Are you struggling to achieve a flatter, firmer midsection despite diet and exercise? Reclaim your confidence and redefine your waistline with Fred’s expert tummy tuck. Your journey to eliminate excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles for a sculpted silhouette starts here!

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A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from around the waist and tightens the underlying muscle to give a flatter, younger-looking abdomen. This is a major surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the abdominal wall muscles.

An abdominoplasty dramatically reduces a protruding abdomen. But the permanent scar left behind can be considerable, especially in the early days after surgery. The length of your scar will always depend on the amount of excess skin that needs removal. This amount varies from patient to patient—hence the length and position of the scar will also vary. You and Dr. Fred Coville will come to an understanding as to what is appropriate for you during your consultation.

Dr. Coville almost always combines a tummy tuck with some amount of liposuction to maximize your results. This is not something all surgeons will do. He will often use Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) to remove more fat in less time. This will increase patient safety and ultimately improve your results.

When he performs liposuction with a tummy tuck, he usually sculpts the back, waist, and buttocks to reveal the truly beautiful shape of your torso. This will depend on what your desires are as much as what his suggestions are. What can and should be done in your case will depend on your consultation at one of our locations in Linwood and Toms River, NJ with Dr. Coville.

Your tummy tuck will involve tightening your abdominal muscles to give you the most improvement in your body shape. Dr. Coville will not only close the gap between your abdominal muscles so that you will have a flat profile, but depending on your body shape, he will frequently tailor and shape your waist muscles as well. That extra attention to detail will give you that “cinched-in,” hourglass shape that can make all the difference in how you look in clothes and on the beach.



If you are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that will not respond to diet or exercise, a tummy tuck could be right for you. The surgery is particularly helpful to women whose pregnancies have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. It is also ideal for men and women who have lost significant weight and are left with hanging skin that refuses to respond to any further dieting or exercise. In older patients, a loss of skin elasticity often comes with some slight obesity, which is something a tummy tuck can improve.

Patients who intend to lose weight should do so before the surgery. That said, you should not put off your surgery to get to a weight that is unrealistic for you before you can have the procedure. As Dr. Coville has spent many years overseas, he fully appreciates the varying nature of beauty worldwide. Not every person can have the figure of a model, nor should they want one.

Whatever your weight is when you feel most comfortable is the weight at which you should have your surgical procedure. Ideal body shapes vary from person to person and culture to culture. Whatever your preference—it is your personal decision—you should feel comfortable enough to discuss this openly in your consultation at Cornerstone Plastic Surgery.

If you are planning any further pregnancies, you should wait to have a tummy tuck, as vertical abdominal muscles tightened during surgery can separate during pregnancy. You wouldn’t want to have to repeat the procedure down the road. For women who have finished having children and wish to restore their pre-baby body, Dr. Coville can also perform a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover.

Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and increase your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily achieve your dream body shape. Before you decide on surgery, discuss everything frankly with Dr. Fred to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable—and most importantly, that you both are on the same page regarding your expectations.

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Complete abdominoplasty can take two to four hours, depending on how much work Dr. Coville will perform for you. If he is sculpting your back and buttocks at the same time as contouring your abdomen, then that will require much more time than a tummy tuck done alone. Mini tummy tucks may only take an hour or two.

Most commonly, Dr. Coville will make an incision just above the pubic area. He will keep that incision as low as possible so that you can wear the bathing suit of your choice without showing your scar. A second, optional incision may be made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the pubic incision is much shorter, and the navel may not need to be moved, although it may be pulled into a lower position as the skin is tightened and sutured.

Next, your surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall and lifts the skin to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are then pulled together and stitched into a new position so they are tighter. This provides a firmer, flatter abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.

Here is where Dr. Coville will customize your waist by tailoring the oblique muscles with delicate suturing. The skin is then pulled down, and any surplus is removed. A new opening may be made for your navel, which is then sutured into place. Finally, the incisions are closed, and dressings are applied. Usually, one to three temporary drainage tubes may be inserted to drain excess fluid. These are generally removed after 72 hours, but they will sometimes be left longer.


At your consultation, Dr. Coville will evaluate your health and assess both your abdominal fat deposits and your skin tone. Tell him if you smoke and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs. He will also cover anesthesia, the location of your Atlantic County surgery, the recovery schedule, and the costs.

We will give you specific instructions on preparing for your surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. If you smoke, you will need to stop at least four to six weeks before your surgery, and cannot resume for at least two weeks afterward. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not diet excessively. Both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, Dr. Coville will probably postpone your surgery.

