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FAQs - Tummy Tuck

If you’re considering a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), learn more about the procedure and get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here.

Tummy Tuck Questions

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is a procedure that allows for the repair of the muscles of the abdominal wall after excess weight gain and/or pregnancy. The procedure removes excess weight and stretch marks, making it ideal for patients that have had children or have lost massive amounts of weight, either by gastric bypass or with traditional methods.


What happens at my initial consultation?

Dr. Ortiz will discuss your goals, as well as the degree of weakness of your abdominal wall muscles, excess skin, and subcutaneous fat around the abdominal wall. He will also discuss the type of tummy tuck that is ideal for you and what kind of results you can expect.


What are the types of tummy tucks?

Dr. Ortiz performs three types of tummy tucks. For patients with a minimal amount of excess weight and skin, a mini tummy tuck may be appropriate. “Mini” refers to the amount of skin that will be removed.

A regular tummy tuck is ideal for patients with a larger amount of skin excision. Most of the time, this procedure involves relocation of the belly button or belly button reconstruction.

A fleur de lis tummy tuck is for patients that have an excessive amount of loose skin to be removed. This involves making both horizontal and vertical incisions.


What is the difference between tummy tuck and liposuction?

Many patients have questions about the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction. Where a tummy tuck reconstructs the muscles underneath and removes excess skin, liposuction only removes excess fat. Liposuction will not remove or reduce loose, hanging, or excess skin.


How do you repair the muscles of the abdomen?

During a tummy tuck, Dr. Ortiz uses permanent stitches to tighten the abdominal muscles. These stitches are made of medical-grade nylon and will not dissolve over time (they are located inside your muscles and are not visible.)


Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

In general, good candidates for a tummy tuck want to improve the contour of their stomachs, are in overall good health, and have realistic expectations.


How long does a tummy tuck take?

On the day of your procedure, you should plan to be at the surgery center for at least 3 ½ hours. The surgery itself takes approximately 2 1/2 hours in surgery and the remaining time will be spent administering anesthesia and preparing you to go home.


What kind of anesthesia will be used?

Our licensed anesthetist administers IV sedation for tummy tucks.


What should I expect after a tummy tuck? What is recovery like?

After your tummy tuck, you should plan to take 2 weeks off of work because you will be required to limit your physical activity and stay bent at the waistline for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you should be able to stand up straight and return to work. You will have a draining tube for one week and wear a compression garment for 6 weeks following your surgery.


What kind of scars will I have?

Mini tummy tucks leave a scar approximately 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) long. The scar will be low on the abdomen and can be easily covered. A fleur de lis tummy tuck leaves the same scar as a mini tummy tuck with the addition of a vertical scar up the abdomen.


How many post-op appointments will I have?

You will have a minimum of 3 appointments with Dr. Ortiz after your breast augmentation: one appointment a week after the surgery, one appointment at 2 months post-surgery, and the final appointment at 6 months after surgery. If you need to see Dr. Ortiz at any time between these appointments, please call us.


How much does a tummy tuck cost?

The cost of depends on the type of tummy tuck, but most cost between $7,000 and $9,000, depending on the complexity of the procedure.


What are your payment terms?

We require a payment of 25% of the total cost up front to secure your surgery date. The remaining balance must be paid in full no later than two weeks before the surgery takes place. While most cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance, we offer a cash discount and accept Care Credit and all major credit cards.


What is included in the cost of the procedure?

The cost of your tummy tuck includes all pre-op and post-op appointments, anesthesia, the surgery and surgical materials, as well as any post-op compression garments. Prescription pain medication is not covered in the cost of surgery and is not dispensed by North Raleigh Plastic Surgery.


Contact North Raleigh Plastic Surgery to Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Today!