Tummy Tuck in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is done to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen, as well as tighten weakened abdominal muscles. This procedure can help to form a tighter, flatter abdominal profile. This procedure can be performed alone or in conjunction with another procedure to comprehensively address the contour of the body. The following information will review all aspects of the procedure including the cost, procedure details, and discuss who is an ideal candidate.

Cost of Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck $8,400


This includes your surgical fee and all follow-up visits with Dr. Rocheford. This estimate also includes the facility fee and anesthesia costs. This is an estimate and may be different depending on your specific situation. It does not include the cost of your pre-operative physical, lab tests, or medications. Dr. Rocheford does charge $100 for consultations, and that fee is deducted from the price of your surgery or in-office procedure.

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Details of Tummy Tuck Surgery

The key to a successful outcome is full transparency. The following information is the full breakdown of the procedure:

  • The Surgery – The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and usually takes 2 – 3 hours.
  • Discomfort – The level of discomfort to expect will be approximately moderate to severe. Patients should anticipate 3 – 14 days of pain medication.
  • Bruising – Bruising is not a typical side effect of the procedure unless combined with liposuction.
  • Swelling – Swelling post-procedure typically peaks at 3 days, improves in 2 – 4 weeks, but may take 3 months to fully resolve.
  • Bandages – Patients will have bandages changed the day after surgery.
  • Stitches – For a tummy tuck, Dr. Rocheford uses internal stitches that dissolve on their own.
  • Drains – Drains will be placed to prevent fluid collections, also known as seromas. The tubes are plastic and are connected to small reservoirs the size of a lemon. You will need to empty them several times daily. Drains are removed between 2 and 3 weeks following surgery.
  • Support Garments – An abdominal binder will be placed on you at the time of surgery and will be worn full time for the first six weeks post-operation.
  • Work – You may return to work when you are done taking prescription pain medication. Use of medication is usually completed in 1 – 2 weeks. If your job requires manual lifting or labor, it’s best to wait 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Sun Exposure – For optimal healing and minimally visible scars, it is vital to protect the surgical site from the sun with sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher for one year.
  • Exercise – Patients can expect to resume gentle walking in 2 weeks. However, for weights and more vigorous exercise, 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Final Result – Following scar maturation, patients can begin to enjoy the full results in about one year. This includes the reduction of swelling, scar visibility, and lessening of any discomfort.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Good candidates for a tummy tuck are those who are non-smokers and who are physically healthy. Patients who are bothered with the appearance of their abdomen and who have realistic expectations can often benefit the most from this procedure. A consultation with Dr. Rocheford can help to decide whether this procedure is a good match for you. “Working with Dr. Rocheford was the best experience I have had working with a doctor. She was personable and professional. I can’t say enough good things about her and her staff. They were all wonderful to work with! I couldn’t be happier with the results! I highly recommend Dr. Rocheford!” Read More Stories

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia. It involves a horizontal scar between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The length of these incisions will depend on the amount of excess skin being removed. The abdominal skin is then lifted, and the underlying abdominal muscles are tightened. In some cases, a second incision around the belly button may be needed to remove extra skin on the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is then pulled down, excess skin removed, and the remaining skin sutured together. A tummy tuck is performed through an incision on the lower abdomen just at the pubic line. The skin and fatty tissue will be lifted up away from the abdominal muscles up to the level of the breasts. Sutures are used to bring the muscles back together which will flatten your stomach and cinch your waist. Once the muscle repair is complete, the extra skin and tissue are removed and the incision is closed with internal dissolving stitches. The belly button is brought out through new skin and stitched into place.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Following surgery, drains will be placed to collect any excess fluid that may build up.  Swelling and discomfort may occur but can be controlled with medication and compression garments. The compression garment should be worn for six weeks to promote optimal healing. Most patients can return to work in one to two weeks, with final results becoming apparent in one year. If you’re ready to discuss your tummy tuck options, now is a great time to schedule your tummy tuck consultation in Minneapolis-St. Paul with Dr. Heather Rocheford at our plastic surgery offices, serving the Twin Cities Metro area including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Woodbury, and beyond. Simply request a consultation online or call Rocheford Plastic Surgery at 651-739-1100 today to schedule your appointment.

