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What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck procedure, also known as an abdominoplasty, is done to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen to create a slimmer and tighter abdomen profile. A tummy tuck can also restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles, most commonly due to pregnancy.

Who is a Good Candidate?

Individuals who are experiencing excess fat, skin, and weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy, aging, hereditary, prior surgery, or major fluctuations in weight can often benefit from a tummy tuck. Patients should be at a healthy, stable weight, and be non-smokers to be considered for this procedure. Individuals can discuss their individual aesthetic goals with Dr. Howland during a consultation.

Before & After

What to Expect

There are three different tummy tuck techniques that can be used to enhance the abdomen profile. These include:

Mini Abdominoplasty

During a mini abdominoplasty, a small incision is made above the pubic area. Excess skin and fat will be removed, and muscles will be tightened. Individuals who have a small amount of stubborn fat below the navel are good candidates for this procedure.

Full Abdominoplasty

During a full abdominoplasty, an incision is created above the pubic region, and around the navel. Excess skin and fat are removed, and muscles tightened. Liposuction may be used to further contour the abdomen. This surgery is done for individuals with a moderate amount of excess abdominal skin and fat.

Extended Abdominoplasty

During an extended abdominoplasty, an incision is made above the pubic region and extends around to the hips. Another incision will be made around the navel. Excess fat and skin is removed, muscles tightened, and the belly button will be repositioned. Individuals who have experienced massive weight loss can benefit from this technique.


Drains may be placed during surgery to help collect any excess fluids during recovery. Compression garments must be worn to control swelling. Bruising and soreness will also occur, which can be controlled with pain medication. Drains are usually removed 3-14 days after surgery. Patients commonly need about two weeks off of work to recover. Following Dr. Howland’s post-op instructions is important to achieve optimal results.

Patients in the Salt Lake City and Draper areas can contact our office today to schedule their initial consultation. We would also be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tummy tucks dangerous?

There are risks that come with any surgical procedure. You can mitigate most risks by selecting a board certified plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck.

Can a tummy tuck cause stomach issues?

A tummy tuck does not affect your digestive system. If your tummy tuck is performed under general anesthetic, you may experience some nausea within the first day of your recovery.

Can I walk after tummy tuck?

You should rest as much as possible after your tummy tuck, and you may even experience some tightness and discomfort while being mobile for the first few days. Make sure to follow Dr. Howlands instructions as closely as possible.

Can you get a tummy tuck if youre obese?

A tummy tuck should not be considered a weight loss procedure. You should be at or near your ideal weight to be considered a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

Do you get a scar from a tummy tuck?

Any surgical procedure will cause scarring, but it will fade with time and proper care. Dr. Howland will give you instructions on how to take care of your incisions and prevent visible scarring. In most cases, tummy tuck scars can be easily concealed inside clothing.

Do you have to be skinny to get a tummy tuck?

Many people who get a tummy tuck are at a perfectly average weight. Its more important for your weight to be healthy and stable so you dont experience weight fluctuations that can negatively affect your results.

Does a tummy tuck tighten muscles?

This will depend on the type of tummy tuck, but a traditional abdominoplasty generally includes muscle tightening.

How are tummy tucks done?

A tummy tuck begins with an incision across the lower stomach so the underlying tissues can be accessed. Your plastic surgeon will tighten the abdominal muscles with special sutures and remove any excess skin. Liposuction may also be performed to remove stubborn fat. Finally, the incisions are closed and made ready for recovery.

How long after a tummy tuck can you drink?

Alcohol can inhibit your ability to heal after surgery, so its best avoided for at least one month.

How long do tummy tucks last?

A tummy tuck will last as long as you maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle.

How long do you wear a binder after surgery?

You should plan on wearing a compression garment for at least one month after surgery. Dr. Howland will instruct you on when you can stop wearing it during your follow-up appointments.

How long does it take to lose weight after a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck does not affect your ability to gain or lose weight. However, its important to be at a stable weight before opting for surgery so you dont experience further changes to your figure.

How much does it cost for a tummy tuck?

