The Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826, Bldg 2, Suite 206
Austin, TX 78737
Phone: (512) 288-8200
Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Tummy Tuck

Having children or losing a significant amount of weight often results in excess abdominal skin that remains even if you exercise and eat a healthy diet. Tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck surgery performed in Austin, TX, by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rocco Piazza can be truly transformative procedures, creating a flatter, more contoured stomach with long-lasting results.

Your Personal Consultation

Women and men considering a tummy tuck, who visit from San Antonio and cities around Austin, meet with Dr. Piazza to discuss their concerns and aesthetic goals. During the consultation, he performs a physical exam to ensure that a tummy tuck is the best procedure to meet those goals. Because every patient’s case is unique, Dr. Piazza creates a customized surgical plan based on the exam and your discussion.

Meet Dr. Piazza

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rocco C. Piazza looks forward to meeting with you to help you discover how you can achieve your cosmetic goals and desires.

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A Surgeon's Perspective

"Many of my tummy tuck patients come to see me with the desire to feel restored and reverse many of the changes that occurred to their body during pregnancy. It is my goal to make sure that each patient's goals and desires are met so that she feels restored and confident to be her best-self."

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Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidates

Most tummy tucks address three primary concerns, especially for women who have had children:

  • During the procedure, Dr. Piazza uses liposuction to reduce abdominal fat.
  • He also repairs the rectus abdominis muscles if they have become separated during pregnancy.
  • He removes excess skin from the abdominal area.

The combination of these three procedures improves the appearance of the abdomen and provides a slim and toned midsection that looks great in a bathing suit. Even though a tummy tuck combined with liposuction reduces fat, it’s not a weight-loss procedure. Ideal tummy tuck candidates are in good overall health and are at or near their ideal weight. A tummy tuck isn’t recommended if you’re planning to have another baby or if you are significantly overweight.

Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 30 can safely undergo a tummy tuck. Here’s a BMI calculator that can help you estimate your body fat.

Adult BMI Calculator

Your BMI is

  • Underweight (Below 18.5)
  • Normal (18.5 - 24.9)
  • Overweight (25.0 - 29.9)
  • Obese (30.0 and above)

Your weight ( pounds) is in the category for adults of your height ( feet, inches)

To learn more, visit the CDC's Healthy Weight website

Your Custom Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Piazza begins your tummy tuck by creating an incision just above the pubic bone. This incision extends across the lower abdomen where the scar can be easily concealed by a bikini bottom. Dr. Piazza then tightens the abdominal muscles utilizing an advanced suturing technique and uses liposuction to sculpt a toned midsection. After that, he removes excess skin from the area.

Before closing the incision, Dr. Piazza repositions your belly button and ensures its appearance is aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Piazza believes that positioning the belly button correctly is one of the most important outcomes of the procedure because the belly button is so visible on the body. He sculpts the abdominal tissue around the belly button and plans the procedure so that the scar is concealed just inside the belly button.

A tummy tuck can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, depending on your specific concerns and your anatomy. During your consultation, Dr. Piazza can explain precisely what techniques he uses and answer any questions you may have.

Diagram of showing different incision points for a full and mini tummy tuck

Mini Tummy Tuck

In a few Austin patients, Dr. Piazza determines that a full tummy tuck isn’t needed. When the area of loose skin and excess fat is confined completely below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck may be possible. The advantage of this technique is that Dr. Piazza can make a shorter incision and the belly button isn’t re-positioned. Additionally, the recovery time is a bit shorter. You can discuss this option during your consultation, but most patients need a full abdominoplasty.

Dr. Piazza has created a special mini tummy tuck technique called “The Skin Pinch™.” Designed to address excess fat and skin in the lower abdomen, this procedure is appropriate for patients who are seeking a flatter stomach but don’t require a traditional tummy tuck. Learn more about The Skin Pinch™ on our blog.

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When you get plastic surgery at The Piazza Center, we make a long-term commitment to your recovery, your beauty, and your well-being. Learn about the dedication you receive when you become a patient for life.

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Your Tummy Tuck Recovery & Results

Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can return home the day of your operation. You will need someone to drive you and stay with you for the first 24 hours as you recover from the effects of the general anesthetic. Your abdomen will feel very tight and pretty sore for the first few days, so it’s generally a good idea to stay ahead of your discomfort by taking the prescribed pain medications on schedule.

You won’t be able to walk fully upright for a few a week or two. However, Dr. Piazza expects all of his tummy tuck patients to start walking around their homes at least 7 to 8 times each day, starting the first day after surgery. Walking helps with circulation and will enable you to be active as soon as possible. It is important to gradually increase the amount you exercise as you are healing.

