The abdomen is one of the most challenging body areas to shape. No matter how many sit ups you do, no matter how diligently you watch your diet, you may still be unable to attain the sculpted shape you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you feel embarrassed about excess fat and sagging skin around your midsection, a tummy tuck can help you attain the trim body contour you desire.
To learn more about tummy tucks and how the procedure can help you, please call 410-902-9800 today to schedule an initial consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster. We proudly serve Baltimore, Owings Mills and Towson, Maryland.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical body contouring procedure that improves the appearance of a flabby, saggy-looking abdomen. The surgery is very popular among women that have had children and individuals that have lost a lot of weight. Often, no matter what these individuals do, they cannot achieve the physique they want through diet and exercise, as the abdominal skin and muscles cannot be improved through non-surgical means. In these cases, tummy tuck is the most effective way to enjoy a flatter and firmer abdomen.
Top 5 Reasons to Have a Tummy Tuck
- You do not see the results of diet and exercise on your belly.
- You are embarrassed by loose tummy skin.
- You are tired of wearing support garments or hiding your body under baggy clothing.
- You want to improve your self-image and self-confidence.
- You want to reclaim your pre-baby body.
Your Tummy Tuck Surgery Consultation
If you are contemplating undergoing tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Schuster, we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding tummy tuck cost, or the procedure itself. During your initial consultation, we will review payment and financing options with you, as well as discuss your aesthetic objectives and establish if you are an appropriate tummy tuck candidate.
Different Types of Tummy Tucks
Abdominoplasty varies from mini to full to a circumferential body lift, depending upon the amount and quality of extra skin, the amount of fat and any prior abdominal surgery such as gallbladder surgery, hernia repair, scar revision, tubal ligation, appendectomy and hysterectomy.
- Full Tummy Tuck: Full tummy tuck is best for the removal of excessive skin and damaged or stretched-out abdominal muscles. It is an excellent option for very thin patients who have a great deal of stretch marks or crumpled skin, as well as heavier patients who have a thick roll of skin and fat. The scar is longer but generally heals well and is placed in an area which is easily covered by clothing, bathing suits and lingerie.
- Mini Tummy Tuck: Mini tummy tuck focuses on improving the area below the belly button. The procedure is performed through a short incision directly above the pubic hair, and generally includes liposuction, tightening of the lower abdominal muscles and removal of a small amount of skin. Ideal candidates for mini tummy tuck have good skin quality with very little excess skin.
- Circumferential Tummy Tuck: Circumferential tummy tuck is typically recommended for patients with excess loose skin extending around the sides and even over the hips. In this situation, the best results are achieved when the entire trunk, both front and back, is addressed. Circumferential tummy tuck usually includes additional liposuction to the hips and lower back, together with removal of the extra skin. The scar circles around the waist but is positioned to be hidden beneath the underwear as much as possible.
A consultation with Dr. Schuster is the best way to determine the approach that is right for your needs.
How Long Does Abdominoplasty Take?
The duration of tummy tuck surgery depends on the specific surgical approach and whether tummy tuck is combined with another procedure. A circumferential tummy tuck will take more time than a standalone mini tummy tuck. Dr. Schuster can estimate how long your surgery will take during your personal consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Most tummy tuck procedures are performed as outpatient surgeries, but occasionally a single overnight hospital stay is recommended. While every recovery experience is unique, the average experience is as follows:
- Full and Circumferential Tummy Tuck
- Back to school/work in two weeks
- Back to full activity and light sports in four weeks
- Resume strenuous exercise in six weeks
- Must wear girdle/binder for six weeks
- Mini Tummy Tuck
- Recovery is half as long as full tummy tuck
Are Abdominoplasty Results Permanent?
As long as you maintain your weight through healthy lifestyle habits, you can enjoy your tummy tuck results indefinitely. Should you gain a significant amount of weight after surgery, you risk stretching out your abdominal skin and muscles and developing more “padding” around your stomach that may require additional surgery to correct.
Can an Abdominoplasty Help Me Lose Weight?
Abdominoplasty is not a suitable means for weight loss. In fact, you should be at or within a few pounds of your goal weight, at the time of your surgery. If you are overweight or obese, Dr. Schuster may recommend you postpone surgery or avoid it altogether.
Can Exercise Tighten Loose Skin Without an Abdominoplasty?
