Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

The abdomen can be a troublesome area of the body for men and women trying to maintain a toned, athletic-looking silhouette. Weight fluctuations, pregnancy, genetics, and the natural aging process can all contribute to accumulated skin and folds around the abdominal region. With a tummy tuck, our plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Cohen is able to remove any redundant skin to give the abdomen a smoother, firmer appearance.


What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, medically referred to as abdominoplasty, is primarily designed to remove excess skin around the abdomen. However, this procedure is also commonly used to repair stretched or torn abdominal muscles. Consequently, a tummy tuck can be particularly advantageous for mothers with a protruding abdomen who wish to regain their pre-pregnancy figure. For patients who are seeking to further enhance the results of this popular body contouring procedure, a tummy tuck may be combined with liposuction to simultaneously remove isolated pockets of excess fat. An umbilicoplasty (belly button surgery) may also be performed during the tummy tuck procedure to help reshape the navel, if needed. With an artistic eye, Dr. Cohen helps his patients achieve results that look natural while providing a more fit, youthful silhouette.

What Are the Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Every tummy tuck procedure is customized by Dr. Cohen to suit the unique needs and goals of the patient. The benefits of abdominoplasty may include:

  • Reduced excess abdominal skin
  • Tightened or repaired abdominal muscles
  • Smooth, taut abdomen
  • Minimized appearance of stretch marks
  • Umbilical hernia correction
  • A slimmer waistline

With the addition of liposuction, patients can also benefit from the removal of stubborn abdominal fat deposits. Some mothers choose to incorporate a tummy tuck into a mommy makeover procedure for a more comprehensive body rejuvenation.

What Does the Tummy Tuck Procedure Involve?

Duration of Surgery: 3-4 hours, depending upon technique
Anesthesia Type: General anesthesia
Hospital Status: Outpatient
Post-Operative: Mild soreness, swelling, and bruising
Surgical Risks: Blood clots or infection can occur as a result of tummy tuck surgery; however, Dr. Cohen is highly experienced at employing techniques to reduce associated risks.
Duration of Recovery: One week before returning to work, four weeks of avoiding strenuous exercise, and several months for scars to fade.
Results: Results are typically long-lasting. Dr. Cohen recommends a nutritious diet and regular exercise to maintain best results. Pregnancy and childbirth after tummy tuck surgery may compromise the longevity of the outcome.

Once Dr. Cohen has determined that a tummy tuck is the best option for your unique needs, he will design the customized treatment plan and go over all aspects of the procedure with you. A full tummy tuck surgery involves the creation of an incision from one hip to the other, just above the pubic region. Dr. Cohen will remove excess skin, pull the abdominal muscles taut, and redrape the remaining skin to enhance abdominal contours and create a firmer appearance. In most tummy tuck procedures, the navel will also be repositioned. If abdominal liposuction is also necessary for the best results, it can typically be performed in tandem with tummy tuck surgery.

Tummy tuck procedures are performed under general anesthesia and do not usually require an overnight hospital stay.

What Risks Are Associated with Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Every surgical procedure will come with some degree of risk, including tummy tuck surgery. Common risks associated with tummy tuck surgery include bleeding, pain, scarring, infection, seroma, and altered skin sensation. Dr. Cohen will take every precaution to minimize your chance of having complications from surgery, and he will go over the risks of the procedure to ensure you are fully informed.

Dr. Cohen takes a conservative approach to surgery, only recommending a tummy tuck if he believes you can achieve your desired outcome with minimal risk. For those considering tummy tuck surgery as part of an overarching mommy makeover treatment plan, Dr. Cohen may recommend separating surgeries into multiple operations, as to not exceed six to seven hours in surgery. To ensure you have a smooth recovery from your tummy tuck, Dr. Cohen will provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions.

What Can I Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery?

As with any surgery, patients should expect mild swelling, soreness, and bruising. These side effects should resolve quickly, and oral pain medication can be used to manage any discomfort. Most patients will resume work or their normal daily activities one week after tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Cohen recommends patients avoid lifting heavy objects or strenuous exercise for about four weeks.

How Will My Belly Button Look After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy tuck patients often have sagging skin covering their belly button before surgery, and after their procedure, they can enjoy a tightened appearance. To ensure the most natural-looking belly button, Dr. Cohen may perform an umbilicoplasty (also known as belly button surgery) using the “Beverly Hills Belly Button” technique he has developed. This entails making the incision within the inner surface of the navel as he reshapes the belly button, helping to conceal any residual scarring. By utilizing this method, patients can achieve an “inny” belly button appearance.

