Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Plus Size Tummy Tuck Michigan

You’re here because you want a tummy tuck. You’ve done your research, and you know that a tummy tuck can help you feel more confident and look more attractive.

But you also know that there are many different things to consider when it comes to getting plastic surgery, especially for the first time. This is why we’ve put together this guide to help answer any questions you might have about what to expect from your tummy tuck.

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about getting a tummy tuck:

How much does it cost?

What happens during surgery?

How long does recovery take?

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Plus Size Tummy Tuck Michigan

before and after photos of woman's stomach showing vast improvement in skin tightness after tummy tuck
before and after photos of woman's stomach showing vast improvement in skin tightness after tummy tuck

*Individual results may vary Shannon Armstrong, M.D., William Cullen, M.D., and Matthew Martin, M.D. of Elite Plastic Surgery are board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in abdominoplasty. Our surgeons offer a solution to excess abdominal skin for women in the Grand Rapids and Byron Center areas of Michigan.

What Is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is the single best surgical procedure for the removal of excess abdominal skin and tissue that diet and exercise alone can’t address.  As an added benefit, an abdominoplasty may also include surgical tightening of the abdominal muscles that are commonly separated as result of pregnancy or fluctuations in weight—a condition known as rectus diastasis.

Close up of woman pinching her belly fat with white background

Common reasons for patients wanting to discuss the benefits of a Tummy Tuck in Grand Rapids, MI include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Sagging or excess skin
  • Previous surgeries
  • Excessive weight-loss
  • Hereditary

What Can an Abdominoplasty Treat?

Close up of woman pinching her belly fat with white background

Whereas liposuction can only remove fat cells, a tummy tuck can remove fat and excess skin. It also usually tightens stomach muscles that have either become stretched or have even separated in the center of the stomach area.

Tummy tucks are especially good at reversing the changes made by the localized weight gain of pregnancy. Because the weight gain and stretching is so localized, the skin can become stretched to the point that it cannot tighten back down after delivery. A tummy tuck removes this overly stretched skin and achieves a slim contour again.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a great procedure if you have excess skin that has stretched due to weight gain and loss, especially due to pregnancy. In some cases of pregnancy, the muscles of the lower abdomen can actually separate and they cannot return to their former position. This creates a noticeable sagging and permanent pooch in the lower abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles. This surgery slims the contour both vertically and on the flanks.

However, if you mainly have pockets of fat and not stretched, sagging skin, liposuction can be a better option. Liposuction can remove the fat and your skin can tighten back down to a slimmer contour. But your skin still needs good elasticity for this to be a better option. In many tummy tuck procedures at Elite, we combine some liposuction with the tuck.

It’s important to note that a tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure. This procedure is meant for patients who are near their ideal body weight, but who are bothered by excess skin and sagging in their abdomen.

How Should I Prepare for a Tummy Tuck?

Before undergoing a tummy tuck in Grand Rapids, MI, patients receive detailed instructions that enable them to have the best possible experience and outcome.

  • Patients who smoke will need to quit at least two weeks before surgery. They will also need to refrain from smoking for at least two weeks after surgery. Cutting down on smoking is not sufficient. To adequately manage surgical risks and limit the chances of postoperative complications, it is necessary to stop smoking altogether for the recommended time.
  • To support optimal healing after a tummy tuck, patients are advised to avoid severe diets beforehand. The best diet for surgical patients is one that includes an abundance of fresh, nutrient-dense vegetables and lean proteins.
  • During the consultation for surgery, patients must talk to their healthcare team about all medications, prescription or otherwise, supplements, and herbs they are taking.
  • Before surgery, patients should fill prescriptions and gather supplies such as petroleum jelly, a bathroom chair, hand-held showerhead, ice packs, and other recommended items.
  • A reliable adult needs to bring the patient to their surgical procedure and remain nearby to take the patient home.
  • In-home care should be arranged well in advance of surgery, as well as childcare and pet care.

How is a Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?

Surgery is on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and generally takes 2 to 3 hours. While all tummy tuck surgery require an incision, the length of the incision is variable. This depends on the amount of skin that we will need to remove. In general, the incisions from the procedure hide well within swimsuit lines. In many instances an additional incision made around the navel will allow your surgeon to reposition the navel to achieve a more youthful, aesthetically optimal result while excising more redundant skin.

Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Painful?

There is a recovery period after this procedure, and there will be some discomfort. This is due to the length of the incision with a tummy tuck. This incision usually stretches from hipbone to hipbone. Plus, in a full tummy tuck, another incision will be made around the belly button to tighten the skin above the navel. While the surgery, of course, is not painful thanks to anesthetic, your recovery will take some time.

What Are Possible Tummy Tuck Risks?

Complications following tummy tuck surgery are exceedingly rare, but your Elite plastic surgeon will inform you of these risks at the time of your preoperative consultation. Your result should be very long lasting, barring any dramatic fluctuations in weight.

What is Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?

close up of woman's upper thighs and midsection as she lifts her shirt up and holds other hand to side

You need to expect a recovery period with a tummy tuck, due to the size of the incisions and cutting and repairing the abdominal muscles. There will be some pain, but the amount varies by the individual. You’ll be encouraged to walk after your surgery and should take a short walk three or four times a day for just a few minutes each time. You’ll have to walk a little hunched over and the skin of your abdomen may feel tight.

If you have drains, they will be removed anywhere from four days to two weeks after your surgery. You’ll wear a compression garment to help your skin adapt to its new slimmer contour and to help with swelling. Most patients can return to work two weeks after their surgery, but this is an individual thing — it may take longer. If your job involves any lifting or being on your feet all day long, you may need more time. Any strenuous exercise or lifting will have to wait for at least six weeks.

How Much Does Tummy Tuck Surgery Cost?

Tummy tuck surgery may be performed as an independent procedure or in combination with other techniques. For example, abdominoplasty is often one aspect of a total Mommy Makeover, which also includes breast procedures. Many people who undergo a tummy tuck also include liposuction in their surgery to achieve the best outcome possible. These factors, as well as how a patient decides to recover (in-home or aftercare facility) influence the total cost of care. These factors can cause variations in cost from one patient to another. The best way to determine tummy tuck cost is to consult with a plastic surgeon. Discussion in the surgeon’s office can also explore financing options to facilitate prompt and efficient care.

How Soon Can I Return to Normal Activities After a Tummy Tuck?

Because the large incision involved with a tummy tuck, patients need to be patient with their recovery. It’s important not to strain the incision by applying pressure to the abdomen. You’ll be able to walk after your surgery (it’s important to get the healing process started), but this is only for short lengths and you’ll be bent over a bit. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to get back to work if you have a desk job, and you’ll be able to walk normally by then. Most patients can return to driving in two weeks or so. Your Elite surgeon will discuss your individual goals for returning to normal activities and exercise. Don’t expect to return to strenuous exercise or any lifting for at least six weeks, however.

Should I Have a Tummy Tuck If I Plan On Losing Weight?

close up pf woman stepping on scale

Because a tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and tightening loose underlying muscles, you should wait if you plan on losing more than 10 percent of your current weight. This is because losing weight (in addition to the weight you’ve already lost that created the sagging skin) will create more looseness. It’s a good idea to be at a long-term weight goal before having this surgery.

Is an Abdominoplasty Good For Weight Loss?

This is not a weight-loss procedure. In fact, we require our patients to usually be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight before considering a tummy tuck. This is not to be confused with weight-loss procedures such as gastro bypass surgery.

Can I combine tummy tuck surgery with other procedures?

You may have heard the term mommy makeover before. It is a combination of a tummy tuck with liposuction and a breast lift. While this creates a serious recovery, these procedures can be combined. With most tummy tucks at Elite Plastic Surgery, we include some degree of liposuction to remove unwanted fat.

Does Tummy Tuck Surgery leave a scar?

After their Tummy Tuck in Grand Rapids, MI, patients should expect to have a scar. However, there are strategies to reduce the visibility of the scar as it continues to heal. Wearing sunscreen and applying vitamin E oil or silicone sheets to the scar may help. These steps should only be taken once incisions have fully healed. Talking to the surgeon about concerns related to scarring opens the doors for meaningful discussion about when scar treatment may begin and what it can involve.

