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Tummy Tuck

For some, a tummy tuck is necessary to bridge the gap between healthy living and visible results.

Not sure if a tummy tuck is right for you? Learn more from NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Preminger.

Tummy tuck in New York City

NYC abdominoplasty specialist Dr. Preminger can give you the smooth, toned tummy you’ve struggled to achieve through exercise and diet alone. No matter how many crunches you do, paunches of fat and loose skin on your waistline may remain stubbornly unimproved. In these cases, tummy tuck surgery may be the only way to restore youthful firmness to your abdomen.

A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that restores abdominal contour by tightening the muscles of the stomach wall like an internal corset, while eliminating excess and damaged skin. Often, tummy tuck surgery is combined with targeted liposuction to achieve a waist with an optimal contour.

Weight loss, aging and pregnancy can take their toll on the body over the years. Undesirable stomach attributes may include: stretch marks, excess skin, Cesarean scars, and sagging or separated abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, weight loss and exercise cannot correct these problems.

Last year, U.S. plastic surgeons performed 111,986 tummy tuck surgeries. Abdominoplasty is the sixth most popular cosmetic procedure after breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelifts. Since 2000, there has been a 79% increase in the number of tummy tucks performed, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Over the years, techniques have improved, giving patients very satisfying results.

Quick Facts

Procedure Length

2-4 hours (depending on extent of procedure)



In/Out Patient

Usually outpatient


Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry

Side Effects

Temporary swelling, bruising, tightness and some pain


Back at work in 2 weeks
Resume light exercise at 2 weeks
Resume strenuous activity at 6 weeks
8-12 weeks for swelling to resolve

Duration of Results

Can be permanent if diet and exercise are maintained

a silhouette of a athletic woman wearing bikini

Preparing for tummy tuck surgery

Prior to a tummy tuck, patients meet with Dr. Preminger for a full examination and consultation. Dr. Preminger will ask about personal health history, discuss any risk factors, and choose a procedure or combination of procedures that will best achieve the desired goals. If there is only moderate excess skin without muscle laxity, a “mini-tuck” procedure may be recommended, which involves a shorter incision and quicker recovery.

It is imperative that patients are open and honest about their full medical history. Keep in mind that there may be other minimally invasive procedures that can improve the look of the abdomen without surgery.

Prior to surgery, Dr. Preminger may recommend:

  • Four weeks: Stop smoking.
  • Two weeks: Up your intake of protein, vitamin C and zinc to speed healing. Avoid herbal supplements, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and alcohol, as these have been known to increase bleeding.
  • One week: Prep your home for recovery, with loose, comfortable clothes and pillows. Helpful items include ice packs and petroleum jelly for incision sites.
  • One day: Make arrangements to have someone drive and stay with you on surgery day and through the night for monitoring.

Risks of abdominoplasty

Tummy tuck surgery is, for the most part, a safe procedure. As with any surgery, certain risks are involved, however. Complication risks increase for patients with the aforementioned conditions, which is why full patient disclosure is important.

The most serious risk is an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Some patients encounter blood blisters, bruising, swelling, or scarring. It is common to experience numbness in the lower abdomen that can last six to twelve months. Rare but serious complications may include heavy bleeding, infection, breathing problems, formation of fat or blood clots, or skin necrosis.

You may not be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery if:

  • You expect to have more children
  • You have a history of blood clots
  • You have circulatory problems


The tummy tuck procedure is performed with a horizontal incision below the bikini line, just above the pubic area. Excess fat and skin are removed directly, while abdominal muscles are tightened and repaired. In serious cases of distortion, the navel may need to be repositioned with very fine sutures.

Liposuction body contouring is often used in conjunction with the standard tummy tuck to provide patients with the most natural, aesthetically pleasing results. The whole process takes about three to four hours and is done under general anesthesia.

"Many women who see me are very unhappy because the hours they are spending at the gym and preparing healthy food isn't improving the appearance of their abs. And the truth is- a healthy lifestyle isn't always the answer. After a tummy tuck, they can actually start to enjoy the results of their hard work."
B. Aviva Preminger, MD


Most patients take two or three weeks off from work. After tummy tuck surgery, the surgeon will leave two drains in place for as little as 3-5 days or as much as 15 days, depending on the amount of fluid draining. These drains are “pinned” in place with a makeshift gauze belt or support garment. During this time, it’s most comfortable to wear large “granny panties.” Each day, the patient will empty the small bulbs at the bottom of the drains – a very easy procedure.

Once the surgeon removes the drains and stitches, full healing is just around the corner. While walking is recommended after a week, light exercise such as biking or elliptical training can be resumed after one month. A compression garment is worn for six weeks. After that, more strenuous activity can be resumed.

Results of your abdominoplasty

Bruising and swelling are common after surgery, but patients notice a somewhat flatter abdomen already. Buttoning pants may be difficult for the first week or two. Most people resume light exercise after four weeks. At the two-month mark, it will be time to reveal the new stomach! Patients generally have a very high satisfaction rate for abdominoplasty – not just for the short term, but for the long term as well.

Undergoing abdominoplasty may lead to “significant and lasting” weight loss, according to a pilot study in the February 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. A small study of 20 women who had undergone tummy tuck surgery found that they decreased in weight by an average of 4.5 percent of their original BMI one year later. Researchers speculate that the reduction in fat cells led to hormonal changes – which, in turn, led to better satiety.

Abdominoplasty in New York City

If you would like to learn more about a having a tummy tuck in Manhattan or receive information regarding other procedures that may suit you, contact Dr. Preminger for a private consultation or call us at (212) 706-1900.

Request a consultation today.

Whether you are ready to jump right in or still have questions, we can help.

If you are ready to make a change to your appearance, choose the best plastic surgeon and cosmetic team for your procedure. Aviva Preminger, MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery offers intricate procedures to reshape the face, breasts and body, as well as rejuvenating treatments to look your best at every age.

Contact us today at our office in Manhattan to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Preminger and begin your journey to feeling and looking your best!

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