A tummy tuck at Portland’s Waldorf Center is a plastic surgery procedure that contours the tummy and waistline, primarily by removing excess skin and fat.* Also known as an abdominoplasty, this cosmetic solution is designed to enhance the appearance of the abdomen.

A tummy tuck is not intended to achieve weight loss, but is most suitable for people who are very near their ideal weight and dealing with loose, sagging belly skin; weakened abdominal muscles; and a small amount of stubborn fat that does not respond to diet or exercise efforts. A tummy tuck can be transformative, improving self-esteem and confidence.



The choice to have a tummy tuck is a serious and personal one. Before finalizing any decision, patients should educate themselves on all of the variables involved, seeking out reliable sources of accurate information. Finding the right physician, who has significant relevant experience in this specific type of surgery, is essential. A tummy tuck begins long before the day of the procedure itself, with patient education and thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon of choice.

Learn the difference between a full and mini tummy tuck at Portland’s Waldorf Center.

For tummy tuck surgery, Portland’s Waldorf Center offers two variations: full and mini. A full abdominoplasty allows our plastic surgeons to contour the upper and lower portions of the abdomen by removing fat, excising excess skin, and repairing muscles. A mini abdominoplasty is for patients whose contouring goals are limited to the area below the navel. This allows for more focused results, as well as a less-involved procedure and shorter recovery period after. Contact us for a consultation so we can help you determine the ideal technique for you.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons at The Waldorf Center believe in the importance of tummy tuck candidates being well informed so that they can approach the procedure with an understanding of what it can and cannot achieve, as well as how to prepare before the surgery and what to expect from recovery afterward. A solid relationship with a trusted doctor is key, which is why communication and comfort are emphasized at The Waldorf Center.

Tummy tuck patients are encouraged to make their decision after their questions have been answered (including concerns about what to expect during their recovery period) and they feel confident that a tummy tuck with one of our plastic surgeons is the right choice for them. Physicians recognize that no two patients share identical goals for cosmetic surgery. During your consultation, the surgeon will examine your midsection, note your medical history and stats, and tell you what a tummy tuck can reasonably accomplish.


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A tummy tuck is often performed on patients after bariatric surgery or as part of a postpregnancy Mommy Makeover to eliminate lax tissue unable to conform to new, slimmer contours. Male patients also visit our practice with concerns of a “spare tire” or “beer belly” as their abdominal muscles become weaker (to the point where they are no longer responsive to exercise) and skin loosens with age.

The procedure performed is unique to each patient and requires an expert eye and skilled assessment to consider which elements may be the appropriate combination to deliver the desired results. When handled by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, a tummy tuck can be a very effective way to contour, flatten and tone the abdominal area to impact a patient’s entire physique for the better.


After your first visit with your plastic surgeon, there are a number of steps you may be asked to take in order to get yourself ready for surgery. To enjoy the best results from a tummy tuck, patients are advised to make themselves well aware of all of the steps involved. Our physicians recommend that you start planning strategically months in advance (some say a full six months is ideal) and follow all instructions for rigorous follow-up self-care to ensure the tummy tuck recovery process goes smoothly.

Our plastic surgeons also recommend that patients maintain a stable body weight in the months leading up to the tummy tuck surgery and avoid taking certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, to achieve optimal outcomes. Smoking is detrimental to the healing process, as the chemicals inhaled interfere with the supply of blood and oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Ceasing smoking is critical in the weeks leading up to and after the tummy tuck operation.


A tummy tuck typically takes one to two hours, depending on how much skin needs to be removed and tightened and is performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. Most often, Waldorf Center patients spend one night recovering in our accredited surgery center before heading home.

Before the tummy tuck operation begins, a combination of medical treatments is administered to put the patients into a temporary, sleep-like state. This ensures their continued comfort by rendering them unable to feel pain.

For a tummy tuck, the curved, horizontally oriented or elliptical-shaped incision is generally low on the abdomen: below the belly button and near the pubic hairline. The resulting scar will stay hidden under most bathing suit bottoms and underwear. Excess skin and fat may be removed, and stretched-out or separated abdominal muscles are repaired as needed. In some cases, the belly button may be repositioned. Surgeons use skin adhesives, tapes, and sutures to close the wound.

Liposuction may also be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck to remove any excess fat from the area.

Depending on the concerns being addressed, a second incision may be made around the belly button to target skin, muscle, or fat in the upper abdomen.


