Tummy Tuck FAQs: Answering Your Questions

A woman wearing lingerie with flat abdomen (model)

One of the most popular procedures I perform is abdominoplasty—more commonly known as a tummy tuck. It’s a truly transformative operation that patients often describe as life-changing. On the RealSelf website used by many women and men considering plastic surgery, tummy tuck surgery has a 95% “worth it” rating from actual patients.

Despite the popularity of tummy tuck surgery, misconceptions persist about what it can—and cannot—accomplish. With that in mind, I want to address some of the most common questions I hear from patients that are often rooted in those misconceptions.

Common Questions About Tummy Tucks

Questions patients ask about any plastic surgery procedure often involve what to expect during the recovery, how much a procedure costs, if the scars will be noticeable, and other more general inquiries. The questions below are more specific to tummy tuck surgery.

How much weight can I lose with a tummy tuck?

Even though a tummy tuck results in a slimmer figure, the procedure is not considered weight loss surgery. A tummy tuck is designed to remove excess abdominal skin after you lose a significant amount of weight or if you’ve had children. It can also repair and tighten abdominal muscles that separate during pregnancy.

Should I get a tummy tuck or liposuction?

A more accurate question is whether you should combine liposuction with a tummy tuck. The procedures have different goals that can be complementary. Liposuction removes pockets of fat. Surgeons often use liposuction to remove fat from the flanks during tummy tuck surgery to create a contoured midsection that looks natural.

Can I get a mini tummy tuck?

You may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck if your concerns are limited to the area below the bellybutton. An advantage of the mini tummy tuck is that it involves a much shorter incision than a full tummy tuck. But it’s not the correct approach if you have excess skin and fat above the bellybutton, which is repositioned during a traditional tummy tuck.

Will a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?

Stretch marks develop when you gain weight rapidly, such as during pregnancy. In some cases, they fade, but not always. Because a tummy tuck removes excess skin, it gets rid of stretch marks that are on the trimmed-off skin. This is usually confined to the area below the bellybutton.

Is it safe to combine a tummy tuck with other procedures?

A tummy tuck is a staple of the Mommy Makeover, which typically combines body contouring procedures with breast enhancement surgery. This may include a breast lift with or without implants. This combination surgery is safe when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon and when it’s limited to 4 to 6 hours. The risk of complications increases after that amount of time in surgery. A tummy tuck may also be included in body contouring surgery after weight loss.

Will tummy tuck results last forever?

Forever is a long time, but your tummy tuck results can last indefinitely if you maintain your weight. Eating a nutritious diet and leading a healthy, active lifestyle that includes regular exercise will keep your abdomen looking flat. The aging process continues, of course, and the skin on your abdomen—like the skin on your face—will gradually lose its elasticity and show some signs of sagging.

If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery and are looking in New Haven or surrounding areas for an experienced plastic surgeon, you can request a consultation using the online form or call (203) 689-5295 to schedule an appointment. You can also view tummy tuck before and after photos featuring my actual patients before visiting.

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