Tummy Tuck FAQ’s

What is a tummy tuck?

Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck in Minneapolis-St. Paul removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include pregnancy, aging significant fluctuations in weight, genetics, and prior surgery.

What to expect during your consultation?

The success and safety of your Minneapolis-St. Paul tummy tuck procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle. Be prepared to discuss why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome, medical conditions and drug allergies, use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, and previous surgeries. Dr. Rocheford may also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors and take photographs for your medical record.

What happens during tummy tuck surgery?

First, medications are administered for your comfort during surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Rocheford will recommend the best choice for you. A full tummy tuck in Minneapolis-St. Paul requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured and excess fat, tissue, and skin are removed. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips close the incisions.

Are tummy tucks dangerous?

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Heather Rocheford, tummy tuck surgeries are safe and effective.

Can I walk after tummy tuck?

Dr. Rocheford will give you specific instructions for your unique surgical plan, but typically patients are encouraged to walk around starting a few days after the procedure to encourage circulation.

Can you get a tummy tuck if youre obese?

Most plastic surgery procedures, including a tummy tuck, are best suited for people who have a body mass index of below 30.

Do you get a scar from a tummy tuck?

The scar from tummy tuck surgery extends from hip to hip and can be easily concealed in underwear and bathing suits.

Do men get tummy tuck?

Yes, tummy tucks are becoming increasingly popular for men who want to remove excess skin following weight loss to achieve a firmer abdomen.

How much weight can you lose having a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck. Also, a tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised, generally those treated areas below the belly button.

How should I prepare for tummy tuck surgery?

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking well in advance of surgery, and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery, the use of anesthesia during your tummy tuck, and post-operative care and follow-up.

What are the risks of abdominoplasty?

The decision to have tummy tuck surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals as well as if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Dr. Rocheford and her staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications. Possible risks of abdominoplasty include, but are not limited to, unfavorable scarring, bleeding (hematoma), infection, fluid accumulation, numbness or other changes in skin sensation, anesthesia risks, and the possibility of revisional surgery

Is a tummy tuck right for me?

Tummy tuck surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. An abdominoplasty is a good option for you if you are physically healthy and at a stable weight, have realistic expectations, are a non-smoker, and are bothered by the feeling that your tummy is too large.

What should I expect from tummy tuck recovery?

Following your surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. You may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your abdomen as it heals. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with Dr. Rocheford. Be sure to ask Dr. Rocheford specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

What should I ask during my tummy tuck consultation?

Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation: Am I a good candidate for this procedure? What will be expected of me to get the best results? Where and how will you perform my procedure? What surgical technique is recommended for me? How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery? What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure? How are complications handled? What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my tummy tuck?

Can you get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

While a tummy tuck will not affect your ability to get pregnant, it is generally recommended you wait until after childbearing to have your procedure. This is to ensure your results last as long as possible without being impacted by the growth process of pregnancy.

Which is better: liposuction or tummy tuck?

There is no one-size-fits-all with plastic surgery, so there is no straight answer on which procedure is better. Liposuction focuses more on excess fat whereas a tummy tuck focuses on excess skin. It ultimately depends on the individual and Dr. Rocheford’s expert opinion.

Is it safe to combine a tummy tuck with other procedures?

For healthy candidates, a tummy tuck can be combined with another procedure. Most commonly, tummy tucks are performed in combination with liposuction or a breast procedure. Combination procedures may lead to longer recovery time, so the patient must be prepared.

How do you prepare for a tummy tuck?

When preparing for abdominoplasty, you need to stop smoking as soon as possible. Consult Dr. Rocheford about all your current medications. Make sure you have someone ready to care for you during recovery and make sure to take time off work in order to heal without complications.

How many sizes do you drop with a tummy tuck?

Tummy tucks are not a weight loss treatment option and should not be used as such. Candidates for the tummy tuck should already be around their target weight. That being said, abdominoplasties remove excess skin thereby reducing your weight by one to two pant sizes.


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Meet Dr. Rocheford

A board-certified plastic surgeon in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dr. Heather Rocheford provides a full spectrum of surgical and non-surgical procedures. Request a private consultation to learn how she can customize treatments to your exact needs. Request Consultation