How Long Will My Abdominoplasty Results Last?

Tummy tuck results are considered permanent because the tissue that is trimmed and tightened will not naturally stretch out again. If liposuction is performed, the body will not grow new fat cells to replace those that have been removed. To enjoy long-lasting results from tummy tuck surgery, patients are advised to maintain a healthy weight and to exercise regularly to tone abdominal muscles.

What is Abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, is a surgical body sculpting technique that eliminates fat and skin while tightening the abdominal muscles to produce a firm, contoured stomach. The stomach is a common problem area for men and women of all ages, even those with strict diet and exercise routines. These problems can be worsened by pregnancy or the natural aging process. If you’ve developed stubborn fat or sagging skin in the abdominal region, a tummy tuck can help you achieve a sculpted appearance. As a result, you can enjoy enhanced muscle definition and improved confidence.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

At Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD, we take a personalized approach to every tummy tuck procedure. This means that the cost of your treatment will depend on variables such as your personal preferences and unique cosmetic goals. As a result, we cannot provide you with the exact cost of treatment until you visit us in-office for a consultation. If you are concerned about the cost of your treatment, we are proud to offer plastic surgery financing to help make our treatments more affordable. In addition, we offer CosmetAssure insurance with every cosmetic surgery, so you can go into your treatment with confidence and peace of mind.

What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck serves the same purpose as a traditional tummy tuck, but utilizes smaller incisions and addresses a smaller area of the stomach. A mini tummy tuck requires a shorter recovery period and results in less scarring, so it may be ideal for patients looking for a less-invasive treatment. The mini tummy tuck only targets the area of the stomach below the belly button, so it is best suited for patients looking to address stubborn fat instead of overall muscle definition.

What is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Like?

The tummy tuck procedure is performed with general anesthesia in order to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the procedure. During the procedure, incisions will be made in the belly button and along the pubic hairline. Through these incisions, we will remove excess skin and fat to produce a firm appearance. We will also tighten the abdominal muscles to enhance muscle definition and further enhance the contours of the stomach. After the desired results are achieved, we will close the incisions, completing the treatment.

What is Recovery Like Following a Tummy Tuck?

After a tummy tuck, you can expect varying bruising and swelling around the treatment area. We will apply drains to the treatment area, which allow fluids to escape the treatment area for a smooth recovery. You may have to take two weeks or more off of work and other activities in order to heal and allow these effects to subside. You will have to avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise, for at least a month after treatment in order to ensure proper recovery, and swelling may persist during this time.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Tummy Tuck?

The tummy tuck procedure removes fat and skin from the body, producing results that can be permanent if well-cared for. Patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy diet and exercise habits to ensure that their results last as long as possible, as weight gain can affect these results.

Plus Size Tummy Tuck Miami

For women and men, a tummy tuck for plus size individuals is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to get rid of excessive fat, skin, and tissue in order to tighten abdominal muscles. The cyclic gain and loss of weight can result in a lot of loose skin in the waistline area, as well as a large sagging midsection that is not in proportion with the rest of your body. Over the years, many men and women who needed an overweight or extreme tummy tuck to achieve their desired cosmetic goals were turned away for being plus size or overweight. However, it’s now possible to reap the benefits of this procedure thanks to advances in plus size plastic surgery. 

Dr. LaBarbera, Gilbert plastic surgeon, has helped countless overweight patients achieve a slimmer and firmer abdominal profile for tummy tuck on obese patients. For many of Dr. LaBarbera’s patients, this procedure does a lot more than just improve the appearance. It also restores muscle strength, reduces midsection weight, repairs abdominal muscles and stabilizes the back. Dr. LaBarbera will carefully examine each one of his high BMI clients and come up with an individualized treatment plan to achieve the desired results. 

