What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure designed to remove the excess skin and fat on the abdomen that may have developed after pregnancy, after massive weight loss (such as gastric bypass surgery), or during the aging process. During the procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened and excess skin and fat is removed to produce a more youthful and natural contour.

Who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty?

A good candidate for our Los Angeles tummy tuck procedure is someone who is in good health, close to their ideal weight, and demonstrates loose or excessive abdominal skin. You may also desire a tummy tuck if you are unable to tighten your abdominal muscles with exercise. If you are considering losing more weight, you should wait to have surgery until you’ve reached your desired weight.

What are the different techniques in tummy tuck procedures?

There are several different types of tummy tuck procedures to meet different individual patient needs. A mini-abdominoplasty tightens only the lower abdominal skin beneath the navel (belly button), using the shortest scar possible. A standard or traditional abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin, and tightens the abdominal wall muscles using a lower transverse abdominal scar. An extended abdominoplasty can improve the appearance of the love handles by tightening the abdominal and flank regions through extending the scar laterally. An endoscopic abdominoplasty only involves tightening of the abdominal muscles and removal of small amounts of fat. No skin is removed. Liposuction is frequently performed for achieving a natural and sculpted body appearance.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and lower body lift?

A lower body lift is performed after massive weight loss or weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery). During the more extensive procedure, the excessive folds and skin looseness of the back rolls, abdomen, and thighs are recontoured, tightened, and elevated to produce a more youthful appearance.

What type of scar is used in traditional tummy tucks?

A low abdominal transverse incision is performed to remove the excess skin and fat during your tummy tuck procedure. The scar is placed low in the bikini line, and usually covered by underwear. The length of the incision depends upon how much extra skin has to be removed.

Does Dr. Hoefflin use drains with the tummy tuck procedure?

Tummy tuck surgery requires the use of drains after your procedure. These drains aid in draining any excess fluid that can accumulate under your skin during the healing process. Without drains, this fluid can accumulate and form a fluid collection called a seroma. Drains are typically removed 5-7 days after your surgery.

What types of anesthesia are used?

Dr. Hoefflin performs his Los Angeles tummy tucks as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, as administered by board-certified anesthesiologists. Mini-abdominopasties can be performed under local anesthesia with deep sedation. The procedure usually takes about one to two hours, depending upon the desired level of sculpting. All operations are performed in fully credentialed and state-of-the-art surgical facilities.

How should I prepare for abdominoplasty surgery?

Maintaining a well balanced diet, regular exercise and cessation of smoking, both before and after surgery, are important to reducing your potential risk of complications. During your consultation with Dr. Hoefflin, you may be asked to either decrease or discontinue some medications, which would potentially increase your risk of complications.

What should be expected during recovery?

Patients are directly discharged home (or to an aftercare facility) with compression garments and gauze dressings covering the treated areas. Patients may experience mild bruising, swelling, and local discomfort from several days to several weeks after their procedure. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Compression garments are worn for the first two to four weeks to reduce any post-operative swelling and discomfort. Patients may be hunched over for several days, as the skin of their abdomen will likely feel tight. Self-absorbing sutures are placed and abdominal drains are used, which are usually removed after 5 to 7 days after your procedure.

Is there much pain associated with a tummy tuck?

The level of pain a patient experienced following tummy tuck surgery is quite variable. Because of the long-acting local anesthetic pain pumps that are available, most pain is easily controlled with oral pain medication. Most patients complain of “tightness” for several days.

What are the risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, the risk of complications after tummy tuck surgery are low. If you take proper care in preparing for the surgery and follow your surgeon’s instruction regarding post-operative care, the risks can be minimized. Complications may include infection, hematoma, seroma, blood clots, or complications related to the healing process. As with any surgery involving general anesthesia, there can be potential complications related to the anesthesia.

Can I combine liposuction with my tummy tuck procedure?

Dr. Hoefflin frequently combines cosmetic surgery procedures such as a liposuction, breast lift or breast augmentation with tummy tucks. However, he does not routinely perform abdominal liposuction with a tummy tuck as this would interfere with wound healing. For example, you could have liposuction of the thighs, arms, or other areas and expect good aesthetic results while promoting safety.

Can I have liposuction instead of a tummy tuck?

If you have a moderate amount of fat and relatively tight skin, then liposuction might offer you the contour you are seeking. However, if you have loose or hanging skin, a tummy tuck would provide you with a better aesthetic result.

What is a Mommy Makeover surgery?

Dr. Hoefflin frequently performs mommy makeover procedures in which a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and breast lift are performed in combination. The pregnancy process often leaves mothers with unacceptable changes in body appearance or self-image. Included in these changes are smaller and deflated breasts, excess abdominal skin and stretched abdominal muscles. It should be noted that even without pregnancy, massive weight loss or aging can lead toward these same results. The mommy-makeover procedure in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills can restore your pre-pregnancy abdominal contours and youthful appearance to your breasts.

When can I resume working out?

Patients can return back to light or non-strenuous workouts after several weeks, with a full return to all activities after four to six weeks.

How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?

The results can last for many years. As long as you maintain your ideal body weight through a balanced diet and routine exercise, you will be able to maintain your contoured appearance.

Will financing cover the cost of a tummy tuck?

Dr. Hoefflin offers several financing programs to make our plastic surgery procedures more affordable to his patients.

To find out more information about Dr. Hoefflin’s financing options, click here.

Does insurance cover tummy tuck surgery?

Because most insurance carriers do not consider a tummy tuck to be medically necessary, they generally do not cover the cost of the procedure. However, if the tummy tuck is being performed in conjunction with another procedure (i.e. hysterectomy or hernia repair), it may be possible to have a portion of the operating room and anesthesia fees covered by your insurance carrier.

How can I get more information about a tummy tuck?

You can read more information about our tummy tuck procedures by clicking here. To learn if you are a candidate for the Los Angeles tummy tuck procedure, contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.