Tummy Tuck

The plastic surgery procedure known as the tummy tuck is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States, and for good reason.

The tummy tuck is ideal for both men and women who want to resculpt their body shape after experiencing weight gain followed by significant weight loss.

Dr. Peterson performs many tummy tucks each year, as patients seek out the opportunity to resculpt their body after weight loss and live with confidence.


Why Choose a Tummy Tuck?

Lots of reasons!

The tummy tuck is an ideal procedure for women affected by permanently stretched skin caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally, the muscles of the abdomen can become weak and spread apart, resulting in weakened support for the stomach. The lower stomach wall may also develop stretch marks below the belly button.

Also, many men and women experience loose skin or loss of skin elasticity after significant weight loss, which also makes them great candidates for the tummy tuck procedure.

Time and aging can also impact the body, causing skin elasticity to decrease and your midsection to stretch and sag.

If this has happened to you, no matter how much weight you lose or how many crunches you do, the skin and stretched-out muscles will not shrink back into place.

This is where the tummy tuck can be of great benefit. During the abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat on the lower stomach are removed, and the stomach muscles are tightened.

As we said, the body can change over time due to aging, hormones, weight gain, weight loss and pregnancy, but some bodies change more drastically than others. Even though your skin is highly elastic, changes in skin elasticity that occur over time can leave your abdominal area sagging and stretched out. Some individuals also experience stubborn, residual fat around the midsection that does not respond to a healthy diet or exercise.

If the skin is stretched beyond its limits of elasticity, it remains stretched. When the skin is stretched this severely, the stomach muscles also stretch, making your waistline expand.

If this happens to you, you may find that your clothing, such as swimsuits or jeans, do not fit properly or you feel self-conscious because of stubborn fat and excess skin. In many cases, this can result in poor body image and feelings of low self-esteem.

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery is a good option for individuals who want to remove the excess loose skin, stretch marks and stubborn fat deposits that can stick around the midsection after weight loss, pregnancy and childbirth. Tummy-tuck surgery candidates can also include those who have had weight-loss surgery and have experienced massive weight loss very quickly due to their procedure.

The ideal tummy tuck candidate is:

  • At his or her goal weight or close to it
  • At a stable weight for at least six months to a year before surgery
  • In good overall health
  • Physically fit
  • Realistic about the results of the procedure

If you are not yet at your ideal weight or still have a lot of weight you want to lose — or you plan to have more children in the future — you may want to put off your tummy tuck procedure, as losing more weight or having more children can affect your results.

What Happens at the Tummy Tuck Consultation?

If you’ve been thinking about the abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, procedure, the first step is scheduling a consultation. During your one-on-one surgical consultation with Dr. Peterson, you will discuss your body-resculpting goals to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

During your consultation, Dr. Peterson will also examine your abdominal area to determine your plastic surgery needs, including looking at your abdominal skin and fat deposits.

Dr. Peterson will also discuss your health history at your consultation to make sure you’re a good candidate.

Preparing for the Tummy Tuck Plastic Surgery Procedure

Before your tummy tuck surgery, you may need to stop taking certain medications, so it is essential that you tell Dr. Peterson about your prescriptions and health history at your consultation.

You will also need to stop smoking for at least four weeks before your procedure. This step will help the healing process and reduce the risk of post-surgical complications.

Before your procedure, Dr. Peterson will also review your after-care directions. You must follow these directions as advised to reduce complications and maximize results.

During the Surgery

This cosmetic surgery procedure is done under general anesthesia. The tummy tuck can take several hours to complete, depending on how much excess abdominal skin and fat tissue needs to be removed. Other factors in the procedure length include whether your abdominal muscles need to be tightened and if you need liposuction for further sculpting to remove additional excess fat.

The Recovery Period

After your surgery, you may have some discomfort or pain for five to seven days; most people can ease back into their regular routines in just a few weeks.

You should expect some swelling and bruising after your procedure. You will need to wear a compression garment after your surgery to help reduce swelling and support your abdominal area.

One week after your surgery, you’ll meet with Dr. Peterson for a checkup to monitor your recovery. At this appointment, your bandages will be removed. There will probably still be a lot of swelling at this part of your healing, but you will get your first look at your new shape.

The full results of your tummy tuck may take several weeks to a few months to appear, especially if your plastic surgery procedure included tightening of the abdominal muscles. During this time, you’ll be advised to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and to provide support and protection for your abdominal area as it heals.

We recommend that you follow all post-surgical instructions, including limiting physical activity, particularly activities that involve the core (abdominal muscles), such as heavy lifting, weightlifting and some exercises.

You may also find that it takes a year or so for your surgery incision line to fade. You’ll be given special silicone strips at approximately one month after your procedure to promote the best cosmetic results for your incision line.

Resculpt Your Body and Increase Your Confidence

Dr. Jack Peterson is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you both look and feel your best. If you’re dissatisfied with your midsection after significant weight loss or the changes brought on by pregnancy, a tummy tuck may be able to give you the trim waistline you are looking for and deserve. You might also want to consider the tummy tuck as part of a Mommy Makeover or in combination with other body-lift surgeries. 

Tummy Tuck

No insurance will not pay for a tummy tuck. However, in some cases insurance may cover a procedure called a panniculectomy which is a removal of the skin fold after massive weight loss.  There are very specific requirements from insurers for this coverage.

During a tummy tuck excess skin of the abdomen is removed and any fat pad above the vaginal area is also corrected. In addition, liposuction and correction of abdominal wall diastasis is included.

Yes. Dr. Peterson will use your own belly button during the reconstruction.  The belly button will look different because your abdominal skin has been pulled down to be removed and a new opening made for your existing belly button.

The incision length depends on the patient and the amount of excess skin. During a consultation Dr. Peterson will evaluate your personal situation and discuss the extent of the incision that he thinks will be needed to ensure a smooth contour across your abdomen and possibly hip.

Frequently drains will be inserted at the time of your procedure to ensure adequate fluid is able to leave your body and protect against post surgical complications. While drains may seem intimidating, they are crucial to healing and typically come out within days of surgery. They minimize swelling and help with post operative discomfort.

Most patients need 10-14 days and then can return to light activity. We do discuss more specific restrictions if needed based on the type of work.  You will be required to wear specific medical compression (supplied by us) for 2 months. There are also limitations on lifting and exercise for 2 months. Some patients continue to have swelling for up to 6 months and the final results can take 6 months before swelling has resolved.

All surgical patients receive a post operative (after surgery) instruction sheet that is specific to their surgery.  You will learn and review with staff all Dr. Peterson’s requirements about medications, diet, sleeping, showering, incision care and compression.  You will receive this sheet several weeks prior to surgery so you can review and pre-purchase (if needed ) any recommended product.

Dr. Peterson requires that patients refrain from long distance travel for 30 days after surgery.


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