Operating Room View

What is a tummy tuck surgery?

If your goal is a slimmer, tighter belly — or if you want to get back your pre-baby figure — explore your options with tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). This procedure eliminates excess skin and fat, tightens lax muscles, and gets rid of the abdominal stretch marks that commonly develop after pregnancy and other significant weight changes. The result is a firmer, fitter-looking midsection.

Dr. Retana’s focus with tummy tuck is to give his patients:

  • The type of results that they haven’t been able to achieve through diet and exercise.
  • An experience that prioritizes their safety, aesthetic vision, and comfortable recovery.
  • An outcome that hides signs of cosmetic intervention and that is in harmony with the rest of their features.

Learn more about how a tummy tuck works and Dr. Retana’s approach to care.

Benefits of tummy tuck

A tummy tuck targets the unwanted changes to your body that may have resulted from pregnancy or significant weight gain and loss. While patients come to Dr. Retana with varying needs, the most common concerns are:

Excess skin around the midsection. During pregnancy, extra skin develops to accommodate the growth of the baby. People who have had a bariatric procedure or who have lost a lot of weight through other means may also have been left with hanging abdominal skin. The degree of excess can range from a small protrusion to a large apron of tissue. Diet and daily exercise may have no effect on these features.

Stretch marks. Resembling lines or indentations in your skin, stretch marks are a result of your body growing so fast that the tissue distends. As part of a tummy tuck, Dr. Retana excises these stretch marks, leaving behind only a scar that is well-hidden beneath clothing.

Lax abdominal muscles. Pregnancy and weight fluctuations can stretch out the abdominal muscles to the point that, even when these muscles are flexed, a person’s belly may stick out a little. In a traditional tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Retana repairs this laxity to give his patients a flatter, shapelier figure.

Areas of fat around, above, and below the waist. In order to accentuate the effects of a tummy tuck, Dr. Retana uses liposuction to shape the transition points at the hips, flanks, and thighs. By carefully removing unwanted fat, he redefines the waistline and creates an hourglass figure.

Dr. Retana’s Approach to Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Retana focuses on restoring features in an attractive way, strengthening the patient’s midsection, and effectively concealing signs of surgery. Safety is a top priority, as is providing the most comfortable recovery possible.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Retana will take the time to learn about your aesthetic vision and to guide you through options for achieving it. Hard-selling, upselling, and bulldozing are never part of his approach. From his perspective, effective patient results go hand-in-hand with an excellent patient experience.

Dr. Retana brings skill, years of practice, and an artistic eye to his surgeries. Certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, he is intensely focused on the details in every procedure, from the placement of incisions to using precise and gentle technique. Patients can see the result of this commitment in the attractive outcomes that he achieves.


What is the recovery from tummy tuck like?

Patients often ask how their surgical scars will look by the end of their recovery. Dr. Retana is committed to making incision scars as small and unobtrusive as possible. He accomplishes this by:

  • Placing incisions where they will be hidden even in low-rise jeans or underwear.
  • Closing the surgical site in layers to reduce tension on the skin.
  • Providing patients with comprehensive post-surgical guidance.

Tummy tuck patients will go home on the same day as their surgery (Day 0). By Day 1 of their recovery, Dr. Retana encourages them to be up and moving to aid in healing. Patients will have a surgical drain placed to reduce swelling. At one week, they will return to the practice to have post-operative tape removed and to receive further guidance in their care. Most people return to work within 10-14 days and to full physical activity at six weeks.

You can expect to see 80% of the total improvement from your tummy tuck at about six weeks. It may take up to 6-8 months for the abdominal skin to shrink to your new frame. By this point, you should have a leaner, tighter, and more aesthetically appealing figure.

Follow Dr. Retana’s Cosmetic Instagram: @LoveThatBodyDC

An Overview of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Retana performs procedures in his AAAHC-accredited facility. This accreditation demonstrates that the practice meets or exceeds national standards for quality of care and patient safety. Dr. Retana will meet with you beforehand to review the surgical plan and to answer any questions that you may have.

Tummy tuck surgery takes place under general anesthesia so that you can be completely comfortable throughout the experience. Depending on your needs, Dr. Retana will then:

  • Remove excess skin from around your belly.
  • Suture the abdominal muscles in a way that restores their strength.
  • Liposuction fat from the areas around, above, and below the midsection to give you the smallest possible waist.
  • Reconstruct the belly button. Certain patients may be good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck, which focuses on only the area below the belly button. In these cases, belly button reconstruction is not necessary. In certain cases, the belly button may only need to be repositioned.
  • Apply a long-lasting anesthetic to the site. This step significantly improves patient comfort in the days following surgery.

Schedule an Online Consultation

Starting a discussion with Dr. Retana about getting a tummy tuck can be as easy as talking with him via online video chat. To schedule one, fill out our online form and review our pricing chart.

Tummy tuck surgery can eliminate excess skin around your midsection and restore strength to your abdominal muscles. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Capital Center® for Cosmetic Surgery online or by calling us at (202) 386-7100.