Getting the Best Tummy Tuck Results
As a popular body-shaping surgery at our San Francisco practice, a tummy tuck is designed to repair weakened abdominal muscles and get rid of saggy skin. Yet not all tummy tucks are created equal.
To get the best outcomes possible from a tummy tuck, finding a skilled, highly qualified plastic surgeon is a requirement rather than a luxury.
In a nutshell, find a surgeon who can help you make well-informed decisions, and recommend the appropriate tummy tuck variation based on your current needs and existing physique.
A Cautionary Tale Worth Retelling
Jane is a 28-year-old student and mother of one who was unhappy with her flabby belly following childbirth. After hearing a radio ad promising a safe, quick, and minimally invasive procedure that would remove her belly fat and tighten her sagging skin — two major issues that Jane has been struggling with — Jane decided to check it out. It turned out to be an ad about Smartlipo laser liposuction by a national liposuction chain.
Frustrated with the way her tummy looked even after eating clean and a consistent exercise routine, she eventually signed up for their consultation.
On her first visit, she was seen by a 'patient counselor' who performed a quick assessment, and assured her that she was a good candidate for the procedure. The counselor offered her a "special," including $1000-off if she signed up that day.
Of course, the offer was “too good to pass up,” so she signed up for the procedure on the spot.
Jane didn't meet her surgeon until the morning of the surgery, but he seemed like a nice guy. During the procedure, despite local anesthesia, she felt like she was being stabbed, even though the patient counselor had assured her that the procedure wouldn't hurt.
In spite of the pain, Jane managed to get through the procedure. Unfortunately, the SmartLipo results turned out poor. After waiting almost six months to heal, Jane's abdominal skin ended up uneven with horrible-looking dimples.
She went back to the clinic that performed the procedure, but was told that she was not an ideal candidate in the first place because of loose skin. Jane was upset that there was no mention of this when she initially talked to the patient counselor.
Sadly, this happens more frequently than you would think.
Jane eventually found out about Dr. Fan and came in for a consultation at our San Francisco practice.
Dr. Fan listened to her concerns, reviewed her history, performed a thorough examination, and personally spent over an hour talking with her about her options. She decided to undergo the recommended tummy tuck and was ultimately thrilled with the results!
What Makes A Great Tummy Tuck Surgeon?
If there's one key lesson to glean from Jane's story, it would have to be the importance of finding a reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon who can give you an honest appraisal of your condition and the necessary treatment rather than trusting in heavily marketed, unproven technology and non-expert doctors.
So how do you spot a well-versed, expert plastic surgeon from the inexperienced?
Four Things to Look For:
1. Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery
Find a surgeon who is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Board certified plastic surgeons are the only doctors who have been rigorously educated, trained, and certified to perform cosmetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body. Evaluate your surgeon for outstanding credentials and track record in producing stellar results specific to the type of surgery that you’re interested in.
Be wary of anybody who calls themselves a "cosmetic surgeon" or any doctor who is not specifically board certified in plastic surgeon.
2. A Plastic Surgeon Who Performs A Full Range of Tummy Contouring Procedures
Most patients with sagging tummies need a tummy tuck, but others may be candidates for alternative treatments such as liposuction and/or CoolSculpting.
The only doctor who is qualified to give you a full and honest opinion as to what YOU need is a plastic surgeon who performs the full spectrum of tummy contouring treatments (ie. nonsurgical treatments like CoolSculpting, minimally invasive treatments like liposuction, and surgical treatments like tummy tucks).
Doctors who do not perform tummy tucks (eg. doctors who only perform liposuction, or doctors or medical spas that only perform non-invasive fat reduction treatments) do not have the expertise to give you a qualified assessment. Additionally, they have a vested incentive to steer you away from a tummy tuck because they don't offer that service.
3. A Genuine Concern For Your Health, Needs, and Goals
Go for the surgeon who takes the time to understand your needs and preferences. A great tummy tuck surgeon will help you get the results you want rather than what they want.
To accomplish the best results possible without compromising safety, the surgeon of your choice should be thoughtful, detail-oriented, and have a keen sense of aesthetic artistry.
Unlike Jane’s unfortunate experience with the liposuction chain post-surgery, a surgeon who genuinely cares for your safety will stick with you even after the procedure.
4. Technical Finesse and Artistry Rolled Into One
As a prospective tummy tuck patient, take the time to find a surgeon who is a true artist and much more than just a technician. Renowned plastic surgeons have an innate eye for beauty and technical finesse in body sculpting procedures. Attention to the smallest of details and a commitment to excellence can make all the difference between an OK result and a GREAT result.
The Best Tummy Tuck Surgeons in the United States
Now that you’re aware of the qualities to look for in a great tummy tuck surgeon, your next step is to find the best tummy tuck surgeon in your area.
For starters, it can be overwhelming as just about every plastic surgeon's website (including ours) claims they are the right choice for you.
To refrain from ending up like Jane, here’s a roundup of the best tummy tuck surgeons in the country’s major cities:
Dr. Alan Matarasso’s dedication to medical training, education, and scientific research are manifested in his membership and active participation in more than twenty regional and national medical organizations. In terms of tummy tuck expertise, Dr. Matarasso has edited a three-volume series on liposuction and body contouring techniques.
Dr. Todd A. Pollock is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member in good standing of the American Society of Plastic Surgery. He has hospital privileges at several Dallas and Allen area hospitals to perform all of the procedures that are also offered in our accredited office surgical suite.
An advocate for evidence-based medicine, Dr. Eric Swanson is the founder of the Swanson center in Kansas. He is dedicated to staying at the leading edge of technological progress, so patients benefit from the most advanced treatments and techniques available.
Dr. Susan Downey is a board certified plastic surgeon who has had a practice in the Los Angeles area for 22 years. She also has a particular interest in post massive weight loss patients especially after bariatric procedures and has over 20 years experience in the field.
Dr. Larry Fan is the founding director of 77 Plastic Surgery in San Francisco. He is known for his expertise in facial rejuvenation, body contouring, and Asian cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Fan has been named one of America's Top Plastic Surgeons for the past seven years. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Fan is also a recognized plastic surgery expert who is highly sought after by both industry and the media and has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC, Bloomberg, and Refinery 29.
Patients often remark about Dr. Fan's finesse in providing aesthetically beautiful and natural results. He is also known for incorporating non-surgical cosmetic treatments into his practice, as well as being open and honest with patients.
Your Next Step to a Flat, Firm, and Flab-Free Tummy
Nothing beats a face-to-face consultation if you want to gain insight into a plastic surgeon’s credentials, and get a feel for their practice’s overall approach in helping you attain striking yet subtle tummy tuck results.
Before you schedule multiple consultations with a prospective tummy tuck surgeon in your area, these 14 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Plastic Surgeon will arm you with the right questions to ask during the consultation.
At 77 Plastic Surgery, your comfort and safety are our priorities to help you get the best results possible.