Tummy Tuck: All You Should Know | The Plastic Surgery Clinic
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Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Quick Look

"Worth It" Rating

97% say it's "worth it"

Surgery Length

2 Hours



Discomfort Factor


Synopsis of Surgery

A “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.


4-6 weeks until resuming physical exercise.

2 weeks off from work/household duties.


General Anethesia

Alternative Names


Time, pregnancy, dramatic weight loss, or many other factors may have contributed to your inability to achieve the flat tummy you’ve always dreamed about. No matter what the cause, with a tummy tuck performed by Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin, you can finally have the look you desire.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. While a tummy tuck is very effective at producing a flat tummy, it can result in a significant scar, possibly extending from hip to hip.

A complete tummy tuck usually takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required by each tummy tuck patient. A mini-tummy tuck may take an hour or two.

Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With mini-tummy tuck, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved.

Next, the plastic surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. The surgeon then tightens these muscles by pulling them closer together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.

In a mini-tummy tuck, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.


Experience and Innovation to Improve Patient Outcomes

At the Plastic Surgery Clinic we perform approximately 200 to 300 tummy tuck procedures per year. This makes Dr. Lista one of the most experienced tummy tuck surgeons in Ontario, Canada. The main philosophy of Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin is to achieve a soft and natural look for all our tummy tuck patients, and to perform the operation as safely as possible.

In order to meet that objective, plastic surgery providers Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin are pleased to be pioneering a safer and more comfortable form of abdominoplasty known as a progressive tension abdominoplasty – a technique that eliminates the need for drains. Our no-drain tummy tuck surgeons use this advanced technique to maximize comfort and safety for patients during and after the abdominoplasty procedure.

The following images are presented for educational purposes only and should be interpreted subjectively. They do not represent the opinion or view of any patient regarding their result, and they are not intended to suggest the result that may be achieved by any other patient. The images are presented as factual guidelines and merely represent results that have been achieved by others. No two patients are alike and no two results are necessarily alike. Only a personal consultation with your surgeon can provide you with a reasonable expectation of the results you may achieve from any specific procedure.

Empower Yourself with Knowledge

If you are considering this life-changing surgery please explore the links on the left to learn more. If you have more questions about whether a tummy tuck in Toronto/Mississauga is for you, please contact us [email protected] to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.

The Operation

Your tummy tuck can be performed right on site in the state-of-the-art facilities of The Plastic Surgery Clinic. The clinic meets and even exceeds national, provincial and municipal health care facility standards in such important areas as equipment quality and infection control.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your surgery at one of the hospitals where our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin, enjoy privileges. These include the Mississauga site of the Trillium Health Centre, where Dr. Lista was Chief of Plastic Surgery, and the University Health Network, where Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin continue to provide their services.

No matter where you choose to have your surgery, there is always a surgeon on call to respond to your concerns. In addition, a board-certified anesthesiologist will administer your local or general anaesthetic, stay with you during the entire operation, and will be there as you wake up.

Tummy Tuck Procedure Diagram

Tummy Tuck Procedure Diagram

No-Drain Tummy Tuck

In older tummy tuck surgery techniques, the space between the skin and muscle was left open and unattached, providing a space where fluid could collect. As fluid collected, causing a seroma, the healing process would slow down, so surgeons would prevent this by inserting small tubes, or drains, to remove excess fluid an prevent swelling.

But living with a drain for several days, even weeks, after abdominoplasty is inconvenient and uncomfortable.

That’s why at the Plastic Surgery Clinic we have a developed a no-drain tummy tuck surgery. This new technique, called Progressive Tension Abdominoplasty, is a form of drainless tummy tuck that seals the space between the skin and muscle where fluid tends to accumulate. Using a special kind of internal stitch called the Quill suture, the skin and muscle are locked in place with the barbs of the suture.

This innovative use of the Quill suture is the first of its kind and it has revolutionized the way tummy tucks are performed. Above all, we are thrilled that our no-drain tummy tuck patients are more comfortable and heal faster than ever before.


Best Candidates for a Tummy Tuck

Best Candidates for a Tummy TuckThe best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity, which frequently occurs with weight loss or gain, can also be improved.

Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with an experienced tummy tuck surgeon such as Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.


Tummy Tuck After Significant Weight Loss

Many people who achieve significant weight loss find that, although they have made the transformation they have long desired, they are left with a considerable amount of excess loose skin, particularly around the abdominal area. Excess skin does not respond to lifestyle changes and is unable to shrink down to a smaller body shape once weight loss is achieved. Those who have undergone this kind of transformation often find that a tummy tuck can be used to correct the issue of excess skin so that they are able to fully enjoy the results of their weight loss efforts.

One recent patient at The Plastic Surgery Clinic came to see us after having lost 145 pounds through changes in diet and exercise. She was interested in a body contouring procedure for her abdominal area to correct the excess skin left behind by her incredible achievement. By performing a tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Lista was able to help this patient fully realize her transformation and enjoy the results of her inspiring accomplishment.

To learn more about her unique journey, read Dr. Lista’s blog post about her experience.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin are proud to have helped hundreds of tummy tuck patients realize their dreams of a flat, smooth stomach. Recognizing that many individuals feel apprehensive about undergoing abdominoplasty, our surgeons conduct personal consultations, during which time they explain to the patient exactly how abdominoplasty is performed and what results it helps achieve. The personalized approach relieves anxiety and helps Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin deliver highly satisfying results for all of our cosmetic surgery patients.

