The abdomen is one of the most difficult areas to tone, as it has a high quantity of subcutaneous fat that conceals the muscle contours, and the muscle structure itself can become looser and unable to snap back and return to the firm, fit look of youth. 

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A Tummy tuck – also referred to as abdominoplasty – is a plastic surgery procedure to create a taut, well-contoured belly. The procedure involves tightening the underlying muscle structure, removing the excess skin and fat, and removing stubborn fat to create a fit, firm abdomen.

Board-eligible plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Balinger performs custom tummy tuck surgery in Houston and the surrounding Texas communities. He has seen the impact of a bulging tummy and how it affects feelings of self-confidence. Working with a team of experienced clinicians, Dr. Chris goes out of his way to ensure you feel comfortable, safe and cared for throughout your journey to a more attractive, flat, firm tummy. He uses state-of-the-art equipment and advanced surgical methods to achieve the best result while minimizing side effects such as visible scarring.

Average Cost

$5,700 - $12,500

Procedure Time

2-4 Hours

Recovery Time

2 Weeks


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If you have a loose, flabby, or bulging abdomen, a tummy tuck is often the ideal surgery to resolve the condition – and restore your confidence! Dr. Balinger offers abdominoplasty for men and women in Houston, Conroe, and the surrounding areas of Texas.

Your first consultation

In your initial consultation, Dr. Balinger will ask questions and review your medical history to learn more about your health. He will examine the condition of your abdomen, including the degree of skin laxity or the presence of stretch marks. Your first consultation, which is offered free of charge at Balinger’s office, provides you with the opportunity to learn more about what your surgery will entail and get answers to all of your questions and concerns.

Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?

A custom tummy tuck performed by Dr. Balinger will remove excess skin and fat and strengthen weakened muscles to create a more sculpted, firm contour, free of the bulges caused by loose skin, stretch marks, and excess fatty tissues. There are several reasons why people choose to have a tummy tuck:

  • Pregnancy: A woman’s body goes through a remarkable set of changes during pregnancy, with the skin and muscle tissue stretching to accommodate the growing baby. After pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and skin may be unable to return to a pre-pregnancy firmness. Many women choose to have a tummy tuck to improve the appearance of stretched or split tummy muscles, along with sagging skin or fat.
  • Weight loss: Significant weight loss can result in stretched skin on the abdomen that cannot snap back. The accomplishment of finally losing excess weight, whether through diet and exercise or after bariatric surgery, may require the final step of removing excess skin and residual fat and tightening the underlying muscles.
  • Genetics: You may have inherited a genetic makeup that naturally predisposes you to have a frustrating, bulging midsection. You may have a hard time improving your abdominal appearance even with regular exercise and strict dieting. A tummy tuck may be a good solution. 

A tummy tuck is one of the top five cosmetic procedures, with immensely good patient satisfaction ratings. The key is to undergo the procedure with a talented plastic surgeon who employs the most advanced techniques – Dr. Christopher Balinger.

Candidates for a tummy tuck

Dr. Balinger can tell you if you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty in Houston based on meeting the following conditions:

  • You are in good physical and emotional health
  • You have stubborn abdominal fat that has not responded to diet or exercise
  • You feel less confident due to the current appearance of your belly 
  • You have anterior abdominal wall muscles that are weakened or appear split
  • You understand the procedure and recovery and know what to expect in the final outcome

A tummy tuck is an individualized, custom procedure. Dr. Balinger feels that you should only undergo this surgery by your own choice, never because another person thinks you should.

Schedule A Consultation

(281) 982-4407 In-Office Virtual

Why choose us?

A tummy tuck is a major surgery with long-lasting results. If you are considering this procedure, you want to achieve the most attractive results possible – and plastic surgeons vary in the quality of the results they achieve. Dr. Balinger is exceptionally talented and has established a boutique plastic surgery center in Houston that provides personalized care at every step of the journey to a more attractive body. Dr. Balinger and his team of professionals are dedicated to ensuring every phase of the process is comfortable, rewarding, and successful. For superior personalized care and results, we invite you to meet with us for a free consultation about a tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck or liposuction?

