Frank Agullo, MDBoard Certified Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery, also called abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that improves the appearance of the abdomen by tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Men and women of all ages and walks of life have experienced the firmer, more slender body contours that result from this procedure.

Do you...

  • Have a bulging abdomen that diet and exercise cannot remedy?
  • Have excess abdominal skin and stretch marks?
  • Have diastasis recti or stretched abdominal muscles?
  • Desire a more feminine/masculine silhouette?
  • Desire a more defined waistline?
  • Want to lose inches from your waist?
  • Wish to wear smaller clothing sizes?
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Achieved With Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Reduces excess skin that results from weight loss, pregnancy, or aging
  • Repairs weak or stretched abdominal muscles
  • Creates a permanent internal corset, or waist trainer
  • Improves abdominal contour and firmness
  • Results in confidence and several inches lost around the midsection
  • Will remove stretch marks located below the umbilicus
  • Removes excess fat
  • Almost always combined with liposuction
  • Provides permanent results that aggressive diet and exercise cannot emulate

Tummy Tuck Options

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arrowFull Tummy Tuck

  • Smooths the entire midsection
  • Tightens loose abdominal muscles
  • Removes excess skin and fat from the upper and lower abdomen
  • Incision across the pelvis from hipbone to hipbone
  • General anesthesia
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arrowMini Tummy Tuck

  • Improves the appearance of the lower abdomen only
  • Removes excess skin and fat deposits below the navel
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Shorter incision across the pelvis
  • IV conscious sedation, “twilight anesthesia,” or general anesthesia
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arrowExtended Tummy Tuck

  • Improvement extends from the abdomen to the flanks (“love handles”) and hips, with a lateral thigh lift and mild buttock lift
  • Tightens loose abdominal muscles
  • Incision extends circumferentially around the entire midsection
  • General anesthesia

Tummy Tuck Procedure

General anesthesia is administered for both the full tummy tuck and the extended tummy tuck. For a mini tummy tuck, some patients have the option of IV conscious sedation, “twilight anesthesia,” or general anesthesia. The procedure takes two to four hours to complete depending on the amount of skin to be removed.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is the least invasive of the three options and addresses the lower abdomen only. With only one incision very low across the pelvis, the mini tummy tuck eliminates a protruding lower abdomen, excess skin below the navel, and any stretch marks that fall on the skin that is removed. Dr. Agullo offers a more aggressive tummy tuck that involves tightening of the abdominal muscles with a triple plication.

Full Tummy Tuck

Also called a standard or comprehensive tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdomen. It reduces excess skin with an incision across the pelvis from hipbone to hipbone and another incision hidden within the navel. The abdominal muscles are tightened with a triple plication to provide the firm structure that produces a flat abdomen. If the patient has weak areas in the abdominal wall, a temporary internal corset can be used to provide extra support as the tissues heal (it is naturally absorbed by the body a few weeks into the recovery process). Once the internal structures are tightened, the skin is redraped over the abdomen and any excess skin is removed.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended abdominoplasty is a full tummy tuck that extends around the body to include the flanks (“love handles”). It also provides improvement to the lateral hips and thighs, and it sometimes will provide a mild buttock lift at the same time. The main incision wraps around the entire lower midsection and can typically be hidden beneath most bikini styles.

Advanced Techniques

Dr. Agullo uses some of the most advanced techniques and technologies available to provide tighter contours and minimal scarring for his abdominoplasty patients.

  • Dr. Agullo not only plicates the rectus abdominus muscles at the midline, but he also plicates the obliques to further define the waistline
  • Creates a permanent internal corset
  • In social media circles, often referred to as the “Hollywood Waist Procedure” for a snatched waist
  • Dr. Agullo performs extensive liposuction on the abdomen and flanks using the SAFE technique in almost all his abdominoplasties
  • Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks is included in the cost of all tummy tucks with Dr. Agullo
  • Many patients add liposuction treatment for other areas of fatty deposits, commonly the back rolls, thighs, arms, or neck
  • The internal corset is a mesh that reinforces the more defined waistline
  • Strengthens weak areas to reduce the likelihood of postoperative complications
  • Used on those with a loose abdominal wall or those who have weak tissue caused by substantial weight fluctuation, pregnancy, or hernia operations
  • Made from woven, non-animal multifilament that gets replaced by the body’s own connective tissue over the first year
  • Incisions are always strategically placed where bikinis and underwear styles will hide the resulting scars
  • Dr. Agullo uses multiple layers of sutures to neatly close incisions
  • Quilting sutures are placed to speed up drain removal
  • Surgical taping is used the first two weeks to relieve tension along the scar
  • After surgery, you will use bioCorneum® silicone ointment to accelerate healing and minimize the appearance of scars
  • Dr. Agullo has other scar treatments including embrace®, IPL and Nd:YAG lasers, and microneedling to treat patients with a history of bad scarring

Preparing for Your Surgery

Patients who achieve the best results with abdominoplasty are at or near their ideal weight and have maintained their weight for at least three months. Ideal candidates do not smoke and should be off of blood-thinning medications two weeks prior to surgery. Patients should plan for someone to drive them to and from surgery and assist them for the first 24 hours after the procedure. After a tummy tuck, most patients will require assistance for the first five days. Two weeks is usually enough time for recovery and scheduled time off from work.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

arrowShould I be finished having children before a tummy tuck?

Since pregnancy will undo the results achieved with a tummy tuck, it is recommended that you are finished having children before considering the procedure. However, having had a tummy tuck would not compromise the pregnancy. Those who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen but wish to have children in the future may benefit from liposuction alone if they have good skin elasticity and no excess skin to remove. Some patients undergo a tummy tuck knowing they will have children in the future. Since many factors determine the surgical outcome, the procedure that is right for you will best be determined during your consultation.

arrowWhat procedures can be combined with a tummy tuck?

Dr. Agullo almost always uses liposuction to complement abdominoplasty unless the patient does not have much abdominal fat. Those who have lost a significant amount of weight often choose to combine abdominoplasty with other procedures that remove excess skin, such as a thigh lift or arm lift. Abdominoplasty is also a popular option in the Mommy Makeover as an adjunct to breast augmentation, breast lift, or liposuction on multiple areas of the body. The newest trend in mommy makeovers is to transfer the liposuctioned fat to the buttocks. Some refer to this as an extreme Mommy Makeover.

arrowWhat are the risks of a tummy tuck?

Dr. Agullo has performed hundreds of tummy tuck surgeries with very successful results, but as with any surgical procedure, it does have associated risks. Most risks are temporary or can be corrected with another procedure. They include: anesthesia risks, infection, fluid accumulation, poor wound healing, scarring, tissue death, and changes in skin sensation.

arrowHow extensive is tummy tuck recovery?

The extent of recovery will mostly depend on the extent of the procedure. As more skin is removed or if it is combined with other procedures, there may be more initial discomfort following surgery. Any pain can be managed with prescribed medication, and compression garments help reduce swelling. Light walking is encouraged after surgery and prevents blood clots, strokes, poor circulation, and other complications, but patients should not resume regular exercise or heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Patients usually feel like they are back to themselves after one week and feel well enough to venture out of the house after two weeks.

arrowHow much does a tummy tuck cost?

The cost of a tummy tuck ranges from $8,300 to $14,000 but will vary depending on the extent of the procedure, type of anesthesia, whether an overnight hospital stay is required, and whether it is combined with other procedures. A more precise estimate will be determined at your initial consultation.

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