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What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck removes excess, wrinkled skin and subcutaneous fat from the abdomen. The underlying muscles may also be tightened during the procedure. The result is a smoother, flatter abdomen, and for some patients, the surgery relieves symptoms of lower back pain and abdominal discomfort.


Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Dr. J. Stewart Humphrey is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the gold standard for plastic surgery certification in the United States. Dr. Humphrey…

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What is the difference between a full abdominoplasty and a mini abdominoplasty?

The incision for a full abdominoplasty goes from hip to hip and tightens the skin from just below the ribs to just above the pubic area. The long incision will allow the muscle to be tightened on the upper and lower stomach, a greater amount of skin to be removed, and the belly button to be repositioned, giving it a more pleasing appearance. The mini abdominoplasty incision can vary in length but is usually around half the length of a full abdominoplasty. The limited length allows only for the muscle to be tightened on the lower stomach, and only the skin below the belly button to be tightened.

Is liposuction performed at the same time as an abdominoplasty at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery?

If the patient undergoes a full tummy tuck, liposuction on the stomach is not part of the procedure because of the complications that may occur if the blood supply is compromised. Blood supply is important in the healing process. It is possible to perform liposuction on unrelated areas of the body at the same time, such as the hips or the outer and/or inner thighs. If a patient undergoes a mini tummy tuck, liposuction is a full component of the procedure. Liposuction will blend the upper and lower stomach areas to be more aesthetically pleasing.


During your consultation visit, your surgeon will show you before and after pictures of patients who have undergone a breast augmentation. You will be able to see firsthand the difference the procedure made for these people. Interested in viewing before and after photos before your consultation? Visit our online gallery


Do I have to stop smoking before a tummy tuck?

Yes, Dr. Humphrey requires the patient to stop smoking one month before surgery and one month after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes, vapes, and other tobacco products decreases the blood supply to the skin, and blood supply is important to the healing process. We also require patients to eliminate secondhand exposure to all tobacco and marijuana products for the same duration.


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“The staff is always very friendly. Dr. Humphrey was great as a surgeon and made me feel very comfortable the whole time. If I had to have another procedure, I would definitely go back to Heartland Plastic surgery.”

“I had been eating healthy and exercising faithfully for years, and I had to admit that nothing short of a tummy tuck would restore my body to pre-pregnancy fabulous. I can’t stop looking at my before-and-after photos. My only regret is that I put it off so long! Now that my sister saw my results, she’s a happy HPHS patient, too!”

“God has blessed the work of his [Dr. Humphrey] hands. I am very blessed and pleased with the results. I am equally blessed with the kindness, understanding, and sincere professionalism I not only received from Dr. Humphrey but from his staff as well. A team of phenomenal individuals. Thank you!”


Is there anything I need to do to get myself ready for surgery?

To reduce bruising and the risk of hematoma, you must stop taking any blood thinners and vitamin E at least two weeks before and after surgery. If you are on prescription blood thinners, you may need to get medical clearance from your family doctor as well as instructions on how to stop these medications. We also want all herbal medication and diet pills (prescription and over-the-counter) stopped at least two weeks before surgery and one week following.

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, we require the tummy tuck patient to be in overall good health before the surgery can be performed. If there are questions regarding your health, medical clearance from your family doctor may be required.

What is the average cost of abdominoplasty? Is there a charge for the consultation?

The price of a tummy tuck will vary depending on the extent of surgery necessary to achieve the desired stomach appearance. At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, the average cost for a mini tummy tuck to an extended tummy tuck ranges from $5,105 to $10,530.

Is financing for a tummy tuck available? Does insurance cover a tummy tuck procedure?

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery we accept several types of payment and also provide financing options. They are cash, credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express), money orders, cashier checks, and financing with an outside agency. Cosmetic abdominoplasty is not covered by commercial insurance and will need to be paid in full before surgery. Make sure financing arrangements are made in advance with a financing company of your choice.


Is there a better time of year to have the surgery performed?

You should make sure you pick a time that will allow you to heal. After abdominal surgery, you will have a 10-15 pound lifting restriction for at least three weeks following surgery (that will include lifting children). You also have to make adjustments at your place of work due to swelling and being on pain medication. On average, patients should take two weeks off work, but patients with more physically demanding jobs may have to take 4 to 6 weeks off from work.

I’m interested. What should I do next?

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Dr. J. Stewart Humphrey, MD is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He offers plastic and hand surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston. Heartland Plastic Surgery is located 66 miles from Farmington, MO and 55 miles from Ste. Genevieve, MO. Your next step is to contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office today to schedule your initial tummy tuck consultation. In the meantime, jot down all your questions and concerns and bring them to your consultation so your surgeon can address them. Call now at (888) 515-2847 and start working on the new you!

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