If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight or have had children, you may be frustrated by the excess abdominal skin or a “belly bulge”… Continue Reading
You may think that working out harder or losing weight can help you regain your youthful abdomen. For most adults, it’s simply not the case. Abdominal skin and muscles stretched by pregnancy or weight changes are often damaged and lose their ability to bounce back, leaving wrinkled, stretched-out skin and a belly bulge. At United Plastic Surgery, Dr. John Larson and Dr. Phuong Pham can accomplish what you can’t on your own with abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, in Newport Beach and Temecula, CA.
What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck rejuvenates the abdominal area by providing a personalized combination of the following benefits:
- Tightening lax, sagging skin
- Repairing stretched and separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti)
- Reshaping the bellybutton
- Sculpting the waist
- Improving the appearance of a C-section scar
Our board-certified plastic surgeons often remove fat from the abdomen, waist, and hips with liposuction for additional sculpting.
Are drainless tummy tucks better?
Drains are one of the most dreaded parts of tummy tuck recovery for many people. While not all patients are candidates for a drainless tummy tuck, our surgeons use this advanced technique whenever possible because it:
- Reduces complications
- Eliminates the discomfort and additional scarring at the drain sites
- Improves recovery by eliminating the hassle of drainage tubes and collection bulbs
What are the different types of tummy tuck surgery?
Dr. Larson and Dr. Pham use various abdominoplasty techniques personalized to your unique needs and cosmetic goals. Options include:
Traditional Tummy Tuck
Also called a standard or complete tummy tuck, this option is used for most tummy tucks at our practice. It rejuvenates the abdominal area from below the ribs to the pubic bone by tightening loose skin and repairing the abdominal muscles.
Mini Tummy Tuck
This option removes excess skin and stretchmarks below the navel using a smaller incision than the traditional technique. It does not include muscle repair or bellybutton reshaping.
Extended Tummy Tuck
This technique extends the traditional tummy tuck by removing excess abdominal skin from the sides of the hips/flanks and the front of the belly. Muscle tightening is included if needed.
Meet Our Plastic Surgeons
Dr. Larson and Dr. Pham are experienced, highly trained board-certified plastic surgeons united in their dedication to superior patient care and surgical outcomes. They are committed to each patient from the initial consult to surgery to a personal phone call after surgery and beyond.
John V. Larson, M.D.
Board-Certified PLASTIC SURGEON
Phuong M. Pham, M.D.
Board-Certified PLASTIC SURGEON
Can abdominoplasty be combined with other procedures?
Our plastic surgeons often combine abdominoplasty with other plastic surgery procedures. This combination is called a mommy makeover, and it is performed to address multiple concerns with a single surgery and recovery period. Popular options include:
During your initial consultation, Dr. Larson or Dr. Pham will meet with you to discuss the changes you envision, perform a physical exam, and create a personalized surgical plan. You will have plenty of time to ask questions and have your surgeon address your concerns.
How is tummy tuck surgery performed?
Our surgeons perform tummy tuck surgery as an outpatient procedure in our private surgery center using a general anesthetic. For a traditional tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a low incision that spans between the hip bones just above the pubic area. He carefully releases the abdominal skin from the underlying fascia and the bellybutton (umbilicus), which remains in place attached by a stalk. The surgeon then repairs the vertical abdominal muscles by bringing them together along the midline and binding them with sutures. He uses liposuction to remove pockets of fat and sculpt the waist and hips.
Once the new body contour is complete, the surgeon redrapes the overlying skin, tightens it, creates a new opening for the bellybutton and stitches it in place, removes the excess skin, and sutures the horizontal incision closed.
What can I expect during recovery after abdominoplasty?
Expect your abdomen to feel sore and tight for at least a week after surgery. While it is important to stand and take slow, short walks regularly throughout each day, don’t expect to stand completely upright.
Here is a general timeline of tummy tuck recovery milestones:
- Sutures removed: 7 to 10 days
- Bruising fades: 2 to 3 weeks
- Walking upright becomes easier: 2+ weeks
- Return to work and nonstrenuous activities: 2 to 4 weeks
- Allowed to stop wearing compression garments: 4 weeks
- OK to resume sleeping on your tummy: 4 to 6 weeks
- Swelling dissipates: 2 months
- Resume strenuous activities: 6 to 8 weeks
- Results become visible: 3 months
- Final results: 6 months
Is a tummy tuck painful?
You may experience pain and tightness during early recovery. Our surgeons offer lasting pain control by injecting a non-narcotic local anesthetic called EXPAREL® directly into the surgical area before completing the surgery. While you won’t be completely numb, this will reduce your discomfort significantly during the first few days after surgery, when pain is usually most intense. You will have the option of taking prescription pain medication and muscle relaxants if needed.