Detroit Tummy Tuck

Serving Metro Detroit & Michigan For Over 30 Years

At Chau Plastic Surgery. we strive to provide you with the best results. We will take the time to discuss all the options available to you so you can make an informed decision that best fits with your goals.

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    FAQs: Tummy Tuck


    What is a Tummy Tuck?

    A Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess skin to the abdomen in order to provide a flatter look to the stomach. With weight gain and weight loss or with child bearing, the abdominal muscles and skin are stretched and usually do not return to their original orientation. The Tummy Tuck tightens the abdomen in two ways. Firstly, the abdominal muscles are tightened, which acts like an “internal corset” to reduce the circumference of your waistline and give you a flatter stomach. Secondly, the loose or excess skin to the abdominal region is removed and brought together in a tighter and more aesthetically appeasing way.

    How Is A Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?

    The standard Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty involves an incision that spans from hip to hip at the lower abdomen and an incision around the belly button. The skin is lifted off of the abdominal muscles and pulled downward. The excess skin is cut away and an incision is made in the abdominal skin for the new belly button site. The muscles at the midline of the abdomen that are referred to as the rectus muscles or “the muscles that give some people the six pack look” are brought closer together with suture. This helps to reduce the size your waistline and give your stomach a flatter look. Once the excess skin is removed, the  two edges of skin are sewn back together with dissolvable sutures. The skin around the belly button is often closed in a similar fashion but may have some sutures that will need to be removed in the office one to two weeks after surgery.

    Some patients may only have a small amount of excess skin below their belly button (umbilicus). These patients may qualify for a “Mini-Tummy Tuck”.  In this procedure, the belly button position does not change so no cuts are made around the belly button.  With the Mini-Tummy Tuck, the lower abdominal incision can often be reduced in length, therefore, leaving a shorter scar.  The abdominal wall muscles are not sutured closer together so patient’s that qualify for this type of abdominoplasty already have a tight abdominal wall and just have a little excess skin below their belly button.

    A more aggressive version of an abdominoplasty is a Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty.  This involves removing skin not only from the lower abdomen, but also from the mid abdomen.  The trade-off is an incision that travels from the just below your ribs at the midline to the lower abdominal incision.  Leaving a scar that looks like an upside down “T”.  The Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty is usually reserved for patients that have lost a significant amount of weight either by diet and exercise or with the assistants of weight loss surgery.  These patients not only have excess skin to the lower abdomen, but also have skin laxity in the flank (the sides of the abdomen).  As in the standard Tummy Tuck, the abdominal muscles are brought closure together with suture.  This plus the resection of skin down the midline, help to improve the contour of the mid torso.

    What Should I Expect After A Tummy Tuck?

    The procedure lasts two to four hours depending on the type of abdominoplasty performed.  The surgery is considered outpatient surgery and most patients go home the same day of surgery.  You will have drains to drain fluid from underneath the skin flaps and an abdominal binder.  Most of your sutures are under the skin and dissolvable and will not need to be taken out.  You will be limited in your activity after your surgery and will need to take some time off of work.

    The Chau Plastic Surgery Difference

    At Chau Plastic Surgery in Berkeley, Michigan, we strive to provide you with the best results.  We aim to not only make you look great in clothes, but also without clothes on.  We will take the time to discuss the best type of abdominoplasty that fits your body and your trouble spots.

    Call our office or contact us today for your tummy tuck consultation and let us help you reach your aesthetic goals.

    Detroit Tummy Tuck Surgery

    A Tummy Tuck, which is also referred to as an abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to provide an individual with a flatter abdomen. During this procedure, the surgeon removes excess skin and addresses any issues related to the rectus abdominis muscle. The rectus abdominis muscle is the paired muscle that is in the center of the abdomen. This is the muscle that can create the look of a six-pack. Men and women who are interested in attaining a flatter abdomen can schedule an appointment with one of the top surgeons at Chau Plastic Surgery to learn more about the abdominoplasty options available to them in the Metro Detroit Area.

    What Causes the Abdominal Changes That a Detroit Tummy Tuck Addresses?

    Weight gain and weight loss are frequently responsible for the changes seen in the abdominal area. For women, pregnancy also serves as one of the main factors related to abdominal changes.