Your consultation will involve a physical examination, including a careful medical history, and a discussion about your goals with surgery. Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will spend as much time as you need to make sure both you and your surgeon know exactly what you want. It may not always be possible to meet all your expectations with surgery, so it is crucial that you understand what is a realistic outcome.

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will examine you to determine exactly what procedure, or combination of procedures will best help you meet your goals. If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a mini-tummy tuck, which is a less complex procedure that can often be performed on an outpatient basis. Or your surgeon may recommend having a tummy tuck in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips for a better overall body contour. Or liposuction alone may create the best result. Your surgeon will work with you to recommend the procedure that will help you come closest to achieving your desired body contour.

Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to prepare for surgery in order to achieve the best result, including guidelines on eating, drinking, and taking certain vitamins and medications. Smokers should plan to stop smoking for a minimum of one or two weeks before surgery and during recovery, as smoking decreases circulation and interferes with proper healing.

Recovery Following Tummy Tuck Surgery

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort that can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours or you may have to remain hospitalized for a day or two.

Your cosmetic surgeon will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. Even though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.

Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two to three weeks. You will need to wear a support garment over your abdomen and under your clothes for about 6 weeks.

It will take 3 to 6 weeks for you feel like your old self again. Some of our tummy tuck patients return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate. Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided for 6 weeks.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in colour. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.

No Pain with the Pain Relief Pump™

Pain after surgery is not only uncomfortable, it can also slow down the healing process. That’s why Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin take the time to anticipate abdominoplasty patients pain needs in advance, to help reduce the time it takes for you to get back on your feet.

Dr. Lista introduced the revolutionary Pain Relief Pump™ to ease the pain in the first 24 hours after surgery. This MP3-sized device is worn in a belt around the waist, with a hair-thin tube connecting it to the surgical site. Completely automatically, the device regularly delivers a long-acting local anesthetic into the wound.

The result is that patients feel absolutely no pain. That means that our patients do not usually need to take prescription pain medicines that can be associated with significant side effects such as nausea, vomiting and allergic reactions.

Cosmetic surgery patients at the Plastic Surgery Clinic now experience no pain, heal faster, feel happier, have less swelling and simply recover more quickly. The Pain Relief Pump™ has proven invaluable in plastic surgery patients and is almost exclusively available at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. We use the Pain Relief Pump™ with patients undergoing a wide range of the plastic surgery procedures we offer.

What Patients Say About the Pain-Relief Pump™:

“Dr Lista. I’ve had lots of surgery in the past but I’ve never had an operation that didn’t hurt at all. The pain pump was amazing. Thank you so much for offering it to me.”

“To everyone at the clinic. You guys are amazing. I always have a bad reaction with pain pills. I was so afraid of being sick after my surgery. Instead I had no nausea and didn’t throw up once. I had no pain so I didn’t need to take any pain pills. Your anesthetic and the pump were fantastic.”

“Dr Lista and staff. Thank you so much for the fabulous care. You were all so kind and caring. I’ve never heard of anyone feeling as good after surgery as I did. I look great and feel wonderful. I’ve never heard of the pain pump but it was amazing that I had no pain. I’m telling everyone I know how great you all are.”

Tummy Tuck Risks & Complications

Thousands of abdominoplasty procedures are performed successfully each year. When performed by a qualified tummy tuck surgeon, such as Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.

Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but may require a hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon as possible after the surgery. Our state-of-the-art plastic surgery clinic in Toronto, abdominoplasty patients are given anti-embolic stockings which they are asked to wear for one week following surgery. We also have a specialized device called a compression pump which gently massages the patient’s legs during surgery and, combined with the stockings, greatly decreases the risk of blood clots in the legs.

Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers are advised to stop, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.

Tummy Tuck Before and After Photo Gallery

A tummy tuck, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for abdominoplasty patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you’re realistic in your expectations and are prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar and a lengthy recovery period, a tummy tuck may be just the answer for you.

For some examples of tummy tuck results our surgeons have achieved, please see our tummy tuck photo gallery. There you’ll find a small collection of our photos of actual patients. If you’d like to see more images, there are several more that will be available to you during your free consultation at our clinic that you can discuss in greater detail with your surgeon.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck

Though it can be a life changing procedure, tummy tucks are not usually covered by provincial health plans, nor are they covered by most company benefits plans. You may be surprised to discover, however, that cosmetic surgery can be quite affordable, especially with one of the financing plans available through our clinic. Our patients frequently remark that, what they initially saw as a high cost now feels like an important investment in their wellbeing. It is important to note that the price of a procedure can vary based on a variety of factors. When you speak with your plastic surgeon in consult you will be given a more specific estimate.

To find out more about the cost of a tummy tuck, please contact us by phone or e-mail or by filling out the Request for Information form below.

Plastic Surgery Video Gallery

Tummy Tuck Videos

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Plastic Surgery Before & After Photo Gallery

Tummy Tuck Gallery

Explore our photo collections to see actual results we have achieved at The Plastic Surgery Clinic.

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A Newbie’s Guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery

As far as cosmetic surgeries go, the tummy tuck procedure, or abdominoplasty, is a pretty extensive surgery. Although these days...

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photo of a woman with a flat tummy in jeans
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We see every patient the day after surgery. Most find their discomfort extremely manageable, thanks to the pain relief pump. Our post-op nurse will walk you through every step of your recovery and answer all your questions.

One patient's experience...

My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


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