Everything You Need To Know About A Tummy Tuck

Stubborn belly fat sometimes sticks around even after weight loss and a consistent gym routine. A tummy tuck can remove stubborn fat and trim excess or loose skin for a tighter abdominal area. It tightens skin and abdominal muscles. This procedure can improve the look and feel of the lower stomach after significant weight loss or pregnancy.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a body contouring surgery that reshapes the abdominal area by removing excess lower abdominal fat and loose skin. Another name for tummy tuck surgery is abdominoplasty.

When a certified plastic surgeon performs an abdominoplasty, they reinforce the abdominal muscles to improve the look of your tummy further. Abdominoplasty can also remove some, if not all, stretch marks in your lower abdomen.

If you have minimal loose skin below the navel, you may only need a mini tummy tuck. A mini abdominoplasty uses smaller incisions and removes a smaller area of skin. This procedure leaves fewer scars and has less recovery time.

Tummy tucks are popular for women following pregnancy or massive weight loss since there is typically unwanted loose skin. The late 30s and early 40s are the average age for a tummy tuck, but any healthy adult can have the procedure. The key to successful results is to commit to maintaining a specific weight and not plan to get pregnant.

However, it is essential to understand that an abdominoplasty is not a weight loss solution, as you can always gain the weight back later. A tummy tuck is strictly a body contouring procedure. If your goal for surgery is to lose weight, consult your surgeon for surgical weight loss options.

Everything You Need to Know About Tummy Tucks

How Much is a Tummy Tuck in Nashville, TN?

A tummy tuck qualifies as major surgery, and that status is reflected in the average cost for the procedure. However, at Garza Plastic Surgery in Nashville, we recognize that every patient’s body differs. Therefore each treatment will be uniquely personalized to the patient.

As a result, the cost of a tummy tuck at our practice will also differ from patient to patient. However, the ballpark cost of abdominoplasty is around $6,000. The low end is $3,000, and the high end is $15,000. That cost does not include anesthesia, facility fees, surgeon’s fees, medications, and other ancillary charges.

Remember, your insurance will not cover the cost of the elective surgery.

While this procedure is expensive, we will do our best to provide the surgery to you at a reasonable price. Plus, we have financing options available for affordable monthly payments. So please talk with us at Garza today to see how much your tummy tuck will cost in Nashville, TN.

Cheaper Tummy Tuck Alternatives

If the cost is still too much, there are alternatives to achieving a tighter, flatter stomach. First, you can opt for liposuction, which targets explicitly fat. However, lipo does not take care of loose or sagging skin.

Another option is non-surgical body contouring procedures like BodyTite and Morpheus8, which use radio frequencies to tighten muscle and skin.

When to Consider a Tummy Tuck

Many people consider receiving abdominoplasty to help with these concerns:

  • Stretch marks
  • Excess skin
  • Stubborn fat around the stomach
  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen
  • Abdominal muscle weakness

You may also want to consider a tummy tuck if you relate to one or more of the following statements:

The shape of your abdomen has been affected by pregnancy or massive weight loss.
You feel that your protruding abdomen is unattractive.
Your self-confidence is negatively affected by the contour of your stomach.

Best Tummy Tuck Candidates

An abdominoplasty is best for anyone who is in relatively good shape and health but has stubborn belly fat that doesn’t go away with diet and exercise. Women who are done having kids are also good candidates. With multiple pregnancies, a woman’s abdominal muscles and skin can stretch and not return to normal.

Other good candidates include those who lost skin elasticity, such as loose abdominal skin from weight loss or aging.

Most importantly, good candidates have realistic expectations and want the procedure done for themselves—not to satisfy someone else’s opinion of their body.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Tummy Tuck

Before opting for the body contouring procedure, it is crucial to consider tummy tuck pros and cons. While the benefits may be obvious, you must know the drawbacks, like fat necrosis after your tummy tuck. This information will help you make an informed decision.


  • Tummy-tuck surgery will restore a flat tummy.
  • You will look better in clothes and swimwear.
  • You will have a more youthful-looking body.
  • Your abdominal muscles will have more structural support.
  • Your risk for abdominal hernias will decrease.
  • May improve female urinary incontinence.


