Tummy Tuck in Boston

Helena O. Taylor MD, PHD, FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan, MD, MPH, FACS

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Abdominal re-contouring in the form of a Tummy Tuck is one of the most powerful procedures in aesthetic surgery. Despite diet and exercise, an improved abdominal contour is not always possible, particularly after childbirth. With age, pregnancy, or weight changes, patients commonly develop diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) with abdominal bulge, as well as stretched out skin.

Diastasis recti frequently may often not be corrected with exercises or physical therapy, while surgery can be very effective at restoring muscular position, and when necessary removing extra skin.

What Is A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) not a weight loss procedure, but rather is a muscle and skin tightening procedure. The umbilicus (belly button) is positioned within the re-draped skin, and the position of the rectus muscles of the abdomen is restored. The scar is placed as low as possible, though its exact position may vary based on an individual's anatomy. Ideally we try to position it so it can be hidden with underwear or a bikini.

A tummy tuck is usually combined with some fat reduction by liposuction of the "love handles" or waistline to remove common areas of excess fat. A midline depression can also be sculpted with liposuction. Patients undergoing abdominal hernia repair (umbilical hernia or ventral hernia or incisional hernia) might also consider having a tummy tuck at the same time to avoid extra operations and improve abdominal contour.

Tummy Tuck Boston

What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is the separation or widening of the space between the rectus muscles of the abdomen. These are the muscles that form a “6 pack”. Excess separation often happens with pregnancy, but can also occur with age and changes in weight. This widening results in a bulge, and weakening of core strength. Unlike a hernia however there is no hole or opening, just a stretching.

Diastasis repair plays an integral role in most tummy tuck or cosmetic abdominoplasty procedures, but may also be performed to reinforce a hernia repair. While we often feel that this muscular repositioning is a functional or reconstructive procedure, insurance carriers consider diastasis recti repair to be a cosmetic procedure.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

A Tummy Tuck and liposuction are both common cosmetic procedures used to contour the body and improve its appearance. While both procedures can help remove excess fat, they differ in their approach and the results they can achieve. Liposuction on its own removes stubborn pockets of fat from areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, and arms. It is less invasive than abdominoplasty and is better suited for patients who are close to their ideal weight but have areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, and have excellent skin tone without diastasis. A tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area and tightening the underlying muscles. This makes it an ideal option for patients who have lost significant amounts of weight, had multiple pregnancies, or have diastasis and sagging skin.

Benefits of Tummy Tuck

Removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area, as well as repairing separated or weakened abdominal muscles, can have a significant positive impact on daily life. A flatter, more toned abdomen can improve self-esteem and confidence, and improvements in physical appearance, comfort, and overall health can lead to a better quality of life and increased satisfaction. After receiving a Tummy Tuck Boston patients can expect some of these benefits:

  • Improved body contour and appearance
  • Stronger core
  • Relief from physical discomfort
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Enhanced quality of life
  • Removal of extra skin folds

Tummy Tuck At A Glance


  • Corrects diastasis recti
  • Restores contour
  • Removes excess skin and soft tissue
  • Some liposuction of fat




2-3 hours


General Anesthesia


  • Comfortably at home


  • 10-14 days. 6 weeks if strenuous week


  • Light exercise – walk the same day
  • Full exercise and contact sports – 6 weeks

What Are The Types Of Tummy Tuck?

Every operation is tailored to the individual patient and no two operations are the same. There are some general types of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and these include: mini-abdominoplasty, full abdominoplasty, lipoabdominoplasty, and abdominal wall reconstruction. In all types, a scar is traded for excess skin or fat. The scar is placed low and covered by underwear or a bikini. For women who have had a previous c-section, the abdominoplasty scar is lower. The overall goal is to ensure a fitter and flatter appearing abdomen.

  • Mini-abdominoplasty or Mini-Tummy Tuck, places places the most limited scar along the edge of the pubic region and removes excess skin and fat, limited in extent and recovery. It is not suited for someone with diastasis or lots of extra skin.
  • Full abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck, is more extensive, though the result is far superior. The scar is placed along the edge of the pubic region and extends along the bikini or underwear line to the hips, removes excess skin and fat, repositions the belly button, and corrects diastasis recti
  • Lipoabdominoplasty, is a full tummy tuck as well as liposuction of surrounding areas such as the flanks or “love handles”, hips, and contouring and sculpting of the midline of the abdomen to highlight the abdominal muscles
  • Mommy makeover, combines a tummy tuck with other procedures to restore a woman’s figure after having a baby. The most common operations include tummy tuck, breast lift (mastopexy), breast augmentation, labiaplasty, and liposuction. Sometimes operations are performed simultaneously if Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan feel it is safe.
  • Abdominal wall reconstruction, is a full tummy tuck as well as repair of umbilical, ventral, or incisional hernias.
  • Post-bariatric surgery body contouring, includes panniculectomy and abdominoplasty to restore your figure after you have successfully lost weight.

