Tummy tucks, also known as abdominoplasties, are one of the top cosmetic procedures performed in the world. As we age, it’s common for women and men alike to develop excess stomach skin and fat. Extreme fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, genetics, and prior surgeries can also play a role in how our abdominal tissue looks over time. During a tummy tuck, we remove excess skin and fat to tone, contour, and firm the abdomen.

Our highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We invite you to book a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options.

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Tummy tuck benefits:

  • Tightened skin and reduced sagging and dimpling

  • Less abdominal fat

  • More contoured, symmetrical, and appealing abdominal profile

  • Treated diastasis recti, a common muscle condition associated with pregnancy

  • Improved and more natural belly button position

  • Improve self-confidence

Tummy tuck patients are often very happy with their results. A 2012 study published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 93% of 1,589 patients who underwent a tummy tuck procedure said it was worth it.

What to Expect

Before your procedure, you’ll meet with one of our board-certified surgeons to discuss your goals and medical history. We’ll examine your anatomy, take photographs and measurements, and recommend a personalized treatment approach. We’ll also talk about the procedure itself, recovery and aftercare, potential risks and complications, anesthesia, medications, and what you can expect.

An anesthesiologist will administer IV sedation or general anesthesia for your comfort, and we’ll prep and clean the surgical areas. Your personalized tummy tuck will vary based on the techniques we’re combining, your unique anatomy, and your desired outcomes.

Typically, we will make a discreet incision just above the pubic bone along the bikini line. The length of the incision can vary, but we try to keep it as small as possible. If we need to reposition the belly button, we’ll also make an incision around the navel. Through these openings, we can repair diastasis recti to pull the rectus muscles back together after pregnancy and remove excess fat. Finally, we’ll pull down excess skin, trim it, and make a new belly button opening if necessary before closing the incisions.

Full tummy tucks usually take two to three hours, and you can go home after the procedure. You will need somebody to drive you home, as you won’t be allowed to drive a vehicle after anesthesia. We perform tummy tucks at our accredited Northern Arizona SurgiCenter in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Some tummy tuck patients also opt to have liposuction, a procedure called lipoabdominoplasty. Liposuction is a minimally invasive and effective way to permanently remove adipose tissue.

When performing liposuction, we inject a diluted anesthetic, also called tumescent, solution locally into the areas we want to target. This solution helps us safely remove fat cells while also reducing bruising, bleeding, and soreness. Then, we insert a small tube and dislodge the targeted fat tissue by moving the cannula back and forth. Once the fat cells are loosened up, we suction them through the tube and they’re gone forever.

Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.

Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos

For privacy, we reserve the majority of before and after photos for viewing during in-office consultations. The cases presented are representative and shared with permission.

Tummy Tuck Recovery and Aftercare

You may feel some soreness and swelling after your tummy tuck, but you should feel ready to return to work and everyday activities within two weeks. Remember to take it easy while you recover and listen to your body.

To optimize healing, we ask our patients to follow these recovery guidelines after their procedure. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.

  • Incision Aftercare: Please keep your tummy tuck incision areas clean and be gentle with them. You can shower after 48 hours but don’t use hot water. Don’t submerge your body while swimming or bathing for six weeks. Sleep on your back and avoid applying direct pressure on the abdomen while you’re healing.

  • Compression: We’ll give you a special compressive abdominal garment to wear continuously for around two months to yield the best results. The garment applies gentle pressure that reduces swelling, promotes healing, and supports the abdominal muscles.

  • Medications: We’ll give you a pain medication script to help you feel more comfortable while healing.

  • Exercise: Going on easy walks as soon as you feel well enough is recommended, but please don’t push yourself – especially for the first few weeks after surgery. By six weeks after surgery, most patients feel ready to resume all of their pre-operative activities, including high-intensity exercise and weight lifting.

  • Scar Massage: After two weeks, once your incisions are fully healed, we’ll advise you to gently massage the scar areas. This can improve the appearance of your incision lines and promote healing. Don’t worry about buying an expensive scar cream. Any gentle moisturizer, like Aquaphor or cocoa butter, will do the job.

  • Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen and avoid direct sun exposure on the incision areas to help keep your skin healthy and improve scar healing.

  • Laser Treatments: Laser skin resurfacing treatments can help improve the appearance of scars, and based on how you’re healing we may perform these during your follow-up appointments.

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Every plastic surgery practice offers different pricing, based on their location and fee structures. The national average procedural fee for a tummy tuck is around $6,000, plus the cost of anesthesia, surgical facility costs, and medications. Please set up a free consultation with one of our surgeons to learn more about the procedure and to receive a personalized quote. We also offer six- and 12-month interest-free financing options through Care Credit.

Tummy tucks aren’t usually covered by insurance, but some insurance plans will cover a portion of panniculectomy costs if medically indicated. Unlike tummy tucks, which also include fat removal and contouring, panniculectomies only remove sagging skin and are not a cosmetic procedure. Panniculectomies remove overhanging abdominal skin – also called a pannus – that causes chronic and treatment-resistant skin irritation or rashes, back pain, and interferes with everyday activities.

We generally perform tummy tuck procedures on patients who:

  • Are generally healthy and have a healthy body mass index.
  • Nonsmokers.
  • Do not have medical conditions that impede wound helping.
  • Are not planning to get pregnant. If you are planning to have children after the procedure, then we may encourage you to postpone until after pregnancy to yield optimal results. 
  • Have realistic expectations about what their body will look like after their tummy tuck.
  • Are within 10 pounds of their goal weight, and are not planning to gain or lose a substantial amount of weight.

Most tummy tuck patients lose around 2-5 pounds of excess skin and fat. If you’re adding liposuction, we can safely remove an additional 2-10 pounds. While the weight loss itself isn’t usually extreme, tummy tucks generally help patients feel tighter, slimmer, and more toned.

Your safety is our top priority. This answer varies based on the patient, but in general, the maximum amount of fat that we would remove during lipoabdominoplasty would be around three to four liters. Repeated procedures may be warranted in certain situations.

At our practice, we offer interest-free financing options through Care Credit and PatientFi.

Your scars will usually fade considerably within the first year after surgery, and they are easily concealed by underwear, clothing, and bathing suits. If you’ve had a cesarean section previously, we will try to incorporate the scars to reduce overall visibility. Practicing proper incision aftercare can help significantly reduce the appearance of tummy tuck scars. 

Gentle scar massage, scar gels or scar tape, laser skin treatments, and steroid injections can all help minimize surgical scarring. We also recommend that tummy tuck patients apply sunscreen to their tummy tuck scar area for the first year and prevent direct sun exposure on the incision areas.

You May Also Be Interested In:

  • Arm Lift

  • Brazilian Butt Lift

  • Breast Augmentation

  • Breast Lift

  • Liposuction

  • Mini Facelift

Book Your Tummy Tuck Appointment

Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons would love to bring you in for a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options. Fill out this form to receive a call-back shortly, or give us a call at 928-774-2300.