Tummy Tuck

Information About Plastic Surgery Procedures

26 Procedures ( View All )
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen. Age, pregnancy, weight loss, and weight gain can all alter the body and make it impossible to improve the stomach through a healthy diet and exercise alone. This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and may also be used to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. Patients from Orange County and the Los Angeles area find that their firmer, flatter abdomen boosts their confidence and makes them feel more comfortable in clothing. There are numerous variations to abdominoplasty surgery and triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Hendricks can discuss all of these options during the initial consultation at Pacifica Cosmetic Surgery Center in Newport Beach, California.
Surgical Technique
Full Tummy Tuck
A traditional (full) tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who have a moderate amount of excess skin in their midsection. It is commonly performed on women post-pregnancy. During this surgery, the incision extends from hipbone to hipbone, which grants the surgeon access to a greater portion of the internal structures. Liposuction is used to remove fat and the abdominal muscles are pulled and tightly secured. The belly button is usually repositioned for natural placement.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Individuals who are in relatively good shape but desire a flatter tummy may be good candidates for a mini tummy tuck (known as a “Brazilian tummy tuck”). These patients have loose abdominal fascia, but the muscles aren’t stretched to the point where a full tummy tuck is necessary. During surgery, a smaller incision is made along the lower abdomen, liposuction is used to remove excess fat, and the remaining skin is pulled tight. The belly button is not affected by this surgery.
Extended Tummy Tuck
The extended tummy tuck is reserved for patients who require major skin tightening and body contouring following a major weight loss. The extended tummy tuck requires a longer incision that extends beyond the hips, as well as another one around the navel. Liposuction is used and the excess skin is trimmed away and tightened. The belly button is repositioned during this surgery.
During/After Surgery
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility and typically takes around 2 hours to complete. It is considered an outpatient procedure. After surgery, patients will wear a compression garment and will need to rest for the first 48 hours. They should make a concerted effort to move around in order to help promote blood circulation, but should only attempt to initially stand at a 45-degree angle to protect the incision. Pain medication will be provided to help with post-operative pain. Clearance to resume exercise is usually given around 4-6 weeks.

Plan Your Procedure

Average Procedure Time  
2.5-3.5 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
Procedure Recovery Location  
  Contact Us
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Tummy Tuck or Lipo?
Patients who have loose skin in the lower abdomen may be better candidates for a skin tightening procedure such as a tummy tuck. If a patient is battling unwanted belly fat, but otherwise has good skin tone, liposuction (which removes fat only) may be all that is needed.
Combination Procedure?
Abdominoplasty can be combined with another cosmetic procedure, such as breast augmentation, a breast lift or liposuction that targets another area of the body. This is sometimes referred to as a  “Mommy Makeover” and is considered a common practice, especially where pregnancy, weight gain and breast-feeding are concerned.
What About Scarring?
Unfortunately, scarring is a part of this procedure. However, every effort is made to minimize scarring, and the incisions are generally placed in locations easily concealed by undergarments. For women who have had a previous C-section, the original C-section scar will be replaced with the tummy tuck incision. Most patients feel the physical results of this surgery far outweigh any scarring left behind.
Pregnancy or Weight Gain?
For optimal results, it is recommended that patients wait to have abdominoplasty until after all pregnancies have been completed. This is to ensure the stretching and weight gain that occurs with pregnancy does not compromise the results of the surgery.

Related Procedures