Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Conveniently located to serve St. Louis, Missouri

tummy tuckA tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess, loose skin from the abdomen and tightens and contours the abdominal wall. Women who have children experience repetitive stretching of the abdominal skin which causes tearing of the layers of the skin in the form of stretch marks. Men and women who have weight changes experience a similar effect. This results in loss of elasticity to the abdominal skin. In addition, the abdominal “six-pack” (rectus muscles stretch and the space between them widens, resulting in a type of “bulging” to the abdomen. This can exacerbate back pain.

In a tummy tuck procedure, St. Louis plastic surgeon Dr. Cabbabe removes skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles in order to tighten and contour the torso. Liposuction is incorporated into the procedure as needed and can enhance the result, particularly on the flank area where minimal tissues is otherwise removed.

Dr. Cabbabe incorporates his experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the body to give his patients the best results possible to meet their desires. He is an expert in cosmetic, reconstructive and minimally invasive body surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Cabbabe will carefully examine you and will make recommendations in order to help you achieve your desired result.

Prior to Surgery

Dr. Cabbabe requests that all patients take iron (ferrous sulfate) supplementation, approximately 300 mg three times a day, for 3 weeks prior to surgery. This helps patients increase their red blood cell counts prior to surgery and makes recovery much smoother for patients.

Do NOT take any aspirin, plavix, or ibuprofen at least 10 days prior to surgery. Coumadin or any other type of blood thinner prior to surgery. Dr. Cabbabe may also recommend that you stop any hormones or oral contraceptives to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs around the time of surgery.

It is helpful to have a recliner to sleep on for the first week or two when you transition to a bed. Extra compression garments, including FAJA’s in different sizes, are helpful as your size will decrease after swelling goes down. Female urination devices can be purchased on Amazon to be used while garments are worn.

Eat a healthy diet and avoid alcohol at least 48 hours prior to surgery to maintain hydration around the time of your procedure. Nicotine usage leads to a well – known higher rate of complications including infection and should be stopped at a minimum of 3 weeks prior. Take this as an opportunity to quit smoking forever to enjoy the health benefits long – term as well as improved skin texture with less wrinkling.

mini tummy tuck

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Prior to surgery, Dr. Cabbabe will place markings on the abdomen and any planned areas of liposuction. Nerve blocks may be done by the anesthesiologist to minimize pain after surgery. Numbing solution is used to minimize blood loss and assist with pain control.

Skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen while keeping the scar as low as possible, concealed within the under-garments. The rectus (“six-pack”) muscles are tightened together with sutures in order to flatten, sculpt and restore the abdomen to a more youthful appearance. The belly button is preserved and relocated to a new position after the remaining skin and fat of the abdomen are pulled down. Liposuction sculpting is done in the center and along the sides as needed to enhance the final result.

Sutures are used internally to minimize the need for drains. In select patients, no drains are needed. In other patients, 2 drains are placed inside the abdomen and removed within 1-2 weeks.

Your Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) will be performed in a hospital or surgery center in St. Louis, MO.


If this procedure is done by itself, most patients are able to go home the same day. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed. There may be some numbness on the abdomen which slowly improves with time. Most patients are able to shower within 24 hours. If drains are placed, they are generally removed within 1-2 weeks of surgery. Recovery time is 2 to 4 weeks. Dr. Cabbabe will ask you to wear compression garments for 2 weeks after surgery to help minimize swelling and maximize your result.



Heavier patients (BMI >30) experience more complications. If your BMI is greater than 35, Dr. Cabbabe may not recommend surgery. Complications include bleeding after surgery, fluid collections which may result in infection, thickened scars, skin necrosis, asymmetries and blood clots. These may require additional procedures to correct.

Dr. Cabbabe takes measures to prevent complications including appropriate use of antibiotics and drains to prevent infections, leg sequential devices to prevent blood clots in the legs and careful tissue handling to prevent skin necrosis. Board – certified anesthesiologists are used for all of his surgeries.

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