Depending on the amount of loose skin on the abdomen, exercise is unlikely to tighten the skin. If the skin has stretched significantly, either because of pregnancy or weight fluctuation, it may not be able to retract over the abdomen. Surgery is the most reliable way to remove excess folds of skin and tighten the remaining skin.
Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy
You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman whose abdomen doesn’t look significantly different after pregnancy and childbirth. Even the most in-shape mothers still struggle with pregnancy-related changes to the abdomen. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles separate, the skin stretches and the tummy develops extra “padding” to accommodate the growing baby. After pregnancy, the muscles and skin won’t return to their original condition on their own — they must be surgically corrected. A tummy tuck is the best way to treat pregnancy-related changes in the abdomen, so you can enjoy a flatter, firmer tummy and a more attractive physique.
Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Remove “Love Handles”?
It is common to perform liposuction during tummy tuck surgery to reduce or eliminate the appearance of love handles. However, this is something you should discuss with Dr. Schuster during your pre-operative consultation, so he can keep it in mind when designing your surgical plan.
Why Choose Dr. Schuster for Your Abdominoplasty?
Ronald Schuster, MD, is a fellowship-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon with almost 30 years of plastic surgery experience. Recognized as a “Top Doctor” by Baltimore Magazine, he is well qualified to help you attain the aesthetic results you desire from tummy tuck. Dr. Schuster will carefully assess your personal treatment needs and tailor a treatment plan to your specific areas of concern and your goals. He offers a number of tummy tuck options at his plastic surgery practice to help you enjoy an improved body contour and more confidence.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Schuster is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Baltimore’s Northwest Hospital Center. He belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Tummy Tuck Patient Video Testimonials
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The average cost of tummy tuck can range between $4,600 and $13,000. The exact cost of the procedure depends on several factors, including:
- The specific surgical approach taken
- Whether tummy tuck is combined with another procedure
- Where the procedure is performed (hospital versus surgical facility)
- The expertise of the surgeon
Following your personal consultation and an evaluation of these factors, we can provide you with a more precise figure for the cost of tummy tuck with Dr. Schuster. We realize that the cost of tummy tuck is one of the primary considerations for prospective patients deciding whether to have this body contouring procedure. With this in mind, we make every effort to keep the costs of our cosmetic surgery procedures as fair as possible, so our procedures are widely accessible.
Dr. Schuster customizes tummy tuck surgery to meet the unique needs of each individual. As a result, we cannot provide an exact quote for the cost of your tummy tuck without first consulting with you. Only by evaluating your distinct anatomical needs and discussing your aesthetic goals for surgery can we properly determine the cost of treatment.
We accept several payment options for added convenience. These include cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and loan funds from a personal, home equity or medical loan. We also offer financing options through CareCredit, a third-party affiliate. CareCredit provides a revolving line of credit to those who qualify for exclusive use toward elective procedures. CareCredit offers several payment plans and low interest rates, as well as a no-interest option.
A Word on “Cheap” Tummy Tucks
We recognize the importance of receiving affordable cosmetic treatment. Nonetheless, we would also like to emphasize that cost should not be the only factor that you consider when deciding whether to undergo cosmetic surgery and which surgeon should perform your surgery.
Due to the invasive nature of surgery in general, all surgical procedures, including elective plastic surgery procedures, carry inherent risks. In addition to surgical complications, patients who undergo cosmetic surgery with an under-qualified plastic surgeon also run the risk of receiving unsatisfactory aesthetic results.
Be wary of cheap prices, “great” deals and dramatic discounts. Often, these marketing ploys are a strong indication that the physician offering the drastic discount is willing to cut corners to reduce his or her overhead costs. Taking shortcuts to save money frequently leads to devastating consequences in terms of the quality of care delivered — you get what you pay for.
In addition, when your tummy tuck surgery is done well by an experienced plastic surgeon, you are more likely to have a quicker, smoother recovery period. A smooth recovery allows you to return to work and your normal activities sooner, providing added value because you are forgoing less of your income during the recovery period.
These reasons demonstrate how crucial it is to undergo tummy tuck or any other type of cosmetic surgery with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon — such as Dr. Ronald Schuster.
Call Now to Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
If you are considering a tummy tuck in Baltimore, Owings Mills or Towson, Maryland, please contact us today online or at 410-902-9800 to schedule a confidential consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster.