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What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed to improve the shape and definition of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat. In many cases, a tummy tuck will also involve tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. The goal of the procedure is typically to create a slimmer, more toned midsection and eliminate any loose or sagging skin and tissue. A tummy tuck is often performed on individuals who want to restore their figure after pregnancy, weight loss, or weight gain.

What is the cost of a tummy tuck in Michigan?

Every patient is unique and has their own aesthetic goals. Because your tummy tuck procedure is personalized for you, the price depends on the area or areas addressed, whether or not you’re having a complimentary procedure to enhance your results, and other factors.

You will have a consultation to determine the specifics of your custom surgical plan. Your surgical plan will include your exact price.

Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?

Reshaping disproportionate curves and reducing unwanted fat and skin cannot always be achieved through weight loss and exercise alone. Our tummy tuck can dramatically improve the shape and proportion of your upper and lower abdomen, enhancing your appearance and self-esteem.

These factors generally define ideal candidates for abdominoplasty procedures:

  • Aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery or weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen, abdominal muscle weakness, or both.
  • You do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
  • Your weight is stable. Slender individuals with extra fat and loose skin in the lower tummy are the best candidates; if you are generally obese, this procedure is not appropriate for you.
  • If you have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat surrounding your internal organs, you may need to slim down before considering a tummy tuck.
  • You are physically healthy. You must be in relatively good physical shape to tolerate this procedure.
  • You are finished having children. The muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during future pregnancy.
  • Internal or external scars from any previous abdominal surgery may also affect your candidacy.

Why choose Dr. Ringler?

Dr. Steven L. Ringler is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is internationally recognized for his accomplishments in plastic surgery. Whether you want to completely reshape your abdomen or correct a small amount of excess flab in the area, his extensive experience and expertise in tummy tuck procedures, along with his state-of-the-art technology, can achieve what diet and exercise alone cannot.

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  • Tummy Tuck Michigan
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Drainless Tummy Tuck: The procedure

What to expect

Dr. Ringler’s standard tummy tuck procedure is the drainless tummy tuck, which is typically performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. When performing his drainless tummy tuck in Grand Rapids , Dr. Ringler will use sutures to close the space between the abdominal skin and muscle tissue rather than installing drains in the abdominal cavity. As a result, any liquid from swelling will be distributed evenly throughout the abdomen, which will make it less noticeable. The drainless tummy tuck tends to make the recovery process simpler and more comfortable for patients.

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Different types of tummy tucks

  • The progression tension suture technique

    One preferred tummy tuck technique for Dr. Ringler is the progression tension suture technique. This tummy tuck technique utilizes special progression tension sutures to secure the abdominal skin to the underlying connective tissue. As a result, the tension is distributed evenly over a large area, which eliminates the space where fluid would normally accumulate after the surgery. With no space for the seroma to form, the progression tension suture technique allows Dr. Ringler to perform the surgery without the use of surgical trains.

  • The Avelar tummy tuck

    The Avelar tummy tuck is a tummy tuck technique originally developed in the 1990s by a Brazilian surgeon named Dr. Juarez M. Avelar. The procedure is mainly known for requiring a smaller incision than most tummy tuck methods as well as a shorter recovery period. The Avelar tummy tuck combines abdominoplasty and liposuction into one procedure for patients looking to eliminate both excess fat and excess skin. The technique prevents the abdominal fat and skin from being separated from the fascia, which ensures that the blood vessels remain intact. Like the progression tension suture technique, the Avelar tummy tuck does not require the use of surgical drains.

  • The mini tummy tuck

    A mini tummy tuck is a version of the tummy tuck primarily performed on patients who only have a small amount of excess abdominal skin and tissue to remove. There are several advantages of the mini tummy tuck when compared to other versions of the tummy tuck procedure:

    • Smaller incision
    • Less scarring
    • Less invasive
    • Shorter recovery downtime
    • Still provides excellent results

Enhance your tummy tuck with complementary procedures

Your tummy tuck in Michigan may be performed as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with SafeLipo, breast augmentation, breast lift, and mommy makeover.


Dr. Ringler uses SofPulse to accelerate recovery for our Grand Rapids, MI patients. SofPulse uses targeted micro-currents to transmit gentle pulses to the tissue, which can reduce swelling and speed up the natural recovery process. Recovery from abdominoplasty may take one to two weeks, but you will be up walking the day of surgery.

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What results can I expect from my tummy tuck?

After the abdominal muscles are tightened and loose or sagging skin is removed to create a tighter, more sculpted contour, the results of a tummy tuck are quite significant. This procedure achieves a transformative result: a trim waistline, a taut and flat abdomen, and a smooth and sculpted abdominal area. The excess, sagging skin is completely removed, and the muscles are surgically tightened with sutures. The scar is low on the abdomen, easily concealed with underwear or a bikini bottom. It will fade over time to become a thin white line.

Tummy tuck results help boost confidence and return the abdominal area to its youthful, firm, and attractively sculpted shape.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

A tummy tuck and liposuction are commonly done at the same time to achieve maximum results. However, the procedures are distinct from each other and require different techniques.

During liposuction, very small incisions are made. A cannula is used to break up and suction out fat deposits from the hips, thighs, butt, or stomach. Liposuction contours and slims the physique, addressing difficult areas while preserving essential tissues.

During a tummy tuck, a long, horizontal incision is made from hip bone to hip bone. Excess, sagging skin is removed from the lower abdomen. The muscles are tightened and strengthened with permanent sutures, small fat pockets are removed, and the upper skin is pulled down and tightly secured.

Determining the right procedure for you or whether you would benefit from a combination of both depends on your aesthetic goals and physical condition.

Tummy Tuck FAQ's

Are the results permanent?

Results are long-lasting, but weight fluctuations or pregnancy can change your results. Normal aging and gravity may also affect your outcomes over time.

What will my scars look like?

Scars are normal after surgery and may be concealed by normal clothing and lingerie.

What should I know about abdominoplasty surgery?

  • Abdominoplasty is performed on an out-patient basis.
  • Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia.
  • Scars are normal after surgery and may be concealed by normal clothing and lingerie.
  • Recovery from abdominoplasty may take 1-2 weeks, but you will be up and active the day of surgery.
  • Dr. Ringler uses SofPulse to accelerate recovery. SofPulse uses targeted microcurrents to transmit gentle pulses to the tissue to help reduce swelling and speed up the natural recovery process.
  • Results are long-lasting, but weight loss/gain or pregnancy can change your results and normal aging and gravity may affect your outcomes over time.
  • You will need a capable adult with you for 24 hours after surgery.

Will I be in pain after surgery?

Most patients experience mild to moderate pain throughout the days following surgery, but this pain can easily be managed with prescription medication. We will work with you to ensure you get what you need to ease the recovery period.

Should I wait until after I’m done having children to get a tummy tuck?

Pregnancy will stretch and alter the skin on your abdomen, so if you get a tummy tuck before having children, you may need revision surgery later. If you’re planning on waiting before having another child, it might be worth it to have the years in between look fantastic, and it’s not unheard of for women to choose this path.

Can a tummy tuck help with my stretch marks?

If you’re suffering from stretch marks from pregnancy or weight loss, a tummy tuck in Michigan can reduce or remove the appearance of the stretch marks, depending on where they are located on your abdomen. As long as you voice your goals and discuss them with our surgeon beforehand, we can often perform the surgery with stretch mark removal in mind.

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