Joseph W. Rucker M.D., F.A.C.S. performs tummy tuck surgery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for women and men who are struggling with the appearance of their midsection. A flat, firm stomach is a top goal for most people, but this troublesome area often resists the positive effects of diets and exercise. Tummy tuck surgery at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Eau Claire provides a flat, contoured abdomen when weight loss, pregnancy, and/or age leave behind sagging skin and lax muscles.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Dr. Rucker is a top Wisconsin surgeon, and he offers a full range of body contouring and tummy tuck procedures, including upper and lower tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, belt lipectomy, and panniculectomy.
Tummy Tuck Before-and-After Results Photos
Dr. Rucker shares some of his patients’ exceptional tummy tuck results in his online gallery of tummy tuck before-and-after photos. As a body contouring and tummy tuck expert, Dr. Rucker customizes each tummy tuck procedure to match the patient’s specific goals.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) tightens the abdominal muscles, removes excess fat and excess skin and some stretch marks, adjusts the belly button, and sculpts the waist and stomach using liposuction techniques. Abdominoplasty surgery is best for:
- Woman after pregnancy
- Men and women after extreme weight loss
- Men and women who struggle with stubborn belly fat and loose skin
Dr. Rucker specializes in different types of abdominoplasty surgery, including the belt lipectomy, which removes hanging skin and contours the abdomen, butt, and thighs after significant weight loss. Individuals who maintain a healthy diet and exercise program can anticipate long-lasting results.
Reasons People Choose Abdominoplasty
Dr. Rucker performs abdominoplasty for individuals who desire a firm, tight abdominal area. Patients primarily consider tummy tuck procedures for cosmetic reasons, but the surgery can also provide medical benefits.
Abdominoplasty Cosmetic Surgery Benefits
- Flat, “pre-pregnancy” abdomen
- Removes lower abdominal stretch marks
- Tightens weak abdominal muscles
- Improves posture
- Increases self-esteem and confidence
- Restores a toned abdomen following significant weight loss
- Tightens and removes loose hanging skin and excess fat
- Creates a younger-looking, contoured appearance
Tummy Tuck Medical Benefits
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI): Stress urinary incontinence is more common in women and involves urine leakage caused by forceful actions like coughing and laughing. Studies show that a tummy tuck may reduce stress urinary incontinence.
Back pain: Weak stomach muscles may cause chronic back pain. Abdominoplasty can help by tightening the abdominal muscles that provide needed support, which can eliminate back pain.
Poor posture: A tummy tuck provides support for the spine and can improve the patient’s posture.
Panniculus: Panniculectomy uses tummy tuck techniques to restore mobility for patients experiencing apron-like heavy skin after extreme weight loss.
Types of Abdominoplasty
Dr. Rucker is an experienced abdominoplasty surgeon who offers different tummy tuck procedures, including:
A belt lipectomy is a combination body contouring procedure that includes a tummy tuck. The incision extends around the posterior waistline over the upper buttocks, in a pattern similar to a belt. Dr. Rucker may recommend a tummy tuck belt for patients who struggle with excess skin or fat on their abdomen thighs, hips, or butt due to significant weight loss.
Dr. Rucker may recommend a mini tummy tuck for individuals who are experiencing only a small amount of abdominal fat and mild to moderate muscle laxity. The recovery is shorter than that of a full tummy tuck. The incision is made in roughly the same location as a C-section scar, and a mini tummy tuck scar can often replace and reduce this type of scar.
Dr. Rucker may recommend a full tummy tuck for patients who want to rejuvenate the entire abdomen, including the areas above and below the belly button. An upper and lower tummy tuck also removes some stretch marks from the lower abdomen. Liposuction removes stubborn pockets of belly fat, including a muffin top and love handles.
Dr. Rucker may recommend panniculectomy (skin removal surgery) for patients who have a panniculus hanging from their abdomen. This apron-like skin may develop after gastric or intestinal bypass surgery or extreme weight loss resulting from changes in fitness and nutrition.
A panniculus can cause skin irritation, lower back pain, difficulty walking, and fungal infections. The goal of panniculectomy is to create smoother abdominal contours and to remove heavy, restrictive skin. It does not usually include tightening the stomach muscles.
Potential tummy tuck candidates must meet with Dr. Rucker during a private consultation in Eau Claire, Wisconsin before scheduling a procedure. Ideal candidates are men and women who have loose, hanging belly skin, and poor abdominal tone. Dr. Rucker examines each patient, listens to their goals, and reviews their health history to determine if a tummy tuck is right for them. He then creates a customized treatment plan for approved candidates.
Dr. Rucker recommends that women who plan to have more children should wait until they have completed their families to have tummy tuck surgery. Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight-loss strategy, so patients must already be at a stable weight. The surgeon may make recommendations such as body sculpting liposuction for patients with little to no sagging skin.