  • You will have a scar (located below your bikini line).
  • Another pregnancy may influence surgery results, so it is best to wait until you’ve finished having children before undergoing this procedure.
  • Weight gain following abdominoplasty may negatively affect your surgery results.
  • This is not a weight loss solution, and it is possible to undo the results of the procedure if you do not have a lifestyle consistent with your new body contours.

Furthermore, there are several possible complications after this procedure, including:

  • blood clots
  • bleeding
  • asymmetry
  • fat necrosis
  • infection

These are just a few of the pros and cons to weigh when considering a tummy tuck in Nashville, TN. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your Nashville plastic surgeon.

What Do I Need to Do Before Getting a Tummy Tuck?

Before getting an abdominoplasty, you should take steps to prepare your body in order to have the best results possible. Five simple steps will also help you have a better recovery.

1. Stop Smoking

Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.

2. Get To A Stable Weight

Slender individuals with extra fat and loose skin in the lower tummy are the best candidates. As mentioned, tummy tucks are not weight loss solutions but are cosmetic solutions.
Before the procedure, you must maintain a weight of ten to twenty pounds from your ideal goal weight. To know your goal weight, use a BMI calculator.
Your BMI should be between 25 to 29. However, a doctor will better tell you an ideal weight based on your body composition. You should maintain that weight for six to twelve months pre-operation.

3. Improve Your Physical Health

You must be in relatively good physical shape to tolerate this procedure. Also, if you’re not careful, you might undo the results of your surgery if you gain more weight.

4. Make Sure You’re Done Having Children

The muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during a future pregnancy. Not to mention other stretch marks may appear with the additional weight gained during pregnancy.

5. Consult With A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Nashville, TN

Dr. Robert Garza is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who provides excellent cosmetic care for his patients throughout Nashville. During your consultation, Dr. Garza will work with you to review your medical history, expectations, and goals for this body contouring surgery.

Additional tests may be recommended depending on your medical history. For instance, internal or external scars from any previous abdominal surgery may also affect your candidacy.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude, and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck Procedure Steps

During an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), your plastic surgeon will remove your loose abdominal skin and tighten up your abdominal muscles with sutures.

1. Preparation Phase

Your plastic surgeon will mark your abdomen to indicate the location of the incisions, the center of your torso, and the location of the repositioned navel.

A solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a vasoconstrictor that controls bleeding by constricting blood vessels) will be injected.

2. Incision Phase

The primary tummy tuck incision will be above the pubic mound, from one hipbone to the other. In a full abdominoplasty, another incision is made around your navel. In a mini-tummy tuck, your surgeon will use a shorter incision.

The surgeon will loosen the skin from your abdominal wall to your ribcage and then place sutures in the fascia of your abdominal muscles to pull them into a tighter position. This is the muscle repair portion of the surgery.

3. Fat Reduction & Skin Stretching

After your abdominal muscles have been sutured, your surgeon will remove excess fat by liposuction or other methods. Next, your abdominal skin is stretched over your incision line, and the excess skin is removed.

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss solution, but you will lose anywhere from 3 to 15 pounds after excess skin and fat removal.

4. Creating The “New” Navel

Next, your surgeon will mark the placement of your navel. Although the skin around your navel has been moved, the navel almost always stays in the same place. Your surgeon cuts a hole through the redraped skin and sutures it around your navel.
To close the incisions, your surgeon will use tissue glue, sutures, staples, or Steri-Strips.

5. Surgical Drains

In a full abdominoplasty, the surgeon will often insert one or more drains to prevent fluid buildup, which can cause pressure on the incision.
The drain is a clear plastic tube placed through a very short incision below the main incision, which leads out of the body to a small oval-shaped bulb. Each time you empty a bulb, and before you close it again, you will be asked to squeeze it to help drain the wound. This will help the surgery site heal effectively.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Tummy Tuck?

Because abdominoplasty is an intense cosmetic surgery, recovery time can be up to three months or more. Luckily, most patients tend to recover in as little as six weeks.
During recovery, you will need to limit physical activity. You will also work with Dr. Garza to set up follow-up appointments to evaluate your recovery process. It is imperative that you strictly follow your doctor’s instructions so you can avoid complications.

Start Your Tummy Tuck Journey at Garza Plastic Surgery in Nashville

The goal of your Nashville, TN plastic surgeon and staff is to help you achieve the best results and to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible.