Excess fat in the lower abdomen is a common complaint for both men and women.  A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is designed to remove the skin a fat from the belly button to the pubic area by placing an incision below the bikini line.  The abdominal muscles are tightened to narrow your waist and often liposuction is done on the flank and hip areas to trim your body further.  There are many reasons why tummy tuck procedures, also known as an abdominoplasty, have increased 87% from 2000 to 2014. Advances in surgical methods and safety measures have made it possible for more men and women to achieve a tighter, more shapely midsection in cases where:

  • Extreme amounts of weight loss have led to excess skin
  • Pregnancy has resulted in stretched skin and weakened abdominal wall
  • Healthy diet and exercise regimens have not achieved your desired shape

Women have the additional concern of childbirth which significantly stretches the abdominal muscles. When there is good skin tone, no stretch marks, and a limited amount of fat, liposuction alone is usually the best option. However, when stretch marks are present in addition to abdominal muscle laxity, a tummy tuck remains the best option. In this procedure, the incision is kept low below the “bikini line” and a large ellipse of fat and skin is removed. The belly button is resutured in its original place and the abdominal muscles tightened to give an hourglass shape. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to further sculpt the body.  Newer techniques use progressive tension sutures or Tissue Glu to eliminate the need for a drain making recovery much easier and quicker.

No Drain Tummy Tuck Article TissuGlu No Drain Tummy Tuck

In an extended abdominoplasty, the incision will generally extend beyond the hip bones to include some of the lower love handle area.  The extended incision will allow more tissue to be removed.  This approach is ideal for heavier patients who require more contouring or massive weight loss patients with significant extra skin.

Dr. Burns is one of the nation's leading body contouring Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and practices a short scar bikini line incision technique where you scar will be hidden in most undergarments or swimwear.


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Patient Focus 1

Procedures: Extended Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty with Liposuction of the Flanks


*All patients are unique and results may vary

Patient Focus 2

Procedures: Extended Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty with Liposuction of the Flanks

*All patients are unique and results may vary 


Length: 2- 3 hours

Anesthesia: General 

In/Outpatient: Outpatient

Side Effects: Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain

Risks: Pain, bleeding, infection, fluid collections, healing problems, blood clots

Recovery: Back to work: 1 - 2 weeks.  More strenuous activity: 4 - 6 weeks

Final Appearance: 1-2 months for swelling to resolve

Duration of Results: Permanent if stable weight maintained

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Body Contouring Plastic Surgery and Your BMI

Peer reviewed plastic surgery research indicates that the complication rates from breast and body contouring plastic surgery are much lower if your Body Mass Index is in the normal range.  For obese or morbidly patients, complication rates such as deep venous thrombosis, wound healing problems, and infection are much higher.  We encourage all of our patient to know their BMI and if at all possible achieve a normal BMI or at least < 30 before embarking on elective cosmetic surgery.  

Calculate Your BMI

Weight Management Resource Center from the NIH 

NIH Aim for a Healthy Weight Resource Center Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk Eat Right Resource Center
Be Physically Active Healthy Weight Tools Key Recommendations



Free Download:  Aim for a Healthy Weight Booklet