How To Prepare For Abdominoplasty
Dr. Rucker provides each patient with pre-surgical instructions during the consultation, which includes stopping the use of aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil two weeks before the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising. Patients are required to stop smoking before surgery. A close friend or family member must provide transportation to and from the operation.
The Tummy Tuck
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Most abdominoplasty procedures are performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The location of the incision will vary depending on the type of tummy tuck.
The mini tummy tuck requires a small incision just above the pubic area. The procedure tightens the muscles and lax skin in the area under the belly button and leaves the upper abdominal region undisturbed. Dr. Rucker may perform liposuction to remove fat and sculpt the abdomen.
The full tummy tuck requires a long incision from hip to hip, between the belly button and the pubic area. Dr. Rucker removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the muscles and fascia (connective tissue) of the abdominal wall with sutures. He creates an incision around the belly button and skillfully repositions and smooths the skin and muscles. Dr. Rucker uses lipo to finish contouring the stomach area.
The panniculectomy incision is similar to the full tummy tuck. The surgeon removes heavy, excess skin from beneath the belly button, pulling the upper surface down and trimming it. The surgeon may also perform liposuction. Dr. Rucker repositions the belly button when circumstances allow. Loose skin surgery does not include tightening the abdominal muscles, and a vertical incision is sometimes required.
A belt lipectomy is an extensive surgery that involves a full tummy tuck, the relocation of the belly button, liposuction, and tightening of the lax skin and muscles in the buttocks and thighs. The incision circles the waistline.
Dr. Rucker may use sutures, skin adhesive, clips, or surgical tape to close the incisions. The surgeon shares after-care instructions, including what to expect after a tummy tuck, during the consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Process
Dr. Rucker provides each patient with postoperative tummy tuck instructions, prescription pain medication, and antibiotics to prevent infection. Most tummy tuck patients are feeling somewhat better after one week. Dr. Rucker examines patients a week after the surgery to assess their results and provides incision care instructions at this time.
Most tummy tuck patients return to work after two weeks. Patients must wear an abdominal garment for about six weeks to support the abdominal area and reduce the risk of excess fluid buildup. Tummy tuck scar care will be discussed as necessary.
The recovery period is shorter after a mini tummy tuck, but mini tuck patients must also avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for six weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Abdominoplasty
The average cost of abdominoplasty with Dr. Rucker is $6,700. Dr. Rucker’s prices are more affordable than other top cosmetic surgeons with comparable experience. Plastic Surgery Clinic of Eau Claire also offers payment options with CareCredit.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that is used to remove pockets of unwanted fat and to sculpt the abdomen, back, chest, and other areas. If you have excess hanging skin, loose stomach muscles, stretch marks, or an unattractive C-section scar, you may need a tummy tuck instead of just liposuction. Some patients find benefits to having both tummy tuck and liposuction surgeries done. Dr. Rucker will examine you and recommend the best treatment option during a private consultation in Wisconsin.
Tummy tuck risks may include bruising and swelling, excess fluid, belly button bleeding, blood clots, and prominent tummy tuck scars. Patients who follow Dr. Rucker’s tummy tuck recovery tips and incision care instructions can significantly reduce these risks.
Dr. Rucker offers a variety of tummy tuck procedures, including mini-abdominoplasty and a more complex belt tummy tuck. The intensity of the discomfort after surgery may vary, but it is typically mild to moderate.
Tummy tuck surgery tightens the abdominal wall and removes excess skin and fat from the torso area. Liposuction is usually included as well.
Tummy tuck surgeries vary in complexity and may take from one to five hours to complete.
Tummy tuck recovery times vary, but most patients feel significantly better after the first week and resume light activities and desk job duties within two to three weeks. Vigorous exercise must be avoided for up to six weeks.
A compression garment is needed for several months and the swelling will gradually fade during this time. If you experience upper abdominal fat after a tummy tuck, it may be swelling or fluid. A swollen or hard stomach after tummy tuck surgery may be visceral fat. Patients are encouraged to eat a healthy diet and perform low impact activities to reduce swelling and to avoid weight gain. Dr. Rucker shares after-care tips during the consultation, including ways to reduce swelling.
There are several ways in which tummy tuck results may become compromised in the years following surgery. Having a baby will stretch the skin and disturb the abdominal muscles. Patients may also reverse the effects of the procedure if they gain too much weight. Patients should plan for what to eat after tummy tuck surgery in order to reduce the possibility of weight gain.
Tummy tuck patients must be healthy, close to their ideal weight, and have realistic expectations. Patients planning on future pregnancies should avoid this surgery.
Most men and women lose two or three clothing sizes after abdominoplasty and enjoy a flat, firm stomach and waist.
Schedule your Tummy Tuck Today
Joseph W. Rucker M.D, F.A.C.S., is a highly-experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon serving Western Wisconsin and St. Croix Valley. Call 800.456.8222, send an email, or fill out our contact form to request a private consultation with Dr. Rucker at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Eau Claire.