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Introduction to Tummy Tuck

A toned, flat, tight tummy is desirable to many and is a sign of youthfulness and good health. However, this result can be very difficult to achieve through just diet and exercise alone, especially as we get older or after having children. Many of our Tampa Bay patients find it very difficult to achieve a toned, athletic tummy even after extensive lifestyle changes, as they may have excess/hanging skin or loose abdominal muscles. In these cases, no amount of diet and exercise will fix this. A tummy tuck, however, effectively addresses all of these problems!

As a fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Deepa Bhat offers Tummy Tuck surgery for her Tampa Bay area patients as a comprehensive solution to improve the appearance of their stomachs. To learn a little more about this surgical procedure, please keep reading below.

What is Tummy Tuck?

A full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a surgical cosmetic procedure that can dramatically improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, all while tightening the muscles in your abdominal wall. In a full Tummy Tuck, Dr. Bhat will also reposition your belly button in a more youthful, appropriate position.

We encourage our patients to try getting their ideal body weight to be as close to their target weight before undergoing this surgery, as it is an outpatient procedure and not a substitution for a weight loss or unwanted fat loss procedure. You will experience longer-lasting results with proper diet and exercise.

The procedure can also restore weakened abdominal muscles or separated abdominal muscles to create a smoother and firmer abdomen and abdominal contour. Even if a patient is at their normal body weight, excess tissue on their belly can protrude for many reasons, including:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight
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What are the Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Our Tummy Tuck Tampa patients have experienced some of the following examples of benefits that this surgery can provide:

  • Better overall flexibility
  • Flatter abdomen
  • May improve body appearance and increase self-confidence
  • Improved control over bodily functions
  • Increase tolerance for more intense exercises once excess skin is gone and core muscles are tightened
  • Minimize the risks for certain medical conditions
  • Motivates you to lose excess weight and achieve better health
  • Natural-looking belly button
  • May improve stress urinary incontinence (after pregnancy, some women find they have an issue with accidental leaks)
  • Removes excess abdominal skin and fat
  • Stronger and improved core

Who are the Best Candidates for a Tummy Tuck procedure?

In general, you may be a good candidate for a standard tummy tuck if you are:

  • In good overall physical health
  • Maintaining a stable, healthy weight
  • Non-smoker
  • Persistently bothered by the aesthetic of your abdomen
  • Realistic in your expectations for the procedure
  • Unsuccessful losing weight in the abdominal area through traditional means

What’s the First Step?

If you’re interested in treating sagging abdominal skin, weakened or separated muscles, or any other body contouring procedures, your first step is to schedule your Tummy Tuck consultation with Dr. Bhat.

Before your appointment, we encourage you to prepare yourself by defining and understanding your surgical goals as best as possible. When you come in, Dr. Bhat will evaluate your body and discuss the best method to achieve your aesthetic goals, as well as discuss any medications you are currently taking, your lifestyle and medical history, and details about any previous surgeries you may have had.

Dr. Bhat will guide you through every step of the procedure. Once she creates your surgical plan, keeping your goals in mind, and you both agree, our Patient Coordinator will help you set up your surgical date.

What to Expect on the Day of a Tummy Tuck Procedure

On the day of your surgery, you will first be administered general anesthesia, so you are comfortable and pain-free through your surgery.

Dr. Bhat will begin by making an incision just above the pubic area, which is used to remove the excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. If you are also having Liposuction performed simultaneously, it will not only sculpt a narrower waist and hips but also improve the overall contour of the abdomen to give you a more lean, sculpted appearance.

The skin is then lifted off the abdominal wall up until the level of the ribs, to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen (your “six-pack” muscles). If there is a separation between them, Dr. Bhat will stitch these muscles back together to narrow the waistline and provide more strength to your abdominal wall. The excess abdominal skin or flap is then stretched down, any extra skin is removed, and a new opening is made for your bellybutton, which is then stitched in place.

Finally, the incisions are closed, dressings applied, and a temporary tube called a surgical drain may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

Your procedure can last anywhere from two to five hours.

Other Tummy Tuck Procedures

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini abdominoplasty is a less invasive version of the full tummy tuck procedure and is ideal for people with less excess skin and fat. For this procedure, Dr. Bhat makes a smaller (shorter) incision along the lower abdomen and removes less fat and skin. The abdominal muscles may or may not be tightened and the belly button is not repositioned.

Reverse Tummy Tuck

A Reverse Tummy Tuck is indicated for patients that have most of their skin laxity in the upper portion of the abdomen, rather than the lower. In this procedure, the incision is made at the top/superior-most part of the belly (right underneath the breasts, at the breast-crease line), instead of along the lower abdomen as in a traditional tummy tuck.

This procedure is far less common than a traditional, full Tummy Tuck. If you think you may be a candidate, please reach out to Ravive Plastic Surgery and schedule a consultation with Dr. Bhat so that she may evaluate you and discuss your surgical options.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

After your Tummy Tuck surgery, we will monitor you in our recovery area. When you are ready to go home, you should have a relative or friend available to give you a ride home. You will be outfitted with a compression garment to wear around your abdomen to reduce swelling. Surgical drains may also be used to assist in fluid drainage.

The first few days after your abdominoplasty surgery, there will be some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the treatment area, which is relieved with pain medication. While it will take about six weeks to fully recover from an abdominoplasty procedure, many patients can return to work and resume light activities within 7 – 10 days. Heavy lifting and strenuous physical activities should be avoided for several weeks. Your final tummy tuck results should be visible within a few months after your swelling has gone down.

Our Patient Coordinator will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for the incisions and drains until they are removed, which usually happens just a few days after surgery.

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How Much Does Tummy Tuck Cost in Tampa, FL?

The average cost of a tummy tuck in Tampa Bay, FL typically starts at $10,000 and can go up to around $15,000. The price can vary depending on factors such as the extent of skin and muscle tightening required, anesthesia costs, and any additional procedures performed simultaneously. For an accurate cost estimate, it’s best to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bhat. During your consultation, our patient coordinator will provide a detailed quote tailored to your specific needs and desired outcome.

Why Choose Dr. Bhat?

When you require a Tummy Tuck procedure, Dr. Deepa Bhat is the right surgeon for the job! After having extensive training in aesthetic plastic surgery, Dr. Bhat has become highly knowledgeable in performing the Tummy Tuck procedure with precision and artistry. Dr. Bhat is fellowship-trained in aesthetic procedures, meaning she did an additional year of training in exclusively cosmetic procedures after her seven years of training and completion of a plastic surgery residency, making her one of the few aesthetic fellowship-trained plastic surgeons in Florida!

Furthermore, Ravive Plastic Surgery is committed to delivering personalized care, taking the time to understand each patient’s unique goals and concerns to create a customized treatment plan. By choosing Dr. Bhat, you can trust that you are in the hands of a highly skilled and caring individual who will prioritize your well-being and provide you with the most natural and beautiful results possible.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you want a tighter, leaner-looking stomach but have not been able to achieve it through diet and exercise alone, a Tummy Tuck procedure could be right for you. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Bhat, please contact Ravive Plastic Surgery to set up your appointment. Improve your self-confidence and your belly’s appearance with a tummy tuck surgery in Tampa!

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Your procedure questions answered.

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Patient Resources

We’re here to help, with a number of patient resources designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read through the materials below, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up your consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.