Procedure: Approximately 2–3 hours
Anesthesia: General anesthesia
Recovery: About 1–2 weeks (for office jobs and non-strenuous activities)
Post-op Visits: 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is an aesthetic procedure designed to improve the contour of the midsection through the repair/tightening of stretched abdominal musculature and removal of lax, excess skin. It is almost always combined with some form of liposuction to also eliminate stubborn fat throughout the region and maximize the final outcome. While other techniques may deliver mild changes, the only way to remove loose skin and extra fat from the abdomen while tightening the abdominal muscles is through a tummy tuck—making this treatment the gold standard for abdominal sculpting.
Dr. Jon Kurkjian—our board-certified and aesthetic fellowship-trained plastic surgeon—is highly experienced in abdominoplasty and customizes every procedure to meet the specific needs and goals of the individual. Safety is paramount and always a key component to his approach, and he aims to deliver results that appear completely natural while limiting signs of surgery as much as possible.
Developing a Personalized Tummy Tuck Plan
During your consultation with Dr. Kurkjian, he will listen as you explain what bothers you about the appearance of your midsection and describe the look you hope to achieve. Once he has a complete understanding of your goals and has performed a physical assessment of his own, Dr. Kurkjian will develop an individualized abdominoplasty treatment plan that addresses your concerns in the safest, most effective way possible. This plan may involve some degree of liposuction—which is a very common adjunct to tummy tuck surgery—in order to improve the overall results.
When you are satisfied with the proposed approach, Dr. Kurkjian will review his abdominoplasty technique, describe what to expect during recovery, disclose possible risks or complications, and cover various other details pertaining to the procedure. He will also be happy to answer any and all questions that may come to mind. If you are ready to move forward with tummy tuck, a knowledgeable member of our staff can assist you in scheduling a date of surgery and provide you with pre-operative instructions, such as increasing your protein intake to aid in healing and optimal scar maturation. We can also discuss payment and financing options at this time.
From the initial consultation to the final postoperative visit, Dr. Kurkjian and our team want your tummy tuck experience to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our promise is to do everything in our power to help you achieve your goals and feel great about your appearance while receiving the care and support you deserve along the way.
What Are the Chief Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something most of us hope to achieve, but even with a strong commitment to exercise and a healthy diet, that flat tummy can still elude us. This is particularly true for women who find they have extra skin and loose musculature after pregnancy, or for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight. Key benefits of a tummy tuck include its ability to treat conditions such as:
- Sagging and loose abdominal skin
- Protruding abdominal contour
- Weakened abdominal muscles
- Excess fat between the abdominal muscles and skin
Who Is a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
Individuals with relatively normal body weight who have excess skin, stubborn fat, and/or loose musculature in the abdomen are generally ideal candidates for abdominoplasty. Those who are planning substantial weight loss or women who are considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone tummy tuck surgery. After evaluating your abdominal anatomy, Dr. Kurkjian will determine if a full abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck would be right for you—both of which are often combined with liposuction.
What Is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Like?
The abdominoplasty procedure is performed under general anesthesia and generally takes approximately two to three hours to complete. To begin treatment, an incision is first made low along the abdomen. Abdominal musculature (located above and/or below the belly button) is then tightened, and extra skin is excised. When excess fat is present, Dr. Kurkjian often utilizes the SAFELipo® technique to further sculpt the region. This innovative liposuction method involves the separation, aspiration, and equalization of fatty tissue, allowing for a more aggressive approach to fat removal while helping minimize potential contour deformities. Once sculpting of the region is complete, Dr. Kurkjian will pull the skin taut and close the incision using special progressive-tension sutures.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery?
After surgery, a compression garment is provided to minimize swelling and support the abdomen as it heals. Drains are not always necessary for every patient. Dr. Kurkjian is well-versed in the drainless tummy tuck technique and uses it accordingly for the best candidates. The need for a drain placement is best determined during your consultation with Dr. Kurkjian.
If drains are required, they can generally be removed at one week or less. There is little to no discomfort associated with the newer drains utilized today (even during removal).
Some degree of bruising, swelling, and soreness throughout the abdominal region can be expected initially, but these symptoms should diminish over time. Substantial pain is rare due to Dr. Kurkjian’s meticulous surgical technique, though any discomfort experienced can be controlled with medication. Dr. Kurkjian offers one of the most recent advancements in post-operative pain treatment with long lasting numbing medication that can help alleviate pain for up to three days after surgery.
Depending on the type of abdominoplasty and your physical condition, office-based work and other non-strenuous activities can usually be resumed after one to two weeks. Other, more physically demanding activities will need to be avoided for longer to give the body ample time to heal.
Dr. Kurkjian and our team provide comprehensive post-surgical care and regular follow-ups to ensure you are guided through the entire healing process. Our office will give you specific and detailed instructions to aid in your recovery from the tummy tuck procedure, and we are always available to answer questions or address concerns along the way.
Will My Tummy Tuck Scars Be Obvious?
Unfortunately, scarring is an unavoidable aspect of tummy tuck surgery. That being said, the incision for abdominoplasty is typically made low enough on the abdomen that it can be concealed underneath a wide variety of garments, including many bikini and underwear styles. In addition to his careful incision placement and meticulous wound closure technique, Dr. Kurkjian provides all patients with postoperative instructions on how to care for their incision throughout the healing and scar maturation process in order to help minimize its final appearance. Ultimately, Dr. Kurkjian has found that his patients have little concern about their tummy tuck scar and are much more thrilled about their new abdominal contour.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The average cost of tummy tuck surgery at Dr. Kurkjian’s Fort Worth practice ranges from $6,000 to $9,000, though the exact price will be dependent upon your unique needs and goals. From a general standpoint, components that can greatly impact the ultimate cost of abdominoplasty include:
- The degree of skin excision, fat removal, and muscle repair needed
- The particular surgical technique utilized
- Any complementary procedure performed
- The experience, skill, and reputation of the plastic surgeon
- Fees charged by the surgical venue
- Anesthesia expenses
- The specific city/region of the country in which the practice is situated
To help ensure anyone interested in tummy tuck surgery can afford treatment, Dr. Kurkjian partners with CareCredit® and other trusted healthcare lenders. These companies offer numerous financing options that can make plastic surgery a reality for virtually all budgets. If financial aid is desired, a staff member can get you started on the approval process for a plan of your choice at the time of your consultation.
Contact Our Practice
If you would like more information about tummy tuck surgery, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurkjian, please feel free to contact us today.