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What is Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Almost all of us want to achieve a well-toned abdomen. That’s why some go through intensive weight control and exercise to make it happen. But sometimes there’s an excess tummy skin that exercise can’t remove. For those who want a shortcut and to remove that excess belly skin, there’s a way, the tummy tuck surgery.

The tummy tuck operation or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that eliminates excess fat and skin. In certain cases, it can help restore weakened muscles by creating an abdominal profile that’s firmer and smoother.

However, you should remember that this isn’t a shortcut to losing weight.

The most common reasons why the skin in our abdomen loosens and sags include:

  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Heredity
  • Past surgery

Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck procedure may take one to five hours, depending on the procedure performed. There are several types of the tummy tuck procedure. They differ from the targeted areas and specific issues. No matter what type of procedure you choose, it’ll all start with anesthesia. Your doctor will advise if you should be administered with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Here are some of them:

Traditional Tummy Tuck

This type of tummy tuck procedure is what most plastic surgeons offer. It’s the most commonly performed type of tummy tuck procedure. In this procedure, your doctor will make hip-to-hip incisions and around your belly button. At often, the belly button may be removed as this method addresses all of the abdominal areas so that it’ll look natural.

Mini Tummy Tucks

This technique is also called as partial abdominoplasties. And this type of tummy tuck is great for not so severe cases. It’s also for people who want the procedure to be done below the navel. If you undergo this type of tummy tuck, your surgeon will only make one small incision. No repositioning of the navel will be done.

Endoscopic Tummy Tuck

This type of tummy tuck technique is ideal for patients who have weak abdominal muscles, not that much fat, and no visible loose skin in the stomach area. This procedure uses an endoscope, a tiny camera attached to a slim tube. Then, the instrument will be inserted into the area of the incision. The endoscopic tummy tuck won’t leave too many scars as the size of the incisions is only enough for the endoscope to be inserted.

Extended Tummy Tuck

This type of tummy tuck procedure will remove the fat and excess skin as well as the ‘love handles’ on the side of the waist. It will cover a larger area when compared to the tradition tummy tuck.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck

This tummy tuck procedure is a type of body lift. It’s popular for patients who’ve gone through a gastric bypass surgery. A circumferential tummy tuck may include removal of extra skin in the thigh and hips. However, the scars will extend until the back.

By: Beverly Hills Institute of Plastic Surgery

How much does it cost?

A tummy tuck surgery is estimated to cost an average of $5,798. This average price is based on the 2016 statistics of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The average price may vary because of some several factors. It still doesn’t include anesthesia and other related fees.

When determining the overall cost of a tummy tuck surgery, take these considerations into account:

  • Location
  • Type of technique
  • Body type
  • Surgeon
  • Procedure

Tummy tuck surgery, as well as other cosmetic surgeries, isn’t covered by most health insurances. However, there may be a flexible financing option for such surgeries.

topless woman with skin condition

Who are the candidates for tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck surgery’s best candidates are those who are in good health and are bothered by the excess skin on their abdomen. The most usual candidates for a tummy tuck are those who’ve had several pregnancies and those who experienced weight fluctuations.

Don’t plan to have this surgery if you have plans on becoming pregnant anytime soon.

How to choose your surgeon?

A tummy tuck surgery must be made by a certified and expert surgeon to accomplish the best results. An unqualified doctor may lead to surgical complications and unsatisfying results. Keep these factors in mind when choosing a surgeon for your tummy tuck surgery operation.

  • Certification and Membership. First of all, make sure that a surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Memberships may not be necessary, but it could be a great indication that the surgeon is well-skilled.
  • Experience. A surgeon’s experience can tell well if he can give you a safe and satisfying tummy tuck surgery. If you’re up for a particular technique of tummy tuck surgery, look for a surgeon that has experience in performing the procedure.
  • Reputation. One way to find an excellent plastic surgeon is seeking a recommendation. If you know someone who went through tummy tuck surgery, ask them. Check the doctor’s record for any malpractice complaint. This information should be made public by state medical boards.

Initial Consultation

If you’ve found the perfect surgeon you’re comfortable with to do the procedure, it’s now time for the initial consultation. In this consultation, you and your doctor will discuss all the procedure. You’ll talk about:

  • Allergies
  • Medical conditions
  • Current medications
  • Cosmetic goals
  • Overall health

How to prepare for the procedure?

Before the scheduled date of your procedure, there are things you should do and not do. Besides, your surgeon will provide clear and thorough preoperative instructions.

Some of them may include that you quit smoking a month before the operation. Consuming alcohol may have to be minimized and better if stopped for a month as well. Your surgeon may advise you to avoid certain medications like aspirin, herbal medicines, and anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs may interfere with the healing process.

Also, don’t try engaging in any extreme diet before the operation. Eat a balanced and healthy diet to help boost your immune system and ensure long-lasting results. You may also be suggested to exercise regularly before your operation.


As an initial part of your recovery, you may need to leave work for four to six weeks. Prepare your leave of absence before the operation. These weeks will help you recover from the swelling and bruising the surgery may cause.

Also, as a part of your recovery, your surgeon may advise you to wear a particular type of corset or tummy control pants so your skin can properly heal. Just take it easy for the first few weeks and bend your knees when you lie down on your bed. That’s to avoid putting a strain in your stitches.

Don’t smoke after the surgery as it may trigger complications.


The result of a tummy tuck can last for many years just as long as the surgery is successful. It’s important to note that the results of this surgery will depend on how you take care of your body and health after the procedure.

After several months, you can see the full results of the surgery. You can see a flatter, smoother body contour, and more toned abdominal area. Its effects may lead to an improved self-confidence. Make sure to live a healthy lifestyle following the surgery to maximize the results of the surgery!

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