The type of tummy tuck you undergo will depend on patient and surgeon preference, as well as factors such as individual body type, anatomy, skin quality, and the location of the excess skin and fat. There are two main variations of tummy tuck procedures: a classic or “full” abdominoplasty and a partial abdominoplasty (otherwise known as a mini tummy tuck).

A full tummy tuck encompasses the entire abdominal and navel area. It can be used to create a smooth profile while contouring both the upper and the lower abdomen.

Many women find that after pregnancy and childbirth, they develop lax skin and muscle in their lower abdomen. A mini tummy tuck may be all that is required for some patients to achieve their desired results, especially if they only need a small amount of contouring and their main concern is a flab that has accumulated below the navel. Unlike a standard tummy tuck, the mini version only addresses the lower abdominal area, removing its excess skin and tightening lower abdominal muscles. It requires less recovery time and results in less scarring than traditional tummy tuck surgery.

Patients who have experienced significant weight loss (whether with the assistance of bariatric surgery or otherwise) may opt to receive a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck. This procedure includes the typical lower abdominal incision along with a second one made vertically down the midsection to address lax abdominal tissue more comprehensively.

The length of this second incision depends on the extent of correction required but typically does not extend above the breastbone. The belly button may also be repositioned to a more proportionate level on the abdomen.



The experienced surgeons at The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery—Dr. Kathleen Waldorf and Dr. Rachel Streu—built the practice on a foundation of providing patients with high quality, ethical care. One of their guiding principles is a belief that cosmetic surgery is as much an art as it is a science.


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The experienced surgeons at The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery—Dr. Kathleen Waldorf and Dr. Rachel Streu—built the practice on a foundation of providing patients with highquality, ethical care. One of their guiding principles is a belief that cosmetic surgery is as much an art as it is a science.


Dear Dr. Waldorf,
Thank you so very much for your outstanding job on my “tummy tuck!” I am so pleased with the results! You have an amazing skill, wonderful bed-side manner, super staff, beautiful office, and fabulous service to all of us women! I feel younger and more enthused to be healthy. I’ve been talking about you to my friends. You’ve made a difference in my life!

— 57-year-old female patient

*Patient testimonial. Results may vary


Getting the right aftercare plan in place is important for proper recovery. Recovery after tummy tuck surgery is relatively quick, and most patients find they are able to resume a regular work or home schedule after about two weeks of recuperation. Most can return to strenuous activity levels in about six weeks after surgery.*

The post-op period typically involves some bruising, soreness, and swelling. You may also find it hard to walk completely straight for the first few days. To lower the risk of infection, your physician may prescribe an antibiotic. You can take pain medication to manage any discomfort, but keep in mind that some mild residual swelling will remain for a few weeks to months. You can also expect the skin between the navel and the wound to feel numb. After these effects subside, the result is a flatter, firmer, smoother tummy and trimmer waistline.*

Your abdominal incisions are likely to be wrapped in surgical dressings or bandages to provide support and reduce swelling. In some cases, thin tubes or drains may be placed at the time of a tummy tuck to collect excess fluid as you heal, and you may be instructed to wear a compression garment for up to six weeks. If drains are used, they will be removed along with your sutures during a post-operative visit with your plastic surgeon.

During your recovery period, it is important to get enough rest and avoid positions that stretch or strain the fresh incisions or sutured abdominal muscles. Some patients have found that having supplies such as extra pillows, a body pillow, a recliner, ice packs, and gauze pads helps them to feel more comfortable and accelerates the healing process during this time.

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and will not prevent patients from gaining weight in the future. Once your surgeon clears you to resume all activities, it is important to make habits of healthy eating and regular exercise to sustain the results of your tummy tuck long-term.

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As noted above, liposuction may be an element of a tummy tuck, but the surgical fat removal can also be performed as a standalone procedure on many areas of the body, from the belly to the buttocks to the pocket that causes a double chin.

In fact, your plastic surgeon may recommend liposuction as a standalone procedure instead of a tummy tuck if you experience larger deposits of diet- and exercise-resistant fat in the abdominal area but do not have much excess, loose skin.

Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight frequently find there is loose, hanging tissue on other parts of their body they would like to have addressed as well. An arm lift targets lax skin on the upper arms while a thigh lift or comprehensive lower body lift can tighten up tissues on the bottom half.

A nonsurgical option for patients who need “a little something” to help contour an ideal physique is EMSCULPT®, which triggers thousands of muscle contractions in a short time period to reduce fat and improve definition in the abdomen. This treatment can also be used to shape and tone the buttocks.

*Patient results may vary*