    Individuals who were previously overweight may experience a loss of skin elasticity and diminished muscle tone. These abdominal characteristics are common in women who have gained and lost a significant amount of weight with multiple pregnancies.

    How pregnancy affects the abdominal area:

    During pregnancy, as the fetus grows within the womb, the abdominal area expands. This expansion causes the skin and the rectus abdominis muscle to become overstretched.

    Another issue affecting this paired muscle is separation (i.e., diastasis recti), which is a common occurrence during pregnancy. Unfortunately, these issues rarely resolve themselves, which is why many women choose to have an abdominoplasty once they have completed their families.

    With an abdominoplasty, the surgeons at Chau Plastic Surgery can address any excess skin. In addition, the surgeons will tighten an overstretched abdominal muscle and rejoin the rectus abdominis muscle if it has separated.

    Who Should Consider Having a Tummy Tuck in the Metro Detroit Area?

    This is an elective surgical procedure, which means it is not considered to be medically necessary, therefore, anyone who has lax abdominal skin, who is interested in slimming their midsection and having a more tone abdominal area may be good candidates for an abdominoplasty with one of the top surgeons at Chau Plastic Surgery, near Detroit.

    What Potential Abdominoplasty Patients Need to Know

    An abdominoplasty can improve an individual’s life because it may make the patient more satisfied with the way his or her body looks. However, an abdominoplasty cannot improve an individual’s overall physical health.

    An abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure or meant to be used as a replacement for healthy eating and exercise.

    Patients should expect to have some pre-operative tests done. These tests ensure that the patient can safely undergo an abdominoplasty. Blood tests usually include the checking of electrolyte levels and a complete blood count (CBC).

    Patients with pre-existing conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, etc.) may need to have additional tests prior to surgery. All pre-operative tests that the surgeon requests are done to ensure that the patient is healthy enough to safely undergo a surgical procedure.

    Types of Abdominoplasty Procedures Available in the Metro Detroit Area

    At Chau Plastic Surgery, patients have several abdominoplasty options available to them. The Traditional Tummy Tuck (aka Standard Tummy Tuck, abdominoplasty), a Mini-Tummy Tuck (aka mini abdominoplasty) and the Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck (aka Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty).

    A Traditional Abdominoplasty with a Top Surgeon in the Metro Detroit Area

    During a Traditional Tummy Tuck, the surgeon creates an incision that begins at one hip and continues to the other. This incision is created directly above the pubic bone, therefore, as long as the patient is wearing a swimsuit, trunks or any other undergarment that covers the area directly above the pubic bone, the resulting scar is hidden.

    Another incision is created around the patient’s navel (aka belly button, umbilicus). In order to preserve the navel, it is detached from the skin flap and moved upward before the surgeon pulls the excess skin downward.

    The surgeon lifts the skin and pulls it downward. The excess skin is removed.

    The patient’s navel is repositioned and secured to the newly tightened skin flap. Chau Plastic Surgery’s board-certified plastic surgeons will ensure that the repositioned navel looks natural. On rare occasions, an umbilicoplasty will be performed. An umbilicoplasty involves the creation of a new navel. This new navel is frequently referred to as ‘a designer belly button.’

    If the rectus abdominis muscle has separated, during this Tummy Tuck, the surgeon can use a suture to bring the muscle back together. Bringing this muscle back together reduces the waistline and gives the stomach a flatter appearance. This repair essentially provides the patient with an internal corset.

    Now, if any excess skin remains, it is removed before the surgeon uses dissolvable sutures to reunite the two edges of skin. The skin surrounding the designer navel is usually closed in a similar fashion, however, if the surgeon uses dissolving and traditional non-dissolving sutures, patients will need to return to Chau Plastic Surgery to have the traditional sutures removed a week or two after their Standard abdominoplasty.

    A Detroit Mini-Tummy Tuck

    Individuals who only have excess skin below their navel may be good candidates for a less-extensive procedure that is referred to as a Mini-Tummy Tuck.

