Tummy-tucks are performed to remove unwanted skin and fat from the abdomen, while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles. The typical patient considering a full tummy-tuck (abdominoplasty) has stretch marks (stria) and loose skin below (or up to) the level of the belly-button (umbilicus). Because the skin and muscles have been stretched due to pregnancy or significant weight change, no amount of exercise can repair the damage – the abdominoplasty procedure will repair these changes. Patients with stria above the umbilicus will have a significant improvement, but some stria may remain.
A variation of the procedure (a “mini” tummy-tuck) is sometimes all that is required to achieve the desired result. In this case, loose abdominal skin below or around the umbilicus is tightened through a smaller incision and fat is removed.
Mini tummy-tucks tend to cost around $6,800 and patients are typically able to return to full activities within a couple of days. Major tummy-tucks cost around $9,800 and patients usually return to routine light activities within 3-4 days. Heavy lifting and exercising the abdomen is avoided for 1 month.
By the way, if you have strong abdominal muscles and just some loose skin around the belly-button, I may be able to tighten the skin without surgery! Our skin tightening laser (the Cutera Titan) and our Thermacool Thermage unit are providing many patients with good results. This can be combined with liposuction to give an improvement in both contour and skin tone. These skin tightening devices result in no downtime (you can resume normal activities right away) and the procedure cost is less than surgery. Give us a call to learn more…