A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many people strive for through exercise and weight control, but sometimes these methods cannot achieve the goal. 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, heredity, and prior surgery. Dr. Gabriel and Dr. Champaneria, the plastic surgeons of PeaceHealth Medical Group in the Portland area, have proven results performing tummy tuck procedures, also known as an abdominoplasty, to remove excess fat and skin, as well as strengthening the abdominal muscles to create a flatter, firmer stomach. 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.
Tummy Tuck Reviews
"3rd Procedure, Thighs Next. Vancouver, WA - Just got word that I'm approved for my thigh lift.In 2001 I weighed 347lbs, through a lot of work I now weigh 15 8lbs and am skin. I still have butt aND brest to do, this is the monster!I have had a tummy tuck and arm reduction, but having anxiety about my thighs. I know this is the big one....but I'm ready. Will document the journey."- J. / RealSelf / Apr 02, 2015
"Tummy Tuck After Three Children - Vancouver, WA - I found him on google in 2009 - - After having three children it left my stomach looking like I had a bulge and I was only 21 at the time and I wanted to feel like it. It was an amazing experience. Allen was very honest with me and I love his staff.The reason I got the tummy tuck at this price was because my insurance paid for the hernia repair."- N. / RealSelf / Jul 27, 2012
"7 months post op- still super happy! - I don't live in the Portland/Vancouver area but was searching for the best Dr near family and that would work with an out of area patient. I also wanted a Doctor that performed the surgery in a top hospital. The moment I met with Dr Gabriel I knew he was it! His care has been fantastic from my consult through the after care, and I love his staff. He truly is an outstanding surgeon, a caring and compassionate person, a master of his skill, and a real artist! He gave me "me" back, I wouldn't go with any other Doctor! - - Stats: 5'6" 117-120 lbs. Ballet dancer, choreographer, runner and mom of 4 with twins!I knew I would be getting my tummy fixed when I took a shower a couple hours after I birthed my 8 pound twins (each). I looked down and almost cried. The twins had destroyed my beautiful ballet dancer body and I was never going back. Since then, every day of my life has been focused on concealing all that skin and putting up with my chronic lower back pain that comes from my stomach muscles being blown out. I have always known in all certainty that I was going to have a tummy tuck, but I never had considered having my breasts fixed. In the ballet world, the smaller the boobs the better! In fact, if you don’t have any breasts you look better in a leo and a tutu! Boobs just have never been my thing, until I was done nursing all my babies and I was left with flaps of sad skin that could hardly be classified as a boob! Last minute (a couple months before surgery), and after going back and forth in my head and weighing all the pros and cons, I decided to go with implants. You only live once, right? Best decision ever! I am now 2 1/2 months post op and elated. Love. Love Love.Let me sum up the experience:Picking a Dr was the most important part for me. I treated this part with all seriousness and did my research. You only have 1 body so going with the best of the best is KEY! More importantly, my body is my instrument, I use it to dance and I needed someone that understood this. I searched every city where I had family or a friend that could care for me. I was willing to fly anywhere! Dr Gabriel came highly recommended to me so I scheduled a consult. The moment I met him I knew he was the one. All my fears went away and I trusted him completely with my body. Before surgery I got myself in the best possible shape. I got down to the weight I wanted to be at, running 6 miles a day, drinking green smoothies and taking all my recommended vitamins by my dr. Dr. also told me to prepare my tummy muscles by doing pilates, which I did. He said it would help my recovery, which I am sure it did.Pre-op: Because I don't live near Vancouver, my pre-op was a couple days before surgery. I was excited, butterflies! Can't believe I am here doing it! I went ahead with picking a size. I wanted a natural look and a size that I could dance with, run with, and still fit in size Small shirts. They let me “check out” some implants and try them out. I brought home 304cc…. I spent the rest of the day running with them, dancing with them, trying on all my clothes, and quickly decided 304cc was just too big for my little frame, my clothes, and my lifestyle. So happy I brought the sizer home!! I ended up calling the office the day before surgery, freaking out a little bit about sizes, they let me come in asap and try on more! Shannon helped me and she is just the sweetest thing! I ended up going a size down to 286cc which looks perfect on me! Dr. also had me on a liquid diet + laxatives the day before (now that was fun…)Surgery day: Unreal! I wasn't nervous that much. My biggest fear was waking up during surgery... luckily that didn't happen ;) Just excited and wanting it to be over with so I can start the road to healing.Day 1 post-op: Not as bad as I thought. Almost fainted in the hospital while taking a shower, threw up (OUCH), and a little hesitant to look down at the drain (only had 1). But my amazing view from my hospital room made it seem like a vacation! No kids + a view… sigh, this was better than I expected. A little throw up and my stomach feeling like it's on fire isn't so bad :)Day 2 post-op: My Dr. calls me personally every day to check in! Telling you, he is amazing!! I am a little sore and religiously taking all my meds. I am writing all times and meds down on my ipad next to my recliner, where I sit and sleep for a week! Frozen peas are my friend! Tummy feels like it's on fire when I get up to walk to the potty, but not a single pain from the breasts. In LOVE with the breasts! