My Plastic Surgery Group

Tummy Tuck

About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr Aker offers a drainless tummy tuck.  A drainless tummy tuck is a surgical procedure designed to flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. Unlike traditional tummy tucks that often require the placement of drains to remove excess fluid from under the skin post-operation, the drainless tummy tuck uses advanced suturing techniques to close the space where fluid might accumulate. This approach can reduce the risk of seroma (fluid accumulation) and may lead to a more comfortable recovery process, as it eliminates the discomfort and maintenance associated with drains. By promoting a smoother recovery period and potentially reducing the risk of complications, the drainless tummy tuck has become an attractive option for patients seeking to improve their abdominal contour.

Tummy Tuck Procedure Information

An abdominoplasty is a plastic surgery technique commonly referred to as tummy tuck surgery. During an abdominoplasty, skin and tummy fat are removed from the mid and lower abdomen as upper abdominal skin is pulled downward. The muscular wall is repaired by pulling the abdominal muscles tightly back together, thereby narrowing the waistline and strengthening the abdominal wall. As the upper skin is pulled taut downward, a new opening is created for the navel which has been preserved throughout this procedure. Oftentimes, it is necessary to place drains in the abdominal cavity which will stay in place throughout a portion of the tummy tuck recovery period. Recently, however, our surgeons have perfected a new technique that doesn’t require drains at all. Whether or not you are a candidate for our “drainless” abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) will be decided by the physician on an individual basis.

Is tummy tuck surgery right for you? Ultimately, only you can decide that. However, there are some factors that might help our plastic surgeons decide if tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is a safe choice for you. Most of this information will be discussed during your initial consultation with us, but it is important for you to be in general good health, be within 20 pounds of your target weight, and be completely free of nicotine products. If you are a smoker, we can discuss helpful tips to “kick the habit,” but we will not consider you a candidate for this surgery if you test positive for nicotine prior to your date of surgery.
Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, recovery is also something you will want to consider when making your decision. You should expect to stay in the hospital for at least 23 hours following tummy tuck surgery. It is unrealistic to expect you will be able to return to work any sooner than one week after your surgery. Ideally, you would take two weeks to rest and recover. Because the skin is pulled so tight, your posture will be affected the first few days following surgery. You may walk slightly bent over for 7-10 days but will notice with each passing day that you are able to stand up a bit straighter than the day before. A low-grade fever is not uncommon in the first few days after surgery and usually improves with deep breathing exercises. Any drains you might have will be concealed under your clothes and will be removed in our office 1-2 weeks after surgery. There will be daily progress, but you must be patient! Although results are impressive early on, they will continue to improve as swelling subsides over 12-16 weeks. After many years of performing this procedure, we know that each person recovers slightly differently and at different rates of speed. Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty results usually last for years if your weight remains stable. We are committed to treating each patient as an individual and will discuss those individual concerns regarding your recovery during your consultation.

We invite and encourage you to view our before and after tummy tuck photos.

Who is a Candidate

Anyone who desires an improvement in the contour of their abdomen, and who is in reasonably good health is a candidate. Disease processes by themselves rarely contraindicate abdominoplasty. However, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic illnesses may delay our decision to proceed until those illnesses are adequately treated. Those with a body mass index of greater than 35 should hesitate to undergo this procedure before they lose significant weight. Greater than 40 BMI suggests dangerous or morbid obesity. Those patients should be under the care of a weight loss physician or bariatrician. A BMI of 25 is a fair body mass index to aim for if 1 wants the best result obtainable. To check your body mass index, look it up on Google. There are charts available. Online BMI calculators are plentiful. There you enter your height and weight to obtain this information.


The decision to have elective surgery is, in 1 major way, more difficult than a decision to have surgery for an illness. Elective surgery is not immediately necessary to save a life or limb. It is more of a long-term quality-of-life issue. Therefore, many of us will feel the weight of the decision in a special way; are we asking for trouble? Are we tempting God? There are many and varied ways that patients get through this decision. It helps greatly to talk with those whom you trust; loved ones, close friends, your plastic surgeon, and your family doctor. Not all will come off on the side of proceeding with the surgery, but all are worth listening to. Opinions from acquaintances, coworkers, or those with an agenda other than your well-being are not worth considering on the other hand. The decision process will be lonely unless you let those who truly care for you participate by being heard. Made in this way, your plastic surgeon has never seen a wrong decision. Ultimately, the decision is yours, of course.


