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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. 

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“I am three months post-op from my abdominoplasty and I couldn’t be happier with my results. Best decision I ever made! I got my confidence back after having two kids back to back. Everything about the process from consultation through post-operation was very well thought out and organized. Dr. Rocheford is approachable, kind, answered all my questions, and made me comfortable right away during my consultation. Day of my surgery her and her team again made me feel calm and it almost felt like a spa day! Everyone is so friendly, warm, and welcoming. I can’t emphasize enough how highly I recommend Dr. Rocheford and her team. I know I will definitely be going back for anything I may want/need in the future!”

“Dr. Rocheford and her team are the best of the best. The results of my breast lift and reduction surgery are better than I ever hoped. I love how I look, the way clothes fit, and freedom from the weight and strain on my upper body that I lived with way too long. Every detail from pre-op, to surgery day to post op care went smoothly. Any questions I had along the way were answered promptly. I felt safe, well cared for and that I was valued, listened to and the entire team was working to see that I had a good outcome. Dr. Rocheford succeeded brilliantly in giving me that good outcome. My life is better, from both a physical and emotional standpoint. I highly recommend Dr. Rocheford as a plastic surgeon, but also for the excellence of every aspect of her practice.”

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Cost of Tummy Tuck 

Tummy Tuck: $11,200

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. 

Heather Rocheford, MD


There are so many fads and false promises out there. It’s almost impossible to make a confident decision without trusted advice, and that’s what I’m here for. My goal is to help you understand what is right for you – based on your unique situation.

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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.  

Schedule a Consultation 

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. 

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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. 

Patient Resources

Whether a new or returning patient, we have plenty of resources to either help you get started or learn more about the procedure process. From patient forms to blogs, we have all the resources you’ll need to prepare yourself for your appointment.

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