All About Tummy Tuck: Cost, Recovery, and Expectations

Women standing together in bikinis (actual patients)

Tummy tuck surgery is truly a transformative procedure that enhances a patient’s confidence and quality of life. Pregnancy, extreme weight loss, and the natural aging process can result in excess abdominal skin, accumulation of fat, and a protruding stomach caused by stretched muscles that won’t go away even if you spend hours at the gym and watch what you eat.

Abdominoplasty—usually called a tummy tuck—is a major elective surgical procedure, and it’s important to understand what to expect when it comes to the cost, your recovery, and the expectations you have about the results. Because the procedure requires exceptional skill and experience, it’s also important to choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring surgery.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what occurs during a tummy tuck, why our surgeons at The Wall Center typically combine the procedure with SAFELipo360®, and what to expect during the recovery.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

Determining the cost of a tummy tuck involves several factors and the price can range several thousands of dollars. Some of the factors that influence the cost of a tummy tuck include:

The extent of the procedure: At The Wall Center, our surgeons may use 1 of 4 different abdominoplasty techniques to perform a tummy tuck, depending on the patient’s specific condition. They may also perform a mini tummy tuck for certain patients.

If liposuction is part of the procedure: Most tummy tuck patients at The Wall Center undergo SAFELipo360, a procedure developed by Dr. Simeon Wall Jr. that produces results that are far superior to those following either standalone liposuction or abdominoplasty.

The training and experience of the surgeon: Surgeons who specialize in body contouring and who have performed hundreds or thousands of tummy tucks typically have higher fees than surgeons with less experience.

Geographic location of practice: The cost of plastic surgery in certain areas of the country—and Louisiana—varies. That’s why looking at the “average” cost of a specific procedure can be misleading.

Other costs that contribute to the total price of a tummy tuck include other medical staff (anesthesiologist, nurses, and surgical assistants), medications used before, during, and after the tummy tuck while at the facility (sedatives, painkillers, and antibiotics), and the fee for using the facility’s operating or procedure room.

Patients also often combine other procedures with a tummy tuck, such as the patient featured in these before and after photos. In addition to a tummy tuck, the procedure included SAFELipo and buttock augmentation using fat grafting.

The Benefits of Combining SAFELipo360 With a Tummy Tuck

Dr. Wall Jr. developed SAFELipo 360, which maximizes the removal of excess fat without creating the contour deformities that are often seen after traditional liposuction or techniques that use heat to “melt” fat cells. Combining this procedure with a tummy tuck produces comprehensive body contouring that addresses excess skin and fat in a unique way and produces excellent results when performed by surgeons with the expertise of Dr. Simeon Wall Jr. and Dr. Holly Casey Wall.

What Results Can You Expect After a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, especially when combined with SAFELipo 360, can be thought of as abdominal contouring. The women and men who considering a tummy tuck who come to our Shreveport, LA, practice want a flatter, firmer stomach and an overall attractive midsection. They may have excess abdominal skin after losing a significant amount of weight or having children, along with a condition called diastasis recti in which the left and right sides of the abdominal muscles separate and cause a belly bulge. Pockets of fat may have also accumulated on the flanks and lower back.

On top of that, tummy tuck surgery also changes the appearance of the belly button. Creating an attractive naval that looks natural is a skill that’s often overlooked by patients when choosing a surgeon.

In these before and  after photos, you can see the how a tummy tuck and SAFELipo created beautiful overall results, including an attractive belly button:

What Can You Expect During Recovery After a Tummy Tuck?

You should plan on taking at least 2 weeks off before returning to work or resuming normal activities. Fully healing after the procedure will require 6 weeks or more. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Our surgeons inject EXPAREL® before closing tummy tuck incisions. EXPAREL is a long-acting local anesthetic that greatly reduces discomfort in the first 3 to 5 days after surgery. Some patients may take prescription pain medication, if needed.
  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the incision sites, especially during the first three days, is normal.
  • We encourage patients to get up and move around a few times a day, to increase circulation and to prevent blood clots. You’ll be hunched over for about a week or 2 because of tightness across the abdomen.
  • Plan on having someone help you sit, stand, getting in and out of your compression garment, and just about any other activity during the first 4 or 5 days. If you have young children at home, you won’t be able to lift them during the first 10 days after surgery.
  • During the first 2 to 3 weeks after a tummy tuck, you should sleep on your back with your torso and head elevated. Using pillows or sleeping in a recliner are 2 good options for elevating your upper body.

Most of our tummy tuck patients can begin exercising 3 weeks after surgery. Most patients report minimal pain from the surgery, and just about everyone reports a high level of satisfaction with their results.

Is a Tummy Tuck Right for You?

If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, your choice of a plastic surgeon is the key to getting the results you want. Our board-certified surgeons are body contouring specialists who are known nationally and internationally for their expertise. You can request a consultation with one of them using the online form or call The Wall Center at (318) 795-0801 to schedule an appointment.

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