Consultation and Preparation

During your Boston Tummy Tuck consultation, expect to discuss goals and concerns with your surgeon. We will ask in detail about your medical history, previous surgeries, and any current medications you are taking, as well as perform a physical exam to assess the abdominal area. A treatment plan will then be recommended and tailored to your unique needs and goals. Different options for abdominoplasty, along with complementary surgeries, will be covered, as well as the risks and benefits of each option and what the patient can expect during and after surgery. To prepare for the treatment, the patient will typically be asked to avoid certain medications and supplements, quit smoking, and maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to aid with the healing process.

Procedure For Tummy Tuck

Patients often benefit from the experience of two board certified plastic surgeons working together to improve safety and efficiency. Unlike many surgeons who have physician assistants helping or performing parts of the operation, top Boston Mass board certified plastic and cosmetic surgeons Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan work together to perform Tummy Tuck operations. They are very aggressive with multi-modal pain therapy, and avoidance of narcotics as much as possible.

Post-Bariatric Surgery Body Contouring

Post-bariatric weight loss surgery with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can restore your figure after you have successfully lost weight.

If you have deflated areas of your body after weight loss, you may be a candidate for a Tummy Tuck with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan. Exercising and weight loss are important, but they can't remove excess skin or stretch marks. Only post-bariatric weight loss surgery can remove the excess skin.

Patients often consider a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) for removal of abdominal skin and fat, breast lift (mastopexy) for women to lift and make the breasts perky, gynecomastia surgery for men to create a masculine and muscular chest, arm lift (brachioplasty) to tighten the arms, or thigh lift to remove excess skin from the upper-inner legs.

Each patient is carefully evaluated and if Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan consider you to be a good candidate for an operation, they will customize a tailored surgical plan for your body. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan, Boston board certified plastic and cosmetic surgeons, work closely with the team at the Mount Auburn Hospital Weight Loss Center, where they give informational seminars to interested patients. It is never too early to consider your options.

Boston Tummy Tuck

What Is The Recovery With Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty Boston

Patients recover quickly with limited discomfort and are able to leave Mount Auburn Hospital on the same day as the operation. You will be walking on the day of the operation and may shower the next morning. Some discomfort and tenderness is normal, though when compared to a caesarian section, for example, most of our Boston Tummy Tuck patients tell us that it is an easier recovery. Before, during and after the operation we’ll prescribe multimodal non-narcotic medications to minimize discomfort and limit the need to use opioid medications such as oxycodone.

Most patients benefit tremendously from our use of long-acting numbing medicine to limit discomfort for several days following the operation. Our treatment regimen is also guided to prevent symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation to ensure a gentle and comfortable recovery. For many patients, surgical drains are necessary and are the most annoying part of their recovery. These are typically removed about five - ten days after surgery.

  • Remove excess skin
  • Flatter smoother abdomen
  • Remove stretch marks
  • Correct diastasis recti and tighten abdominal wall
  • Repair belly button hernias or other hernias
  • Restore abdominal core strength
  • Improve lower back pain
  • Improve urinary incontinence
  • Remove scars on tummy
  • Improve tummy contour
  • Remove excess fat from abdomen
  • Remove abdominal pannus
  • Improve clothing fit

Why Taylor & Sullivan?

As board-certified, Harvard-educated, and Top Doctor rated surgeons, Dr. Helena Taylor, MD, PhD, FACS, and Dr. Stephen Sullivan, MD, MPH, FACS, prioritize both safe surgery, aesthetic quality, and compassionate patient care. They have been recognized with numerous accolades from Castle Connolly Top Doctors and Boston Top Doctors, which speaks to their outstanding reputation within the industry. Both doctors received exceptional training at top national and international programs, and hold board certifications that reflect their dedication to excellence in aesthetic surgery and patient care.

Schedule Your Boston Tummy Tuck Consultation at Taylor & Sullivan Boston Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery Today

Like any surgical procedure, making the decision to have a Tummy Tuck in Boston is an important one. Our professional and caring surgeons and staff can help guide you through the process and stay informed. Call us today at 617.492.0620 or book a consultation online.

Faqs About Abdominoplasty

What are the risks with a Tummy Tuck?

Every patient is unique, both with planned procedures as well as potential risks. General risks of abdominoplasty can include bleeding, scar, infection, fluid collection, pain, and blood clots in the legs that could embolize or travel. With careful patient and procedure selection, and detailed attention to perioperative care, most potential complications are thankfully rare with tummy tuck.

What is recovery like?