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Super happy I did them! Not a regret with my size at all! I also had to wear a black “crotchless catwoman suit”, at least that is what I called it! Basically it’s a full body spanx that I wore 24/7. Around 3-4am every night the pain wakes me up, I take more meds and sleep.1 week post op: Still walking hunched over and energy is low. Still no pain from my breasts. For some reason I had the laugh-so-hard-you-start-crying giggles really bad for weeks after surgery , and that hurts!! But it is nice to laugh throughout all this, even if it did make my poor tummy feel like it was on fire. I actually haven't stopped smiling since surgery day! A week out from surgery I transferred from the recliner to the bed.2 week post-op: Feeling 50%. Dr. gave me the OK to head home. Still no lifting my baby for a while and no housework. I got a little annoyed at this point, I wanted to be 100% but had to remind myself to slow down. Still on heavy meds…. Maybe I am a baby but those meds made this whole healing process ten million times better than what I was expecting!4-6 weeks post-op: Feeling 95%. I started running at 6 weeks post op. Having so much fun trying on clothes, swim suits, and just walkin around topless! Love it. Feeling amazing!!! Finally at 6 weeks I stopped taking all medications. My nipples did get a little over sensitive around now, but no biggy. Walkin around topless cured that. I finally shopped for bras at 6 weeks! 34C. Some of the stitches on my incision were irritating me, so I just massage them and that helps. 2 months post-op: Feeling 150%+! Feeling better than I have ever felt in my life. So glad I did this! I have more self -confidence than ever, it's unreal. My back doesn’t ache like it did when my muscles were separated. I can finally wear a white t-shirt and jeans without worrying about skin flopping out and a huge muffin top, now that is priceless! I still can’t get over these boobs of mine, I swear I am more obsessed than my husband!I am now at 2.5 months post op, but it feels like I have had this body forever. I can’t even describe how happy I am. This was the best decision I have ever made, the best 12k I have ever spent, and the best outcome I could have ever asked for. I am elated and over the moon happy. I am sure I am pretty annoying too when I talk to other moms and try to convince them to get a mommy makeover. *If you have questions please message me! I wrote this review to help woman that were on the fence about the whole thing. I hope this helps!"- B. / RealSelf / Sep 24, 2013
"39 Year Old Woman That Works out Too Much to Have a Flabby Tummy and Back Flanks with a Flat Bottom - Vancouver, WA - My doctor, Dr. Gabriel was the best!!!! So nice caring and professional. I felt very comfortable with him. I trust him very much, so much I would go with ay suggestion he had because I truly believe he is a phenomenal artist and surgeon. He is brilliant!!! - - Dr. Allen Gabriel is absolutely hands down the best plastic surgeon ever!! His work is pure perfection!!! He is certainly an amazing artist and his work is extremely impressive!!! I knew when I went in for my consultation he was the one just by his demeanor and the love that is obvious he has for his work really shows!! Dr. Gabriel performed the Brazilian Butt Lift on me...and I am so in love with it!! It lifted my buttocks to absolute perfection!! I love love love my Brazilian Butt Lift!! I get so many compliments too...:). He also performed a tummy tuck, which also of course turned out flawless!!! My stomach has never been so flat and tight!!! It makes me feel so good!!! He also removed my back flanks so its very nicely contoured. I am so thrilled with his work!!! I feel giddy!! I never imagined I would ever feel so good!!! I've never felt so comfortable in my own body. Thank you Dr. Gabriel!!!! I am finally able to wear clothes I've never been able to before. When going in to surgery, Dr. Gabriel really made me feel at ease....I really didn't feel nervous at all. All of his staff, down to his anesthesiologist made me feel very relaxed and comfortable going in to surgery. They also made sure to check on me afterward, which I thought was extremely nice. His nurses were far and above anything I could have ever imagined. They took such good care of me and were so sweet to anyone that visited me...not to mentioned were so nice and fun....they made me feel really special. I'm assuming they learned it from Dr. Gabriel because his personality, bedside manner and demeanor is also the best ever!! He really cares about his patients and it really shines through. He also follows up with you after surgery and make sure he sees you on a regular basis to check on you, which really shows he cares and you're not jut a number. He's also a perfectionist so he likes to make sure its perfect!! "- M. / RealSelf / Aug 13, 2014
"50 Year Old Library Lady Remodel - Vancouver, WA - Dr. Gabriel is the most amazing doctors I have ever known. His professionalism and perfectionism and the love of his job shows every time you see him. He is very knowledgable about each procedure and is willing to answer all questions to help you make the right choice. I have absolute trust in him and his staff. I have recommended him to several people and I will continue to do so. If you meet him once you will understand what I am talking about. He is simply the BEST! - - I turned 50 and decided I needed to stop complaining about my body andjust go and it fixed. My GYN recommended Dr. Allen Gabriel for my breastreduction and tummy tuck and scar revision. Scared out of my mind, Ifinally made the call and as soon as I walked into his office I knew Iwas in the right place at the right time. Everyone from the receptionistto his nurses and scheduler were fantasticat helping you feel at ease. Then, when you meet Dr. Gabriel hisknowledge that he