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What is an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?

Quite simply stated, an abdominoplasty contours the abdomen. The treatment includes muscle tightening and removal of excess skin. There is a large range of techniques that constitute our abdominoplasty to meet the needs of a diverse population, including women who have recently given birth, men and women who have sustained significant weight loss, and those who suffer from abdominal scarring and weakness from prior surgeries. The tummy tuck incision is thin and may be hidden under bathing suits and underwear. The objective of any abdominoplasty is a smoother, fitter torso and the increased self-confidence that goes along with it.

Tummy Tuck Baltimore Tummy Tuck Baltimore Tummy Tuck Baltimore

What is a Full Abdominoplasty?

The term “Abdominoplasty” refers to plastic surgery of the abdomen. A full abdominoplasty is the most comprehensive abdominoplasty. With this surgery, the following occurs:

  • Removal of significant amount of loose, redundant, overhanging skin
  • Tightening of abdominal muscles (repair “diastasis”) that loosen and separate from prior abdominal surgery, weight loss and pregnancies
  • Elevation, reduction and defatting of the pubic region
  • Addressing the belly button which may be stretched or deformed by hernias or scars
  • Often Liposuction of the waist to enhance shape
  • Secondary improvement of the upper and outer thigh which pull up in continuity with the abdomen

Abdominoplasty surgery typically takes 2-3 hours and is performed under general anesthesia, going home after a short recovery the same day. Intraoperatively, pain management is proactively addressed with injection of numbing agents to reduce discomfort after surgery for 3 or 4 days. Initial recovery after a Full Abdominoplasty may take about 2 weeks, allowing for 1 month to get back to a full non-strenuous schedule.

A full abdominoplasty is one of the most impactful, satisfying procedures plastic surgeons perform!

Who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty?

Good candidates for our Baltimore abdominoplasty surgery are men and women in good health who have excess, overhanging skin, significant stretch marks, muscle laxity, localized fat, or discomfort from scarring.

A tummy tuck is most often performed due to abdominal muscle laxity that might result from pregnancy, intrinsically lax tissues or postoperative scars. Some women post-pregnancy appear to still look pregnant due to residual long-standing muscle laxity. A tummy tuck is also the most often performed procedure for individuals who have sustained massive weight loss. A tummy tuck may focus primarily on excess skin and improving skin contour, or on tightening abdominal muscles, but most of the time on both.

A tummy tuck may be combined with liposuction, a back lift, a thigh lift, or breast augmentation to rejuvenate the entire torso. A tummy tuck may also be combined with abdominal hernia repairs, sometimes utilizing materials to reinforce the muscle repair. During the initial consultation, you will discuss with Dr. Shermak what you would like to improve so she can understand your expectations and determine how to best achieve the desired result.

Tummy Tuck Baltimore

Published in Clinics in Plastic Surgery

Dr Shermak wrote a chapter on Abdominoplasty Combined with Other Procedures, which was published in the most recent Clinics in Plastic Surgery.

Before & Afters

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If my tummy tuck is being done to repair abdominal muscles, can it be covered by insurance?

Typically this condition, often seen after pregnancy or abdominal surgical procedures, is not covered by insurance unless there is a hernia diagnosed. Just a space between the abdominal muscles is not covered under insurance.

How do I know if I am a better candidate for tummy tuck or liposuction?

Liposuction is the preferred treatment to reduce focal fat deposits, not to tighten or reduce excessive skin. Our Baltimore tummy tuck is the best option in men and women who require abdominal skin reduction and muscle tightening. Liposuction may also be performed on the back or waist to improve overall contour. You can discuss this with Dr. Shermak.

Can a tummy tuck be safely performed with breast surgery?

In many cases, a tummy tuck may be performed with breast surgery to improve the overall look of the torso. Our Baltimore breast augmentation, breast lift or a combination of the two often accompanies abdominal surgery.

How do I know if I can have a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck has a shorter abdominal incision and no incision around the belly button. A mini tummy tuck is typically performed for individuals with minimal excess skin or for those who desire small skin resection including possible surgical scars, in addition to abdominal muscle repair and tightening. The procedure is not applicable to most individuals seeking a tummy tuck who often require more significant skin removal. Dr. Shermak has lectured on mini tummy tucks and national cosmetic surgery meetings, and understands the applicability and performance of this surgery.

How can I ensure I get the best possible scars?

After surgery, Dr. Shermak will instruct her patients on surgical incision management, which typically includes moisture, gauze and binder early on. After about a month, she discusses massage and moisturizers with her patients, with possible focal compression to reduce swelling and optimize contour.

Is there an optimal weight for a tummy tuck?

Ideally clients should be at an ideal weight for their body height, namely a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 30. Having said that, many patients are at a higher than recommended weight, and those who are otherwise healthy may be fine candidates for a tummy tuck. The best way to know is to arrange an appointment with Dr. Shermak to find the safest way to meet your contour goals.

What is the recovery like for a tummy tuck?

Our Baltimore abdominoplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure. In some cases, it may require overnight observation in the hospital. You may experience temporary discomfort, swelling, numbness, and bruising. Patients are up and walking within hours of surgery. Most resume regular activities and return to work after 2 weeks, with remaining swelling taking up to a month or two to resolve. Stitches are removed approximately 1 week after surgery. Drainage tubes are often removed within 2 weeks.

Taking the first step towards your Maryland tummy tuck

For more information about undergoing arguably the best tummy tuck Baltimore has to offer by Dr Michele Shermak, call the office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal, comprehensive consultation today. During this initial session, Dr. Shermak will be able to answer all your questions in detail, while also providing you with access to our library of before and after photography.

1304 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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View Update Virtual Consultation

We are officially open, thanks to Governor Hogan!

We welcome new patients and are looking forward to performing elective surgical procedures, starting the week of May 11.

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued risk COVID-19 presents. For this reason, we will be instituting the following protocols:

  • We will have Sandy stationed at our entryway with sterilizer and a COVID-19 survey for our new patients to fill out. Sandy will also check your temperature and collect your paperwork at the door – our medical intake form can be filled out prior to your coming to the office, or you can fill it out after you arrive.
  • Please bring a mask for any in-office visits. If you are coming for surgery, please bring a paper mask if you have one. For any other visits, cloth masks or paper masks are fine.
  • We need any patient waiting to be seen to wait in your car until we can safely accommodate you in an exam room. We need to respect social distancing and are spacing our patients out to assure safety.
  • We can only allow the patient to come in to the office for examination. Friends or family will need to wait outside the office.
  • For those assisting our postoperative patients on the day of surgery: we ask that you kindly wait in your car and we will call you in to discuss postoperative instructions.
  • I am continuing to schedule Virtual Consultations which is exciting and new! Check out my Resources section or header at drshermak.com to get started!

I look forward to seeing you soon!


As of July 1st, the staff members at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland will no longer routinely be wearing masks following the state guidelines per Governor Hogan.

All of our staff members are vaccinated.

If any patient would prefer that the medical staff member caring for them wear a mask, please let us know and we will gladly do so.

We treat patients with compormised immune systems and we need to be respectful of their needs.

We are asking patients who are not fully vaccinated to please wear masks while in our office so that we may continue to safely accomodate our patients with weakened immune systems.

Thank you!

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