Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) FAQ

Slim woman in jeans

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the number of tummy tuck procedures rose by 87% between 2000 and 2014. More and more individuals are recognizing the benefits, both cosmetically and health-wise, that are associated with the Tummy Tuck.

Here are some answers to the most common questions we hear from our patients regarding Abdominoplasty.

Which Type of Tummy Tuck should I choose?

There are several types of tummy tuck procedures.

The full tummy tuck is a good choice if there is a need to flatten the area above and below the belly button. The procedure involves 2 incisions. The first one is a horizontal incision above the pubic area, while the second incision is around belly button.

The extended tummy tuck is appropriate for those who need to have the loose skin removed on their tummy, hips and the sides of the lower back. In these instances, the treatment of a wider area during the surgery yields better results. In addition to the horizontal incision, extended tummy tucks may require a vertical incision.

The mini tummy tuck procedure is a remedy for those who have a flabby lower abdomen that doesn’t go away. Only one horizontal incision is made between the hip bones. One advantage of the mini tummy tuck is a shorter recovery period.

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?

Preparation for the tummy tuck surgery might include:

  • Running lab tests or scheduling medical evaluation

  • Taking certain medications and avoiding taking others (such as aspirin because it can increase bleeding, for instance)

  • Ceasing smoking

Abdominoplasty can be performed in an office-based surgical facility, however it is important to make sure someone can drive you home following surgery.

How Much Scarring Should I Expect?

Many patients are hesitant of getting a tummy tuck because they are worried about the scarring as a result of the procedure. Discussion with your surgeon regarding the types of scars to expect and how to minimize them will help overcome that fear.

The scars resulting from a tummy tuck can be hidden below the panty line.

The scars resulting from a tummy tuck can be hidden below the panty line.

There are two types of scars that can be expected following a tummy tuck. One is horizontal scarring, and the other is bellybutton scarring. The horizontal scar is made during the surgery in order to remove the extra skin and some sketch marks, and appears below your belly and over the pubic mound. Generally this incision is be placed below the panty line. Discuss with your surgeon about the exact placement before undergoing the procedure given your individual situation.

The bellybutton scar is located very close to the bellybutton and is a result of the incision to secure the bellybutton in place during the procedure. This scar should be as discreet as possible in order to minimize evidence of the procedure. Scars in the shape of a “U” are the most natural-looking, and is often preferred to the circular scar, which is a clear sign of a cosmetic procedure.

Always check before and after shots to see what scarring can be expected following a tummy tuck with that particular practitioner, paying close attention to scar visibility around the bikini line and bellybutton areas.

Fear of scaring shouldn’t dissuade you from this procedure. Accommodations can be made to ensure the scar is discrete. Check out our own before and after gallery to see some examples.

Can Tummy Tuck Help Achieve Lasting Weight Loss?

An Abdominoplasty May Lead to Long Lasting Weight Loss.

An Abdominoplasty May Lead to Long Lasting Weight Loss.

Research shows that some medical benefits have been associated with the Tummy Tuck. Among them are a reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence, improved abdominal tone and better posture, as well as ventral and umbilical hernia correction. Abdominoplasty has also been observed to contribute to long-term weight loss according to a recent study by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The study hypothesized, with positive initial results, that changes in the neuroendocrine system as a result of losing fatty cells in the body can lead to increased levels of satiety (feeling full after eating). Fewer fat cells may lead to reduced hormonal activity affecting appetite, which may lead to long-term weight loss.

Of course more tests are necessary to provide more insight, but it is important to understand that Abdominoplasty is just the beginning when it comes to weight loss. In order to achieve positive long-term weight-loss results, a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential.

How Much Does Abdominoplasty cost?

As with most cosmetic surgery, the cost for the procedure will vary from person to person based on the extensiveness of the procedure, individual needs, and post-surgery care. That said, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the average price range in the Seattle area for abdominoplasty is $4,000-$15,000.

The various medical and cosmetic benefits of a abdominoplasty make the procedure appealing for many people. Interested patients should discuss the procedure in detail with Dr. McIntosh and consider all of his advice before deciding whether to undergo surgery.


How do I decide which option is best for me?

The best way to determine which treatment option is right for you is to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, such as Dr. Bryan McIntosh, who will provide you with a personalized treatment plan, and whose staff will assist you in every step of pre-treatment, the procedure, and recovery.