A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is not just a physical transformation but a journey that encompasses both mind and body. It’s a step towards not only enhancing your appearance but boosting your self-esteem and comfort in your skin. To ensure you’re fully prepared for this life-changing procedure, it’s important to take comprehensive steps, both mentally and physically. Here’s how you can prepare:

Mental Preparation: Cultivating a Positive Mindset

  1. Understand the Process: Familiarize yourself with the tummy tuck procedure, potential outcomes, and recovery time. Knowing what to expect can significantly ease any anxieties.
  2. Set Realistic Expectations: While a tummy tuck can significantly improve your abdominal area’s appearance, having realistic expectations about the outcomes is crucial for satisfaction.
  3. Support System: Surround yourself with supportive family members or friends who understand your reasons for undergoing this surgery and can provide emotional support.
  4. Mental Health: Consider speaking with a counselor or therapist if you have any fears or anxieties. Mental readiness is key to a smooth recovery.

Physical Preparation: Ensuring Your Body is Ready

  1. Medical Evaluation: Undergo a full medical check-up to ensure you’re fit for surgery. Disclose your medical history, medications, and any supplements you’re taking to your surgeon.
  2. Nutrition: Adopt a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support healing. Avoid crash diets; instead, focus on wholesome foods that can help reduce post-surgery recovery time.
  3. Smoking and Alcohol: If you smoke or consume alcohol, it’s essential to quit at least four to six weeks before and after surgery, as these can interfere with your healing process.
  4. Medications: Discuss any medications you’re taking with your surgeon, as some may need to be temporarily stopped before the procedure.
  5. Physical Fitness: Being in good physical shape can aid in a quicker recovery. Engage in regular, moderate exercise leading up to your surgery, but avoid strenuous workouts a week prior.
  6. Preparation at Home: Prepare your home for your return from the hospital. Create a comfortable, restful space where everything you might need is easily accessible. Consider meal prep and other arrangements to minimize stress during recovery.
  7. Follow Pre-Surgery Instructions: Your surgeon will provide specific instructions tailored to your procedure. These may include fasting guidelines and what to bring on the day of your surgery.

Before & After Tummy Tuck


Real Results

View before-and-after pictures of real patients of Dr. John Aker.

Tummy Tuck Operation

The operating room is one of the safest places on the plant. Where else do find yourself surrounded by at least 4 or 5 professionals who’s occupation is to keep you safe? The culture in American operating rooms is one of a team. No longer is the surgeon absolute master. Every healthcare professional has a right and duty to speak up to, comment, or to question. In this way, the patient has at least 8 pairs of eyes and 4 brains with them at all times. While the room feels cold, serious attention is paid to keeping the patient warm. Circulating air blankets, warm IV fluid and body temperature monitoring allow warm tissues to function as they should. Warming the skin prevents infection in a more profound way than any known antibiotic. The initial anesthetic goes in via an intravenous line and sleep follows within seconds. While the patient is asleep, a soft plastic tube is inserted from the mouth into the throat to keep the patient’s airway open to the flow of oxygen. Safety monitoring equipment is watched by the anesthesiologist and nurses continually. The incision across the bottom of the abdomen is made down to, but not through the muscle. The skin and fat are elevated off the muscle towards the navel. The navel is left in place by cutting skin around it. Finally, the skin and fat are lifted up all the way to the bottom of the ribs. At this point, the separation of the rectus muscles that happened during pregnancy is repaired. This reduces the ability of the abdominal contents to protrude out from the lower abdomen. Long, continuous sutures synch the waist in like an internal corset. Uncomfortable for the 1st few days, this is the part of a tummy tuck patient’s appreciate most. It helps to return the abdomen to a pre-baby or pre-overweight look. The patient is then placed in a flexed position so that a maximal amount of skin can be removed. After it’s removal, it is waited and then discarded. Almost all patients are curious about the weight of what was removed. Now for a new innovation brought about by Dr. Harlan Pollock in Dallas, Texas and brought to Indianapolis by our practice; No drains! When the average tummy tuck patient is asked after she is healed what the worst thing about her experience was, she almost always says “The drains.” We perform Dr. Pollock’s drainless technique. It involves the placement of additional sutures to stabilize the abdominal wall and skin together. This not only closes the space drains are normally placed in to, thus avoiding fluid build up, but it distributes the tension of a tight wound closure throughout the abdomen, not just on the scar. Long-term, we feel this will give a better cosmetic result. All sutures are self-dissolving underneath the skin. The last layer is what dress makers would call an invisible hem stitch. We call it a subcuticular closure, but it is the same thing. The dressing is a clear plastic Saran Wrap looking material. It is waterproof, so showering is possible anytime postoperatively.