    During this procedure, the position of the navel remains the same, therefore, the surgeon does not need to make any incisions around the umbilicus. Also, when a mini-abdominoplasty is performed, the incision created in the lower-abdominal region is typically much shorter than the one necessary for a traditional abdominoplasty. Furthermore, patients who qualify for this procedure do not require correction of a separated rectus abdominis muscle nor do they need the surgeon to tighten it.

    A Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck

    This type of abdominoplasty is more aggressive than its traditional counterpart and the mini-abdominoplasty procedure.

    During a Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty, the surgeon removes skin from the lower abdomen as well as from the mid abdomen. This procedure is designed for patients who have lost a great deal of weight due to bariatric surgery (aka weight-loss surgery) or through diet and exercise. These individuals have skin laxity in the sides of their abdomen as well in their lower abdomen. To address both issues, the surgeon must create two abdominal incisions. In addition, during a Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck the patient receives a designer navel.

    The incision used to remove skin from the mid abdomen travels from the midline area that is just beneath the ribs to the incision that is created above the pubic bone. This incision runs from one hip to the next. The Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty scar resembles an upside-down T.

    During the Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty, just like with the standard version, the surgeon uses a suture to bring the separated rectus abdominis muscle closer together. By addressing the excess skin in each side of the abdomen, and bringing the rectus abdominis muscle back together, the contour of the patient’s mid-torso area is greatly improved.

    A Belt Lipectomy (aka 360-Degree Tummy Tuck)

    If a patient has lost a significant amount of weight (more than 100 pounds), he or she may be a good candidate for a 360-degree tummy tuck (aka a Belt Lipectomy). During this procedure, an incision is created above the pelvic bone. It wraps around to the back (just above the buttocks), continuing to the opposite hip. With a Belt Lipectomy, the surgeon can perform an abdominoplasty and a lower body lift during the same surgical session.

    Preparing for a Detroit Tummy Tuck

    It is common for patients who are interested in having an abdominoplasty to take some time to consider all their options. Since it is best for a patient to be close to his or her ideal weight (within 10 to 15 pounds) before an abdominoplasty, some patients try to drop additional weight through diet and exercise before moving ahead with this procedure.

    To maximize the benefits achieved with an abdominoplasty, patients should remain at a relatively stable weight for six to 12 months before scheduling their surgery.

    Patients need to find someone they trust to drive them to and home from their surgery.

    After the procedure, the patient’s movement is limited, therefore, the surgeons at Chau Plastic Surgery recommend that their patients ask someone that they trust to stay with them for at least a few days to assist with everyday chores.

    Lifestyle Changes Patients Can Make Before Their Detroit Tummy Tuck

    Several weeks before surgery the doctor may want to discuss dietary issues with the patient. Patients who tend to diet excessively or who are prone to weight gain may want to create themselves a nutrition plan to follow. By ensuring that the body is receiving the proper nutrients and staying healthy before surgery, patients maximize the likelihood of an uneventful recovery.

    Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to heal itself, which increases the likelihood of a complication following surgery (e.g., infection, slow wound healing, etc.). In order to reduce the possibility of a post-surgical problem, patients who smoke need to stop smoking at least four weeks before surgery and four weeks after: Second-hand smoke and products containing nicotine that are designed to assist with smoking cessation must also be avoided.

    How Smoking Negatively Affects the Healing Process

    Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it causes narrowing of the blood vessels. This narrowing slows blood circulation, therefore, the wound that is attempting to heal is not receiving the nutrients and the oxygen it needs. This lack of oxygen to the wound could result in necrosis (i.e., tissue death). In addition, nicotine increases the risk of a patient developing thrombotic microvascular occlusion (i.e., blood clot formation inside a vessel).


    There are certain medications that need to be discontinued or adjusted prior to surgery. For example, patients who take blood thinners need to stop taking them a few days before their Tummy Tuck. Additionally, patients taking oral steroids or diabetes medication may need to adjust their dose a few days before surgery.

    For safety’s sake, patients should never take it upon themselves to discontinue or adjust their medications. Any changes must be approved by their surgeon or the prescribing doctor.

    The Day of Surgery

    The night before surgery patients must refrain from eating or drinking after midnight. This is to ensure the patient remains safe while he or she is asleep during the Tummy Tuck. Patients who take medication during the time when they are to be abstaining from food and drink need to speak with their surgeon about whether they should skip the dose or go ahead and take it with a sip of water. It is vital that patients understand and follow their surgeon’s instructions.