Tummy Tucks, or abdominoplasty are performed as day surgery procedures under general anesthesia. Patients may have a drain or two for one to three weeks, and be in a surgical binder for three to six weeks. Many patients do not require narcotic pain medication, but some may for a few days. We advise no significant lifting or strenuous activity for three weeks, and no heavy lifting for 6 weeks. At six weeks there are no restrictions.

Our preference is to perform most liposuction with sedation or general anesthesia in the operating room as a day surgery procedure. Patients wear compression garments for several weeks after surgery. Bruising and some swelling is common, but varies in severity. It takes several weeks to months for the swelling to resolve. Patients report being sore the first week, but significant pain is rare.

When it comes to your Tummy Tuck Boston plastic surgeons Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan make safety their top priority. They will provide specific information and instructions to help you prepare for your procedure. We take precautionary steps to minimize risks and complications from surgery to help you recover with the least amount of discomfort and time.

Will I have a scar with a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck trades a scar for improved body contour. The trade-off is typically a good one and the scars can be placed in the least conspicuous location. The scar from a tummy tuck can be lower than that of a C-section scar, and although longer, the scar can usually be hidden by underwear or bikini bottom. The exact position will depend on any individual anatomy. We use dissolving buried sutures to avoid the need for suture removal or unnecessary suture scars.

Is a Tummy Tuck covered by insurance?

A Tummy Tuck is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance (at least until women become CEOs of all insurance companies!). When you come in for your consultation we will evaluate your condition to determine if you might qualify for some coverage by your insurance company with a simultaneous hernia repair. Depending on which procedures meet your goals, your policy may provide some coverage.

Can I have more children after a Tummy Tuck?

Although a tummy tuck will not affect your ability to have more children, you should consider postponing procedures such as Tummy Tuck until after you are done having children. Nevertheless, operations can be performed again in the future.

Am I a candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Women or men with excess skin and abdominal fat and bulge from diastatsis recti are potential candidates for a tummy tuck. The ideal candidate is a nonsmoker, in good health with a BMI less than 30, and, if a woman, is finished with childbearing. Safely lose the weight you can and be at a weight that you can maintain. If we determine you to be a good candidate and you wish to proceed, we will be in this together with you to help you to achieve your goals, as quickly and as safely as possible.

Is a Tummy Tuck common?

A Tummy Tuck has been among the top ten most common cosmetic surgeries for the last ten years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 130,000 abdominoplasty procedures were performed in the United States in 2020 alone.

Is a Tummy Tuck permanent? Will I need follow-up sessions?

A tummy tuck will provide long-lasting results, but it is important to note that it is not guaranteed to be permanent. Significant weight gain or pregnancy after a Tummy Tuck will compromise your results.

Does a Tummy Tuck cause weight loss?

While skin and subcutaneous fat will be removed, this is not a weight loss procedure and does not have the health benefits of visceral fat loss.

Will I have to modify how I sleep after a Tummy Tuck?

For the first several weeks of recovery, it is important to avoid putting pressure on the abdominal area to allow the incision to heal properly. We recommend that you sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees to elevate your legs and reduce strain on your abdomen.

What if I gain weight following a Tummy Tuck?

Significant weight gain after abdominoplasty will essentially reverse the results of your procedure. At most, 10 to 15 pounds is typically the fluctuation limit.

Will a Tummy Tuck get rid of my c-section scar?

Yes, in most cases, the incision for abdominoplasty is made below the location of a C-section scar, low enough to be hidden under bikini bottoms, so it will be removed completely during this procedure.

Can I get a Tummy Tuck while pregnant or breastfeeding?

No, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding must hold off on undergoing this surgery.

Will I need to have someone drive me home following a Tummy Tuck?

Yes, you will definitely need to plan for a family member or close friend to drive you home after surgery. It’s also best to have someone with you for about 24 hours as the sedation wears off.

How long will I have to wait to exercise after a Tummy Tuck?

This will depend on your particular recovery, and you will need to be cleared by your surgeon. For most patients, they can gradually restart their exercise routine at anywhere from six to ten weeks.

What is a good age to get a Tummy Tuck?

The most important consideration is whether the patient is serious about maintaining their results after surgery which can be achieved at any age. In general, our Boston Tummy Tuck patients are often in their late 30s to 40s and beyond.

Can I combine a Tummy Tuck with other cosmetic treatments?

Yes! Abdominoplasty is often combined with other procedures, including liposuction, breast augmentation, or as a part of a mommy makeover surgical plan.

Are there any non-surgical alternatives to a Tummy Tuck?

There are certain laser treatments or skin tightening techniques that are sometimes offered as alternatives to a tummy tuck, but they are temporary and not nearly as effective as a surgical abdominoplasty.

How much does a Tummy Tuck cost?

The average cost of a tummy tuck in the US is typically between $3,000 to $15,000. The cost will vary based on geographic location, the skill and experience of your surgeon, and various hospital and other medical fees.

Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138

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