Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck in San Francisco, CA

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What is a tummy tuck?

Seeing excess skin around the waist eliminated from a tummy tuck can be extremely gratifying to L Plastic Surgery patients (both men and women) who have lived with hanging skin for a long time. Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Charles K. Lee, performs tummy tucks (full and mini tummy tucks) for his patients in San Francisco, CA. A tummy tuck is not the same procedure as liposuction because it distinguishes itself through surgical skin excision and tightening of the rectus abdominis muscles (or the "six-pack" ab muscles). Sagging skin and pockets of fat surrounding the abdomen can be frustrating and challenging despite efforts to tone it. Pregnancy, weight loss, and aging are the main reasons why someone may not be able to reclaim a slim and tight stomach. A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that redefines the amount of abdominal skin only. Liposuction added to the procedure plan when there is a need to smooth out the contours around the waist from stubborn fat to flatten the abdomen and decrease the waist circumference. We are accepting new patients for tummy tucks at L Plastic Surgery. Please call one of our patient coordinators to make an appointment.

Can I have a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck can be successful for both women and men. If you have sagging skin the abdomen, this body contouring procedure can help create a tighter and slimmer figure. Dr. Lee recommends you to be at a healthy weight prior to surgery. Tummy tucks are not a substitute for weight loss — it focuses on loose skin. Liposuction can also be implemented during the procedure to target fat. If your stomach area has healthy skin tautness, but you are still unhappy with the appearance of your midsection even if diet and exercise have failed, another option can be liposuction. 

Dr. Lee's Surgical Technique

Tummy tucks are performed with general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. There are various techniques to consider when the surgery is performed by Dr. Lee, which is applied toward your specific goals. To start, the incision size is determined based on the amount of excess skin. Some patients with extensive lax skin may require a full tummy tuck. Other patients who have minimal skin laxity may be better candidates for a mini tummy tuck. Men and women who receive this treatment still benefit from skin tightening, but will simply receive a less expansive scar.

If you have excess skin and fat near the belly button removed in a full tummy tuck, you may need a “new” belly button to replace an excised one. Patients who have a mini tummy tuck usually do not have to have the belly button repositioned.

After Your Abdominoplasty

After your tummy tuck, you will be monitored and released wearing a compression garment to help control swelling. Walking and standing will be challenging for a while, so you should take it easy for a few days. Standing and moving will become easier once the tightness subsides and the incision heals. You can generally resume everyday functions near two weeks. Workouts can begin around 6 – 8 weeks or when you are given permission by Dr. Lee. The tummy area will feel sore and tight, but you will feel normal once healed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do yoga during my tummy tuck recovery period?
Even practicing yoga during your recovery period is unfortunately not advised. All tissues require at least six weeks to heal. You can practice yoga or other strenuous activities after Dr. Lee releases you to do them. Your abdomen and fascia need to have healed to the extent necessary for the additional pressures of exercise. You want to avoid any premature strain on your tissues so you do not have complications to need another surgery.

What type of tummy tuck should I get?
You will probably get one of the two most common types of tummy tucks: full or mini tummy tucks. In your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will ask about your goals before examining your stomach. Then, he can better decide the technique that will give you the best results. A full tummy tuck will address loose skin in the upper and lower abdomen, while a mini tummy tuck involves the loose skin in the lower abdominal area.

What will my scars look like?
Incisions for your surgery will depend on which type you are getting. During all tummy tucks, Dr. Lee makes the smallest incisions possible to limit scarring. He also makes incisions in areas that are less visible (in the pubic region or belly button) so they may be easily concealed by a swimsuit or underwear. After your tummy tuck, it is important to follow your scar management instructions so your incisions heal flat and eventually blend into your natural skin.

Can I combine a tummy tuck with another surgery?
Many patients combine another cosmetic surgery with a tummy tuck to give them more dramatic improvements. During your consultation with Dr. Lee, talk to him about all of your concerns so a personalized surgical plan can be developed that matches your aesthetic goals. You may combine a tummy tuck with a thigh lift for a lower body lift or other areas for all over body contouring. If you are trying to improve your body after pregnancy or losing a significant amount of weight, you might be a candidate for after weight loss surgery or a mommy makeover.

More than a Flat Tummy

Many factors can result in a stretched-out abdomen that creates loose skin. We know it can be a daily struggle — a tummy tuck is generally the primary way to overcome this. If you are bothered by the stretched-out skin on your abdomen, whether it is significant or not, surgical body contouring by Dr. Lee in San Francisco, CA can help you get the body you desire. Please contact L Plastic Surgery to learn more.

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