Los Angeles Office
150 East Colorado Blvd, Suite 102
Pasadena, CA 91105
Why Undergo a Tummy Tuck?
Most mothers will tell you that childbearing is among the most rewarding experiences in life – but it can wreak havoc on your stomach area. Skin does have some elasticity, and topical applications of certain products can help, but skin that is stretched over an increasing bulk for an extended nine-month period cannot always shrink back to its original shape after the baby is born, particularly when a woman gained a considerable amount of weight during pregnancy, as is common.
A tummy tuck, a procedure also known as an abdominoplasty, can address these issues.
Pregnancy is not the only cause of loose, sagging skin and flabby, stretched out abdominal muscles. Men and women alike suffer from this condition after significant weight loss, and as a natural result of aging.
Athenix Tummy Tuck – Get Your Body Back
Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Athenix Body Sculpting Institute can safely perform a tummy tuck, technically known as abdominoplasty, a procedure custom tailored to your specific anatomy and the condition of your abdomen. We can remove excess fat and loose skin around the midsection and correct weakened or separated abdominal muscles. We use the most advanced techniques available in tummy tuck surgery, to safely deliver exceptional results and the best patient experience possible.
In your custom-designed tummy tuck procedure, our board-certified plastic surgeons can:
- Remove loose, hanging, excess skin
- Remove stubborn fat from the belly
- Tighten and reinforce the abdominal muscle wall
Our custom-tailored tummy tuck can give you a smoother, flatter, firmer, trim abdomen. This procedure is not designed to get rid of stretch marks, which are often caused by pregnancy and weight loss, but in many cases, stretch marks are located on the skin that is removed in the tummy tuck surgery.
Why You Might Need a Tummy Tuck
No one wants loose, hanging skin or weak, sagging muscles in the abdomen. Weak abdominal muscles can alter your posture, affect the way your clothes fit, and detract from your appearance. Loose, sagging skin on the belly, as addressed by a tummy tuck, can make you self-conscious and lower your self-esteem.
These conditions of the abdomen have several causes:
- Pregnancy and Childbearing:
- Pregnancy is often hard on a woman’s body. Sadly, many new mothers vow never to wear a bikini again, and feel embarrassed about the condition of tummy skin and the sagging, unsightly look of a once firm, flat abdomen.
- The skin and muscles in the belly are stretched over an increasing bulk as the baby grows. The abdominal muscles are also severely stretched and can become separated, particularly with a C-section delivery.
- After the baby is born, many women try to regain their pre-baby bodies with diet and exercise. Although a fitness regime can be very beneficial after pregnancy, it may not be enough to restore your belly to its pre-pregnancy state. Loose, sagging skin that has been severely stretched will not shrink back to its former size.
- Exercise may not be capable of reducing and flattening the belly when the muscles have been severely weakened or separated, and the stubborn fat that has been deposited in the tummy area may not respond to your efforts.
- Weight Loss: Even those who have cared for their bodies and consistently exercised can be left with a flabby, unsightly abdomen. Loss of significant amounts of weight can leave excess skin and tissue that droops and hangs, creating an unappealing look that can be addressed with a tummy tuck. A flabby, saggy tummy region is one of the most visible signs of aging.
- Aging: The effects of aging can be significant, and the belly is one of the most susceptible areas of the body. As we grow older, our muscles become weaker and our skin loses elasticity, which can result in a flabby, sagging midsection. Weak, protruding abdominal muscles can make you appear older and less fit. Restore that fit, trim tummy of your younger years.
A Focus on Body Sculpting for a Trim, Fit Tummy
At Athenix, we focus our practice on body sculpting. Our board-certified plastic surgeons can tailor your surgery to smooth, flatten, and firm your belly and remove loose, excess skin, so you can have your body back after childbirth, weight loss, or the effects of aging. A custom-tailored tummy tuck will remove remaining stubborn fat and excess hanging skin, and tighten your abdominal muscles to sculpt the smoother, flatter belly you deserve.
If the passing years have left you with a sagging belly, we can custom tailor a tummy tuck procedure to your unique body structure. An abdominoplasty can flatten and tighten the abdominal area and rejuvenate the overall appearance of your body.
When Fitness Is Not Enough
It makes good sense to embark on a fitness program to get your pre-baby body back, to lose extra weight, or simply to counteract the effects of aging. A fitness program can help you slim down, give you better muscle tone, and improve your overall health -- and studies have shown that exercise can even improve your mental outlook.
However, some things cannot be accomplished with a fitness program. No matter how many sit-ups you do, it will not get rid of the lose skin on your belly after pregnancy or weight loss. Stubborn belly fat may just won’t respond to diet and exercise. Exercise alone may not be enough to tighten abdominal muscles that have become stretched and weakened or separated.
When your fitness efforts are not enough, our skilled, board-certified plastic surgeons can safely perform a custom tailored tummy tuck to:
- Remove any loose, stretched, hanging skin
- Reduce the appearance of protruding belly
- Reinforce weakened or separated abdominal muscles
- Remove stubborn belly fat deposits
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
“Tummy tuck,” applies to any procedure that removes loose skin, tightens abdominal muscles and takes away stubborn fat deposits. You and your surgeon will decide on the type, depending on the specific area of the body or issue you want to resolve. Most types call for relocating the belly button for a natural look.