    Prior to surgery, patients change into a gown, therefore, just wear something comfortable to the hospital.

    During a Detroit Tummy Tuck, Patients Receive IV Sedation or General Anesthesia

    IV sedation (aka intravenous sedation, monitored anesthesia care [MAC], twilight anesthesia or twilight sedation) may be used for patients who are having a mini-abdominoplasty. When IV sedation is used, an anesthetic medication is injected into the intravenous line, which makes the patient sleepy.

    General anesthesia is used when a traditional abdominoplasty or a Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty is being performed. This anesthetic medication is also administered through the IV. This anesthesia is stronger than the twilight anesthesia used during a mini-abdominoplasty. General anesthesia causes the patient to fall into a deep sleep.

    What Patients Need to Bring on the Day of Surgery

    Some form of identification is required (e.g., driver’s license, state I.D., etc.). Although this is an elective procedure, patients should still bring their health insurance information with them on the day of their abdominoplasty as well as a method of payment. In addition, patients need to bring loose clothing to wear home after their Detroit Tummy Tuck. Loose clothing allows for easy access to the post-operative drain.

    An abdominoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure; therefore, patients typically go home on the same day that they have their abdominoplasty. Since the patient is not permitted to drive following surgery, he or she must bring a licensed driver to the hospital. For the safety of the patient, the surgeons at Chau Plastic Surgery do not permit their patients to use any type of hired transportation (e.g., Uber, etc.) or public transportation (e.g., a bus) following surgical procedures. Patients who arrive for their procedure without a driver will need to reschedule.

    The procedure itself can last anywhere from two to four hours. The length of time a patient spends in the operating room depends on the kind of abdominoplasty being performed.

    Checking-In for a Tummy Tuck in the Metro Detroit Area – Pre-Op Testing

    Once the patient arrives, he or she is checked in and, unless completed during the pre-op appointment, the consent forms are signed.

    The patient is taken to the pre-op area, where he or she will change into a hospital gown.

    The patient’s blood pressure, temperature, oxygen (O2) level, respiratory rate and pulse are checked.

    To ensure the patient does not have an infection or some other acute health problem, the surgeon may request that the patient have a few blood tests run (e.g., complete blood count and electrolyte levels) before beginning the procedure.

    Heading into the Operating Room

    After being transported to the operating room, an intravenous line is placed. In addition, patients may receive a catheter. A catheter allows the patient’s bladder to release urine (even while he or she is under general anesthesia).

    The patient’s vital signs (i.e., blood pressure, O2 level, pulse and respiratory rate) are continuously monitored during the procedure and for several hours thereafter.

    The surgical team places a drape around the patient’s abdomen. Once placed, the only areas that remain visible are the areas where the surgeon creates the Tummy Tuck incisions.

    The abdomen is cleansed with an antiseptic solution.

    Before making any of the incisions, the surgeon may measure and mark specific areas on the abdomen.

    The incisions used and whether a designer navel is created are determined by the type of abdominoplasty the patient has.

    Once the surgery is complete, the drains are placed and sterile dressings are applied. The drains help reduce inflammation by allowing the excess fluid beneath the flaps of skin to exit the body. The length of time the drains stay in place depends on which abdominoplasty procedure the patient has.

    A compression garment may be applied. This garment helps maintain the patient’s new body shape and provides support for the abdominal area.

    The anesthesia is either reversed (general anesthesia) or stopped (IV sedation).

    What Patients Can Expect After a Detroit Tummy Tuck

    The patient is transported to the post-operative area. Monitoring of his or her vital signs continues. When the patient is fully awake and stable, the nurse may collect urine from the catheter or ask the patient to try and urinate into a bedpan.

    Since it takes a few hours for the patient to be awake enough to stand up and walk around (with assistance), he or she will remain in the recovery area for some time.

    Before a patient is discharged to go home, the medical team makes sure that he or she can safely and comfortably walk, use the washroom and eat.

    Prior to heading home, the nurse shows the patient how to take care of the surgical wound and the drain.

    The patient receives a prescription for pain medication as well as tips for managing postoperative pain.

