hospital fee)||$7,000 – $10,000|
What is a “mommy makeover?”
The joys of having children unfortunately sometimes leave behind undesired changes in the female body. Loose skin, excess weight gain, sagging or loose breast tissue, and stretch marks. A Mommy Makeover is a combination of cosmetic surgery procedures, which usually involve improvements to the breasts as well as the abdomen. After childbirth and breast-feeding, many women experience deflated breast volume and sagging breasts. Breast lift with or without implant or fat grafting augmentation can help rejuvenate the breasts to their pre-pregnancy appearance. Liposuction to the abdomen and flanks can help contour a nice hour-glass and shapely waistline to complement the results of the abdominoplasty. Our surgeon is expert at advising patients on what combination of procedures can help you achieve a more attractive and youthful figure.
Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck
A Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck
- Is a male or female that has lost a significant amount of weight and is now at a stable weight
- Has lost abdominal tone and shape over the years due to pregnancy, weight fluctuations, genetics, age, or previous surgeries
- Has completed child bearing years
- May have a “pannus” which is a collection of loose, sagging tissue comprised of skin and fat that hangs below their waist
- Is in overall good health and has no medical conditions that can impair healing
- Holds realistic surgical expectations
- Is a non-smoker
Actual Patient Results, Before and After Tummy Tuck
Will my stretch marks go away after a tummy tuck?
Any stretch marks that are in the region of the abdomen where skin will be removed during the tummy tuck, will diminish in appearance. However, any stretch marks that are outside the area of skin that is resected during surgery will not change. You can speak with your surgeon about treatments with lasers, microneedling, and skincare products that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Actual Patient Results, Before and After Tummy Tuck
Tummy Tuck Surgical Techniques
Your tummy tuck will be performed at an accredited outpatient surgical facility or hospital using general anesthesia. You will be able to go home the same day. The procedure typically takes 3 – 4 hours or more depending on whether other surgical procedures are also performed at the same time.
Steps to Performing the Tummy tuck
- STEP 1: General anesthesia is administered
- STEP 2: Liposuction to the flanks (back side) when deemed necessary
- STEP 3: Liposuction the abdomen
- STEP 4: Resection of belly button
- STEP 5: Lower transverse incision between the pubic hairline and umbilicus. Incision may extend upward to assist in further removal of tissue.
- STEP 6: Removal of excess abdominal skin and fat
- STEP 7: Tightening of loose and weak abdominal muscles
- STEP 8: Recreation of natural belly button
- STEP 9: Closure of tummy tuck incision
- STEP 10: Application of dressing and special post-operative garment
Actual Patient Results, Before and After Tummy Tuck
What are the different Tummy tuck surgical techniques and scars?
A complete or full abdominoplasty removes excess tissue, and reconstructs the abdominal wall. The full abdominoplasty is the chosen technique for patients who have gone through pregnancy or experienced a dramatic fluctuation in weight.
A mini-abdominoplasty or short scar abdominoplasty is a less extensive surgery that involves removing only the stretched skin from below the belly button area. A mini-abdominoplasty will also tighten the lower abdominal muscles. The mini-abdominoplasty is best suited for those patients seeking minimal correction below their belly button, but still looking to achieve a slimmer lower abdomen. The resulting scar from a mini-tummy tuck is a thin, horizontal line that is typically just a few inches long. If you are looking for a less involved procedure, with a shorter scar and faster recovery, the mini-tummy tuck will be the best option for you.
An extended abdominoplasty is where excess skin and tissue is also removed from the patient’s sides/flank area. Liposuction is also commonly used to achieve an ideal contoured body. The incision spans the entire length of the abdomen and extends to the back of the hips. Patient’s having excess muscle laxity in the hips and flank region can benefit from an extended tummy tuck.
A circumferential abdominoplasty or body lift is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck. Patients who have lost a great deal of weight, that now have loose, overhanging skin around their entire body are ideal candidates for a circumferential tummy tuck. The incision extends around the entire waistline, through which he or she removes excess skin and fat and tightens the muscles.
Revision abdominoplasty– Dr. Anderson sees many patients who have had previous tummy tuck surgery performed elsewhere with unsatisfied results. Patients who have had a tummy tuck, but are still experiencing excess fat from insufficient liposuction, a poor shaped belly button, untreated diastasis, unattractive scar line or placement are great candidates for a revision tummy tuck.
The “Tailored Tummy Tuck” or “Triple-T” Tummy Tuck
The Naderi Center’s body specialist, Dr. Erica Anderson believes that no two tummy tucks are the same. Dr. Anderson customizes every tummy tuck to the patient’s body and individual goals. Some of the components that go into tailoring your tummy tuck will include:
- Smallest Scar possible
- “Quilting” or “progressive tension suture” technique
- Minimizes chance that you will go home with a surgical drain after surgery
- Natural belly button
- Meticulous umbilical or belly button recreation with puckering and hooding to give the most natural belly button possible.
- Flank liposuction to avoid the “muffin top”
- One main reason for the “muffin top” after surgery is that the surgeon did not take the time to combine liposuction to the flanks or backside when the performing the abdominoplasty. Dr. Anderson commonly and routinely combines liposuction to the flanks with her abdominoplasty to ensure that the patient has both a flat abdomen as well as nicely sculpted flank region.
- Advanced Liposuction techniques using SAFE Liposuction
- Allows for better body contouring as well as quicker recovery
- Advanced Post-operative pain control and quicker recovery
- A long lasting local anesthetic pain medication is administered to patients during the operation to minimize amount of anesthesia that is required as well as amount of post-operative pain medication.
What will my belly button look like after a tummy tuck?
In extended tummy tucks or full tummy tucks the plastic surgeon will need to recreate the belly button. Recreating the belly button involves resecting it from its initial location and implanting to a more natural location once excess fat and tissue have been removed. Dr. Anderson is known for her meticulous umbilical recreation using the puckering and hooding technique to make sure the belly button looks natural and realistic.
Actual Patient results
Before & After photos of Tummy Tuck
Cost of a Abdominoplasty
There are a variety of factors that determine the overall cost of your Tummy Tuck.
- Surgeons Fee: $7,000 – $10,000
- Anesthesia Fee: depends on length of procedure
- Hospital and Surgical Facility Fees: depends on length of procedure
- Post-Surgery Garments: included with surgeon’s fee at The Naderi Center
- Pre-Surgical Medical Clearance and Lab Tests: usually covered by medical insurance
- Medication Costs: usually covered by medical insurance
- Follow-Up Visits: included with surgeon’s fee at The Naderi Center
Dr. Anderson was the third surgeon I talked to, and I’m so glad she did my tummy tuck. She was very honest, very receptive to what I was hoping to achieve, and, in my particular case, incredibly accommodating when it came to working around my trauma-related surgery anxiety. She was also incredibly generous with her time and accessibility. I had her cell to text her with concerns, and I used it. She always responded promptly and reassuringly. I am thrilled with the results. This was not a minor tummy tuck. I had an extended TT owing to the amount of loose skin on my abdomen and torso. The results are wonderfully natural looking. I still look like me. I’m the same size, close to the same weight, but my curves look like I think they are supposed to, and I have a belly button again. Thank you!
Preparation for Tummy Tuck Surgery
At the consultation appointment, you will be provided with detailed pre and post op abdominoplasty instructions. To ensure a smooth and successful recovery period, the following should be kept in mind:
- Labs/Pre-op Clearance – It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure all necessary labs, blood testing, doctor’s visits, and medal clearances are completed.
- Transportation – Arrange for a ride home from the hospital or surgery center; you will not be allowed to drive.
- Medications – Pick up any medications before the day of your tummy tuck; some may need to be started right away.
- Arrange for Help – Consider scheduling a friend or family member to stop by each day, helping you with light chores or errands.
- Necessary Supplies – Recovery supplies such as extra pillows, reading materials, movies, and ice packs will make the first several days more comfortable.
- Soft Diet – For several days, patients will be on a soft diet. Have a variety of items on hand.
- Time off work – Take the recommended time off work to heal. (typically 1 week)
- No Smoking – Stop smoking and limit your exposure to second-hand smoke. (Nicotine interferes with healthy circulation and may affect the results of your surgery)
- Garment – Maximize wearing your post-surgical garment to optimize healing and minimize swelling.