You may be unsure whether your tummy issues can be resolved with a tummy tuck or liposuction. Both procedures work to remove excess fat. Liposuction, or “liposculpture,” removes excess fat from the abdominal area. This approach is most appropriate for people with excess belly fat who have good skin elasticity. A tummy tuck is a more holistic approach to thoroughly recontour the abdomen. If you have excess fat, loose skin, stretch marks on the lower abdomen, or weakened muscles, then you will need a tummy tuck to create the corrections you envision. If you feel unsure what option is best suited for you, Dr. Balinger will recommend the best course of action in a one-on-one, private consultation. 

Types of tummy tucks

Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Balinger performs several tummy tuck techniques, with the approach chosen to match the individual’s condition.

Full tummy tuck

Also referred to as a complete tummy tuck, this surgical procedure is performed to recontour the abdominal area from hip bone to hip bone. It includes recontouring the skin, removing excess fat, and strengthening weakened muscle to create a tauter, firmer appearance to the abdomen. A full tummy tuck usually involves repositioning the belly button. During recovery, you may need drainage tubes for a few days after the procedure.

Extended tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck is the most extensive tummy tuck surgery, appropriate for individuals who have a large quantity of loose, hanging skin. This approach may be required for people who are undergoing a tummy tuck after significant weight loss. The entire abdominal area is recontoured, reaching all the way to the hips. This approach leaves a longer scar when compared to the other types of tummy tuck surgery.

Mini tummy tuck

This is the least intensive type of tummy tuck, also called a “partial abdominoplasty.” This procedure may be most appropriate for those with stubborn fat deposits below the navel. A mini tummy tuck takes less than two hours to complete and does not include repositioning the belly button.

Dr. Christopher Balinger is uniquely trained to recommend the best type of tummy tuck for you. He can evaluate your individual condition, speak with you about the pros and cons of each procedure, and advise you of the surgery that will produce the best result for you.

Before & After Tummy Tuck in Houston

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Your tummy tuck, step by step

Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure performed at Dr. Balinger’s in-office operating suite or at an accredited surgical facility. This surgery is usually performed in three steps. The surgery may take between two to four hours, depending on the type of procedure performed. After the surgery, you rest in an observation room where Dr. Balinger’s team monitors your vitals before you are released to return home under the care of another adult.

  • Administer anesthesia
    A board-certified anesthesiologist will administer either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the treatment. Feel free to discuss the choice of anesthesia in your pre-op consultation visits.
  • Incision placed
    An incision will be placed in the most appropriate pattern depending on the type of tummy tuck you need. Dr. Balinger takes extra care to minimize the size of the incision. Once this is done, excess skin will be removed, and weakened muscles strengthened.
  • Incisions closed
    After all the desired contouring is complete, our tummy tuck surgeon will close the incision using surgical tape, sutures, clips, or adhesives. The area is then bandaged.

Recovery after a tummy tuck

Following a tummy tuck, you will need several weeks to recover. Surgery is traumatic in nature, and your body needs adequate time to heal. The duration of recovery varies from person to person, based on the extent of the approach as well as your rate of healing. You will be provided with a compression garment that must be worn as directed to help the tissues heal correctly. 

Dr. Balinger will ask you to move around as soon as you can to promote proper blood flow. Many patients experience bruising, swelling, and pain in the first week. You will have prescription pain medication to alleviate discomfort, as well as antibiotics to prevent infections. You can expect to resume normal activities after about two weeks. However, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise are prohibited until you get the green light from Dr. Balinger. Make sure to follow our post-op instructions to ensure a speedy recovery. Dr. Balinger’s office is available to answer your questions or and provide the support you need throughout the duration of your recovery.

Meet Dr. Balinger, Houston tummy tuck surgeon

Dr. Christopher Balinger, MD, is one of the most talented tummy tuck surgeons in Houston and has garnered a reputation for achieving excellent results.  His advanced surgical techniques, meticulous approach, and refined surgical approach produce superb results.  Dr. Balinger has advanced education and extensive experience in custom tummy tuck surgery. His hand-selected certified support team provides advanced health and safety protocols. For the best tummy tuck surgeon in Houston for a tummy tuck, we invite you to meet with Dr. Balinger for a free consultation. 

Houston Plastic Surgery Associates

Tummy Tuck FAQ

What is abdominal etching?

Abdominal etching is a type of liposuction that Dr. Balinger uses to remove fat in a manner that sculpts the abdominal fat to give the appearance of 'six-pack abs.' He specializes in the technique for both men and women.

How long will tummy tuck results last?

If you continue to follow your regular exercise regimen and eat right, the results of your abdominoplasty can last for several years. Aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy can shorten the longevity of abdominoplasty.

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