Tummy Tuck

Many people are unhappy with the loose skin, lax muscles, and isolated fat deposits in their midsection. Some people simply inherit this body type, and others develop these problems after pregnancy or weight loss. Unfortunately, diet and exercise provide only limited improvement for excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat in this area, which is why so many people come to Dr. Michael Bogdan’s practice for abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, from Fort Worth, Frisco, Plano, Southlake, and Grapevine, TX.

Tummy Tuck
 Before & After Photos

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What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a very effective surgical procedure that slims and tightens the abdominal area. Almost everyone who has a sagging stomach can benefit from an abdominoplasty, but it is particularly popular among women who have had multiple pregnancies and patients who have experienced significant weight loss, such as post-bariatric patients. The three main components of a tummy tuck are:

  • Tightening of the abdominal muscles
  • Removal of excess skin
  • Removal of excess fat in the midsection

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in Fort Worth, TX?

The cost for a tummy tuck ranges from $9,000 to $13,000 depending on the specifics of the procedure. When patients from Plano, Frisco, Southlake, and other nearby cities combine abdominoplasty with some type of breast surgery (such as breast augmentation or a breast lift), the combination is called a Mommy Makeover and can range from $16,000 to $26,000. For the best care and tummy tuck results, it’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Bogdan who has extensive experience performing the procedure. You will be provided with a personalized price quote at the end of your consultation.

Should I Consider Liposuction With My Tummy Tuck?

Anyone considering a tummy tuck should also seriously consider liposuction of the flanks (aka: “love-handles”).  Flank liposuction helps contour the waistline and accentuates the curves of the butt. Although most women are focused on the direct effects childbearing has on the front of their midsections, about a year after tummy tuck surgery, many wish they had also addressed the love-handle region.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Patients are sometimes unsure of whether they need a tummy tuck or liposuction to attain their desired improvements. Often a combination of these procedures is best. See the table for a comparison.

ImprovementsTummy TuckLiposuctionTummy Tuck With Liposuction
Tighten Loose SkinYesNoYes
Repair Ab MusclesYesNoYes
Remove FatMinimalYesYes
Contour FlanksNoYesYes

How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

If you do not mind viewing actual surgery, here are a few links to Instagram videos that Dr. Bogdan has posted which show how he performs the surgery. The First Video shows the drawing of skin to be removed, incision, skin & fat elevation, a side view of muscle closure, skin removal, and partial skin closure. The Second Video shows the final skin closure (the top 2 of 3 layers of sutures). And the Third Video shows a great close-up view of the muscle closure. Before and after photos show the surgeon’s work, but operative videos are the best way to see how it is actually accomplished.

Why Choose Dr. Bogdan for Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Michael Bogdan is a top board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in abdominoplasty for residents of Fort Worth, Plano, and other cities near Grapevine, TX. He has extensive training and experience performing tummy tuck surgery, and he can help you to regain a tighter, flatter midsection with either a full or partial abdominoplasty. If you would like to learn more about abdominoplasty, request a consultation with Dr. Bogdan.

Tummy Tuck Techniques

Dr. Bogdan personalizes a variety of abdominoplasty techniques to the individual needs of the patient. Options include:

  • Mini tummy tuck: involves a C-section length (6 to 8 inches) incision through the abdominal muscles are tightened; this technique does not significantly tighten the abdominal skin. (It is RARE that Dr. Bogdan thinks this operation will benefit a patient, so he performs it infrequently.)
  • Standard tummy tuck: also called a complete tummy tuck, is performed with an incision that spans from hipbone to hipbone through which all of the muscles and skin of the abdomen are tightened.
  • Umbilical float abdominoplasty: allows for tightening of the muscles on the whole abdomen, but does not tighten the skin as much as a standard abdominoplasty. It is appropriate for patients who desire a very low scar and have good skin quality (minimal stretch marks) or those with a very high belly button that would need an inverted-T incision with a standard abdominoplasty.
  • Extended abdominoplasty: involves an incision that runs from the back hipbone, around the front, and to the back hipbone on the other side. This incision allows for tightening of the abdominal muscles, the abdominal skin, and the flank and lateral thigh. Effectively, the extended portion of this operation is a lateral thigh lift.
  • Circumferential abdominoplasty: also called a lower body lift, belt lipectomy, 360-degree tummy tuck, around-the-world tummy tuck, involves an incision that runs all the way around the torso. In addition to providing all the improvements of an extended abdominoplasty, it includes a buttock lift.
  • Reverse abdominoplasty: provides the same tightening of the abdominal muscles and skin as a standard tummy tuck, but instead of the incision being at the level of the bikini line, it runs around the level of the breast crease or ribcage, crossing the midline. This operation really only makes sense for patients who already have a significant pre-existing scar in this location (such as from an anchor incision breast reduction or an open gallbladder operation). If you have no existing scars on your abdomen, do not consider this operation.

The Abdominoplasty Procedure

Your procedure will begin with general anesthesia, administered by a board-certified MD anesthesiologist. In the case of a full abdominoplasty the incision runs horizontally along the lower abdomen, between the two pelvic bones, and also requires a second incision around the navel. Dr. Bogdan designs his incisions with the input of his patients, as clothing and swimwear preference can affect the ideal scar location. For a partial abdominoplasty—or mini tummy tuck—a shorter horizontal incision is made along the pubic area. Dr. Bogdan is very careful to make the incision so that it is easily covered by underwear or a bathing suit.

Dr. Bogdan will repair weakened abdominal muscles by suturing together the loose muscle tissue. He then removes excess skin and can reduce fatty deposits along the flanks (love handles) with the assistance of liposuction if it is indicated. During a full tummy tuck, skin is removed from both the upper and lower abdomen, utilizing the second incision around the navel. The incision(s) will be closed with dissolving sutures, and often a small, temporary drainage tube is placed beneath the skin to prevent any fluid from accumulating.

Dr. Michael Bogdan

Dr. Bogdan is a board-certified plastic surgeon with a passion for his craft who is known for working closely with patients to get excellent results.

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Tummy Tuck Recovery & Results

While patient experiences vary, the recovery after a full tummy tuck generally proceeds along the following timeline:

Day of Surgery

After the surgery, you will be a bit groggy and feel tightness in your abdominal area. You’ll need a friend or loved one to drive you home and stay with you for the first 3 days. You’ll be sent home with a dressing on your incisions and a comfortably fitting compression garment that provides support and helps minimize swelling. You won’t be able to stand up straight at this stage. Surgical pain is easily managed with prescribed medicine. It is helpful to sleep in a recliner during the early weeks of recovery so you can maintain a flexed position through the night.

Three Days After Surgery

You may still not be able to walk fully upright 3 days after your tummy tuck, but it’s important to stand and walk around throughout the day to prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs. You’ll be restricted in your activities for the next couple of weeks.

One to Two Weeks After Surgery

Most patients are off medication within 5 to 7 days. Dr. Bogdan recommends avoiding driving, and instead work from home until 10 days after surgery. You should be able to stand up almost straight within 2 weeks of surgery. Patients typically return to non-strenuous jobs 14 days after surgery. Dr. Bogdan has specific recommendations for scar care after your tummy tuck to help minimize the final appearance of the scar.

Three Weeks After Surgery

After this initial recovery period, you can switch to wearing the compression garment whenever you like and can resume light activities (elliptical machine, gentle cycling) as directed by Dr. Bogdan.

One Month After Surgery

It is normal to still have swelling that makes clothes feel tight at this point.

Six Weeks After Surgery

The surgical area is usually healed enough at this point to allow you to sleep on your stomach again if you desire. Patients are typically ready to gradually resume strenuous workouts, including lifting weights and jogging, working up to their normal routines within about 6 weeks. You will likely begin to feel ready to show off your new, slimmer midsection.

Three Months After Surgery

The majority of the swelling resolves within 3 to 5 months.

