Tummy tuck — also known as abdominoplasty — is a surgical process used to firm the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin from regions of the middle and lower abdomen. A tummy tuck will also tighten muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall, remove loose skin and tissue after pregnancy, as well as correct sagging skin for individuals who have encountered major weight loss. Plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau, has helped countless Pittsburgh area men and women achieve a slimmer, tighter contour with abdominoplasty surgery. He is able to incorporate a variety of techniques depending on the extent of skin and fat removal needed. In many cases, tummy tucks are combined with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction and breast lift or breast augmentation.
Tummy Tuck Reviews
"I searched the Pittsburgh area looking for a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck. The two doctors that I interviewed did not leave me confident that they would do a good job. Then I found Dr. Fernau on line. His receptionist was very friendly and got me an appointment right away. On the initial visit Dr. Fernau answered all of my questions and showed me pictures of his of his work which looked great. I am now post op 3 months and I am a little sore. I had a wound that needed repaired after the tummy tuck and Dr. Fernau took care of it right away. I would recommend him to family and friends because he is a doctor who is very experienced and you leave with great results. And he and his staff were very professional"- B.H. / Vitals / Dec 28, 2013
"In October 2008, I decided to have an abdominoplasty, (tummy tuck), done for medical reasons. I turned to the skill and professionalism of Dr. James L. Fernau, as I have done In the past. He was very thorough in all aspects of pre-surgical tests and medical information needed for surgery. Surgery went well and my post surgical care was excellent! I went from a size 12-14 to a size 8 and lost 30lbs! Because I Have has previous cosmetic surgeries by Dr. Fernau, I knew that I would be in good hands and would achieve the results that I needed. Well, my results were more than I expected!! Dr. Fernau gave me a new and tight tummy area. I went from a size 12-14 to a size 8 and lost 30lbs. It literally gave me a youthful shape again! The medical issues that I had developed, three years ago, from a renowned hospital in Cleveland, had been taken care of by Dr. Fernau as well. He gave me my life back! So, from a reconstructive and cosmetic standpoint, I was extremely pleased with everything and would recommend Dr. Fernau for any surgery without any hesitation! Pre-surgical, operative, and post operative surgical care and support was always there. Results….outstanding"- K. / Office Visit / Jan 27, 2009
"Mama's Turn! - Pittsburgh, PA - Ready to have a partial tummy tuck with aqua lipo and fat grafting. I'm 40 years old with a 11 yr. old and also a 19 yr. old. Tired of my tummy having to be hidden - always. :( Don't want the perfect tummy... Just want the pouch to go far, far away. I'm nervous about the recovery period. I work a desk job full-time... Live in a 2-story house w/the bathroom only on the top floor. I've had gall bladder surgery this past May & that was a couple weeks to recover - so REALLY scared about this surgery."- S. / RealSelf / Jan 05, 2014
"I am now nearly 4 weeks post op after a full abdominoplasty with Dr. James Fernau, and could not be happier with my experience. Dr. James Fernau is a highly skilled surgeon and, perhaps just as important, has an artist's eye for the aesthetic nuance that distinguishes a great abdominplasty from a good one. After interviewing several surgeons, I chose Dr. James Fernau because it was clear that he is meticulous in the extreme. (After he explained -- in intricate detail -- what makes for a natural-looking belly button, I was his.) His staff was lovely and helpful throughout the process, the office always impeccable. The on-site operating room and after-care suite made the whole experience more comfortable and low stress. And my overnight nurse in the after-care suite was truly amazing. My physical results are beyond my expectations. Seriously, the man knows from carving out a sexy stomach. For anyone considering abdominoplasty, I will add that I have had two c-sections, and this was by far more painful and required significantly more time to recover. I had done enough research going in that my expectations were realistic; however I have heard of many people being surprised by the intensity of the aftermath and recovery time. So, just something to keep in mind if you are considering it. I have not had a moment's regret and would certainly recommend Dr. James Fernau to anyone looking for an outstanding surgeon."- A.B. / Vitals / Nov 02, 2015