During your recovery, you will have dressings on your incisions and wear a snug compression garment, which helps with swelling and provides support for your incision. You will also likely have at least one surgical drain in place to help prevent fluid from building up. In the following video, Dr. Piazza explains how to care for surgical drains.

Caring for Your Drain After a Tummy Tuck

Your tummy will be flatter and your skin tighter right away, but you’ll also have swelling and bruising. It will take a few weeks – or even months for some patients – for the swelling to resolve completely. Wearing your compression garment as directed will help. Within a few weeks of your surgery, you’ll feel a difference in your clothes, and you’ll be enjoying a slimmer waist and flatter tummy.

Tummy Tuck at a Glance

Goal: To restore balance and shape to the tummy and waistline.

Procedure: This procedure focuses on reshaping the tummy by restoring the underlying anatomy. Dr. Piazza focuses primarily on repairing separated abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis), reshaping the belly button, and removing excess skin and fat from the lower tummy. Patients may benefit from liposuction to further sculpt the sides of the waist area also known as the flanks, love handles, or muffin top.

Anesthesia: General anesthesia
Procedure length: 2.5 to 3.5 hours

Aftercare: There are 2 incisions for a tummy tuck procedure. One incision is inside the belly button and the second is along the bikini line in the lower tummy. The lower incision will have one or two drains that are secured along the incision to minimize scarring. Both incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures and covered with white Steri-Strips™. A compressive binder will be placed around the abdomen to keep the patient in a flexed or “beach-chair” position (even when upright) for the first 10 to 14 days.

Recovery: Ranges from 1 to 2 weeks on average. The right-side drain and all Steri-Strips will be removed 5 to 7 days after surgery. Swelling and tightness of the tummy can be expected for the first few weeks. Patients remain in a flexed or beach-chair position for the first 10 to 14 days even when upright. After approximately 10 days, most patients begin to stand more upright as the swelling and tightness have decreased. The second drain is removed 7 to 14 days after surgery.


  • Surgery
  • Day 5 to 7: Steri-Strip removal and right-side drain
  • Day 6 to 14: Removal of second drain
  • 2 weeks: Return to work and social activities
  • 3 months: 80% healed
  • 6 months: 90% healed
  • 1 year: 100% healed

At The Piazza Center, we believe that beautiful surgical results are enhanced by a healthy lifestyle. Our aim is to help you achieve your cosmetic goals and desires. If you would like to find out more information regarding tummy tuck surgery, you can request an in-person or virtual consultation online or call our office at (512) 551-1067.

Let's Talk Tummy Tuck

Dr. Piazza has helped hundreds of people to regain a slender waist and firm, flat abdomen after pregnancy or weight loss. He can help you, too. What do you have to lose (besides the muffin top)?

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Dr. Piazza Answers Common Questions

Can a tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?

Yes, it is possible to combine other procedures with a tummy tuck. I typically use liposuction to further enhance the results of the tummy tuck procedure by removing excess fat in specific areas of the midsection. Also, a lot of my Austin tummy tuck patients who have had children also have interest in correcting sagging breasts with a breast lift. By combining these procedures as part of a mommy makeover, a more comprehensive result is achievable.

Real Patients. Real Stories

Helping Our Patients to Live Confidently

Find out what it's like to be a patient of The Piazza Center. Review the stories and "after" photos of some of the plastic surgery patients who've shared their experiences with us.

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Should I lose weight before a tummy tuck?

In general, I prefer my patients to be close to their ideal weight before their surgery, usually within 5 to 10 pounds of their goal weight. For your tummy tuck to be as successful as possible, it is important that you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. For instance, not smoking and exercising regularly will help you recover faster from surgery. Each patient has their own unique story when they come in for a consultation, and I create a customized treatment plan based on our discussion. Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight loss method; it is important for my patients to understand that this is a body contouring surgery aimed to create a smoother and firmer midsection.

Do I need a tummy tuck or just liposuction?

Liposuction is a great option for someone with firm, elastic skin whose primary concern is addressing extra fat in the midsection. I can sculpt this area with liposuction, and healthy, resilient skin will shrink to fit the new contours. Tummy tuck surgery is the right choice if you have excess, stretched skin and separated abdominal muscles, which is often the case after massive weight loss or pregnancy. Liposuction alone will not improve either of these conditions and would produce an unsatisfying result.

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