The cost of your tummy tuck will depend on factors like your surgeons fees, location, recovery materials, and associated

How much weight can you lose having a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Although you may lose a minimal amount of weight from the removal of skin and fat, you should expect to lose inches around your waist rather than pounds.

How painful is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck can cause some discomfort after surgery because of swelling. Dr. Howland will prescribe medications to help manage discomfort as well as provide instructions on how to make yourself comfortable.

Is it easier to lose weight after a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck does not change your ability to lose weight.

What qualifies you for a tummy tuck?

You should be at or near your ideal weight and have concerns like skin or muscle laxity. Additionally, you should be healthy enough to undergo surgery, a nonsmoker, and have realistic expectations about your results.

When can I start working out after tummy tuck?

You should gradually return to your regular workout regimen after a tummy tuck. Generally, you should expect to avoid extensive exercise for at least one month. Dr. Howland will give you the best estimate of when you can return to your regular schedule.

When can I wear regular clothes after tummy tuck?

Typically, youll feel ready to return to your regular schedule after two to three weeks. You should make sure to avoid restrictive clothing until your incisions are healed in order to prevent irritation.

Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck?

Good candidates for a tummy tuck are those with skin and muscle laxity after events like pregnancy or weight loss.

Can you get pregnant after tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck does not affect your ability to get pregnant. You should be finished having children before opting for a tummy tuck since further pregnancies can negatively affect your results.

Can you lose weight after tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck will not prevent you from losing weight. You should be at or near your ideal weight when considering a tummy tuck since extensive weight loss can leave behind more lax skin, requiring another procedure.

Do men get tummy tuck?

Men often get tummy tucks to address skin and muscle laxity after extensive weight loss. In fact, tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures undergone by men.

Do tummy tucks work?

Tummy tucks are one of the most effective and transformative ways to defined and tighten the abdominal area.

How can I lose my stomach fat?

Stomach fat can be notoriously stubborn. If strict diet and exercise dont achieve results, then a tummy tuck can help.

How dangerous is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck comes with risks like any other surgical procedure. Your board certified plastic surgeon can go over the risks and rewards during your consultation.

How do I prepare for a tummy tuck?

You should be at a stable weight and have healthy habits in place before your tummy tuck. Additionally, you should stop smoking and avoid taking certain medications and supplements that can affect your healing ability.

How long is pain after tummy tuck?

You can expect the most discomfort within the first few days of recovery. After that, the majority of swelling will begin to subside. Dr. Howland will prescribe medications to take during this time so youre comfortable and can rest.

How long will a tummy tuck last?

A tummy tuck lasts for the long term as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent weight fluctuations.

How many pounds can you lose with liposuction?

The amount of fat removed with liposuction is not generally enough to make a significant change in the scale. Liposuction can help define your treatment areas rather than help you lose weight.

How many sizes do you lose with a tummy tuck?

This is dependent on many factors like your existing anatomy and degree of tissue removal during surgery. For some patients, its possible to lose several sizes while others may not experience much change.

What are the side effects of a tummy tuck?

After a tummy tuck, youll experience swelling, discomfort, and bruising at your incision site for around one week.

What do you eat after tummy tuck?

If your tummy tuck is performed with general anesthesia, youll experience some nausea for the first day. During this time, you should stick to light, bland foods. After this subsides, make sure to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats, and whole grains to support your recovery.

What does a tummy tuck usually cost?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a tummy tuck was $6,092 in 2019. However, your tummy tuck cost will also include factors like surgeons fees, anesthesia, facilities, and recovery materials.

What is the best girdle to wear after a tummy tuck?

Our team can help you find the right supportive garment for your needs during your appointment at our office. Its important to ensure your garment fits appropriately and works properly, so try to avoid low-cost options you may find online.

Why would you need a tummy tuck?

The tummy tuck is one of the only ways to remove excess skin and tighten lax muscles after events like weight loss or pregnancy. Additionally, it can help remove stubborn fat that doesnt respond to diet and exercise.

Will a tummy tuck make my stomach flat?

Having a flat stomach is more dependent on your diet. However, a tummy tuck can help correct stubborn fat, lax skin, and stretched muscles that contribute to the appearance of a rounded stomach.