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Abdominoplasty Explained

Abdominoplasty Explained

In two recent blogs we’ve discussed the body lift. Now let’s talk about one of the key components of a body lift — the abdominoplasty — also commonly called the tummy tuck. Like the body lift it is a procedure that restores the youthful shape of the body by removing excess skin and fat.

A tummy tuck tightens the muscles of the abdomen, removes c-section scars, and reshapes the groin area. There are a few different ways an abdominoplasty may be performed: mini, full, and a combo that includes liposuction. It is particularly beneficial in the restoration of the abdomen after a woman has been pregnant.

The Procedure Step By Step

It is important that you are evaluated by a knowledgeable surgeon who is experienced with these procedures. Dr. Vitenas performs the operation at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and its affiliated outpatient facility, the Day Surgery Center. For the patient’s comfort an overnight stay at the facility is usually recommended.

A tummy tuck takes about two to three hours to complete and is performed with general anesthesia. A lower transverse incision is made; this incision is located between the hip bones just above the pubic area. Excess skin and fat are removed and muscles in the area may be tightened. Once the incisions are closed, a dressing will be applied and temporary drains may be placed to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

After the Procedure

The recovery after a tummy tuck is from one to two weeks. There may be some bruising and swelling, and occasionally numbness of the skin may also occur for a brief period. The drains that are applied after surgery are removed in five to seven days. The doctor often prescribes a special support garment to be worn for a period of time.

You may experience some discomfort which can be controlled with medication. Work can typically be resumed after one week. Exercise and other strenuous activities will need to be postponed for four to six weeks. There will be a small scar just above the pubic area between the hipbone that is easily covered by your waistband.


The cost of a tummy tuck starts around $7,000 and goes up to around $12,000. This total includes the fee for anesthesia, the facility, and the surgeon. The price varies depending on the technique and level of correction needed for the desired results of the patient. To achieve the desired result a tummy tuck is often done with other procedures like liposuction that can increase the total cost. We can provide a more accurate and detailed estimate if you upload your photos to our contact form.

See a few of our satisfied patients that we have treated with this procedure in our before and after gallery.

Contact Us and Book a Free Consultation

Please contact a patient care coordinator by phone at 281-484-0088 if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation during which Dr. Vitenas will go over your complete medical history, take the time to understand your goals, and answer all of your questions. Computer imaging will be used to help you visualize your own personal results. Dr. Vitenas will discuss reasonable and expected outcomes, and explain the details of the procedure including the technique, the recovery, the risks, the costs, and financing options.

Our office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also email us anytime, and one of our patient coordinators will get back to you.

We are conveniently located in the heart of Houston. If you are not a local, we can schedule an online consultation. We can also assist with travel arrangements.

Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. of the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and founder of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. He has practiced in the Houston area since 1990, and has been named one of Houston’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. He’s also been awarded Houston’s Most Compassionate Doctor and a Top Doctor for Women.