Benefits of an overweight tummy tuck 

A plus-size abdominoplasty can be life-changing. A tummy tuck on overweight patients offers multiple benefits such as:

  • Clothing that fits better
  • Flatter, smaller tummy 
  • Exercising tends to be easier after healing 
  • More comfort in your clothing
  • Increase self-confidence 
  • Tighter tummy muscles and a trim figure 
  • No more hanging skin folds or chafing 

Ideal Candidates and BMI requirements for Tummy Tucks on Plus Sized People 

Individuals who have lost a lot of weight make up the majority of extreme, overweight tummy tuck patients. You might be an ideal procedure for a large, obese tummy tuck if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are physically and emotionally healthy 
  • It is medically safe for you to undergo elective surgery 
  • You are anatomically a good candidate 
  • You are neither pregnant nor planning to get pregnant
  • High BMI but typically limiting at 42 Body Mass Index  

If you are suffering from asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, then you may not be a proper candidate for any type of elective surgery. Dr. LaBarbera is double board-certified as well as a plus size plastic surgeon with intense experience helping high BMI clients achieve their cosmetic goals with abdominoplasty surgery. Dr. LaBarbera will carefully examine each one of his higher BMI patients, typically with a limit of BMI 42, and come up with an individualized treatment plan to achieve the desired results. During your initial consultation at his office, he will conduct an evaluation and let you know whether you’re a suitable candidate for this procedure. 

Dr. LaBarbera’s Plus Size Surgical Approach 

During the plus size abdominoplasty, the surgeon will make an incision very low over the pubic bone, from hip bone to hip bone. This allows for the resulting scar to be concealed underneath underwear or bathing suits. In some cases, an incision may be made vertically around the navel. Once an incision has been made, the surgeon may then use liposuction to contour the abdomen. The abdominal muscles will be sutured together in order to restore strength to this area, and any excess skin removed to get rid of stretch marks. A very important aspect of the surgery is to reposition the belly button that needs to be moved to a natural-looking position. Dr. LaBarbera utilizes the latest modern surgical techniques to minimize scarring and at the same time ensure optimal results from the treatment. 

Overweight Tummy Tuck Recovery 

Following a full or mini tummy tuck procedure for overweight individuals, patients should set aside a minimum of two weeks off of work and other daily activities. Any form of exercise should be avoided for at least 4 weeks, and individuals who do have physically demanding jobs will need to contact Dr. LaBarbera for an estimate of how much time to arrange for recovery. 

The recovery phase rolls out much easier when patients make prior arrangements. Any form of movement will be difficult since abdominal muscles tend to be sore over the first few weeks. Patients who have small children should seek full-time assistance over the first few weeks. It’ll also be hard to lift anything that is heavier than a couple of pounds immediately after the procedure. Your initial plus size abdominoplasty consultation is a great opportunity to pose whatever questions you may have about the surgery or the recovery process. 

The Cost of Tummy Tucks for Plus Size Patients

The cost of a tummy tuck on plus size individuals varies depending on the specifics of the procedure. Dr. LaBarbera performs plus-size Abdominoplasty as an outpatient procedure. During your first visit to Jude LaBarbera MD Plastic Surgery, he will listen to your concerns and offer recommendations to help achieve your image goals. This initial visit is the best time to ask any questions that you may have about this particular procedure. Patients should make prior plans for an uninterrupted recovery period.

Locations: Where to get Tummy Tuck Surgery Plus Size

Many plus size women and men travel from all over the United States to Arizona in search of the best plus size plastic surgeon. Dr. LaBarbera is regularly sought out from patients from Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Glendale AZ. Many patients are in search for the best surgeon for tummy tucks on plus sized women and men from Miami, Georgia, Texas, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Georgia, Los Angeles , California, and beyond. Our office is delighted to help overweight individuals get the high BMI surgical procedures they need to help them live a happy life.


Patients do not have to lose weight to get a tummy tuck, however patients are always encouraged to be at their ideal weight before abdominoplasty. Because some patients cannot seem to get at their ideal BMI for the abdominoplasty, the high BMI tummy tuck is an option for plus sized women (and men), who will need liposuction in tandem with their tummy tuck.


This is a plus size plastic surgery procedure that is combined with liposuction and designed to flatten, tighten, and reshape the tummy as well as the waist for high BMI individuals who are overweight from 150lbs to 200lbs. The BMI of 42 is about the highest their BMI should be to undergo a tummy tuck.


