Many people become unhappy with the shape and size of their abdomen and have found exercise or dieting to be ineffective in reshaping their abdominals. Board-certified plastic surgeon, Daniel Man, M.D., performs tummy tucks on people living in and around Boca Raton, FL, to create a slimmer figure and a flatter midsection.
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What is Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, better known as a tummy tuck, is designed to remove skin and fat, tighten the abdominal muscles, and shape the abdomen area. Liposuction is commonly used to remove fat or a lipectomy may remove skin and fat to create a smoother, flatter, and tighter stomach.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
When diet and exercise do not seem to be enough to create a smooth and contoured abdomen, a tummy tuck is often performed to remove excess fat and smooth the skin. The benefits of a tummy tuck include:
- Restored confidence
- Improved appearance
- Tighter abdominal muscles
- Removal of excess skin
- Better posture
- Increased activities
- Less back pain
Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?
If you want a smoother, tighter abdomen, a tummy tuck may be the best procedure to achieve your goals. If you are 20 or more pounds away from your goal weight, we recommend waiting to receive a tummy tuck until the excess weight is gone. We also recommend holding off on a tummy tuck if you are still expanding your family.
Types of Tummy Tuck
There are several types of tummy tucks to consider, depending on how much skin and fat needs to be eliminated. The right tummy tuck procedure also depends on a patient’s medical history, how many abdominal operations have been performed, how much weight has been gained or lost, and the patient’s current weight. The following procedures are performed to achieve the desired look:
A classic abdominoplasty uses a horizontal incision low on the abdomen, just above the pubic hairline that stretches between the hips. The width of the incision will depend on how much work is being done. This incision allows Dr. Man to reach fat trapped in the lower belly area and liposuction it away.
The skin and soft tissue are lifted off the abdominal muscles from the incision up to the bottom of the ribs. The belly button is left attached to the muscle and Dr. Man carefully works around it. Stitches tighten and shape the abdominal muscles to narrow the waist and flatten the stomach.
The skin is stretched back down over the sculpted abdominals and extra tissue is removed. The new location of the belly button is determined and centered in the fresh skin. Excess skin is removed before the incision is closed, leaving a thin scar that fades over time and can be hidden by swimwear or underwear.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For those with a very small amount of extra skin and just a small amount of muscle weakness below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck can be performed through a shorter incision and the skin is lifted to the belly button. There is no incision around the belly button, which either stays in the same place or is sometimes pulled a little lower down as the skin is stretched out.
For patients with a large amount of tissue that hangs over the pubic area and causes problems (like rashes and repeated infections), a panniculectomy may be performed for medical reasons. This procedure requires at least three months of documentation of infections and medical treatments by a family doctor to apply to most insurance companies for coverage of this procedure. However, some insurance may not approve the procedure.
It is important to understand that although panniculectomy does improve the appearance of the abdomen, it is not a cosmetic procedure like an abdominoplasty. It is done primarily for relief of symptoms and for patients who are at high risk due to previous abdominal surgery, prior hernia repairs or obesity. In a panniculectomy, all the tissue on the lower abdomen that can be pinched together is removed without lifting the tissues, tightening the abdominal muscles, or recreating the belly button.
How Involved is a Tummy Tuck?
Most tummy tuck procedures will take between two and four hours. While many surgeons do tummy tucks solely as an outpatient procedure at a hospital, ambulatory facility, or office suite, Dr. Man has created a center that provides patients with complete care. This includes the option to recover under the watchful eye of credentialed staff.
Dr. Man makes all decisions based on safety and the best course of action to arrive at the desired result. After an abdominoplasty procedure is complete, sutures are used to close the incisions and drains may be placed to prevent swelling from excess fluid. Surgical dressing with a compression bandage or garment may be used to support the area.
Safety measures during surgery include multiple monitors in the surgical suite, monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, and oxygen levels. After surgery, patients are wheeled to a recovery area to be closely monitored until anesthesia wears off.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
Prior to the actual surgery, patients are given pre-op medications to be more comfortable. The anesthesiologist normally administers general anesthesia so patients are asleep and do not experience any sensation during the procedure (local anesthetics and / or IV sedation may also be used.)
Dr. Man provides patients with detailed instructions on how to prepare for surgery. These instructions may include (but may not be limited to):
- Having a complete physical
- Lose weight, if necessary
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery
- Stop taking Aspirin or other NSAIDs that can cause bleeding
- Stay hydrated
- For mothers with infants or toddlers under five years of age, arranging for childcare assistance for the two weeks following your surgery
- Establish a no-fail support system for two weeks
How is the Recovery from a Tummy Tuck?
After a tummy tuck procedure, a patient’s abdomen is typically swollen and uncomfortable for a week or more. This can be controlled by prescription pain medication. Patients are urged to start walking the day of abdominoplasty surgery to prevent blood clots, even though they may not be able to comfortably stand straight until about a week after surgery.
Some people return to work with minimal physical duties after two to four weeks. Others may take six to eight to rest and recuperate. There may be significant scarring during the first few weeks; however, it begins to fade with time. The scar is placed low enough, so that is covered by lingerie or swimwear. Tummy tucks last indefinitely if patients maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen to prevent new fat deposits.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
There are several factors involved in the cost of a tummy tuck, including the extent of the areas to be treated, what type of abdominoplasty is performed, and whether other procedures are performed at the same time. During an initial consultation, we go over the costs along with our payment options. We accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards, as well as offer financing.
What Do I Do Next?
The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Man to discuss your options with plastic surgery, including a tummy tuck. Your abdominoplasty consultation is a chance for him to get to know you and your goals, evaluate your body, and discuss possible treatment options to achieve your desired look. Once he determines the best procedure for you, he takes the time to go over the details of the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have.
A full medical history will be required, in addition to following:
- Previous surgeries
- Any past or present medical conditions
- Any allergies or sensitivities
- All current medications
- Medical treatments you have received
- Any plans for weight loss
- Any plans for pregnancy
Dr. Man wants you to be an active participant in developing your plan of treatment. By ensuring that you are well educated about your options, he can help you choose the best abdominoplasty procedure for you.
Daniel Man, M.D., is a board-certified Florida plastic surgeon who performs tummy tucks on individuals living in Boca Raton, FL, and the surrounding communities who want smooth and flat abdominals as well as a more contoured and healthy appearance. Please contact us at to set up your consultation today.