DR’s Tip on The Drainless Abdominoplasty

When inquiring about the challenges associated with an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, numerous patients highlight the discomfort associated with the drainage system. Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate excess fat and skin, resulting in a firmer, more sculpted abdominal profile. In traditional approaches to this surgery, the body tends to accumulate fluid between the skin-fat layer and the underlying musculature before these layers fully adhere during the healing process. To manage this, small tubes are strategically placed to facilitate the removal of excess fluid, ensuring a smoother recovery and optimal results.

Recent advancements and studies have illuminated the efficacy of the quilting technique, which notably obviates the necessity for drains while concurrently facilitating progressive skin tightening from the abdomen downwards. In 2002, Drs. Harlan and Todd Pollock introduced their pioneering method for a drainless abdominoplasty. This approach involves meticulous additional suturing of the abdominal tissues to eliminate the space typically necessitating drainage tubes. This innovative concept resonated strongly with our practice, marking a significant evolution in our surgical methodology.


Healing, like preparation for surgery, is in 3 parts; physical, emotional and spiritual. The parts overlap in most patients. In most patients, the course is marked by steady but uneven progress in all 3 areas.
Physical healing involves pain resolution, mobility, and return to normal activities. Swelling is as much or more of an impediment to this process as is pain. Most patients do take narcotic pain medication such as hydrocodone in the 1st week postoperatively. Most patients say they dealt with swelling tissues for several more weeks postoperatively. Those patients who physically heal fastest are those who work diligently at increasing their activity level every day and who get professional or family member massages regularly as well.
Emotional healing seems to take less time than physical healing for most patients. It seems to involve a mental acceptance that discomfort in contour irregularities are normal parts of the healing process. Focusing on things and people outside of the physical healing process seem to help. Concentration on slow, regular breathing is helpful as well. When you are breathing in a slow, deliberate fashion, your mind tends to understand the body’s needs for oxygen and calm in good measured doses. Long walks seem to help not only with mobility, but tend to resolve swelling more rapidly and are meditative in nature. Many of us believe walking is as good for the mind as it is for the body.

My Plastic Surgery Group has done upwards of 1,000 abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgeries in Indianapolis and Carmel over the past 10 years and find it’s one of the most rewarding surgeries to perform because patient satisfaction is overwhelming. We look forward to meeting and helping you on this journey.

