A tummy tuck can help you achieve a youthful, attractive abdominal area in situations like these. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your tummy and would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery, please contact Richard H. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery, online or call our office today to schedule a consultation. Our board-certified plastic surgeon helps patients from throughout California, including Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Orange County, and the Greater Los Angeles area.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical body contouring procedure designed to restore your midsection and provide a more youthful, toned appearance. Tummy tucks address three primary issues:

  • Stubborn pockets of fat in the midsection
  • Excess skin around the abdominal area
  • Separated stomach muscles.

The procedure can firm and strengthen your midsection while enhancing the contours of your waist and hips.

Areas Targeted With Abdominoplasty

The most apparent benefit of abdominoplasty is the slim, flat midsection the procedure creates. A more toned belly can help to provide a more balanced look to your entire figure.

These surgical enhancements can include the general toning of the abdomen, the elimination of stretch marks, and removing loose and sagging skin. Many patients seek the procedure for aesthetic benefits but soon discover a wealth of physical benefits.

In addition to removing excess fat and skin during abdominoplasty surgery, Dr. Lee also tightens the abdominal muscles. By doing so, he not only draws in the waist, he tones and strengthens the core, which improves physical balance and function.

Abdominoplasty alone may not completely improve your core strength. However, it can establish a foundation for a more active lifestyle which can more easily enhance your appearance and overall quality of life.

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Benefits of Abdominoplasty

Some of the many benefits of abdominoplasty can include:

  • Flat, toned abdomen
  • Tightened abdominal muscles
  • Removal of loose skin caused by weight loss or pregnancy
  • Elimination of stretch marks
  • Natural-looking results
  • Safe and effective procedure
  • Improved self-image
  • Improved appearance in a swimming suit
  • Motivation to lead an active, healthy lifestyle

If there is an aspect of your tummy’s appearance that you are dissatisfied with, our experienced tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Lee may be able to help you achieve your desired outcome with abdominoplasty. Schedule your consultation in Newport Beach today.

Am I a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

While tummy tucks offer many patients beautiful, beneficial results, the procedure is not suitable for everyone. Your current health and lifestyle play a significant role in your candidacy for the procedure. Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss surgery.

Generally speaking, good candidates for tummy tuck surgery:

  • Are in good overall health
  • Are at or near their ideal weight
  • Desire a more toned and contoured midsection
  • Have loose skin from pregnancy or weight loss
  • Have stubborn pockets of fat around the abdomen that are resistant to diet and exercise
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Your Abdominoplasty Consultation

The best way to know if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery is to meet personally with Dr. Lee in a confidential consultation. During this personal one-on-one meeting, Dr. Lee will understand your goals and answer your questions. He will evaluate your physical condition and determine if abdominoplasty is right for you. Dr. Lee understands what an important decision it is to undergo cosmetic surgery.

This is your procedure and your choice. He will never pressure you or rush you into making a decision. Instead, he will serve as your guide and mentor to ensure you understand all of your treatment options and what to expect from the surgery. If you are not currently at your ideal weight, Dr. Lee may recommend postponing the surgery until you reach your target weight.

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Tummy Tuck Options

Depending on your unique goals and the extent of your excess fat and loose skin, there are options available to help you obtain the flat, toned look you desire. The most common types of tummy tucks performed by Dr. Lee are:

Full tummy tuck

Full tummy tucks are designed to tighten the entire abdomen from the ribs to the pelvis. Incisions typically extend from hip to hip. This incision is discreetly hidden beneath most types of undergarments and bathing suits. This technique could be your best option if you have extra fat and skin above and below your belly button.

Mini tummy tuck

If you have only a modest amount of excess fat and skin isolated below your belly button, you may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck. While mini tummy tucks offer the benefits of a shorter scar and quicker recovery time, the procedure is limited in what it can accomplish and only appropriate for a small percentage of patients.

Dr. Lee typically includes liposuction of the flanks and abdomen during tummy tuck procedures. He also takes time to ensure your belly button is attractive and looks as though it has never been touched.

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Enhancing Your Abdominoplasty

We also offer a free Emsculpt demo with your tummy tuck. Emsculpt is the only non-surgical body contouring solution that simultaneously burns fat and builds muscle to achieve a more toned, sculpted appearance. It's an effective way to enhance the results of your tummy tuck. Dr. Lee can further discuss how Emsculpt can help enhance the results of your tummy tuck during your consultation.  

Tummy Tuck Recovery

A tummy tuck is a complex surgical procedure. Before your surgery, Dr. Lee will provide you with detailed instructions on preparing for your surgery and what to expect. Depending on the complexity of your procedure, he may advise you to stay overnight in the hospital so that you can be closely monitored. Your abdomen will be bandaged with gauze pads and an abdominal binder after your surgery.

These will be left on for 48 hours after you’ve returned home. Then, you may remove the dressings and abdominal binder and get in the shower. You may remove the yellow gauze from your belly button as well as any drains. Leave your Steri-strips (surgical tape along the incision line) on while you shower.

After showering, pat your incision dry and wrap your midsection with the abdominal binder. If you notice signs of drainage on the abdominal binder, place a clean piece of gauze on the incision line and wrap the abdominal binder over the gauze. You should not swim or bathe for at least two to three weeks, but showering is fine.

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Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Today

You don’t have to live with an unsightly, protruding abdomen. To find out if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery, please contact Richard H. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee.

We serve patients throughout California, including Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Orange County, and the Greater Los Angeles area.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

Is tummy tuck healing painful?

When can I return to work?

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

Why are some surgeons cheaper than others?

Is tummy tuck healing painful?

Over the next few weeks, it will be important to follow Dr. Lee’s post-operative instructions closely. You can expect some discomfort during your recovery, but Dr. Lee will prescribe medications to help you feel more comfortable throughout the healing process. You may notice that the skin around your abdomen is numb, but the sensation should return over the next few months.

When can I return to work?

Although full recovery does take a few months, you should be able to return to work and your everyday activities in about three weeks. During your recovery, Dr. Lee encourages you to contact him whenever you have a question or concern. He is available through his office phone 24/7.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

The cost of tummy tucks varies from patient to patient, depending on the type of abdominoplasty performed and the extent of work needed. Costs can include several things, such as anesthesia fees and whether or not you need to stay overnight in the hospital.

Why are some surgeons cheaper than others?

While you may be inclined to shop around for the best price, it’s crucial to understand the importance of choosing the right tummy tuck surgeon for your procedure. Cheaper is not always better. Your surgeon's experience, skill, and track record are essential factors in determining who you should trust to perform your surgery. Choosing a physician who is not a board-certified plastic surgeon and may not have regularly performed tummy tucks can be detrimental to your results and safety.

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