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What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Published on February 25, 2024

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a body-contouring surgery that tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the belly. This procedure gives people the chance to have a slim and toned abdomen despite the effects of aging, weight fluctuations, or childbirth.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck can help people achieve a more sculpted silhouette when the fat and skin on their abdomen do not seem to respond well to changes in diet and exercise. This beneficial surgery:

  • Eliminates unwanted fat and skin from the abdomen
  • Gives you a slimmer, more sculpted shape
  • Strengthens the core abdominal muscles
  • Stabilizes the torso
  • May improve poise and balance
  • May reduce back pain
  • May mitigate hernia symptoms and incontinence

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Many people who are considering a tummy tuck are also interested in liposuction. Both procedures help patients achieve a slimmer abdomen, but they utilize different techniques to achieve that goal and can have different results. Liposuction can sculpt and flatten your midsection, while a tummy tuck can smooth, tone, and reduce fat in your abdomen.


Liposuction is a minimally- or less-invasive surgical procedure that removes stubborn pockets of unwanted fat from the body. It can flatten your belly and refine your contours by eliminating fat around your midsection, but it will not tighten or remove excess or sagging skin.

During liposuction, your surgeon will use a cannula and a vacuum device to suction unwanted fat out of your abdomen. The surgery involves making small incisions through which the cannula is inserted. The scars that form after the procedure are small and insignificant and usually fade over time. The initial recovery period lasts about five to seven days.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck removes fat and excess hanging skin and tissue from the belly. It also pulls weakened or separated abdominal muscles together, resulting in a stronger core and a firmer, smoother abdomen. While an abdominoplasty can improve your skin and muscle tone and your overall shape, it will also leave a long scar across your lower abdomen, between your pelvic bones. The scar will fade over time, but it may always be visible.

Most doctors will attempt to make the incision in a place that your clothes can cover after you heal. The initial recovery period lasts two to three weeks, and it may take several months before the final results are fully apparent.

The Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidate

A tummy tuck can benefit your health and improve your self-image. The best candidates for a tummy tuck:

  • Are physically healthy
  • Can maintain a stable weight
  • Are committed to a healthy lifestyle
  • Have realistic expectations about the results of surgery
  • Are nonsmokers
  • Want to change the appearance of the abdomen
  • Have loose, inelastic skin that hangs from the abdominal area
  • Have weak or separated abdominal muscles
  • Suffer from urinary incontinence, hernia, or back pain

What to Expect During Recovery

Recovering from a tummy tuck completely is a months-long process, although you should be able to resume work and many of your normal activities within a few weeks. In the initial phases of recovery, you will likely experience pain and swelling. The skin on your abdomen may feel numb for several weeks. You will need to get plenty of rest and wear a compression garment that will help minimize swelling. You will also need to stay out of the pool or the bathtub for the first two weeks, although you will be able to shower.

Surgeons such as Dr. Das will advise you to walk around to encourage circulation but to avoid strenuous activity.


Your healthcare team will give you instructions about taking medication during your recovery. Take prescription pain medicines and antibiotics exactly as directed, and ask which over-the-counter medicines may work for you.

Wound Care

Follow instructions for attending to your bandages and cleaning your wound. You should wash your incision site daily with mild soap and warm water only. Wear your compression garment at all times, unless you are taking a shower.

Follow-Up Appointments

As you recover, be sure to attend all scheduled check-ups. Call Dr. Das if you experience undue discomfort or signs of infection.

Consult with Dr. Das

Before having a tummy tuck in Katy, TX, it’s important to speak to a board-qualified surgeon such as Dr. Das, about your aesthetic goals. He will prioritize your comfort and safety and take every precaution so that you will achieve the best possible results from surgery.

To learn more about how an abdominoplasty can improve your quality of life, schedule a consultation with our practice today.