shares and the compassion that he shows let's you knowthat you are in the best hands. Because of work I was only able to have 1 procedure at a time, so,breast reduction was first. OMG, I mean really, why had I waited solong? Dr. Gabriel is such a professional, perfectionist! I had neverbeen to a doctor that cares so much with your well being. A few months later tummy tuck and scar revision, this one took a whilelonger to recoup, however, the results is amazing. For over, 33 years ofnot having stomach muscles do to appendix surgery and living with largefat pouches, to now I have a perfect flat stomach. WOW!Now 5 months ago I decided to have some Liposuction done to refine a fewplaces and at the last minute, I decided on having a Brazilian ButtLift, WHAT!!! That last decision ended up being my funniest decision.Who knew that I would have more confidence in my body as a whole, oncemy once "little old lady butt" could turn out to be this perfect bubblebutt. I think everyday, I'm saying, I love my butt. Ok, don't get mewrong all of the other procedures were for medical reasons, and I love,love, love, the results, however, liposuction and Brazilian butt liftwas all for me. When I have gone to other doctors they all know who Dr. Gabriel is andeveryone of them have nothing but positive things to say about his workand about him as a professional perfectionists.I often wonder why I waited so long to have anything done, but Irealized as soon as my breast reduction was done....it's because Ihadn't meet Dr. Allen Gabriel! Side note: you will find yourself looking in the mirror at your newbottom and running around in your panties will become a new normal foryou. Oh, and after all these procedures your spouse will running aroundchasing you too, oh darn!"- L. / RealSelf / Aug 14, 2014
Full Tummy Tuck@headingTag>
In patients who undergo a full tummy tuck, the incision is made from hip to hip just over the pubic area. This results in a scar line that is horizontal and can be hidden when wearing undergarments. It is commonly performed on women with significant skin folds after multiple pregnancies. This technique allows the surgeon access to a large portion of the abdomen while repositioning the belly button so that its placement appears natural. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat preceding the skin tightening portion. The internal abdominal muscles are secured for a firm, toned appearance.
Mini Tummy Tuck@headingTag>
An alternative to the traditional technique is the mini tummy tuck, which is also known as a “Brazilian tummy tuck.” The difference is that ideally the patients that undego this procedure are already in relatively good shape with a healthy skin tone, but still have loose skin on the lower abdomen. Unlike the full tummy tuck, the belly button is unaffected and the incision is smaller. Liposuction is used (if needed) to remove excess fat, and the loose skin is removed and pulled tight.
Extended Tummy Tuck@headingTag>
In cases when major skin tightening and body contouring is needed, an extended tummy tuck is recommended. This is a necessary technique for patients who have undergone a significant weight loss. It was developed after some patients noted that even after a full tummy tuck, the parts surrounding the abdomen still showed excessive folds of skin. The incision may extend around the navel, flank and lower back depending where skin tightening is necessary. Liposuction is still used and excess skin is trimmed then tightened. Similar to a full tummy tuck, the belly button is repositioned.
A tummy tuck is done under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay can be required specific to complex cases. As with any other surgery, abdominoplasty comes with risks so it’s best to discuss any health conditions you have prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medications are provided and a compression garment is worn. The patient will need to rest up to 48 hours. From then, it is recommended that patients make a concerted effort to move around to help blood circulation and reduce the risks of blood clot complications. Recovery may take up to 6 weeks.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1-2 Weeks
- Post-op Follow-up
- Procedure Recovery Location
Tummy Tuck FAQs@headingTag>
Lipo or Abdominoplasty?@headingTag>
Tummy tucks are reserved for patients who have stretched, loose skin in the lower abdomen as a result of pregnancy or obesity. Liposuction, on the other hand, is for those who want to remove excess fat in the abdomen but still have a healthy skin tone. During the initial consultation, we will provide a thorough assessment and determine if liposuction alone is all that is needed, or if a tummy tuck will provide the best results.
Normally, abdominoplasty is performed to improve loose skin and excess fat around the abdomen area. However, sometimes other cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation or a breast lift are done to further improve the overall look and feel of the body. When this combination type surgery exists, it is known as a “mommy makeover”. It is very popular among women after pregnancy who wish to get their pre-pregnancy body and shape back to normal.
How Bad Are The Scars?@headingTag>
Unfortunately, with a tummy tuck surgery, scars are unavoidable. However, extra measures are taken to make sure that scarring is minimal. The incision line is placed in areas that can be concealed by undergarments. Previous C-section scars will be incised in the same spot for the tummy tuck. During the healing process, we will provide a post-operative protocol that includes scar treatment to help assist the scars in becoming less visible.
Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck?@headingTag>
It is our recommendation that women who decide to have more children delay a tummy tuck procedure. The stretching of the skin as a result of another pregnancy can reduce the positive outome of this procedure.