"The Entire Experience by Far Exceeded Well Beyond my Expectations - Pittsburgh, PA - Dr. James Fernau and his entire staff are just simply amazing! 5 Stars is simply not enough.I met with Dr. James Fernau for a consultation to discuss a Breast Augmentation as well as a Tummy Tuck. The consultation lasted about 2 hours. I never felt rushed and left knowing exactly what was involved and what to expect.As a mother of three, having plastic surgery is scary as I thought what happens if... The day before the surgery the surgical nurse and the anesthesiologist called me to discuss the procedure. With being so scared; after each call I felt completely reassured that everything will go smoothly and the decision I was making was the right choice. The surgery went very well. Afterwards, I stayed overnight in the suite with the nurse. She was so very sweet and caring. I never had to ask for anything as she was always on top of everything. For two days following surgery; the Doctor, the surgical nurse, my overnight nurse and my anesthesiologist all called me to check up on me. I have had a previous procedure done by another plastic surgeon so I do have something to compare Dr. James Fernau to and I must say I have never experienced a Doctor and his entire staff that is so caring.Would I recommend Dr. James Fernau? Absolutely! The entire experience by far exceeded well beyond my expectations."- S. / RealSelf / Nov 02, 2015
Full Tummy Tuck
In patients who undergo a full tummy tuck, the incision is made from hip to hip just over the pubic area. This results in a scar line that is horizontal and can be hidden when wearing undergarments. It is commonly performed on women with significant skin folds after multiple pregnancies. This technique allows the surgeon access to a large portion of the abdomen while repositioning the belly button so that its placement appears natural. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat preceding the skin tightening portion. The internal abdominal muscles are secured for a firm, toned appearance.
Mini Tummy Tuck
An alternative to the traditional technique is the mini tummy tuck, which is also known as a “Brazilian tummy tuck.” The difference is that ideally the patients that undego this procedure are already in relatively good shape with a healthy skin tone, but still have loose skin on the lower abdomen. Unlike the full tummy tuck, the belly button is unaffected and the incision is smaller. Liposuction is used (if needed) to remove excess fat, and the loose skin is removed and pulled tight.
Extended Tummy Tuck Video
Mini Tummy Tuck Video
Extended Tummy Tuck
In cases when major skin tightening and body contouring is needed, an extended tummy tuck is recommended. This is a necessary technique for patients who have undergone a significant weight loss. It was developed after some patients noted that even after a full tummy tuck, the parts surrounding the abdomen still showed excessive folds of skin. The incision may extend around the navel, flank and lower back depending where skin tightening is necessary. Liposuction is still used and excess skin is trimmed then tightened. Similar to a full tummy tuck, the belly button is repositioned.
A tummy tuck is done under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay can be required specific to complex cases. As with any other surgery, abdominoplasty comes with risks so it’s best to discuss any health conditions you have prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medications are provided and a compression garment is worn. The patient will need to rest up to 48 hours. From then, it is recommended that patients make a concerted effort to move around to help blood circulation and reduce the risks of blood clot complications. Recovery may take up to 6 weeks.
The cost for a tummy tuck depends on a variety of factors, primarily on the technique recommended that will provide the best result of the patient’s condition. These prices generally range from $7,500 to $12,500.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $7,500 - $12,500
- Recovery Time
- 4-6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Lipo or Abdominoplasty?
Tummy tucks are reserved for patients who have stretched, loose skin in the lower abdomen as a result of pregnancy or obesity. Liposuction, on the other hand, is for those who want to remove excess fat in the abdomen but still have a healthy skin tone. During the initial consultation, we will provide a thorough assessment and determine if liposuction alone is all that is needed, or if a tummy tuck will provide the best results.
Normally, abdominoplasty is performed to improve loose skin and excess fat around the abdomen area. However, sometimes other cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation or a breast lift are done to further improve the overall look and feel of the body. When this combination type surgery exists, it is known as a “mommy makeover”. It is very popular among women after pregnancy who wish to get their pre-pregnancy body and shape back to normal.
How Bad Are The Scars?
Unfortunately, with a tummy tuck surgery, scars are unavoidable. However, extra measures are taken to make sure that scarring is minimal. The incision line is placed in areas that can be concealed by undergarments. Previous C-section scars will be incised in the same spot for the tummy tuck. During the healing process, we will provide a post-operative protocol that includes scar treatment to help assist the scars in becoming less visible.
Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck?
It is our recommendation that women who decide to have more children delay a tummy tuck procedure. The stretching of the skin as a result of another pregnancy can reduce the positive outome of this procedure.