How Long Will My Tummy Tuck Results Last?

Tummy tuck results typically last for several years, if not one’s entire lifetime. However, the long-term success of your procedure will depend on your commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a relatively stable weight. This is because weight fluctuations, including those experienced during pregnancy, can compromise the results of your procedure. To avoid changes to your improved abdominal contours, Dr. Cohen encourages patients to eat a nutritious diet and follow an exercise regimen after surgery. In addition, he advises patients considering having children in the future to postpone their tummy tuck procedure until after they have completed their families.

Are There Any Alternatives to Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Although many non-surgical solutions exist for contouring the body, there is currently no non-surgical procedure that can match the results of a tummy tuck. This is because abdominoplasty is specifically designed to tighten or remove excess skin around the midsection while repairing stretched abdominal muscles, and very few treatments – surgical or otherwise – are able to deliver the same effects. Not even popular treatments like non-surgical skin tightening or cryolipolysis (in which fat cells are frozen until they are destroyed) can compare to the significant difference a tummy tuck can usually provide; however, non-surgical body contouring solutions may be able to reduce smaller amounts of excess abdominal fat and skin. If you are interested in an alternative treatment, Dr. Cohen is glad to discuss all potential options that may be right for you.

What Will the Scars from Tummy Tuck Surgery Look Like?

A full tummy tuck procedure will result in an abdominal scar from hip to hip. Although the nature of this procedure makes residual scarring inevitable, it is important to note that the scar is often easily concealed under clothing (even swimwear). Also, the scar should fade to some degree as time passes.

Can You Get Pregnant After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Pregnancy is still possible after tummy tuck surgery; however, our plastic surgeon typically recommends that patients undergo this procedure once they have already completed their families. A tummy tuck is often able to reverse the physical effects that pregnancy has on the abdominal region. If one becomes pregnant after a tummy tuck, the muscles can become stretched again and a collection of excess skin and fat may return, which would likely require a secondary tummy tuck surgery to correct.

How Much Does Tummy Tuck Surgery Cost?

The average cost range of tummy tuck surgery at our practice is $12,000 to $30,000, depending on whether you receive a mini, regular, or extended abdominoplasty. This range includes all associated fees related to the procedure, whereas most cost numbers available online only represent the surgeon’s fee. There are many factors that can influence the cost of your customized tummy tuck procedure, including your size, the volume of excess skin, the complexity of the procedure, how long it takes in the operating room, whether or not liposuction is performed, the experience of the plastic surgeon, and the geographic location of the practice. The exact price will depend upon these variables.

Dr. Cohen can provide you with a quote for your customized tummy tuck at the conclusion of your initial consultation.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Covered by Insurance?

  • Because abdominoplasty is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, the majority of insurance companies will not cover it. For a better understanding of your financial choices, we encourage you to explore our plastic surgery financing options, which include third-party programs that can help provide qualifying patients with low- to no-interest loans as well as low monthly payments.

How Much Weight Can I Lose with a Tummy Tuck?

  • Firstly, it is important to note that a tummy tuck should not be considered a weight loss surgery. As such, we recommend patients do not pursue this procedure with the intention of losing weight. In fact, the ideal candidate for abdominoplasty should be at or near their goal weight to reduce the chance of surgical complications and to achieve the best possible aesthetic outcome from their procedure.

How Long Does Swelling Last After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

  • The majority of your swelling should fade within the first month following surgery. Swelling is an extremely common reaction to this procedure and should not be cause for alarm, but patients may be able to reduce significant swelling by keeping hydrated, limiting sodium in their diet, or taking anti-inflammatories as needed. In addition, Dr. Cohen may advise you to wear a compression garment to help facilitate healing and control post-operative swelling.

How Soon Can I Exercise After My Tummy Tuck?

  • Dr. Cohen advises most patients to wait at least a month before performing strenuous exercise. If you are interested in doing lighter exercise as you heal, we ask that you check with Dr. Cohen beforehand, as overexerting your body after tummy tuck surgery can disrupt or even prolong your recovery. He will go over the details of your recovery before you surgery to help you understand when it is safe for you to resume different types of exercise.

Contact Us

For more information about how tummy tuck surgery can help you achieve your cosmetic goals, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohen, please contact us today.