Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck

Treatment Time 1-2 Hours Patient Downtime 2-3 Weeks Treatment Series 1 Procedure Type Outpatient


Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that helps flatten, tighten, and sculpt the abdomen and waist area. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are those who are in good physical condition but have excess fat or loose skin in the abdomen area that is not responding well to diet and exercise.  Performed in our AAAASF outpatient surgery center, abdominoplasty is a common procedure for patients at Illuminate.

Woman's body after an abdominoplasty


There is no “one-size-fits-all” technique to the abdominoplasty. Dr. Boudreault takes the time to assess your mid-section and discuss the technique that is right for you and your goals. For the typical abdominoplasty, Dr. Boudreault makes a smooth, curved incision along the panty line from hip-to-hip. Excess fat and skin is removed and the abdominal muscles walls are tightened and repaired. Dr. Boudreault includes liposuction in almost all abdominoplasty surgeries, because this helps further shape the waist and reduce the fullness in the upper abdomen. The skin is pulled downward, often eliminating some areas of stretch marks, and a new belly button is positioned and reconstructed. This results in a smoother and flatter stomach area with a new, attractive-looking belly button, improving the body’s overall look of the profile and physique.


A tummy tuck is done at our surgical facility in Palo Alto. During a tummy tuck, you’ll be fully asleep under general anesthesia. Dr. Boudreault will prescribe pain medication for you at the time of your pre-operative visit, so you can manage any initial discomfort after your surgery. You may need to sleep on your back or in a reclined position for the first 2-3 weeks. You’ll be asked to wear a compression garment for up to 24 hours a day for at least the first week to reduce swelling as you heal. For minimal tummy tuck revisions and smaller procedures, you may be offered a moderate and more gentle sedation, instead of general anesthesia.


Recovery from a tummy tuck varies from person to person, but we generally see our patients take about 2-3 weeks of downtime. Factors that may affect your recovery time include: 

  • Age
  • General health
  • Type of tummy tuck
  • Post-surgery care

We understand there are several factors in coordinating time to relax at home for your recovery, and Dr. Boudreault can provide you with a doctor’s note for you to request ample time off from school or work. After the procedure is complete, Dr. Boudreault will be there every step of the way in your aftercare process to ensure a speedy recovery, but generally, most patients will begin feeling themselves again after 3 weeks.


A tummy tuck removes loose skin and excess fat and tightens the weak fascia of the abdominal area. It tightens the abdominal muscles that tend to loosen over time due to age, weight gain and pregnancy. A tummy tuck can also remove stretch marks by removing the excess skin in the lower abdomen below the belly button. If you’ve previously had a C-section, Dr. Boudreault will assess if he can remove your C-section scar with this procedure.

If you’ve had fat removed from your abdomen (liposuction), you may decide to have a tummy tuck because liposuction only removes surface-level fat but does not remove any excess skin. A tummy tuck can also be done in combination with other body contouring cosmetic procedures, such as breast surgery.


For more significant skin and fat removal, changes will be noticed immediately after surgery. Initial swelling will be present post-procedure and can obscure the results initially. Patients are also required to wear a compression garment for two weeks after surgery before transitioning to a lightly compressive garment, like Spanx®, to minimize swelling. Swelling after surgery is the most common reason for any delay in seeing your final results, but most swelling will resolve after the first 1-2 months. After any residual swelling fully subsides, your final results are expected to be seen by 9 months, and most before/after photos we take are taken at 3-6 months post-procedure.


The average cost of a tummy tuck is $9,000–$16,000, depending on the complexity and technique used for each individual basis. This is the total average cost that includes anesthesia and facility fees. If you would like to finance your abdominoplasty, our patients occasionally apply through CareCredit or Alphaeon.  Many patients have also applied for credit cards with longer terms at 0% interest.

Join our many patients who’ve had their tummy tuck procedure to achieve the flat stomach that they now feel confident to reveal.

“I had my Brazilian Butt Lift in 2017 with Dr. Boudreault and I couldn’t be any happier with my results. My butt and hips look SO natural – my only regret was not doing it sooner!”*

Brazilian Butt Lift Patient

“I fully trust Dr. B and will go to him for all my procedures. He really cares about his clients and their results.”*

Med Spa Patient

“The day after my surgery when the garment came off, I almost cried. Dr. B exceeded my expectations and gave me an even BETTER body than I had imagined.”*

Brazilian Butt Lift Patient