University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tummy Tuck

The plastic surgery specialists at UVA Plastic Surgery perform abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, in Charlottesville and Fishersville to help patients from Richmond, Roanoke, and Arlington, VA, and beyond attain the firm abdominal contours they can be proud of. Our world-class surgeons combine evidence-based surgical techniques with talent and experience to ensure a safe surgery and natural-looking outcomes.

A firm, flat midsection is associated with youth and good health in both men and women. Unfortunately, people of all ages who have improved their health by losing a significant amount of weight often end up with lax, hanging skin, and areas of persistent fat. Women who have returned to their original weight after one or more pregnancies are often frustrated by a tummy bulge and stretched abdominal skin. In most cases, no amount of dieting and exercise will resolve these concerns.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
 Before & After Photos


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What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that improves the appearance of the midsection, often after pregnancy or significant weight loss.

Who is a candidate for a tummy tuck?

Women and men from Harrisonburg, VA; Washington, D.C., and nearby cities who are interested in abdominal rejuvenation and are at a healthy, stable weight are often good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. Our surgeons perform this procedure to provide one or a combination of the following improvements:

  • Tightening loose, sagging abdominal skin
  • Repairing stretched or separated abdominal muscles
  • Reducing stretchmarks above the navel
  • Reshaping a misshapen navel

Can you combine an abdominoplasty with other procedures?

Yes, many people choose to have multiple plastic surgery procedures performed together and have a single recovery period. Procedures commonly combined with abdominoplasty include:

When abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction and breast enhancement surgery, it’s often called a mommy makeover.

What’s the difference between a tummy tuck vs. liposuction?

Liposuction is excellent for removing isolated areas of fat; it does not tighten lax abdominal skin or muscles. When excess skin and stretched abdominal muscles are not a concern, liposuction may be enough to provide the desired improvements on its own; otherwise, a tummy tuck is needed. In many cases, our surgeons perform liposuction with abdominoplasty to sculpt the waist, hips, and upper back.

What are the different types of tummy tuck?

Because our surgeons are actively involved in the improvement and development of surgical techniques, they are able to offer the latest evidence-based approaches to abdominoplasty. Each of the following basic techniques is personalized to the patient’s unique anatomy and personal goals:

  • Traditional tummy tuck is appropriate for the majority of patients because it tightens loose skin, repairs abdominal muscles, and reshapes the belly button.
  • Mini tummy tuck is best suited to patients who do not have a lot of excess skin or fat, and have good underlying muscle tone.
  • Extended tummy tuck provides the same improvements as a traditional tummy tuck and reduces stretched, draping skin that hangs all the way around the abdomen. This technique is commonly used for patients after massive weight loss.

What is done during a tummy tuck?

Our surgeons typically perform abdominoplasty as an outpatient procedure using general anesthetic. In most cases, a moderate-length, horizontal incision is placed low on the abdomen just above the pubic bone. A second incision encircles the inner navel (this incision is not part of the mini tummy tuck). Through the incisions, the surgeon separates the abdominal skin from the underlying tissue. Stretched and separated abdominal muscles are brought together and repaired if necessary. The outer skin is then smoothed down over the abdomen and excess is trimmed away.

The surgeon may use “quilting sutures,” an advanced, progressive tension-suture technique, to secure the abdominal skin and tissues vertically from the top of the abdomen down to the horizontal incision in the lower abdomen. The navel is brought through its new location, if necessary, and the horizontal incision is carefully stitched closed and covered with surgical tape.

Will I get a new bellybutton?

A traditional tummy tuck involves creating a “new” bellybutton. After the surgeon tightens the abdominal skin, the navel is brought through its new location much like buttoning a shirt. For results that look natural, the navel incision is closed with an internal suture technique performed with meticulous attention to detail.

Will my tummy tuck involve drains?

During surgery, surgical drains may be inserted into the surgical area to prevent infection from a buildup of fluid and to provide optimal contouring results. The “quilting sutures” reduce the amount of time the drains need to be in place.

What can I expect after a tummy tuck?

While discomfort is normal after surgery, our surgeons use anatomic nerve blocks and advanced IV non-narcotic medications during surgery to minimize early postoperative pain. Initially, patients will be unable to stand completely upright; in spite of this limitation, it is very important to get up and walk around carefully to prevent blood clots from forming and help the healing process. While abdominoplasty recovery is a slow process, the vast majority of patients say the initial discomfort and limitations are well worth the improvements they gain.

How soon can you go back to work after a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck patients are typically ready to return to non-physical work and normal activities within 1 to 3 weeks.

Are you ready to find out more?

To meet with one of the world-class plastic surgeons at UVA Plastic Surgery in Charlottesville or Fishersville, request a consultation using our online form or call (434) 924-1234 for an appointment