6 Most Important Things to Know About a Tummy Tuck

At NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery in Nashville and Memphis, the tummy tuck has been one of the most popular procedures in 2021. There are many reasons why patients are turning to tummy tucks. There is no better way to achieve a flat stomach, the results are visible more or less directly after the surgery – and they are as close to permanent as you can achieve with any cosmetic procedure. 

So what can you expect from a tummy tuck? What’s important to know before you sign up? In the following article, we answer the 6 most frequently asked questions about tummy tucks to help you decide if it’s right for you.

1. Is a Tummy Tuck worth it?

Tummy tucks are among the more expensive plastic surgeries you can have, so it is a valid question to ask if the money spent on it is worth it. They are more complex and lengthy to perform than liposuction or even a breast augmentation, and are followed by a longer recovery.

The NuBody Concepts starting price for a tummy tuck $9,500, but depending on your circumstances, length of procedure, and anesthesia, you might be quoted  up to $11,500. It might be beneficial to add Renuvion or BodyTite for an even tighter look, which could push the cost even higher.

Given these prices coupled with the longer recovery, tummy tucks are definitely an investment of money and time. However, patients on RealSelf rate the tummy tuck as 95% “worth it,” which is a very high score. Hardly any other procedure gives you such immediate and drastic results as a tummy tuck, and most patients absolutely love their results. 

2. Does fat grow back after a tummy tuck? 

Having a tummy tuck, unlike liposuction, does not simply remove your fat. It also includes the (surgical) removal of excess skin. That is why tummy tucks produce such stunning results.

As we get older, our skin loses elasticity, and losing weight or removing fat via liposuction is typically not enough to achieve a flat stomach, because of the folds of extra skin that has nowhere to go.

As for the fat, it does not somehow “grow back” after a tummy tuck. Whatever underlying fat was removed together with the excess skin is permanently gone. This doesn’t mean you are home free. You could produce new fat cells by putting on new weight, so it is important to maintain a good diet and exercise program after a tummy tuck to preserve the results. View our tips on how to maintain good tummy tuck results for more information.

3. Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?

If you are physically healthy, don’t smoke, and your BMI is under 40, you are generally considered a good candidate for any surgical procedure). You should also be medically cleared for surgery (asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or a chronic heart condition being adverse risk factors). If you’ve had a C-section, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, you may not be eligible for a tummy tuck.

If your BMI is under 30, you may get good enough results with less-invasive surgery, such as radio frequency assisted lipolysis aka skin tightening.

A BMI range of 30-40 is ideal for a tummy tuck, but you might want to also consider a weight-loss balloon, which is a less-invasive procedure that does not require excisional surgery.

BMI’s over 40 are typically considered too risky for surgery, however if you are only slightly above, please call us for a pre-screening.

4. What does a tummy tuck scar look like? 

There are different types of tummy tucks. Your scar will look different depending on what type of tummy tuck you have.

The least obtrusive type is the mini tummy tuck, where fat and excess skin are removed from the abdomen but no muscle repair is required – hence a shorter incision and scar.

The standard or full tummy tuck is more common, as most candidates – especially women after pregnancy – need to have their underlying muscle repaired. The incision for a standard tuck is longer and slightly lower, typically spanning the entire width of the abdomen from side to side, or in larger candidates even slightly around the sides toward the back. However, in all cases the plastic surgeon places the incision so it is under the bikini line and thus hidden from view.

Tummy tuck before and after picture of NuBody Concepts patient
After image is 6 months post-op. The scar is placed under the bikini line and will continue to fade over time. More images: Visit Tummy Tuck Before and After Gallery

5. Is a tummy tuck better than liposuction?

You can’t call a tummy tuck better than liposuction, or vice versa. They are two completely different procedures. A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure where surgical incisions are made to remove fat and skin from the abdomen. It requires sutures, prolonged healing, and results in a scar – though your surgeon will do an amazing job concealing it under the bikini line. Liposuction is only minimally-invasive and only removes underlying fat via suction, leaving the skin alone. It has a faster recovery and does not result in any scars.

If you have a lot of excess skin that has nowhere to go even if you remove the fat underneath, you will see much better results with a tummy tuck. However, by combining skin tightening with liposuction, patients with only moderately sagging skin may see fairly good results without needing a tummy tuck.

The best way to find if lipo or a tummy tuck  is better for you is to schedule a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon.

6. How long does a tummy tuck last? 

As we’ve said earlier, a tummy tuck gives results as close to permanent as you can get in plastic surgery. We’d like to point out, however, that no surgery can stop the aging process. As our skin ages, it loses elasticity, which leads to wrinkles and sagging. Cosmetic surgery cannot stop this process, but it can turn back the clock in a way. You will continue to age, that’s true, but from an earlier, younger looking point.

For a tummy tuck, this means that your abdominal skin will be nice and taut after your surgery. As you age, you will likely see renewed sagging, but if you maintain a healthy diet and commit to regular exercise, you can maintain your results very nicely. And even as your skin continues to age, that nice flat stomach you get after your tummy tuck should last you for many years, if not the rest of your life.

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