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Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure used to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen while tightening and restoring weak abdominal muscles.

The result is a firm, smooth, attractive abdomen. This procedure is particularly sought after by women who have protruding skin and fat on the lower abdomen after pregnancy. Abdominoplasty is also a helpful procedure for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and would like excess loose skin removed from the abdomen.

The ideal candidate for this procedure is in good physical shape, does not smoke, and does not have any significant medical problems. Surgeries are commonly performed in combination with other complimentary cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, breast lifts, and body lifts to enhance the overall aesthetic result. During your consultation, Dr. Hoefflin will discuss which treatment or combination of treatments are best to produce your aesthetic goals.

Dr. Hoefflin specializes in all aspects of body contouring procedures, including liposuction, arm lifts, body lifts, plastic surgery after weight loss and Mommy Makeovers.

About the Procedure

During the procedure, an incision is made very low on the abdomen through which the doctor removes excess skin and fat, and tightens the abdominal muscles. Dr. Hoefflin takes special care to make sure the belly button area looks completely natural after surgery. He also takes special care to ensure incisions are as inconspicuous as possible. Because the incision is made so low on the abdomen, the scar is usually well concealed even when wearing a bikini.

Dr. Hoefflin performs the procedure as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Smaller “mini-tucks” can be performed under local anesthesia with deep sedation. The procedure usually takes about two hours. All operations are performed in our fully credentialed, state-of-the-art surgical facility.

Possible Complications

Abdominoplasty is very safe when performed by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon. The risk of serious problems after an abdominoplasty is rare. During your consultation, Dr. Hoefflin will discuss any specific risks and determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. It is always important to reduce the risk of complications by closely adhering to all of Dr. Hoefflin’s pre- and post-operative instructions.

If you are interested in a surgery, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hoefflin can help. Please contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.

Tummy Tuck Faq's


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.

A good candidate for tummy tuck procedure is in good health, close to their ideal weight, and has excessive loose abdominal skin, fat and tissue. 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 have reached your desired weight.

There are several different types of tummy tuck procedures to meet varying and 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 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.

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 re-contoured, tightened, and elevated to produce a more youthful appearance.

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 must be removed.

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 five to seven days after your 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.

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

The level of pain a patient may experience 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.

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 instructions regarding post-operative care, the risks are greatly 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.

Dr. Hoefflin frequently combines other cosmetic procedures such as a liposuction, breast lifts or breast augmentations with tummy tucks. Common liposuction areas that patients choose to do in conjunction with their abdominoplasty are the flanks (love handles), upper back and lower back. However, he does not routinely perform abdominal liposuction with a tummy tuck as this would interfere with wound healing.

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.

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

The results last for many years. If you maintain your ideal body weight and have a healthy, balanced diet and engage in routine exercise, you will be able to maintain your trim, contoured body appearance.

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

Because most insurance carriers do not consider a tummy tuck to be medically necessary, these carriers 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.

Dr. Hoefflin needs to evaluate your abdominal area to determine what type of procedure will be needed. Every person is different, and various procedures are possible, depending upon the condition of the tummy area. We can answer all of your questions and concerns about the procedure, type of anesthetic, what to expect and recovery time. We will also show you photos of patients who have had the procedure, and their final result.

A board-certified plastic surgeon has committed to up to sixteen years of training after high school. He has served in a residency, and has undergone a rigorous testing – two days of questioning to find out how he would resolve certain problems. As a reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Hoefflin has a deep knowledge of body structure, including skin, fat, cartilage and muscles. This allows for a very accurate approach to cosmetic surgery procedures, and a high level of patient safety and ethical practice.

We have various financing options that make it possible to get your procedure from Dr. Hoefflin. We invite you to have a complimentary initial consultation so we can advise you about a tummy tuck, the cost, and you can let us know what portion should be financed. We are here to help you get the procedure you want, when you want it.

You can read more information about our tummy tuck procedures by clicking here. To learn if you are a candidate for tummy tuck, contact our offices at (310) 273-5100 for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hoefflin.

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