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Tummy Tuck



If you have a stable body weight but are bothered by hanging skin or excess fat on your abdomen our tummy tuck can improve your abdominal contours so you can have a flat tummy.

The Benefits of Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) not only takes away excess skin and fat for you to show off your new contoured figure, but the results can also be medically beneficial for patients. Some of Dr. Zelko’s patient’s notice:
  • A flatter and more toned midsection
  • Improved posture
  • Back pain relief
  • Restore the strength and flexibility of your core
  • Easier weight management and maintenance
  • Higher energy level
  • Increased mobility and activity
  • Enjoy a healthier lifestyle

Additionally, patients may consider tummy tucks to correct ventral hernias or relieve bladder pressure that could be causing stress urinary incontinence.

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What is a TickleTuck?

The TickleTuck is a combined procedure of Tickle Liposuction and Avelar Tummy Tuck.

TickleTuck is designed to contour your abdomen for a firm and smooth appearance. It combines the precise and gentle fat removal of TickleLipo with the excess skin removal of an Avelar Tummy Tuck.

Tickle Liposuction removes excess fat deposits and reshapes your figure, enhancing both your body contour and proportion while improving your self-image.

Because the cannula required for Tickle Liposuction is so small, your incisions are less than 5mm in length and placed in inconspicuous areas that are easily hidden.

The Avelar Tummy Tuck is a less aggressive form of abdominoplasty that is designed to remove excess, draping skin from the lower abdomen. It creates an abdominal profile that is smooth and firm. The key difference between an Avelar Tummy Tuck and a traditional tummy tuck is that we do relocate the belly button … muscles are not sewn together.

Am I a good candidate for the TickleTuck?

This technique is best for patients with a modest amount of loose skin and fat on the abdomen.

Patients that require a large amount of skin removal may require a full tummy tuck in a hospital setting. To determine which procedure is right for you, please request an appointment with Milwaukee cosmetic surgeon Dr. Timothy Zelko for a consultation. He will examine your skin and let you know the best surgical approach for you.

What makes the TickleTuck different from a standard Tummy Tuck with Liposuction?

The beauty of a tummy tuck with liposuction is that it provides two incredible benefits in one surgery — achieving both fat reduction and skin removal at the same time. The TickleTuck is different from an ordinary tummy tuck, however.

Full Abdominoplasty: A more aggressive procedure that removes a large amount of excess skin on the upper and lower abdomen. Since a lot of skin is removed and pulled down toward the pubic bone, navel repositioning is required. A new hole is made for the belly button. Ab muscles are stitched together for further abdominal tightening. This procedure is done in a hospital with the patient fully sedated using general anesthesia. Liposuction may be added to the procedure.

TickleTuck: A skin-only tummy tuck with gentle Tickle liposuction. It is performed in the office; No hospital stay is needed. It can remove small to large amounts of hanging abdominal skin on the lower belly, as well as excess fat. You are awake during the procedure. It doesn’t hurt, thanks to a local anesthetic. First, the entire tummy area is numbed. Tickle Liposuction is then performed. Extra skin is marked and removed. Unlike a full tummy tuck, the ab muscles aren’t stitched together. Depending on the amount of skin removed determines if the belly button is replaced or not.

How should I prepare for TickleTuck?

Stop the use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and supplements (such as ginkgo biloba, ginger, and vitamin E) before surgery. These may increase bruising after a tummy tuck surgery. It is best to stop smoking several weeks before and after your procedure.

Any form of nicotine may slow down the healing process. While you may need to inform your job that you will need time off to heal from surgery, the biggest benefit of the Zelko Aesthetics tickle tummy tuck is the minimal downtime in the healing process. It is best to pick up any prescriptions before the procedure to be properly prepared.

Will my Tummy Tuck leave scars?

There is no such thing as a scarless excess skin removal surgery. It may take a few months or up to two years for the scars to fade. With Dr. Zelko’s 15 years of cosmetic surgery, he performs abdominoplasty in a way to leave as little scarring as possible, and tries to place the incision in such a way as to limit scar visibility

What does a Tummy Tuck scar look like?

The Tickle tuck scar is a horizontal line placed low on the abdomen. It’s easily hidden in clothes and swimwear.

A scar is a tradeoff for a smooth, flat abdomen that looks great in clothes. Most tummy tuck patients are mothers or people aged 30+ that are happy to trade unsightly skin folds for a hidden scar that no one except you and your partner will see.

before tickletuck
after tickletuck

What Tummy Tuck results can I expect?

Our Tummy Tuck patients love seeing their before and after results. Tummy Tucks result in a flatter, more contoured, and attractive abdomen. Skin reduction is visible from day one, as excess skin is surgically removed during the operation.

