Center for Plastic Surgery
1945 Old Gallows Road, Suite 400
Tysons Corner, VA 22182
Phone: (703) 560-2850
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Center for Plastic Surgery
5550 Friendship Blvd, Suite 130
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (301) 652-7700
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

After pregnancy or significant weight loss, you may have excess abdominal skin. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Center for Plastic Surgery offer abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, to help people from Washington, DC; Chevy Chase and Bethesda, MD; Arlington and Fairfax, VA; and other nearby areas dramatically restore their midsection by tightening lax abdominal wall muscles and removing excess skin and fat.

Tummy Tuck
 Before & After Photos


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What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tucks?

Our surgeons are experienced in various types of tummy tuck techniques and incisions, which they personalize to each patient’s individual needs. Options include:

Mini tummy tuck: This least invasive abdominoplasty technique involves a small incision about the size of a C-section scar. It rejuvenates the lower abdomen—below the bellybutton—by removing lax skin, repairing abdominal muscles below the navel, and tightening the skin that hangs over a C-section scar. This option is limited to select patients because most want the entire abdomen improved.

Standard (complete) tummy tuck: This technique involves a low incision placed just above the pubic bone that spans horizontally between the hip bones. A second incision encircles the inside of the bellybutton. A standard tummy tuck, the most commonly performed technique, improves the appearance of the abdomen from below the ribcage to the pubic bone by removing lax skin (as well as stretch marks on that skin) and repairing separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). This tummy tuck with muscle repair procedure often includes a panniculectomy to remove skin that hangs over the pubic area.

Extended tummy tuck: This technique extends the standard tummy tuck incision up and around the flanks to remove more skin and fat laterally. This is ideal for people who want a flatter abdomen and some hip contouring.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in the Washington, DC, Metro Area?

The cost for a tummy tuck generally ranges from $7,700 to $15,000, depending on the amount of correction needed. We provide a specific price quote after your consultation with one of our providers. Patient financing is available for qualified patients. For the highest level of safety and the best tummy tuck results, choose a surgeon based on credentials, not price.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

While tummy tuck surgery and liposuction are both body contouring procedures, they cannot be used interchangeably.

  • Liposuction removes areas of unwanted fat; it does not tighten the skin.
  • Tummy tuck surgery tightens lax abdominal skin and repairs stretched abdominal muscles.

While some patients benefit from a tummy tuck without liposuction, our surgeons often combine tummy tucks with liposuction of the flanks and waist for more comprehensive contouring. This blog post can help you determine which procedure (or combination of procedures) is right for you.

Tummy Tuck vs. Body Lift

A body lift is a personalized combination of procedures that usually includes a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and buttock lift. Body lifts benefit people who have undergone significant weight loss and have a lot of excess, sagging skin around their abdomen and lower body.

Before & After Body Lift

Body Lift Case 273 Before & After Front | Chevy Chase & Annandale, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area | Center for Plastic Surgery
This patient had a circumferential body lift.

Tummy Tucks for Men

While most tummy tuck patients are women, men who want a firmer, more contoured midsection can also benefit from the surgery. Because men tend to store belly fat behind the abdominal muscles where it cannot be removed with liposuction or surgery, the best candidates are men who are happy with their weight. The incision is usually higher and less curved for male versus female patients. Men often benefit from liposuction of the flanks with their tummy tuck.

Established Excellence

Choose the experts that locals know and trust. Our multigenerational practice includes 4 board-certified plastic surgeons who provide the best possible care with state-of-the-art technology.

Meet Our Surgeons
Dr. Rao, Dr. Price, Dr. Albino, and Dr. KanuriDr. Rao, Dr. Price, Dr. Albino, and Dr. KanuriDr. Rao, Dr. Price, Dr. Albino, and Dr. KanuriDr. Rao, Dr. Price, Dr. Albino, and Dr. Kanuri

What Happens During Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy Tuck Incision options

Our surgeons perform tummy tuck surgery at both Sibley Hospital and in our private, accredited surgery center based in our Virginia office. Although most tummy tucks are outpatient surgeries, some patients choose to spend the night for convenience or because they are coming from out of town. We have a special post-op recovery ward at Sibley Hospital for those patients with care by dedicated nursing staff.

During a tummy tuck, our surgeons make a horizontal incision low on the abdomen, just above the pubis in a natural skin fold, separating the excessive skin from the underlying muscle layer of the abdominal wall. This allows us to examine the muscles and their covering layer and to repair any weaknesses or laxity.

Achieving a flat abdomen usually requires repairing this muscle layer. In most cases, we also perform liposuction of the abdomen and waist to help further sculpt the area. We can also use the J-Plasma treatment to further smooth and tighten the skin, if desired. We place you in a special garment to provide gentle, even pressure while you are still asleep. This helps prevent fluid accumulation in the surgical area and protects the deeper muscle repair.

“I was very pleased with my abdominoplasty done in 2007. It has given me the self confidence I needed after having had a c-section and weight gain/loss over 10 years. I was blown away by the customer service and the genuine support I received before, during and after my procedure. I have recommended so many people because of this awesome experience at Center for Plastic Surgery.”

Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.

Do All Tummy Tucks Require Drains?

Even though our plastic surgeons use drains in most of our tummy tuck procedures, there is an occasional patient for which they do not use drains. Drains serve an important purpose, which is to prevent fluid from building up in the space that was created by the separation of tissues during the procedure.