Six Months After Surgery

At this point, patients are usually 90% healed and feeling more comfortable and confident in a wider variety of clothing.

One Year After Surgery

Swelling may take up to a year to completely dissipate, but your final results should be fully achieved at one year. Scars typically fade and flatten over time.

App for iPhone® & iPad®

If you have an iPhone or iPad, Dr. Bogdan encourages you to download his enhanced photo gallery application. This FREE app is available for download from the App Store℠.

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Dr. Bogdan's iPhone app

Can I Combine a Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?

Yes, Dr. Bogdan frequently combines tummy tuck surgery with liposuction and breast enhancement; this combination of procedures is termed a Mommy Makeover. Pregnancy predictably affects both the breasts and abdomen, so it makes sense that women considering abdominal improvement would also desire breast enhancement. Any of the breast operations can be combined with a tummy tuck, including:

Typical surgical times for the Mommy Makeover operation range from 4 to 6 hours.

Does a Tummy Tuck Have Risks?

There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, and not everyone is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. It is important that you seek the guidance of a board-certified plastic surgeon to assist you in determining if an abdominoplasty is right for you.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

Will I have visible scars from a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck removes excess skin from the abdomen and doing so requires the creation of a scar. The exact location of the scar is something that should be discussed in detail – once you have the scar, you can’t change your mind and move it! This is something worth considering as most of the time placement of the tummy tuck incision is dictated by clothing preference. Dr. Bogdan strives to place the incision where it will be covered by clothing such as underwear, swimsuits, and pants.

Do you need a formal tummy tuck to fix a diastasis recti?

Bringing the rectus muscles back together is a major component of a standard tummy tuck. The full length of muscles can also be repaired during an umbilical float tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck typically addresses the muscle below the belly button, so it is only appropriate for patients who have isolated lower abdominal wall laxity without significant skin excess. (Appropriate candidates for the mini procedure are rare.)

Does a tummy tuck remove stretch marks from pregnancy?

A tummy tuck will remove a significant amount of stretch marks on the abdomen; in most cases, all stretch marks below the belly button can be removed. The stretch marks that are above the belly button will still remain but will be moved down to the lower portion of the abdomen where they are hidden by clothing.

Can a tummy tuck be combined with a hysterectomy?

Yes. If you are in good health and are undergoing a “routine” hysterectomy, a tummy tuck can be performed at the same time. However, it is safer to separate the procedures by a few weeks. As safety is one of Dr. Bogdan’s primary concerns, he recommends waiting at least 2 weeks after a hysterectomy to have a tummy tuck. If you would like to have Dr. Bogdan perform your abdominoplasty around the time of your hysterectomy (to combine the recovery periods), you should consult with him ahead of time. Together you can discuss the type of incision to be utilized by your gynecologist, so they will have full exposure when performing the hysterectomy. Dr. Bogdan can later remove the incisions when performing the tummy tuck.

Should I lose weight before a tummy tuck?

You should attain your realistic, maintainable, goal weight before proceeding with any type of body contouring surgery. A tummy tuck will help “re-drape” your skin to match your underlying muscular framework. Generally, patients who are interested in a tummy tuck are bothered by skin excess, stretch marks, and/or abdominal wall laxity. The amount of skin removed during a tummy tuck depends on the elasticity and thickness of the skin. If your weight changes significantly after a tummy tuck (gain or loss), you will be “undoing” the results. In general, Dr. Bogdan prefers patients have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or less for body contouring because the surgical risks are low and the cosmetic results can be quite striking. When patients have undergone massive weight loss, it may be appropriate to proceed at higher BMIs due to the significant amount of skin excess they have.

How do I know I have reached my goal weight for a tummy tuck?

In general, before considering body contouring surgery, patients should be at a stable weight (for several months) that is within 10% of their personal goal weight. If you gain or lose weight after the procedure, you will be altering the results. (If you lose a significant amount of weight, your skin will look lax, and if you gain a lot, you will be stretching out your skin). Your “personal goal weight” is something that is fluid and changes with time. When someone is first starting to consider losing weight, they can look at a height chart and pick a goal weight. A good way to do this is to use the BMI scale. However, once a large amount of weight has been lost and you have started a healthy exercise regimen, you may find that your weight loss plateaus. If you keep your weight stable for a number of months, while having a healthy diet and maintainable exercise program, it is then reasonable to reassess your goal weight. The BMI charts are a nice guide and tool, but there is no number set in stone as to when you should consider body contouring.

Why does swelling occur after a tummy tuck?

Your body is a very complicated system that is fine-tuned to function normally. At the risk of oversimplifying things a bit, there is a normal way your body handles fluids internally and surgery can disrupt this system. The arterial system brings fluid (blood) to tissues to provide oxygen and healing cells, and the venous system removes this fluid. The system is not perfect, and normally some of the fluid leaks into the surrounding tissues. To account for this, there is a third fluid management system (the lymphatic system) in your body whose job is to scavenge up this extra fluid and return it to the intravascular space. When a tummy tuck is performed, a significant amount of the lymphatic drainage channels are divided, and these take a long time to hook back up and function normally.

How long does the swelling after a tummy tuck last?

The majority of swelling resolves within 3 months, a small amount takes up to a year.
A tummy tuck is a major procedure that requires “lifting up” your stomach skin (which divides the lymphatic drainage vessels from under the skin surface), pulling it down to reset the tension of the skin, and then the excess is removed. Basically, the skin from the tummy tuck scar up to your ribcage is in a new environment, where it can only drain fluid “up” and to the sides. Until new lymphatic connections occur across the scar line and down to the stomach muscles, all of the swelling fluid has to run against gravity to get out of the skin. This is one of the reasons that we suggest patients wear compression garments for a period of time after surgery – these garments assist with the “uphill” removal of fluid.

A simple way to judge how you are doing is to look at the indentations that elastic clothing creates on your trunk. On the front, you will see more of a lasting impression than on your back/flank region (even though there is even pressure all the way around your body). This is a way you can monitor the swelling, and you can expect it to go away over several months. After a few months, most of what patients consider “noticeable” swelling has resolved.

When can I go back to work after a tummy tuck?

Recovery after a tummy tuck really depends on the type of work that you perform. You can not go back to work while taking narcotic pain medicine, as that would be the equivalent of drinking alcohol at work! Since everyone has a different appreciation of pain, this length of time varies. In general, patients need pain medicine for a minimum of 3 days, and most are off medications by 5 to 10 days. After stopping pain meds, patients can work from home immediately, and return to desk-type of jobs between 10 to 14 days from surgery. Because of the abdominal wall tightening component of the operation, I restrict patients from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. If your job requires a significant amount of physical activity, you may have to take 6 weeks off of work or modify your work activities. For example, a professional rodeo rider will be taking much more time off of work than a computer programmer.

When can I start working out after a tummy tuck?

Dr. Bogdan allows his patients to begin some light “movement” exercises (elliptical machine, cycling [NOT spin classes!]) at 3 weeks after surgery, but no impact or weight activities until 6 weeks after the operation. The reasoning behind this is that enough healing has occurred after 2 to 3 weeks to make it very unlikely to develop seromas or hematomas, but the muscular repair in the midline is not strong enough to be challenged until almost 2 months after surgery. At that time, it is unlikely that the muscular tightening component of the operation could get damaged or undone. At 6 weeks, patients should move into their exercise regimen slowly, as they are a bit deconditioned. Remember that muscular discomfort tends to show up 2 days after starting any new exercise; Dr. Bogdan recommends taking it easy and slow. Within about 2 weeks, most patients are near their normal workout routine.

If you would like further information about tummy tuck surgery, please click here to schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Bogdan, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Grapevine, Texas. Dr. Bogdan looks forward to meeting with you to discuss your personal goals and establish a treatment plan to achieve them. If you prefer, you can call us at (817) 442-1236 to schedule your appointment.

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