Swelling is a normal reaction to any surgery. Post-op swelling can take 6 to 12 months to subside. Most excess skin removal surgery swelling goes down within a few weeks, revealing a preview of your abdominoplasty results. It also takes one to two years for tummy tuck scars to fade. There is no such thing as a “scarless abdominoplasty”; All surgeries leave a scar, no matter what some surgeons would like to claim. Dr. Zelko carefully performs loose skin removal surgery to make the scar as least visible as possible.

How much does a Tummy Tuck cost?

The average cost of a tummy tuck in Milwaukee ranges from $6,047 and up. Tummy Tuck costs are determined by the amount of skin removal needed. For example, a mini tummy tuck is priced differently than a full abdominoplasty or extended tummy tuck. The cost of the procedure will vary whether you have a skin-only tummy tuck performed in the office (Avelar tummy tuck) or a tummy tuck with muscle repair in the hospital. Office-based procedures cost less than a tummy tuck in the hospital. A tummy tuck with liposuction will cost more than just having excess skin removal surgery without lipo.

Facility, general anesthesia, and operating room fees also factor into tummy tuck pricing. If you have a tickle tummy tuck in Dr. Zelko’s office, these hospital fees are not necessary. The best way to determine the tummy tuck cost for your procedure is to meet with Dr. Zelko and his team for a personalized consultation to do a full assessment, walk through each step of the procedure a full breakdown of the costs involved, with the opportunity to move forward and book for the procedure. You’ll receive a full breakdown of costs, with no obligation to pursue surgery.

Does Insurance cover the Tummy Tuck procedure?

As a tummy tuck is elective, insurance would not typically cover the procedure.

Most patients get abdominoplasty for cosmetic reasons. Therefore, this is an elective procedure and one would pay out of pocket to proceed with the treatment. Zelko Aesthetics strives to make the cost of tummy tuck procedure feasible with affordable monthly financing plans. Please also visit our specials page to see if you are eligible for any cosmetic surgery discounts.

What is a drainless Tummy Tuck?

Dr. Zelko can perform your tummy tuck using a technique that eliminates the need for drains in what is known as a “drainless tummy tuck.”

Most types of tummy tucks typically require the use of one or two drains after surgery to allow the fluids that can collect at the surgical site to drain off, but drains can present some potential risks and discomfort of their own. Plus, they have to stay in for 5 to 7 days after surgery, they can’t shower for two weeks, and they require monitoring, measuring output, and maintenance.

A drainless tummy tuck eliminates the need for post-surgical drains by using progressive tension sutures. This layered suturing technique secures the abdominal skin to the underlying tissues and creates a tighter bond that leaves less room for fluid to build up. As a result, the body reabsorbs what little fluid does have the chance to develop in these tighter spaces.

Benefits of the Drainless Tummy Tuck include:

  • Less pain
  • Faster healing
  • Lower risk of seromas
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Scars tend to heal more smoothly
  • Convenience

What is a TickleTuck procedure like?

The procedure is done in the office with a local anesthetic. A gentle vibration is felt as the anesthetic is applied to the areas to be treated. Dr. Zelko ensures your comfort throughout the entire procedure.

TickleLipo can treat multiple problem areas at one time! The vibrating cannula liquefies the fat while adjacent non-fatty tissue is preserved. This allows the skin to naturally tighten, resulting in a slimmed and contoured look! The design and vibration of the cannula create a tickling sensation for the patient, hence the very appropriate name for the procedure. The next portion, the Avelar Tummy Tuck, is the removal of excess skin of the lower abdomen. The Tickle Tuck procedure places your scar in the lower abdominal area, keeping it very discreet. You will need to wear a garment to help minimize swelling for 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure. You can return to work once you feel comfortable, usually as early as 3 to 7 days post-procedure.

Are Tummy Tuck Results Permanent?

If you stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle, your results from the tummy tuck may become permanent. It all depends on weight gain – when you gain weight due to more fat, your skin can stretch.

Will I lose weight after a Tummy Tuck?

Although a small amount of weight is removed during the procedure due to the removal of excess skin, abdominoplasties do not address weight. The purpose of a tummy tuck is to remove excess, sagging skin, and to tighten the abdomen. It is recommended that patients reach a stable weight before looking into excess skin removal surgery. However, Dr. Zelko also offers liposuction for patients looking to get rid of some stubborn weight that is not responding to diet or exercise before receiving a tummy tuck.

Which Tummy Tuck procedure is right for me?

During your consultation for a tummy tuck, Dr. Zelko will examine the loose skin around your abdomen and let you know which procedure is best for you.

Should I get a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

There is a difference between having a tummy tuck and having liposuction surgery. With a tummy tuck, Dr. Zelko will remove excess skin in the abdomen, so it is a skin removal procedure. With liposuction, Dr. Zelko removes unwanted fat from a specific area or multiple areas of the body, which helps to reshape the body. Dr. Zelko has years of experience in both skin removal surgery and fat removal surgery. Your personal body goals can be discussed with him in a consultation to help you determine the best procedure for you. Call us today to schedule your appointment.