Frequently Asked Questions about Abdominoplasty

There are thousands of people every year who are considering getting an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) procedure). If you are one of those then we hope this FAQ section can be of some help.  It only makes sense that you would have some questions going in before undertaking a tummy tuck, or any other cosmetic surgery for that matter. Even though so many different people go to get a tummy tuck every year and it’s a common procedure, it’s still a nerve wracking experience. After all, even a minor surgery can be stressful, we are talking about surgery after all, and in this case a pretty major one.

Just what exactly is abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure that not only concentrates on using liposuction to remove excess fat around the stomach region, but also takes care of the excess skin in the area, as well.

How does a tummy tuck differ from liposuction?

While liposuction is a part of a larger tummy tuck procedure, on its own lipo takes out some excess fat but doesn’t do anything about excess skin or recovering the appearance. A tummy tuck takes care of everything starting from A to Z, including removing loose skin and doing everything possible to minimize scarring.

Who can get abdominoplasty?

First of all, this isn’t a magical cure for someone who is morbidly obese. Despite being able to remove a lot of weight, any patient looking at getting a tummy tuck must be in good physical and emotional health. If you’re planning on losing some weight via diet and exercise, that needs to be done before the surgery, as well.

Are tummy tucks safe?

Generally speaking a tummy tuck given by an experienced and certified cosmetic surgeon is safe the far majority of the time. However this is a major surgery, and it is important to know that there are far more risks with tummy tucks than say abdominal liposuction, which has a lot more low impact options that don’t require anesthesia.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

This question is going to vary immensely based on location and doctor. Obviously cosmetic surgery in New York City from one of the best specialists in the world is going to cost a lot more than say someone looking for service in Des Moines Iowa. Because of this costs can differ by many thousands of dollars but as of 2014 the true average of all known tummy tucks averaged together was $5,493. That’s a national average so obviously it’s lower in some places and higher in others but that is your mean average.

Can I get it done in one day?

No. A tummy tuck isn’t like a low impact bit of liposuction that might be just sliding some fat cells out from a “muffin top.” First there is a consultation phase where you need to meet with a plastic surgeon and discuss what you want out of the tummy tuck, what your long term goals are, and what you are expecting from the surgery. This is a necessary part of the process because the surgeon needs to make sure your goals are realistic, and that you are in the right physical and mental state for a tummy tuck.

The meeting and consultation takes place before any actual surgery takes place. These need to be done on separate days for the safety of all involved.

What is the best technique for abdominoplasty?

This is a really difficult question to answer because it is going to differ on a case by case basis. This will depend on the person, their specific body type and situation, as well as what techniques the surgeon you are seeing is actually familiar with. In theory technique A might be better than technique B but if the surgeon has performed 100 surgeries using method B and 0 using method A, you want method A in that situation.

What are the drawbacks of tummy tucks?

There are two obvious drawbacks to tummy tucks. The first is safety. Tummy tucks are more effective for the complete surgical makeover but also carry a much higher surgical risk. Even when successful there’s also the fact that there almost certainly will be a scar, and possibly quite a large one. While to some extent this might fade over time or with some basic skin treatment, it’s always going to be there to some extent.

Is there a lot of pain?

Doctors will try to make sure there is as little pain as possible but let’s face it, this is major surgery and there’s no getting around that. There will be pain during the recovery time and it’s not unusual to still have some pain and discomfort during healing up to a couple weeks later, however it should continue to diminish over time.

What if I just want a certain look or a little bit of work done?

There are many different ways that cosmetic surgeons can use tummy tucks to shape your stomach and abs to look the way you want, within reason. This is part of the reason the consultation stage is so important. Depending on what you’re looking for you may find that a much less invasive form of liposuction is actually the better choice. A professional surgeon will be able to let you know your best options for sure.

Where can I find a local cosmetic surgeon?

There are many different ways. Contact a local hospital, look up local cosmetic surgeons online, or even track down some professional organizations in your area that would be able to recommend someone. There are many outstanding cosmetic surgeons out there who can give a perfect tummy tuck and this is one of those decisions where you want to make sure you find someone with the experience and skills needed to get the job done right. After all, this is serious surgery.

In Conclusion:
Never be afraid to ask questions to make sure you’re choosing the right surgeon. You’re spending the money for a surgery, you have a right to make sure you have peace of mind before going under the knife!