If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty), turn to MU Health Care. Our experienced plastic surgeons have a long track record of success and aim to provide the safest surgery with the best results. 

For many people, one of the hardest areas of the body to keep trim and toned is the abdomen. If you also have stubborn, saggy belly skin that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck is a common type of plastic surgery that helps smooth and reshape your abdomen. We do this by:

  • Removing extra skin from your abdominal area
  • Tightening up any abdominal muscles that have become loose or separated
  • Repositioning your belly button

Our plastic surgeons have helped many patients achieve a firmer, flatter abdomen — and improve their confidence.

A tummy tuck may be a good option for you if you:

  • Have loose, saggy skin caused by pregnancy (with or without weakened abdominal muscles)
  • Have excess skin hanging around the abdomen after significant weight loss
  • Have lost skin elasticity and firmness due to normal aging

The safety and quality you deserve

Tummy tuck is considered major surgery, meaning it comes with certain risks. These risks include fluid build-up under the skin, poor wound healing and loss of sensation caused by nerve damage.

That’s why it’s important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon.

Every plastic surgeon at MU Health Care is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). In order to earn (and maintain) ABPS board certification, plastic surgeons must complete ongoing training. This ensures their skills remain up to date as the field evolves.

When you choose one of our plastic surgeons, you can expect a higher level of safety and quality. And at MU Health Care, you can also expect exceptional service and support before, during and after tummy tuck surgery.

A full menu of options

At MU Health Care, you can choose to have a tummy tuck as a single, standalone procedure. Or, depending on your goals, you can have it at the same time as other cosmetic procedures. For example, some women request a tummy tuck as part of a “mommy makeover” package.

Procedures we often perform along with a tummy tuck include:

  • Breast augmentation: We increase your breast size by placing silicone or saline implants under your breast tissue or chest muscles.
  • Breast lift: We raise your breasts higher on your chest, giving them a more youthful appearance.
  • Breast reduction surgery: We reduce the size of your breasts by removing a certain amount of skin, tissue and fat.
  • Liposuction: We suction fat and fluid from other areas you want to tighten and tone (such as your hips, buttocks or upper arms).

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

As with any surgery, a tummy tuck isn’t for everyone. You’re more likely to have a safe, positive outcome if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re healthy enough to receive anesthesia and have surgery.
  • Your weight is stable (gaining or losing a significant amount of weight after your tummy tuck can affect your results).
  • You’re done having children.
  • You’re a nonsmoker (or you can stop smoking before your surgery and during your recovery). Smoking makes it harder for your body to heal.

Even if you’re not a good candidate for a tummy tuck right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one in the future. We can offer advice or recommend lifestyle changes that increase your eligibility for this procedure.

What to expect

Here’s what you can expect if you’re considering tummy tuck surgery at MU Health Care:

A no-obligation consultation

Your first appointment is important because it gives us time to learn more about you (and why you’re considering a tummy tuck). We’ll discuss factors such as:

  • Your medical history: We’ll go over any factors that could influence your ability to have tummy tuck surgery or your long-term results. These may include your history of pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, and any previous abdominal surgeries.
  • Your goals: We’ll examine your abdomen and discuss your desired results. This helps us set realistic expectations about the look you want — and determine the best way to achieve it.
  • Your budget: Cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance. We’ll give you cost estimates for a tummy tuck right up front, so you know how much you’ll have to pay if you move forward with the surgery.

We’ll also make sure you understand the benefits and risks of a tummy tuck, and how much downtime you can expect during your recovery.

The day of surgery

If you choose to have your tummy tuck at MU Health Care, we’ll work hard to provide a smooth, seamless experience. The day of your procedure, you can expect the following:

  • Tummy tuck surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. This means you’ll go home the same day.
  • Your surgery will probably take two to three hours from start to finish.
  • You’ll receive general anesthesia, which keeps you fully asleep during the procedure. Because the anesthesia can take a while to wear off, you’ll need a responsible adult to drive you home.

After surgery

For most people, it takes two to four weeks to recover from a tummy tuck. During this time, you’ll experience aching or soreness in your core that makes it harder to bend and move around. This is especially true if your surgery included muscle tightening.

The good news is, you can enhance your recovery — and minimize or avoid complications — by following certain guidelines.

For example:

  • You may need to wear a “compression garment” around your middle for several weeks. This minimizes swelling and supports your abdomen while it heals.
  • You may go home with small, thin tubes inserted near your surgical incision. These tubes drain excess fluid and are usually left in place for several days. We’ll show you how to empty and clean them until they’re removed.
  • You’ll need to avoid straining or making any sudden movements that could stretch your surgical incision (and reopen it).

We’ll give you a detailed set of instructions, and answer all your questions, before you return home.