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Battle of the Bulge

To help obtain a flat belly, some patients find that diet and exercise are not able to completely achieve their goals.  In fact, following significant weight loss or after pregnancy, patients will have stretched out their abdominal muscles and they will have some loose skin. No amount of exercise or application of creams will resolve this.  To get rid of the bulge, a combination of liposuction and a tummy tuck are commonly performed.


Tummy-tucks are performed to remove unwanted skin and fat from the abdomen, while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles.  The typical patient considering a full tummy-tuck (abdominoplasty) has stretch marks (stria) and loose skin below (or up to) the level of the belly-button (umbilicus). Because the skin and muscles have been stretched due to pregnancy or significant weight change, no amount of exercise can repair the damage – the abdominoplasty procedure will repair these changes.  Patients with stria above the umbilicus will have a significant improvement, but some stria may remain.

 A variation of the procedure (a “mini” tummy-tuck) is sometimes all that is required to achieve the desired result. In this case, loose abdominal skin below or around the umbilicus is tightened through a smaller incision and fat is removed.

Mini tummy-tucks tend to cost around $4,800 and patients are typically able to return to full activities within a couple of days.  Major tummy-tucks cost around $8,800 and patients usually return to routine light activities within 3-4 days.  Heavy lifting and exercising the abdomen is avoided for 1 month.

By the way, if you have strong abdominal muscles and just some loose skin around the belly-button, I may be able to tighten the skin without surgery!  Our skin tightening laser (the Cutera Titan) and our Thermacool Thermage unit are providing many patients with good results.  This can be combined with liposuction to give an improvement in both contour and skin tone.  These skin tightening devices result in no downtime (you can resume normal activities right away) and the procedure cost is less than surgery.  Give us a call to learn more…


Liposuction is commonly performed to remove unwanted fat from areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. As a matter of fact, liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries.  Most patients have a high level of satisfaction.

Liposuction recovery depends on the amount of liposuction performed.  In general, most patients are able to return to desk work and light social activities within 3-4 days.  More aggressive activity or exercise should be avoided for about one month.  Although you will notice a dramatic improvement in your body contour within 6 weeks, some swelling may may be present up to 6 months following the procedure.

The cost of the procedure is quite variable and depends on a number of factors, including: area(s) to be treated, type of anesthetic, facility usage.  Small areas may be done under a local anesthesia.  Larger or multiple areas are typically done under either IV sedation or a general anesthetic.  Most patients end up spending between $3,000 – $7,000 on their procedure.


Multi-procedure discounts are available.  For example, when patients combine a tummy-tuck procedure with liposuction, the entire fee is less than if the procedures were performed separately.

We have financing plans available that can help make even more expensive procedures become very affordable.

To learn more about your options, please call our office to schedule a consultation or use our on-line form to request an appointment.

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