Hurvitz Plastic Surgery (562) 595-6543

Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure which tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin.

Anesthesia type: General

Facility type: Outpatient surgical center

Recovery time: 2 weeks back to work (not physical work) up to 6 weeks to resume all activity and working out

What to expect during healing: Swelling, bruising, flexed at the waist for 5-10 days, pain, soreness, lack of energy, difficulty getting in/out of bed or in/out of a chair, anything that requires use of our abdominal muscles will be uncomfortable for several days, you will likely have drains for a few days to 1 week, the scar will likely get worse better it gets better, you will also be instructed to wear a post-surgical abdominal garment to aid in the healing process.

Deciding to have tummy tuck surgery

Abdominoplasty is a serious surgery that requires significant recovery compared to other cosmetic procedures. You must understand what to expect before, during and after surgery, so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not having a tummy tuck is right for you. This is not a procedure to be taken lightly. You will also want to have a good support system (family or friends) available following surgery, so you have the necessary help you will need. Having support and properly planning are key to a successful surgical experience.

We encourage you to read all of the information we have provided on tummy tuck surgery, followed by calling our office to schedule a private complimentary consultation with Dr. Hurvitz. Your in-person consultation will be very helpful in your decision making process. Many of your pressing questions will be answered, including whether or not you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery. During your visit, let Dr. Hurvitz know what your goals and expectations are from tummy tuck surgery. This will help him understand your motives and expected outcome, as well as determine if your expectations are realistic. Dr. Hurvitz will evaluate not only your abdomen, but also your flanks, hips and back. Viewing your body in a 360 degree perspective allows him to determine the best possible procedure or combination of procedures needed to obtain optimal results. Dr. Hurvitz will outline his surgical plan and explain the risks associated with surgery, as well as what to expect during the tummy tuck healing process.  His staff will provide you with a detailed surgery quote and answer any questions you may have about scheduling surgery, etc.

About tummy tuck surgery

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an appearance that is smoother and firmer. Both men and women can be candidates for abdominoplasty surgery.

A flat well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and healthy eating,  however in some cases this is not enough. Even people within a normal body weight can develop a protruding abdomen  or loose sagging skin. The most common causes are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Significant weight loss and/or gain
  • Heredity
  • Aging

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.

Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.

There are several types of tummy tuck techniques available. The one Dr. Hurvitz recommends will be determined after the physical examination, which takes place during the consultation. The more severe the case, the more extensive the tummy tuck procedure needed.  Here are examples of the four types of tummy tucks: 

Mini Tummy Tuck:  This technique removes a smaller portion of skin and and the incision is the smallest of all tummy tucks. The mini tummy tuck is best for individuals with a small amount of stomach flab that won’t go away with diet and exercise. The procedure will typically include skin tightening and some fat removal. The belly button isn’t usually repositioned. A mini tummy tuck is typically recommended for generally healthy, fit patients who want to get rid of their little “pouch.” The recovery is less extensive than other types of tummy tucks.

Standard Tummy Tuck: The most common tummy tuck performed.  Ideal for men and women who are in good physical health, and have a sizable amount of loose skin. Most patients also have weakened stomach muscles and unwanted excess fat. Standard tummy tuck patients are typically those who have lost a great deal of weight, or are women who have excess flab and/or weak abdominal muscles due to pregnancy. The incision is placed in a line between the hip bones (or hip bone to hip bone). Liposuction is usually necessary to remove fat prior to tightening of the abdominal muscles.  Because the standard tummy tuck involves a larger portion of skin being removed, the belly button must be placed in a new position.

Extended Tummy Tuck: An extended tummy tuck is almost identical to a standard, however the incision must be extended just beyond the hip bones towards the back slightly. This is due to the presence of loose excess skin along the flanks (a.k.a. muffin top). Liposuction is typically used here as well to get rid of the dreaded muffin top. If an extended tummy tuck is needed, but a standard is performed, this can result in what’s called dog ears. Imagine a nice flat stomach with a bulge of skin and fat hanging from the flanks. 

Circumferential Tummy Tuck: The most extensive of all tummy tucks. This technique is for patients with severe skin laxity of their entire mid-region (front to back) usually resulting from severe weight loss. An incision is placed around the entire body.

Here is an informative diagram outlining how a standard tummy tuck is performed.

Common procedures combined with tummy tuck surgery –

Breast augmentation

Breast lift

Breast lift with augmentation

Breast reduction

Breast reduction with lift and/or augmentation

Liposuction of the inner or outer thighs

Liposuction of the flanks

Liposuction of the upper and/or lower abdomen

Mommy makeover: when a tummy tuck is combined with any of the above procedures for the purpose of restoring a post-pregnacy body, this is referred to as a “mommy makeover.”

Before
After

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