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What is a Tummy Tuck?

A protruding abdomen as a result of weak abdominal muscles, weight gain or pregnancy is a condition that causes distress for many of our San Diego clients. This condition does not respond to diet or exercise, because the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched.

A remarkable procedure called the Tummy Tuck in San Diego and beyond has been designed to flatten a protruding belly by tightening the abdominal wall muscles and removing excess fatty tissue and skin.


Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. The objective of the surgery is to improve the contour of the body by flattening and tightening the abdomen. Men and women who have loose, hanging skin in the lower abdomen who would like to have a flatter abdomen are excellent candidates for a tummy tuck.

Often this occurs after pregnancy and childbirth, but loose skin can also be the result of massive weight loss. You should be close to your ideal body weight and committed to maintaining your results through a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking at least three weeks prior to your procedure, as smoking slows your body's ability to heal from surgery.

How to prepare for your tummy tuck

Prior to your tummy tuck in San Diego, a complete medical history is taken to evaluate your general health. A careful examination is also conducted. Dr. Kouli will review realistic expectations with you. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, possible risks and complications, and prescribed medications will also be discussed.

Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of drugs that may result in excess bleeding, such as medications that contain aspirin. Antibiotics will be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection. You may also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.

After your tummy tuck

If drains are used, they will remain in place for 3 to 7 days until fluid levels decrease. The drains will be removed at a post-operative appointment.

Pain or discomfort from the surgery is controlled with oral medication. The garment will be worn for a period of four weeks. During this time, our Coronado patients are advised to refrain from heavy lifting, straining or over-activity.

Although patients are usually up and around the day of surgery, the cosmetic surgeon decides when normal activities may be resumed. This decision is based upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s progress. Bruising and swelling is normal around the treated area and should disappear within a few weeks. Scars from the procedure remain but will fade significantly in time, especially because our doctors are some of the most skill in performing a tummy tuck San Diego has to offer.

Will I need someone to help me following my tummy tuck?

It's always a good idea to have someone who can assist you in the days following your tummy tuck. You will not be able to stand upright for several days. You should not lift heavy objects and will have a difficulty performing your usual daily tasks and the help will be welcome.


Risks and complications

When you work with an experienced cosmetic surgeon, complications are very rare. However, even the best cosmetic surgery procedure is not without risk. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.

FAQs

Is a tummy tuck painful?

In the past, tummy tucks were one of the more painful procedures in plastic surgery, especially when it involved repair of the abdominal muscles. Recent advancements in pain management have made recovery from a tummy tuck far easier to experience. The development of long-lasting anesthesia allows the management of pain for up to three days following your surgery, with smaller doses of narcotic pain medication needed. These advanced medications make it possible for patients to get up and move sooner, encouraging your body's natural healing processes.


When will I see final results?

Your abdomen will be swollen following your tummy tuck, the body's natural response to surgery. While you will see an immediate difference in the shape and contours of your abdomen, the swelling will linger for several weeks following your procedure Over the course of the next six months, the swelling will continue to dissipate revealing your sculpted new body shape. You should see your final results begin to emerge approximately six months following your tummy tuck, which will continue to improve over the next year.


Does insurance cover tummy tucks?

Most insurance companies do not pay for your tummy tuck if it is performed for cosmetic reasons. Some insurance companies will pay benefits if the patient has severe laxity of the abdominal wall with back pain and/or an umbilical or a ventral hernia. Each insurance carrier is different, and it is recommended that individuals check with their own agents to determine if there is coverage.


When will I be able to exercise?

Light activity such as walking or riding a stationary bike may be resumed approximately two to three weeks following your tummy tuck. More strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately four to six weeks following your surgery.


What is the average cost of a tummy tuck?

Like all surgical procedures, the cost of a tummy tuck may vary, based upon the extent of the surgery required, and the skills and expertise of the surgeon performing your procedure. The procedure may involve removing excess fat, tissue, and skin, along with tightening the underlying muscle structure if it appears to be split or loose.

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who uses the most advanced techniques in performing tummy tuck procedures is a critical point in your final result – you want your abdomen to appear firm, fit, and smooth. The cost of a custom tummy tuck, based upon the extent of the corrections needed, can range between $6,000 and $15,000.


Can a tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?

Absolutely! A tummy tuck may be combined with other procedures for comprehensive body rejuvenation. A “mommy makeover” is a procedure which lifts and restores the contours of a woman’s body following the changes associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.


What are the most common procedures performed with a tummy tuck?

In a mommy makeover, a tummy tuck is often combined with liposuction, breast lift and breast augmentation, laser skin resurfacing, cosmetic injectables, or other customized treatments for enhancement. Combining a tummy tuck with other procedures means you only have one recovery period so you can get back to your busy life as soon as possible.


Will my results be long-lasting?

Yes. Once you have removed excess skin and fat through a tummy tuck, that tissue will never again return to your body. It is, of course, necessary to maintain your new flat tummy with a healthy diet and exercise routine. If you gain weight following your surgery, it will impact your results. It is always important to maintain a healthy weight with a nutritious diet, along with regular exercise.


What should I look for in a surgeon for my tummy tuck?

The most important factor in the final appearance of your tummy tuck is selecting a highly-skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon who is known for achieving elegant, natural-looking results with body contouring. A tummy tuck is a custom surgical procedure which requires an artistic eye and great technical skill.


Why choose Esthetica of San Diego for a tummy tuck?

When you choose Esthetica of San Diego, you are choosing a practice which puts each patient’s unique needs first. We understand that every person who enters our facility is an individual and we do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Our surgeons will carefully listen to your aesthetic vision for your body and advise you how we can help you achieve your goals.


Will a tummy tuck improve the appearance of stretch marks?

Yes! The appearance of unsightly stretch marks on your lower abdomen can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Depending on the location of the stretch marks on your belly, many of them may be completely removed in a tummy tuck. By trimming away the skin on which the stretch marks appear, a tummy tuck can flatten your abdomen and improve the appearance of the skin on your abdomen in one procedure.

Tummy Tuck San Diego

Dr. Kouli is known for providing among the best tummy tuck experience available. If you’re ready to achieve a flat and fit abdomen, please contact our office today and schedule a consultation for arguably the best tummy tuck San Diego has to offer.


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