Abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is a major cosmetic surgery procedure used to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the middle and lower abdomen in order to make the abdomen thinner and more firm. It can also tighten muscles of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery is usually sought by patients with loose or sagging tissues after pregnancy or major weight loss.

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Who needs it

  • Patients who consider a tummy tuck surgery may have recently given birth or lost a significant amount of weight. This surgical procedure is reserved for patients who have not been successful in reducing their protruding abdomen or tightening abdominal skin through diet or exercise. In some cases, muscle and skin are stretched to the point where only a surgical procedure can restore a flattened, defined abdominal wall.
  • A tummy tuck is designed to excise lax skin and localized fat deposits and tighten the abdominal muscles to improve the contour of your abdomen and waistline. This procedure can also remove stretch marks caused by weight loss or pregnancy. It may also be partly a reconstructive procedure that is necessary to correct structural defects of the abdomen, improve function of abdominal muscles, repair an abdominal hernia that has followed previous abdominal surgery, remove a large apron of fat called a “pannus”, that can cause chronic inflammation, infection, difficulty in walking and difficulties with hygiene (this procedure is called apronectomy).
  • A tummy tuck not only improves the contour of your abdomen and waistline creating ideal body proportions but heightens self-esteem as many women feel more confident wearing fitted clothing or sporting a bikini. Abdominoplasty can be performed on its own, but often times it is paired with liposuction to remove additional fat. It can also be part of a “mommy makeover” procedure, combining body and breast work to restore mother’s pre-baby bodies.

Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who have had multiple pregnancies and have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. If men have weakened abdominal muscles and excess skin, they can benefit from a tummy tuck as well.

Patients must be at a stable weight; if they are obese this procedure may not be appropriate. Tummy tuck patients should not plan on becoming pregnant in the future as this will reverse results. During your consultation, your surgeon will be able to determine whether you could benefit from liposuction as well, or just need liposuction instead of an abdominoplasty.

Tummy tuck is not suitable for people who are in the process of losing weight or planning to get pregnant.

What you should know

It is important to know that a tummy tuck surgery should not be sought out as an alternative to weight loss. A tummy tuck is meant as a contouring method (dermolipectomy) for those who have tried working out the abdominal region but have not seen results. Continuous exercise and eating healthy after your procedure will help secure lasting, beautiful results.


If only a small area of excess fat is found in the anterior abdominal wall (with no loose skin), liposuction is performed. When a small excess of skin is the problem a mini tummy tuck is performed, with or without liposuction. Lastly, a full tummy tuck involves a high-cut in a natural line inside the pelvic bones. The belly button is repositioned after the excess skin has been removed while the rectus muscles may be tightened.

Each tummy tuck procedure varies in length, but a full or modified tummy tuck typically lasts 3-4 hours, and a mini tummy tuck takes 2-3 hours.

A full tummy tuck is a technique that tightens the abdominal muscles and excises lax skin and fat deposits from above and below the belly button (the belly button gets released from the surrounding skin, and a new circular incision is created for the belly button when the skin is redraped). A modified tummy tuck is reserved for patients who only wish to address either abdominal skin laxity or abdominal muscle weakness. Lastly, a mini tummy tuck generally addresses lax skin and muscle tightening underneath the belly button, but can be performed above the belly button as well (the excising of skin and muscles is not extensive enough to require a release of the belly button).

Results of a tummy tuck procedure can be heightened by undergoing additional body contouring procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift or liposuction.


After the procedure, depending on the specific case, you may be given an antibiotic, pain reducer, anti-nausea, and/or anti-clotting medication (preventing clotting is important after surgeries and can further be avoided by walking).

You should be able to return to normal daily activities and work between 1-2 weeks, and strenuous activities in 4-6 weeks.

Tummy tuck cost (price)

The cost of your abdominoplasty procedure will depend on your specific case and if you opt to receive additional treatments or procedures. Tummy tuck prices can vary widely between surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.

Plastic surgeon prof. Dr Milan Jovanovic

Plastic surgeon prof. Dr Milan Jovanovic

Prof. Dr Milan Jovanovic is a specialist in plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. As a surgeon with 27 years of surgical experience, Dr Jovanovic is one of the best experts in anti-ageing, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery in the region.

He is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, where he teaches general education to students of the fifth year, as well as at the postgraduate education for doctors who specialize in the field of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. He is the Head of the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade.

About the Surgeon

Hospital for plastic and aesthetic surgery

Health institution General Hospital – Medical System Belgrade – MSB is a system which combines all medical and dental specialties.

Exceptional and complete services in the fields of anti-ageing, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery are provided by the Center for Aesthetic Surgery MSB (Medical System Belgrade). Along with the necessary safety, quality, comfort and discretion, our main goal is – a satisfied patient.


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