Contouring the abdomen and midsection often requires more than just liposuction of excess fat. For women and men who struggle with drooping inelastic skin, a protruding belly, and/or stretched abdominal muscles, Dr. Carrie Houssock can develop a surgical tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) plan that is custom-tailored according to one’s specific needs and goals. The amount and location of excess skin, muscle laxity, and several other factors will determine whether a full, mini, extended, or reverse tummy tuck is the best option for you.
Learn more about the various tummy tuck techniques and other abdominoplasty topics by exploring the sections provided below. If you have any questions, or if you wish to schedule a consultation at our practice, please feel free to contact us today.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck, or full abdominoplasty, is a procedure performed to flatten the abdomen in patients who have excess skin and fat above as well as below the belly button. In addition, many candidates for this procedure also require tightening of the muscles of the abdomen. Frequently these muscles are stretched beyond one’s ability to strengthen them following pregnancy.
Reverse Tummy Tuck
Reverse tummy tuck, or reverse abdominoplasty, is a procedure for individuals who have isolated excess fat and/or skin in the upper abdomen. Typically, patients who are good candidates for a reverse tummy tuck have a moderate amount of excess upper abdominal skin with some fat, but little to no excess below the belly button. A reverse tummy tuck is ideally suited for those whose waistline concern is from above the belly button only. As such, if there is extra abdominal skin and weakness of the abdomen below the belly button as well, then a full abdominoplasty is likely the better option.
The reverse tummy tuck involves two steps that are performed during the same operation. These steps include removal of upper abdominal skin and liposuction of unwanted fat. Incisions are typically made in the bra line, extending from under the breast creases and through the midline. This leaves little to no opportunity for scarring around the belly button, as any scars should be well concealed under the breast crease.
Because the incisions are in such close proximity to the breasts, patients often opt to combine the reverse tummy tuck with a breast enhancement procedure (e.g. augmentation or mastopexy). As is the case with a mini tummy tuck, patients are generally advised to practice light activity for six weeks following a reverse tummy tuck in order to preserve results and encourage proper healing.
If you would like to learn more about the reverse tummy tuck, we invite you to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Carrie Houssock.
What is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Like?
There are multiple kinds of tummy tuck procedures and each specific procedure will vary somewhat in terms of how it is performed. With that in mind, a full tummy tuck procedure, which is typically the most frequently performed option, generally begins with an incision made from one hip to the other, just above the pubic area. In many cases, another incision will be made in the navel area so the belly button can be repositioned. Dr. Houssock will then tighten and repair abdominal muscles, remove excess abdominal skin, and pull the remaining skin taut. This should result in a smoother, firmer, and “flatter” abdomen.
Tummy tuck procedures require general anesthesia; however, they can be performed on an outpatient basis for many individuals. With that in mind, it may be best to stay overnight at the hospital in some cases. Dr. Houssock can talk more with you about what to expect once you have been evaluated during the initial consultation.
Is There a Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck Alternative?
There are currently no non-surgical alternatives to a tummy tuck that can effectively address the same concerns or produce similar results. While some have claimed that exercises or devices such as the Tummy Tuck Belt® and others can achieve similar outcomes to an abdominoplasty, the fact is that nothing but surgery can repair loose musculature and remove excess skin the way that a tummy can. With that in mind, some individuals may be good candidates for a less invasive surgical procedure called BodyTite, which utilizes radiofrequency-assisted lipolysis techniques to reduce signs of excess skin and fat in targeted areas of the body such as the abdomen. For patients who are primarily concerned about mild to moderate levels of excess fat in the abdominal region rather than excess skin, a non-surgical procedure such as CoolSculpting® may offer an alternative to a surgical option such as liposuction. Dr. Houssock will be happy to talk more with you about it once you have been evaluated and help you determine whether CoolSculpting®, BodyTite, or other options may be ideal for your needs. However, if the concerns are primarily related to prominent levels of excess skin in the abdomen and/or loose abdominal musculature, a tummy tuck may be the only procedure that will be effective for those conditions.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
At our Baltimore-area practice, the average cost of a tummy tuck procedure is $8,000 to $9,000 for a mini-tummy tuck, $10,200 to $11,200 for a standard (full) tummy tuck, $11,500 to $12,500 an extended tummy tuck, and $8,900 to $9,900 for a reverse tummy tuck. These price ranges include all costs associated with the procedure, including:
- Anesthesiology fees
- Surgeon’s fees
- All pre- and post-op appointments
- Operating room fees
- Any post-operative garments
While our price ranges are an accurate representation of the average tummy tuck cost, the overall expense of your tummy tuck may fall above or below these figures. The specific details of your surgical plan ultimately determine the cost of your abdominoplasty.
For an accurate tummy tuck quote, it is necessary to schedule a consultation with Dr. Houssock. Following your appointment, you can review a detailed estimate for your personalized surgery, as well as ask any questions you may have. If you decide to move forward with surgery, a knowledgeable member of our office team can discuss topics including the payment process, scheduling, and financing. For qualified applicants, third-party lenders we partner with—including ALPHAEON™ CREDIT, CareCredit®, and Blispay—offer a range of plastic surgery financing options designed to make cosmetic procedures more affordable.
If you are considering a tummy tuck and want to find out if the procedure is right for you, please contact our practice to schedule your consultation.
Additional Tummy Tuck FAQS
How do I know if I need a tummy tuck or liposuction?
If you have loose skin in the abdomen or weak abdominal muscles (usually due to pregnancies, excessive weight gain, or weight loss) you will likely need an abdominoplasty.
Can’t I have liposuction instead of a tummy tuck?
Liposuction is a preferred technique for isolated pockets of fat on the legs, tummy and hips. Therefore, not all patients are candidates for liposuction. To be effective, there must be little excess skin. However, for many patients, if the lower tummy tissues are excessively stretched, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is indicated. Occasionally, the two techniques can be used together. In the majority of cases, the tummy tuck is performed first and a second stage liposuction is done several months later.
Can I speak to some of your previous patients who had a procedure, such as tummy tuck, and get a reference?
Absolutely, our plastic surgeon would encourage this. In fact, her past patients are her greatest endorsement. Our staff will gladly arrange this for you.