    Patients who take additional medications on a regular basis will be instructed as to when they can resume taking those medications.

    If a patient develops signs indicating there could be a complication (e.g., severe pain or a fever) while they are still in the recovery area, he or she may need to remain in the hospital as the issue causing the complication is evaluated and then treated.

    To remain as comfortable as possible throughout their recovery, Tummy Tuck patients need to take their prescribed pain medication as ordered, get plenty of rest and keep their follow-up appointments at Chau Plastic Surgery.

    During the follow-up appointments, the surgeon examines the drain and the wound to ensure everything is healing properly. If the drain is no longer necessary, it is removed and the area is closed.

    If there are non-absorbable stitches in place, once the wound has healed, the surgeon will remove them.
    Once recovery is complete, patients do not require any long-term treatment.

    Some patients would like to have the scar that results from an abdominoplasty revised so that it is less noticeable. This is possible. Patients should speak with their surgeon about a future scar revision procedure.

    Post Detroit Tummy Tuck Lifestyle Changes

    Gaining weight can reverse the abdominoplasty results. Therefore, patients need to eat healthy and implement an exercise routine to avoid gaining weight after this procedure.


    Patients with a high risk of surgical complications are not good candidates for an abdominoplasty in Detroit.

    These patients include those who have:

    • Bleeding disorders (e.g., hemophilia, etc.).
    • Major chronic illnesses (e.g., heart disease, etc.).
    • Immunodeficiency disorders (e.g., leukemia, etc.).

    Postponing surgery is required if a patient is experiencing a major infection or kidney disease has been detected. The surgery will be postponed until these issues are under control. At Chau Plastic Surgery, patient safety always comes first.

    Individuals who plan on losing more weight or gaining weight and women who intend to become pregnant should wait to have a Tummy Tuck because the body changes that occur under these circumstances can alter the cosmetic effects achieved with an abdominoplasty.

    When completely undressed, the post-surgical scar resulting from the abdominoplasty will be visible. However, this scar follows the natural crease running along the lower abdomen and pelvic bone. Individuals who are concerned about this scar should talk with their surgeon about the possibly of scar revision at some point after the abdominoplasty incisions have fully healed.

    Possible Risks and Complications of a Detroit Tummy Tuck

    Typically, outcomes are good and most patients are happy with their results. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are risks and potential complications to consider before having an abdominoplasty. One of the best ways to prevent complications and reduce risks is to choose an experienced plastic surgeon to perform the abdominoplasty.

    Some potential complications and risks include:

    • The usual risks associated with surgical procedures (e.g., reaction to anesthesia, allergies to products used during surgery, etc.).
    • Results that look different than what the patient anticipated.
    • Health complications resulting from the procedure (e.g., an infection, etc.).
    • An asymmetrical abdominal area.
    • Slow healing of the wound.
    • Skin discoloration at the incision site.
    • Severe scarring.
    • Pain or numbness in the surgical area.
    • Unsatisfying results.
    • Loose skin.

    Other Procedures Patients Combine with a Detroit Tummy Tuck

    Liposuction is frequently added to the abdominoplasty procedure because the surgeon removes fat without surgically remodeling the muscle or the skin. Furthermore, liposuction is not limited to the abdomen, which means other areas of the body can be addressed at the same time.
    A body lift can be used to improve the shape and tone of the patient’s body. A body lift can be performed to address the buttocks, abdomen and thighs (i.e., inner, outer, or posterior). When the abdominal area is addressed, the sides and lower back are also treated.

    How Much Does an Abdominoplasty in the Metro Detroit Area Cost?

    A consultation is required to determine how much a procedure will cost. To schedule an appointment with one of the experienced surgeons call (248) 799-2880.

    Will Insurance Pay for an Abdominoplasty?

    Since this is a cosmetic procedure, insurance will not cover it.

    If you are in the Metro Detroit Area, or will be visiting the area, and you are looking for a procedure to address your abdominal area, a Tummy Tuck may be right for you. Contact Chau Plastic Surgery today at (248) 799-2880 to schedule your initial consultation. If you would prefer to request a consultation online, please click here. Chau Plastic Surgery is located at 27901 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100, Berkley, Michigan.


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