Patients who have excessive fat but not too much loose skin tend to be better candidates for oversized abdominoplasty. Dr. LaBarbera is able to create an individualized treatment plan that works for every patient no matter how large they are. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform the procedure in two stages.  


Whether you’re looking for a large tummy tuck at 150 pounds, 220 pounds, or even 250 pounds, Dr. LaBarbera can help you attain the desired results. Plus-sized abdominoplasties have become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for post-pregnancy women, as well as men and women who have a high body mass index. No matter how oversize you consider yourself to be, the surgeon will conduct a thorough evaluation and discuss an appropriate surgical plan for removing hanging skin, abdominal fat, as well as tightening and strengthening abdominal muscles.

When people ask me how much a plus size tummy tuck cost is, I tell them that it depends first on your weight (and what we are calling “plus size”). Most doctors would not recommend a full tummy tuck for anyone who is 70 lbs overweight. If you are obese and not able to get the weight off, or if you are only 30-50 lbs overweight and the fat will come off through diet and exercise– we can do a plus size mini tummy tuck at our office.

My name is Dr. K, and I get asked about plus size tummy tuck procedures a lot.

As a board certified plastic surgeon, I have extensive experience helping women like yourself have the body of their dreams. But before we talk about anything else, you need to know that there are no guarantees when it comes to surgery; any surgical procedure carries risk and some degree of discomfort. However, with proper planning—and by understanding your options—you can make the best decision for yourself during this exciting time in your life!

Where you can get a tummy tuck procedure done

I perform my surgeries at an accredited hospital where they have excellent facilities and highly trained surgeons on staff to assist me if needed during your surgery (a “team approach”). The hospital also provides post-operative follow up care if needed after discharge from the hospital after surgery. This makes everything much easier on both us because there is only one place we need go when we need medical care after surgery rather than having multiple offices or locations all over town which might cause confusion later down the road when trying find someone who specializes in treating people who’ve had cosmetic procedures done such as tummy tucks–which means less hassle overall! Plus being able to do everything under one roof means fewer visits overall which saves money too–not just time!

When people ask me how much a plus size tummy tuck cost is, I tell them that it depends first on your weight (and what we are calling “plus size”). The more you weigh, the more skin and fat there is to remove. Also, we have different quotes for different types of procedures-for example if you want liposuction or an arm lift added on as well as abdominoplasty then there will be an additional charge for those procedures.

Most doctors would not recommend a full tummy tuck for anyone who is 70 lbs overweight. The main reason is that it’s difficult to repair loose skin in patients who are this heavy and they often don’t look as good after surgery. If you are more than 50 lbs overweight, then you may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck instead of having your entire abdomen repaired.

If you have lost enough weight to lose at least 30 lbs before the surgery, then there is a chance that your doctor can perform an abdominoplasty on you (also known as liposuction). Liposuction removes fat from areas such as your thighs and hips which will help give shape back to your body without having to do any additional cutting or sewing up of loose skin on the front of your body.

If you are obese and not able to get the weight off, or if you are only 30-50 lbs overweight and the fat will come off through diet and exercise– we can do a plus size mini tummy tuck at our office.

Plus size mini tummy tuck is not the same as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). It is a procedure that can be done in the office with local anesthesia. The incision will be about 1 inch long just above your pubic area, so it does leave a little scarring but much less than for an abdominalplasty (tummy tuck). If there are skin issues like stretch marks or sagging from previous pregnancies; this procedure would be combined with other procedures such as fat grafting, liposuction etc.

A plus size mini tummy tuck is an effective procedure that addresses the lower abdomen only. Again, diet and exercise can make all the difference in your recovery time and results.

A mini tummy tuck is a great option for women who are overweight and want to address their lower abdomen only. If you are not able to lose weight, then this procedure may be right for you as well.

However, if you are obese or morbidly obese and do not have the ability to lose weight, a full tummy tuck is probably indicated at this time. In addition, your surgeon will need to closely examine the condition of your abdominal muscles before making a recommendation about which procedure is best for you.

I hope this answered some of your questions about the cost of a plus size mini tummy tuck. Again, we are here to help and answer any other questions that you may have about this procedure. For more information on our procedures and prices, please contact us today!

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