Abdominoplasty Questions

(Also known as Tummy Tuck)

Having a few questions before your tummy tuck is only natural. After all, choosing any cosmetic procedure can feel like a big commitment. That’s why I make sure to give my patients all the information they need to make the decision that’s best for them, as well as to ensure that I’m meeting their cosmetic goals. Below, I’ve answered some of the tummy tuck questions I hear most often from men and women who are considering body contouring surgery.

Once you feel ready, please contact us online or call 949-759-0980 today to schedule your tummy tuck consultation at my Newport Beach office in Orange County. My staff and I are completely committed to helping you enjoy a positive experience from consultation through recovery as we help you reach your cosmetic goals.

Is This Procedure Right for Me?

A tummy tuck, technically referred to as an abdominoplasty, is ideal for those men and women who notice loose skin and extra tissue around their belly that can’t be improved with diet or exercise. Tummy tucks can also repair separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) that can occur following pregnancy or as a result of weight gain. The best candidates for a tummy tuck should be at or near a healthy target weight since a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. It’s also important to be in good health mentally and physically and to have realistic expectations about your results.

Should I Choose a Full or a Mini Tummy Tuck?

To decide which approach to abdominal contouring will work best for you, it’s a good idea to understand the primary differences between the two types of tummy tucks:

  • A full tummy tuck improves both upper and lower abdomen. Although this is a more complex surgery, a traditional abdominoplasty also delivers more comprehensive results.
  • A mini tummy tuck uses a shorter incision, does not require relocation of the belly button, and can have a faster recovery period as well. However, a mini tummy tuck can only help with lax skin and muscles from the navel down, offering a more limited amount of correction.

At our initial consultation, I’ll discuss your goals and preferences with you in addition to conducting a physical exam in order to determine if there’s one option that may work better for you.

What’s the Difference Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

Like a tummy tuck, liposuction can also be used to slim down the waistline, which is one reason why so many patients are confused about the differences between the two procedures. Although both lipo and a tummy tuck are body contouring surgeries, liposuction can only remove fat and cannot help with loose skin or repair separated muscles. A tummy tuck does include the removal of extra skin along with fatty tissue, on top of tightening both skin and muscle. A tummy tuck is a much more involved surgery compared to liposuction, although either procedure can deliver positive results in the right candidate.

Will It Get Rid of My Stretch Marks?

In many cases, stretch marks that are visible on the front of the tummy and below the belly button may be removed during a tummy tuck. However, the question of whether this will occur depends primarily on the location of your stretch marks before surgery. Stretch marks that are present on the skin that is excised during your abdominoplasty will be permanently removed. Those that are visible on the sides of your abdomen or above your belly button will likely remain, although they may be shifted in position somewhat. The improvement of stretch marks can vary greatly among different individuals. I can discuss the issue in greater detail with you when we have a chance to meet in person.

What Should I Expect During My Consultation?

Your initial consultation will mostly consist of us getting to know each other, so I can better understand your goals for abdominoplasty and what kind of hopes you have about your results. I’ll also examine your abdomen to determine the amount of skin laxity present and whether your abdominal muscles have separated. Finally, we’ll talk about the benefits and risks associated with a tummy tuck, and I’ll give you more information about what to expect during your surgery and recovery.

When Will I See Results?

You should notice a difference immediately after surgery, although you’ll also see some initial swelling. You’ll most likely feel some discomfort at first, particularly along your incision, although this can typically be improved with some oral medication. I may ask you to wear a special compression garment to help your body conform to its new contours, as well as to control swelling and keep you more comfortable. I take care to place your incision low enough that it can be hidden by normal clothing, underwear, and swimsuits. You should have a good idea of your new shape after several weeks. Final results should be visible by six months after surgery.