- No vigorous exercise for 4 -6 weeks
- Follow Up Visits – Schedule all follow-up appointments with Dr. Anderson and do not miss them, no matter how good you feel.
Recovery after a Tummy Tuck
The abdominoplasty recovery period will take from seven to fourteen days. Most people are feeling well enough to return to work in about a week, although vigorous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for up to four weeks.
At first, patients will note bruising and swelling; these will resolve over the following two to three weeks. It is normal to have an itching sensation and/or numbness around your incision sites. You may not be able to stand straight up for the first week, this is normal. By the second week you will gradually notice that you are able to stand more upright. Moderate pain is not uncommon. Dr. Anderson will prescribe necessary medication for a comfortable recovery. A compression garment will need to be worn for the next several weeks, as well. This will assist in keeping the swelling to a minimum and will promote proper healing.
Some benefits of the abdominoplasty will be noticeable immediately. However, full results from a tummy tuck will take approximately four to six months to appear. As the swelling slowly resolves, and the healing process progresses, the tummy tuck’s complete benefits can be appreciated. Wearing your compression garment can ensure a quicker recovery and better results.
Is a tummy tuck permanent?
Although, the results of an abdominoplasty are technically permanent, the outcome can be greatly diminished by significant weight gain, weight loss, or future pregnancies. If pregnancy or anticipated significant weight gain or loss is expected in the near future, it is best to postpone a tummy tuck procedure. A tummy tuck cannot help you lose weight or prevent future weight gain. The best candidates for a tummy tuck should be in good health overall and enjoy a stable weight.
Tummy Tuck Scar
Dr. Anderson will create a low transverse incision, immediately above the pubic area. How long the scar runs will depend on the type of tummy tuck that will be performed. Proper care is crucial to help heal and reduce the appearance of your tummy tuck scar.
Tips to Help with Tummy Tuck Scar Healing
- Keep the bandages/dressings on as long as recommended.
- Always avoid tension on the operated area for as long as possible.
- Avoid and minimize sun exposure. The sun leads to scarring and delays wound healing.
- Scar creams containing silicone as well as brown medical grade tape can speed up the healing process and help fade scars.
- Patience, the fading of any scar takes time. If you are not seeing a gradual fade over time, we can discuss other treatments such as microneedling or laser treatments.
Risks, Safety, and Potential Complications after a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Anderson has years of experience with the abdominoplasty procedure. She utilizes today’s most cutting-edge techniques to provide ideal results. When patients choose a skilled provider, such as Dr. Anderson, the abdominoplasty is considered a rewarding procedure.
Possible Complications after a Tummy Tuck can Include:
- Risks of general anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Skin changes or discoloration
- Poor incision healing
- Fluid accumulation, or what is known as a seroma
- Nerve damage or numbness on the skin
- Asymmetry with results
- Death of fatty tissue or fat necrosis
- Need for revision surgery
Abdominoplasty Specialist, Dr. Erica Anderson
Dr. Erica Anderson, The Naderi Center’s Breast and Body specialist, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Anderson believes that no tummy tuck is the same and she customizes every abdominoplasty based on each individual patient’s body and their desires. Dr. Anderson has over twenty years of experience performing her “Tripled-T” or Tailored Tummy Tuck procedure. Men and women who are interested in the abdominoplasty technique should begin the process by scheduling a one-on-one consultation with our Board Certified body plastic surgeon, Dr. Anderson.
Dr. Anderson commonly performs revision tummy tuck surgery on patients that have been unhappy with their results with other plastic surgeons.
Schedule your Tummy Tuck Consultation
If you are still considering the benefits of an abdominoplasty, schedule a consultation with top plastic surgeon and abdominoplasty specialists, Dr. Erica Anderson at The Naderi Center. Speak with a patient coordinator in Reston, Virginia at 703-481-0002 or in Chevy Chase, Maryland at 301-222-2020. For anyone outside of the immediate Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C. area, virtual consultations with Dr. Anderson can also be arranged.