You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward. Someone should also be available to help you out for a day or two if needed. If you would like, we can arrange for a health aide to stay with you to help you during this period. If you are visiting us from out of town or from abroad, we will help make all the arrangements to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Be sure to ask about our New Jersey Seaside Recovery options.


While many people undergo a full or traditional tummy tuck that reduces belly fat and repairs the abdominal muscles, some people will benefit from a modified procedure. When deciding on the procedure that is best for you, it’s essential that you discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Coville. In turn, he will describe your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.

If you are concerned about fat and laxity below the navel, a partial abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck may be enough. This smaller procedure is less invasive and often less expensive. Since it addresses a smaller area, a mini tummy tuck uses a smaller incision and typically has a shorter recovery time.

Dr. Coville may recommend a reverse tummy tuck for patients with laxity mainly above the belly button. This less common procedure reduces fat and laxity higher on the abdomen. Consequently, the incision is typically higher and may leave a more noticeable scar.

On the other hand, you may benefit more from a partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction. This is a combination that Dr. Coville frequently employs to remove fat deposits from the hips, waist, back, and buttocks for a much better body shape. Sometimes liposuction alone will create the best result. Dr. Coville will work with you to come as close as possible to achieving your desired body contour.


Thousands of tummy tucks are performed successfully every year. When carried out by a qualified plastic surgeon trained in body contouring, the operation typically works exceptionally well. Nevertheless, there are always risks with surgery, and there are specific complications associated with this procedure.

Rare though they are, infections and blood clots can occur. Infection can, of course, be treated with antibiotics and, if necessary, drainage. Most often, these can be treated as an outpatient. You can minimize the risk of blood clots simply by moving around as soon as possible after surgery. It is also possible that poor healing, which is likely to leave conspicuous scars, may make a second operation necessary to improve your final scars.

Smokers should stop since smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing. Using nicotine products of any kind will increase your chances of healing problems. Please be open and honest with Dr. Coville about your nicotine use during your consultation so that he may make appropriate recommendations to keep you safe for your surgery. Follow the post-operative directions given to you by our staff and Dr. Coville carefully, especially with regard to resuming physical activity.


Your abdomen will be swollen for the first few days, but we will give you any medication necessary to control your pain. Please let Dr. Coville know immediately if you need anything to make you more comfortable. Our South Jersey Shore staff will give you instructions on contacting Dr. Fred Coville 24 hours a day for any questions or concerns. He would rather you call him to ask what you may consider a silly question than for you to be uncomfortable with something when he could help you.

The Cornerstone staff will give you instructions for showering and caring for your dressings and any temporary drains that may be in place. Though you may not be able to stand straight immediately, you should start walking as soon as possible. It may be weeks or months before you feel completely like yourself again. Those who start in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles will recover much faster.

Some patients return to work after only two weeks, while others take three to four weeks to recuperate. Light exercise will help you heal more quickly. Even people who never normally exercise should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, tone muscles, and lower the chance of blood clots. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably. This specifically includes abdominal exercises, such as crunches. If in doubt as to what you may or may not do, please ask us.

Your scars may appear to worsen during the first two to three months. This is normal. Expect it to take from nine months to a year before the scars flatten out and lighten in color. Dr. Coville is a leading authority on hyperpigmented scars and skin. He will often recommend treatments while you are healing to minimize any scarring. Please be sure to ask him if you feel your scars are not healing appropriately or if they are thickening or darkening abnormally. It is much easier for him to prevent a poor scar than to treat one that is already mature.

Scars will never disappear completely, but they can be helped to heal as inconspicuously as possible. Remember that abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even bathing suits.

Abdominoplasty produces excellent slimming and shaping results. In recent national surveys, it had a 95% “worth it” rating among patients. You must, however, be realistic in your expectations, accept the permanent scar, and take some time off to recover. The results are generally long-lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Written By: Dr. Frederick Coville
Frederick A. Coville, M.D., Cornerstone Plastic Surgery’s Owner and Medical Director


Frederick A. Coville, M.D., Cornerstone Plastic Surgery’s Owner and Medical Director, has been an Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon for over 25 years. He firmly believes each of us possesses an inner “Foundational Beauty.”

As a student of beauty all his life, he calls upon his naturally artistic eye and God-given talents as a surgeon to deliver the results you demand. Dr. Fred likes to say, “It’s my job to help you find Your Beautiful!”

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