Ultimate Tummy Tuck Guide

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is the removal of excess fat and skin around the midsection. In most cases, a tummy tuck restores weakened or separated muscles (diastasis) to create a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. A protruding or loose abdomen may be due to a variety of factors, including aging, genetics, pregnancy, prior surgery, or significant fluctuations in weight. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Dr. Spiro uses a customized approach to perform tummy tuck surgery, creating a flat and well-toned midsection to dramatically improve your shape. 

Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck can be an effective solution when your best efforts have not yielded any results regarding the appearance of your midsection. Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery are:

  • Physically healthy and at a stable weight
  • Have realistic expectations for the procedure
  • Non-smokers
  • Bothered by the appearance of their abdomen

Individuals planning to lose a substantial amount of weight or women considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone surgery. A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks. However, they can potentially be removed or somewhat improved if they are in the area of excision.

What to Expect During a Tummy Tuck Consultation

During your tummy tuck consultation, be prepared to discuss several questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle. The success and safety of your tummy tuck depend on your complete candidness during the consultation. Dr. Spiro will talk to you about:

  • Your surgical goals and procedure options
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Current medications
  • Previous surgeries

He and his team will also evaluate your general health status and any preexisting health conditions or risk factors, as well as: 

  • Take photographs
  • Discuss likely outcomes, potential risks, and complications
  • Recommend a course of treatment
  • Answer any questions you may have

How Much is a Tummy Tuck?

During your initial tummy tuck consultation, you will receive a quote based on your specific needs and expectations for your surgery. While most health insurance plans do not cover a tummy tuck or its complications, Dr. Spiro offers financing options to help you pay for the procedure. Tummy tuck costs may include:

  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Surgeon’s fee 

How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck?

Feeling fully prepared for your tummy tuck will make the experience much less stressful and can speed up the recovery process. Before your surgery, Dr. Spiro may ask you to: 

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Stop smoking
  • Take certain medications or adjust current medications
  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements that may increase bleeding

After the procedure, you will not be allowed to drive, so please arrange for someone to drive you to and from our surgical center. 

Types of Tummy Tucks

After Dr. Spiro examines the condition of your skin and tissue, he will determine which of the following types of tummy tuck is best suited for your individual goals and will provide the most natural-looking results. 

Mini-Tummy Tuck

A mini-tummy tuck involves one slightly curved or horizontal incision made far below the navel and just at or above the pubic area. Dr. Spiro will tighten loose muscles and remove excess skin to improve the appearance of the lower abdomen. He can also combine a mini-tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks and upper abdomen in patients with good-quality upper abdominal skin and no significant abdominal wall issues.

Classic or “Full” Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck is the most common type of tummy tuck procedure and focuses on the entire midsection. Dr. Spiro will make two incisions — one located in the lower abdomen and the other around the navel. These incision sites allow Dr. Spiro to remove sagging skin from the upper and lower abdomen. 

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck is commonly for patients who need a large amount of skin removed, typically after a major weight loss. Dr. Spiro will make a single incision that wraps around the abdomen to reach the hips. This procedure will allow him to tighten the skin evenly across the entire tummy. Although it involves a longer incision, an extended tummy tuck removes excess, hanging skin from the upper and lower abdomen and the flanks and helps tighten the abdominal wall. 

Tummy Tuck with Liposuction

In some cases, patients may benefit from a tummy tuck with liposuction. Dr. Spiro may combine hip, back, flank, and buttock liposuction with a tummy tuck to help meet your goals for surgery. Liposuction surgery may occur at the same time as the tummy tuck surgery or as a follow-up procedure. There are limitations to the amount of liposuction that can be done concurrently with a tummy tuck, depending on the amount of weakened skin.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy tuck recovery varies depending on your age, health, and type of procedure done. Following your tummy tuck surgery, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions. To minimize swelling and support your abdomen while you heal, you will need to wear an elastic bandage or compression garment for up to six weeks. Thin, small tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess blood and fluid. Dr. Spiro will give you specific postoperative instructions, including:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in general
  • When to schedule a follow-up appointment

Dr. Spiro recommends not performing any strenuous activities for about 6 weeks after your surgery. Patients can typically return to work within two to four weeks, depending on the physical requirements of the job. 

Tummy Tuck Results

A week or two after surgery, you will see a midsection that is more proportionate with your body contour. You will look and feel your best with tighter abdomen muscles, smoother skin, and a slimmer waist.

Tummy Tuck Scars

Visible scarring from a tummy tuck may take several months to heal and fade and may never completely go away. However, proper aftercare and prescribed topical creams can help dramatically reduce the appearance of scarring. 

Tummy Tuck Before and After

View our before and after gallery of tummy tuck procedures performed by Dr. Spiro to see our patients’ extraordinary body transformations!

Schedule a Tummy Tuck Consultation with Dr. Spiro

Dr. Spiro is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in personalized tummy tuck procedures. With over 3,000 positive patient testimonials and reviews, he and his team are committed to delivering the highest quality care while achieving your aesthetic goals. Contact us today for more information about our body contouring procedures, or schedule a consultation for a tummy tuck near you!


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Graphite/Pencil Hybrid-Painting by Dr. Scott Spiro