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures
- Traditional: Addresses the entire abdominal area. It involves a hip-to-hip incision.
- Mini: Addresses only the area below the navel.
- Endoscopic: Treats weakened abdominal muscles; does not remove fat or tighten loose skin.
- Circumferential: an extend to the thighs, buttocks and hips and is often used for patients who have had gastric bypass surgery.
- Extended: Addresses the tummy and “love handles.”
A Tummy Tuck: What to Expect
How Long Does It Take?
Other than a Mini Tummy Tuck, which takes about 1½ hours, most tummy tuck procedures take from two to five hours to complete.
What Type of Aesthesia?
In most cases, a general anesthesia will be administered to ensure the abdominal muscles are completely relaxed throughout the procedure, and for your comfort.
Here Are The Steps of a Tummy Tuck:
The steps of the procedure are as follows:
- Creating the Incision. The size and location of the incision depends upon the type of tummy tuck that will be performed.
- Tightening the Abdominal Muscles. The skin is separated from the abdominal walls, and the muscles are pulled more tightly together and sewn into position.
- Removing Excess Skin. The skin is pulled down and the excess trimmed away.
- Reattaching or Sculpting the Navel. Your surgeon will decide which option will have a more appealing result.
Recovering from a Tummy Tuck
Downtime – Arrange for Assistance
Plan on taking at least two weeks off from work, following your tummy tuck surgery: full recovery may take up to six weeks, depending on the procedure. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided until your surgeon gives you permission for such.
Good Nutrition and Rest
Have plenty of nutritious foods in the house, as well as whatever will keep you comfortable. Also, sleep with your head elevated for at least two weeks after surgery.
The following are general guidelines for a smooth and successful recovery:
- Clear drainage tubes a minimum of two or three times a day.
- Change bandages several times a day.
- Wearing a compression garment around the abdomen is often advised, as is wearing compression stockings to minimize the risk of blood clots.
- Replace showers with gentle sponge baths for two to three days after surgery, or until instructed by your surgeon.
Surgery can be dehydrating, which often results in constipation. Drink 8 to 16 glasses of water daily. You may be advised to take an over-the-counter constipation medication if this occurs. To minimize discomfort, your surgeon may prescribe a pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter product.
Reducing Visible Scarring
Applying petroleum jelly or silicone products can help. We can advise you of the products that will help your incisions heal as they should. Always avoid exposing the incision site to direct sun.
At Athenix, we do everything possible to minimize risks and ensure that your tummy tuck will be successful and produce the beautiful results you desire. To that end, your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits. However, we welcome any questions or concerns you may have at any time, so please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
We are Artists and Plastic Surgeons – Let’s Meet.
At Athenix Body Sculpting Institute, our surgeons are body sculpting artists. We use only the latest technologies and most recent medical advancements. Our tummy tuck surgery will evaluate your skin tone and elasticity and listen attentively to your treatment goals to determine the best type of tummy tuck to give you the best results. Call us or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our LA area plastic surgeons.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a custom surgical procedure to tighten the abdominal muscles and remove excess skin, tissue and fat. It creates a more youthful, flat, fit abdomen for those who have a bulging tummy zone due to the damage from pregnancy, aging, or dramatic weight loss.
How long does a tummy tuck take to perform?
As each person is unique in what needs correction, the length of the surgery will vary, but typically between one and three hours.
What is the usual recovery time from a tummy tuck?
Most people do not return to work for a week or two. Some people heal more quickly than others and are comfortable returning to work (in jobs that do not include any lifting or stretching) in one week, while others need some extra time.
How do you manage the post-operative pain?
You will have prescription pain medication to stay comfortable in the early stages of recovery, after which you can switch to over-the-counter medication. Our patients are often surprised how quickly they begin to feel themselves. The first few days are the most uncomfortable, but this passes quickly, after which you begin to see your new shape revealed – it is very rewarding!
Is liposuction used in a tummy tuck?
In many cases, excess fat can be removed with liposuction as part of your procedure.
Can I have a tummy tuck if I plan to have more children?
It is recommended that you wait until you are done having children to undergo the procedure, as the area may stretch out again during pregnancy.
How can I avoid visible scars after a tummy tuck?
The incisions are carefully placed, small, and typically fade to a normal skin color. They are hidden on the lower part of your abdomen and are not visible even in low-cut bottoms. You can prevent a more visible scar by carefully following all aftercare instructions.
Will a tummy tuck address stretch marks?
Stretch marks are natural scars created when the skin has stretched beyond its capacity. Many of these scars are on the lower abdomen, and if so, may be partially or fully removed when the extra skin is excised. The entire area will be flattened, so they will be less visible after a tummy tuck.
How long will the swelling last?
Every patient varies but the post-operative swelling reaches its peak at about five or six days after the procedure. After that point, it quickly diminishes, and your new, flat, firm abdomen is revealed.