Tummy Tuck

For many men and women, a toned, flat abdomen epitomizes physical fitness. But even healthy, slim individuals can still struggle with excess abdominal skin or simply a soft, flabby appearance. Although this is more common in women who have been pregnant, the midsection is a common trouble spot for many people. A healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way toward burning fat and improving muscle tone, but tummy tuck surgery is often the best option for removing excess skin and repairing separated abdominal muscles. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Diaz offers tummy tuck in Melbourne to people from Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Viera, and other cities in Brevard County, FL.

Tummy Tuck
 Before & After Photos

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What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)?

Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure that rejuvenates the abdominal area by removing excess skin, repairing separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), and reshaping the belly button.

Is Tummy Tuck Right for You?

Tummy tuck is an excellent procedure for reducing excessive abdominal skin and tightening the underlying muscles. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are people who:

  • Are frustrated by excess, lax abdominal skin
  • Have a protruding belly caused by separated abdominal muscles
  • Are generally healthy, free of conditions that could complicate surgery
  • Have reasonable expectations for their results
  • Are able to care for themselves after surgery

This procedure is a popular choice for women who have had children and want to restore their midsection. It is often combined with breast enhancement as part of a Mommy Makeover.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction Surgery

Not everyone bothered by their abdominal appearance is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. In some cases, liposuction may be a better option. Tummy tuck and liposuction are both body contouring surgeries that are not meant for weight loss. They provide distinct benefits, which include:

  • Tummy tuck surgery removes lax, sagging skin, repairs stretched abdominal muscles, and reshapes the belly button.
  • Liposuction removes areas of excess fat to enhance the shape of the waist and flanks. It can make a belly bulge smaller when caused by localized fat instead of damaged abdominal muscles.

Many people who have had one or more pregnancies or have lost a significant amount of weight benefit from a combination of tummy tuck and liposuction. Read this blog post for an in-depth comparison.

Photo of Dr. Diaz

Dr. Michael Diaz

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Diaz has been serving the dynamic needs of Space Coast women and men for years. In addition to being an accomplished surgeon known for his warmth, Dr. Diaz holds a patent for a device that can help improve breast revision outcomes.

Meet Dr. Diaz
American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, American Board of Plastic Surgery: ABMS Maintenance of Certification (Certification Matters), Fellow American College of Surgeons, Patients' Choice: Awarded by Patients on Vitals, 2019 Reader's Choice. American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, American Board of Plastic Surgery: ABMS Maintenance of Certification (Certification Matters), Fellow American College of Surgeons, Patients' Choice: Awarded by Patients on Vitals, 2019 Reader's Choice.

Your Tummy Tuck Consultation With Dr. Diaz

Dr. Diaz and his team pride themselves on their exceptional consultation process. As soon as you step through the door of our office near downtown Melbourne, our staff greets you warmly and guides you through the intake paperwork. Once completely checked in, you’re led to your private consultation room, where you’ll be asked to change into one of our comfy cloth gowns. Dr. Diaz, assisted by one of his nurses, consults with you for at least 30 minutes. During this time, he’ll evaluate your abdomen and talk to you about your primary concerns. He’ll explain his surgical technique, and you’ll work together to determine whether a tummy tuck is the best course of action for you.

At the end of your consultation, you’ll get dressed and meet with our patient care coordinator. In this separate meeting, you’ll discuss the specifics of your tummy tuck—scheduling, pricing, and other logistical details. We provide you with a written estimate of your surgery that you can bring home to consider.

What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures?

A tummy tuck is an extensive surgery that can—and should—be completely tailored to the needs of the patient. Dr. Diaz adjusts his specific surgical technique based on your desired results. Typically, tummy tuck surgery falls into 3 categories (see illustration).

Full or Complete Tummy tuck

This technique works for most people. It involves a long horizontal incision placed low on the abdomen to access the underlying tissues and a second incision around the opening to the navel. This is the most common approach to a tummy tuck because it treats the full length of the abdomen. It also improves the shape and position of the navel.

Mini Tummy Tuck

This technique treats the abdominal area between the navel and the pubic bone. It is less invasive than a full tummy tuck and uses a shorter incision to improve “the pooch” area beneath the belly button, a common problem area.

Extended Tummy Tuck

This option involves a longer incision than for a full tummy tuck for more significant correction of the flanks. Other variations include a circumferential incision for removing and lifting the skin around the entire trunk and the fleur de lis tummy tuck to address excess skin on the upper abdomen. These less common incision patterns are usually indicated for patients who have undergone significant weight loss. Often, the extended tummy tuck is performed in conjunction with other lifting procedures.