In addition, our surgeons typically use the same technique that surgeons who offer drainless tummy tucks use, which is placing internal quilting stitches to tack down the overlying abdominal flap to the abdominal wall. They find this helps decrease the amount of drainage. Because some drainage does develop anyway, using drains to remove it helps speed up the recovery process.

“It is helped my self-esteem and helped me to feel better about my overall appearance. Surgeon was great. Answered all questions and was extremely helpful. Did a wonderful job and was available to answer all questions before, during and after surgery. Staff called several times to check on me and how I was doing. Staff was friendly and helpful at every visit.”

Tummy tuck patient on

Tummy Tuck Recovery

You will return home after surgery in the care of an adult friend or family member who should stay and help care for you, your young children, and your pets for the first few days—the average recovery time after a tummy tuck is about 3 weeks. While you should avoid strenuous exercise or athletics initially, we will encourage you to take gentle walks throughout the day to decrease the risk of complications.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

Tummy tuck recovery varies with the specifics of the surgery and individual patient factors. In general, you can expect it to progress as follows:

  • Take a shower: 48 hours
  • Drains removed: 3 to 5 days
  • Discomfort peaks: 5 to 7 days
  • Stand upright: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Return to work and nonstrenuous activities: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Ready to stop wearing compression garments: 3 weeks
  • Resume low-impact exercise: 3 weeks
  • Sleep on your side: 3 weeks (when cleared)
  • Resume strenuous exercise: 8 weeks (when cleared)
  • Swelling fades: 2 months (approximately 80% gone)
  • See improved contours: 3 to 6 months
  • Ready to sleep on your stomach: When cleared by your surgeon
  • Final results: 1 year

Complications from tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. There are rare instances of skin damage that can extend the healing period.

Wearing Compression Garments

You will return home from surgery in a post-surgical compression garment that puts gentle pressure on the midsection. The garment is necessary to support healing tissues and help minimize swelling around the surgical area. Patients must always wear the garment for the first 3 weeks, except while showering. Your surgeon will recommend the best compression garment for you and whether wearing a faja is appropriate after your tummy tuck surgery.

Sleeping After a Tummy Tuck

You will need to keep yourself hunched over initially to prevent strain on the incision and abdominal muscles; therefore, you will need to sleep in a recliner or propped up with pillows in bed. Sleeping on your stomach or side can strain your incisions and result in postoperative complications. 

Resuming Normal Activities

Many patients want to know how soon they can return to everyday activities after a tummy tuck. Here are some general time frames:

  • Showering: 3 to 7 days (when cleared by your surgeon)
  • Driving: 1 to 2 weeks (when no longer taking prescription pain medication or muscle relaxers)
  • Having sex: 4 to 6 weeks
  • Swimming: 3 to 4 weeks (once the incisions have healed)
  • Drinking alcohol: 1 to 2 weeks (when no longer taking prescription pain medication)
  • Flying: 1 to 2 weeks (when cleared by your surgeon)

Tummy Tuck Scar Healing Stages

Tummy tuck scars change over the first year, progressing through the following stages (patient experiences vary):

  • 1 month: Incision is sealed and scar begins to form.
  • 1 to 6 months: Incision is healed completely. Scar is pink or red, raised, and might feel bumpy.
  • 6 months: Scar gradually loses its pigmentation and may appear light pink or soft brown.
  • 8 to 12 months: Scar is mature; it has thinned, flattened, and lightened to a silvery white.

You can help minimize scarring by wearing your compression garment consistently and applying silicone gel or sheets as directed by your surgeon. When used for the first 6 weeks after surgery, silicone products can help form scars that are as thin and flat as possible.

A Reputation Built on Results

Dr. Albino and staff are incredible. I had a double mastectomy and my doctor recommended immediate reconstruction....
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Tummy Tuck FAQ

Will a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?

Stretch marks are removed along with the excess skin when it is tightened.

Are tummy tucks permanent?

If patients maintain their weight, exercise consistently, and do not become pregnant, tummy tuck results can last indefinitely. The aging process will continue but typically does not impact the abdominal area significantly.

Is the surgery safe?

While abdominoplasty is major surgery, it is considered safe when performed on a carefully screened patient by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

What is the best age for a tummy tuck?

Adults of all ages benefit from tummy tuck surgery, especially those who have lost significant weight or have had one or more pregnancies. It’s best to be in good health, at or near your goal weight, and not planning to become pregnant.

How painful is the recovery period?

Pain after a tummy tuck is mainly due to abdominal muscle repair. Our surgeons use the drug Exparel® in these cases to provide significant pain relief for the first few days after surgery when it is typically most intense. This opioid-free drug is administered intraoperatively by injecting it into the muscles of the abdominal wall. 

What’s the average weight loss with tummy tuck surgery?

Patients usually don’t lose a significant amount of weight after a tummy tuck. This body contouring procedure often helps patients look like they got in shape, but it is not meant for weight loss.

Does a tummy tuck leave scars?

Scars are a necessary consequence of any surgery. Our surgeons do their best to place tummy tuck incisions where the scar is easily concealed by underclothing and swimsuits. Most patients say that scars are a worthwhile tradeoff for the improvements they attain.

What’s the difference between a tummy tuck and a mommy makeover?

A mommy makeover is a customized combination of plastic surgery procedures. It usually includes breast enhancement, liposuction, and a tummy tuck.

Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation at CPS

CPS has been helping Washington, DC, patients get slimmer with tummy tuck surgery at our Chevy Chase, MD, and Annandale, VA, practices since 1986. This popular procedure isn’t just for women—tummy tuck surgery can help men achieve a slimmer, more toned abdomen. Request a complimentary consultation using our online form.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Reviews