Tummy Tuck Questions To Ask
Patients travel in from all over the world to come to The Naderi Center so that they may have one or more procedures performed by ultra-specialists in cosmetic surgery. Many of our patients have one or more cosmetic surgery procedures performed in one operating room by different surgeons who specialize in the specific areas where the patient is seeking improvement. The most commonly performed procedures with a tummy tuck include liposuction, breast augmentation, and breast lift.
An abdominal hernia is an area of the abdominal muscle has become week and protrudes outward most commonly noted when bearing down or performing a Valsalva maneuver. An abdominal hernia can be corrected in conjunction with an abdominoplasty. Depending on the complexity of the hernia and repair needed, Dr. Anderson may perform the hernia repair herself or refer you to a general surgeon who specializes in hernia surgery.
The surgeon’s fee for abdominoplasty ranges between $6,500 – $10,000. This does not include the hospital fees or anesthesia, as this will vary depending on every patient.
Patients generally feel well enough to return to work in five to seven days after their abdominoplasty procedure, as long as their job does not require heavy lifting. Depending on how extensive and the type of surgical technique was utilized, your surgeon will advise to you when the best time is to return to work.
Patients should wait for at least four to six weeks after their tummy tuck before undertaking any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. This period of rest allows for full recovery and healing of incisions made during the abdominoplasty procedure.
We recommend waiting at least 6 months post C-section. This allows the body to go back to its normal state. With more skin being removed, this could move your C-section scar below your bikini line.
Dr. Anderson revises many other surgeons work (and scars) when patients are unhappy. “Dog ears” are when puckering of the skin becomes apparent at the end of a scar. Dr. Anderson’s incision closure techniques help to minimize the potential for “dog ears” to form.
Pregnancy may cause loose skin, stretch marks, or weight gain that can affect the results of a tummy tuck procedure. However, women who gain a modest amount of weight with pregnancy are more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy figure after their delivery. In most cases we recommend waiting until patients are done with child bearing before proceeding with an abdominoplasty.
While problems associated with a tummy tuck are rare, especially when performed by a skilled surgeon like Dr. Anderson, there is still the small chance for complications. These can include bleeding, infection, scarring, asymmetry, and permanent numbness in the surgical area. Dr. Anderson will discuss these risks further during your consultation appointment.
If the area of skin that is to be removed with the tummy tuck procedure has stretch marks, then patients will diminished visibility in those stretch marks after an abdominoplasty. Most oftenly, as the skin is pulled down, many of the stretch marks may be relocated to the pubic area and thus easier to hide with undergarments.
Most of the time during an abdominoplasty the location of the belly button needs to be changed. Dr. Anderson performs a meticulous umbilical recreation with puckering and hooding to make sure the belly button looks as natural as possible.
We recommend that patients ideally wait 6 months after pregnancy for a tummy tuck. After about six moths the body’s physiology as well as hormone levels have returned to their pre-pregnancy status. Additionally, at around six months most patients have lost most of their “baby weight” and have reached a stable weight. Additionally, caring for a newborn baby can be exhausting and cause lack of sleep, which would also not be good for one’s recovery. Women whom are breast-feeding may want to wait until they are done with breast feeding to pursue surgery. We invite patients to come in for a consultation at any time if only to gain information and guidance on when is the best time for them to have surgery.
If you are 30-40 pounds overweight with clear stomach rolls and lose skin, most likely non-invasive treatment options will not give you the dramatic results that most patients hope to achieve with a tummy tuck. Liposuction will remove the fat, but will not remove the lose skin or tighten the stomach muscles. Sometimes if there is a minimal amount of abdominal fat and mainly loose skin beneath the belly button, a “mini-abdominoplasty” will provide great surgical results. If the patient has a stretched out belly button, or loose or wrinkled skin above the belly button more invasive surgical options need to be sought. Non-invasive fat melting and skin tightening procedures such as Cool Sculpting or Ultherapy or SkinTyte are great options for specific patient populations. Cool sculpting is a non-invasive procedure where fat cells are destroyed through freezing the tissue. Ultherapy will help tighten small amount of sagging skin by building collagen in the treated areas. Our surgeons can better advise you on whether non-invasive treatments will provide you with satisfactory results and avoid having to perform surgery.