Illustrated abdomen with mini tummy tuck incision shown as short, green above pubic bone, full tummy tuck incision as a black line from hip to hip, and extended tummy tuck incision as green line all the way around the abdomen
Illustrated abdomen with mini tummy tuck incision shown as short, green above pubic bone, full tummy tuck incision as a black line from hip to hip, and extended tummy tuck incision as green line all the way around the abdomen

Your Tummy Tuck Surgery Day

Dr. Diaz performs tummy tuck surgery at Riverview Surgery Center, adjoining our office. In Melbourne, a tummy tuck usually requires general anesthesia, which means you’ll be completely unconscious for the duration of your surgery. Dr. Diaz will ask you to bring in your favorite underwear or bikini bottom. Although scar placement cannot be guaranteed, he will use it as a guide. After you wake up in our comfortable recovery room, we’ll briefly monitor you before clearing you to go home in the care of a friend or family member.

What Can I Expect After a Tummy Tuck?

Recuperation after a tummy tuck can vary significantly from patient to patient and often differs depending on the specifics of surgery. During your initial consultation and throughout your planning process, Dr. Diaz keeps you informed of what you can expect.

The evening of your surgery, we send one of our excellent nurses to check in on you in your home. During this brief house call, your nurse evaluates you to ensure you’re healing well and not experiencing any undue discomfort. You can also expect an in-office follow-up visit the day after your surgery.

It’s important to gently move about your home or hotel room on the day of surgery, as this can prevent certain complications. However, listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself.

How Painful Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?

During surgery, Dr. Diaz usually administers a local analgesic directly to the surgical site. Some patients may opt to have a longer-lasting anesthetic called EXPAREL®, which can significantly reduce—and may even eliminate—the need for opiate pain medications after surgery. The pain-relieving effects of EXPAREL can last up to 3 days, while minimizing the physical side effects associated with opiates.

A Reputation Built on Results

I went to Dr. Diaz for my initial consult for Tammy tuck and liposuction. The staff was so nice and...
Everyone here was so nice and helpful. The office is sparkling clean and peaceful. Great experience...
After years of neglecting my skin I went to Dr Diaz after recommendations from family and friends. What...
Lovely and professional staff, and amazing service. 10/10 recommended Update;second time: Amy at Dr...

How Long Does It Take To Recover After a Tummy Tuck?

Most tummy tuck patients feel comfortable returning to work within about 10 days of surgery, although an extended recuperation may be necessary depending on the type of job you have.

Recovery Milestones

After a full tummy tuck, expect to reach the following milestones along this general timeline (experiences vary):

  • Return home: Day of surgery
  • Soreness subsides: 5 to 7 days (varies with pain medication)
  • Drains removed: 7 to 10 days
  • Return to sedentary work and daily activities: 10 to 14 days
  • Stand fully upright: 10 to 14 days
  • Resume nonstrenuous exercise: 3 weeks
  • Wear compression garment: 4 to 6 weeks
  • Resume strenuous exercise: 6 weeks
  • Reach final results: 3 months, once swelling fades
  • Scars fade: 6 months to 1 year

This is a major surgery, so be sure to take it slow. Please call our office if you have any concerns or questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sizes do you lose with an abdominoplasty?

Tummy tuck patients typically lose 2 to 3 pant sizes after excess skin and fat are removed, abdominal muscles are repaired, and swelling fades.

Does tummy tuck surgery always include liposuction?

Liposuction removes isolated areas of fat and can enhance tummy tuck results by sculpting the waist and hips. It is not always part of tummy tuck surgery.

What if I’ve had a C-section?

Dr. Diaz usually removes a C-section scar when creating the low horizontal tummy tuck incision—leaving a better-positioned, more aesthetically pleasing scar in its place.

Is it true that you get a new belly button with tummy tuck surgery?

Partially. During a full tummy tuck, the belly button is inserted through a new opening in the tightened abdominal skin. The skin surrounding the belly button is reshaped as it is carefully sutured in place, making it look good as new.

How do I know if I’m a candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

Few patients are candidates for this procedure, which focuses on the area from the belly button to the pubic bone. During a personal consultation, Dr. Diaz will explain which technique is right for you.

Can diastasis recti really be corrected through surgery?

Yes. The abdominal muscles are brought together along the midline and sutured in place.

Will my surgical scar be noticeable?

In most cases, the tummy tuck scar can be covered by underwear and swimsuits, so it is not visible.

Will I need to wear a compression garment during recovery?

Yes. You will return home in a surgical garment that puts pressure on the abdomen to minimize swelling and help the area heal in a smooth contour.

Should I wait until I’m finished having children before I get a tummy tuck?

In most cases, it is safe for abdominoplasty patients to become pregnant. However, to make the most of your results, Dr. Diaz recommends waiting until your family is complete before having an abdominoplasty.

Are tummy tuck results permanent?

Tummy tuck results can last indefinitely by avoiding weight fluctuations and pregnancy and maintaining a proper diet and exercise regimen.

Let us help you to have the slimmer, flatter abdomen you want. Request your consultation online, or call Dr. Diaz’s office at (321) 951-2639 to book your appointment.

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