You might also be interested in learning more about an Extended Tummy Tuck or a Mini Tummy Tuck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although any surgery has risks, abdominoplasty is a commonly performed procedure. The complications from tummy tuck surgery are very similar to other procedures we do and will be discussed thoroughly at your consultation.
Posture can improve if there is substantial tummy muscle laxity producing a forward tilt to the hips prior to the surgery. Tightening the tummy muscles frequently reduces the tilt to a more normal position, and by default, improves one´s posture.
For certain people, depending upon their history and some other factors, drains may not be necessary. This simplifies the recovery considerably. You should discuss this possibility with your surgeon during your consultation.
Exercise is always beneficial for overall health. This surgery creates results that exceed those obtained with exercise alone. However, exercise can enhance and extend the results of surgery.
This is unlikely after tummy tuck surgery. More commonly, it is fat in the hip/flank area that you might notice more now that your tummy is much flatter and more contoured. The doctor will address these concerns with you during your consultation.
Yes, it is one of the highest. The results are impressive and long lasting.
No. Certainly the tissue that is removed does weigh something, typically only a few pounds, but abdominoplasty is a contour procedure that improves shape.
A “mini tummy tuck” involves limited tightening of the skin, with optional muscle repair. Recovery is much quicker and may not require an overnight stay at the hospital unless combined with other procedures.
Absolutely! Smoking and nicotine inhibit skin circulation and wound healing. They also make anesthesia riskier. Smoking, nicotine use, chewing tobacco and nicotine gum must be stopped at least 8 weeks prior to surgery to avoid serious, unnecessary complications.
Typically it runs from hip to hip, but is designed to fit within a two-piece bathing suit, underwear or briefs.

How Much Does Tummy Tuck Cost?

The cost of a tummy tuck will depend on several factors. The price can be affected by body type, type of technique performed, surgical complications, and even allergies. Find out more by scheduling a consultation.

Arrange Your Tummy Tuck Consultation

Contact our office today to get started. Our skilled board-certified plastic surgeons have the years of experience needed to get you the results you deserve.

Denise Reister
Denise Reister
18 January 2024
I saw Nate for laser hair removal today for the third time. I’ve also seen him for Botox injections. He carefully explains everything he is doing. He is such a kind & caring human. I will definitely use him again & again.
Peggy Brennan
Peggy Brennan
18 January 2024
Samantha was wonderful. She definitely knew what she was doing and was also friendly & personable.
jennifer foltz
jennifer foltz
17 January 2024
The staff is always friendly, professional, and accommodating. Dr. Akers is to the point but listens intently to any concerns (as does the PA!)
15 January 2024
I recently went for a consultation and the staff was very friendly. Dr. Akers was very nice, polite, professional, and respectful. He explained everything really well of what to expect with the procedure I’m interested in. I was very pleased.
Angie Duzan
Angie Duzan
12 January 2024
I had my consultation with Dr Akers. The office staff and the doctor are all so very friendly. They made me feel very comfortable..I have never felt so welcome in a doctor office as I do with Myplastic surgery group. They are all friendly,knowledgeable on procedures and helpful! Dr. Akers is just the most down to earth doctor I have ever met. I travel from Bloomington and will do it every time.I highly recommend this place. They offer a variety of services! Angie Duzan
Amanda Westfall
Amanda Westfall
11 January 2024
Samantha is an incredible injector. She did my Botox for forehead and crows feet- it was a very positive experience with very little discomfort - thank you so much for keeping me young!
Cheryl OBrien
Cheryl OBrien
10 January 2024
I am very pleased with my results of having a tummy tuck with Dr Aker. I am 4 months post op. The before and after pics are astounding! His office staff are always friendly and make sure that I have all my questions answered. I'm so glad that I chose this doctor. I had a great experience overall.
marisol Goodan
marisol Goodan
9 January 2024
Great overall first experience with my consultation. Dr Reddy and the staff were very professional, knowledgeable and answered all my questions thoroughly.

Meet Dr. Aker

Dr. Aker, an Indianapolis plastic surgeon affiliated with several area hospitals, has lectured and is published widely on a variety of plastic surgery topics. Dr. Aker brought several new techniques in cosmetic surgery to Indianapolis and Carmel including the endoscopic breast augmentation (“endo aug”) and Asian eyelid surgery.

Meet Dr. Reddy

After completing her undergraduate degree at Lehigh University, Dr. Reddy earned her medical doctorate degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She went on to complete an accredited transitional year internship and ophthalmology residency at the highly regarded Emory University, where she distinguished herself as a highly skilled surgeon, having received her surgical training from world-renowned mentors at the Emory Eye Center, one of the top training programs institutions in the country.

Related Procedures

Mini Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Extended


Body Lift

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