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Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and repairs weakened muscles to create a flatter abdominal contour.

Should You Consider A Tummy Tuck?

Having kids is hard on a mother’s body, and the abdomen is often affected the most.

If you have loose sagging abdominal skin or a protruding belly, a tummy tuck can restore a flat and firm tummy.



Are You A Candidate?

Our Body Contouring Cosmetic Self Evaluation can help you decide if a tummy tuck is the right procedure for you.

TAKE OUR SELF EVALUATION

Overview

Get A Flat and Firm Tummy

There are very few women who do not have changes to their abdominal wall after having children. Most tell us that they have felt self-conscious about their stomachs for a long time.

Some have loose sagging abdominal skin. Others have abdomens that protrude because their muscles have been stretched by pregnancy. Some have lost weight and have excess tissue that won’t go away on its own. Almost all have tried dieting and exercising and are discouraged by the lack of results. In fact, patients often find that as they lose weight the skin becomes loose and looks even worse!

Liposuction alone can’t fix that, nor does it repair the abdominal muscles or remove the excess skin. So, if you want your pre-pregnancy tummy back, there is no substitute for a tummy tuck.

Your Consultation

During your consultation, leading San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Fan, will address your specific goals and discuss your treatment options. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck and review the results that can be realistically achieved. He will also help you determine which tummy tuck procedure is right for you and which complementary procedures may benefit you the most. We believe that every patient is unique, and that your treatment should be customized to meet your specific condition and goals.

 
 

Two More Quick Questions

Candidates

Are You Bothered by A Loose Tummy or Muffin Top?

You may be a good tummy tuck candidate if you are bothered by the appearance of your abdomen:

  • Do you have loose or droopy skin around the abdomen?
  • Do you have a bulging tummy?
  • Do you carry weight in your midsection?
  • Are you willing to commit to maintaining the results with a healthy diet and regular exercise?

It’s important to be in good overall health, to be a non-smoker, to be finished having children, to be near your goal weight, and to have realistic expectations.

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Typical Appearance Before Tummy Tuck: Tummy tuck patients can present with a combination of anatomical and aesthetic conerns. There can be skin looseness with or without stretch marks, extra lower or upper abdominal and waist fat, and separation or stretching of the central abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis). Dr. Fan will design a specific tummy tuck to address your anatomic and aesthetic concerns.

Are You a Tummy Tuck Candidate?

Procedure Steps

Procedure Sequence

A tummy tuck corrects three main areas of concern:

  • First, liposuction of the entire abdominal wall above the belly button is performed to reduce the fat thickness throughout (FAT)
  • Then the rectus abdominal muscles, or the sit up muscles, are repaired. These muscles are usually stretched with pregnancy and no amount of crunches will work! (MUSCLE)
  • Finally, the excess lower abdominal fat and skin are removed. (SKIN)

A tummy tuck usually takes two to four hours to perform. You are typically discharged home after surgery, although an overnight hospital stay may be needed after a more extensive tummy tuck so you can be safely monitored during the initial recovery period.

A tummy tuck is often combined with liposuction and breast enhancement as part of a Mommy Makeover procedure.

Benefits: The end result of a tummy tuck is a flatter, firmer, and more shapely abdominal contour.

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Typical Appearance After Tummy Tuck: Tummy tuck patients can begin to see their flatter abdominal contour and tighter skin after about 6 weeks.


Tradeoffs:

There are two main tradeoffs for a full tummy tuck:

  • An extended horizontal lower abdominal bikini line scar. The scar will fade significantly with time.
  • A significant recovery. Because a tummy tuck involves surgery on the abdominal muscles, recovery after a tummy tuck takes more time than that for other procedures.You probably won’t like Dr. Fan very much for about a week or two after surgery. After that, you’ll probably like him a lot.

Tummy Tuck Variations

Although mini tummy tucks are frequently discussed, we have found that most patients are better candidates for either liposuction alone or a full tummy tuck. However, there are subsets of women who will benefit from a mini tummy tuck or a limited tummy tuck. Some women may be better candidates for an extended tummy tuck, which will also correct the flank area. Choosing the most appropriate type of procedure is based upon your goals and your anatomy. Dr. Fan will discuss with you the specific advantages and disadvantages of the available options. For more information regarding the types of tummy tucks and abdominal contouring procedures available, see our FAQ below.

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Common Tummy Tuck Incisions: Tummy tuck patients will have more than one tummy tuck option, from less invasive with a smaller scar, to more extended versions of tummy tuck procedures for very extensive laxity and loose skin.

Recovery

The Results Are Worth The Recovery

Expect to be sore and somewhat uncomfortable during the first week or so after surgery. You will likely want to spend the first few days resting quietly at home, although you will be instructed to get up and walk around the house every few hours to maintain healthy circulation. Because of the large amount of skin removed, your abdomen will feel tight and sore and you will initially walk in a bent-over “little old lady” position. It may take 5 to 7 days for you to stand completely upright. Temporary swelling, bruising, numbness, and tingling are also expected after surgery. One or two small drainage tubes, if used, are removed in about 1-2 weeks. A compression garment must be worn over the surgical site for about six weeks.

Getting Back To Normal

You will need to refrain from strenuous activity including lifting more than 20 pounds for about six weeks. Most patients return to work in 2-4 weeks, although recovery time may vary depending on your age, genetics, skin quality, technique used, and occupation. Childcare is a common concern. Because of the limits placed on lifting or straining, you will need to have help with small children for the first few weeks after surgery. Lifting even a 25 pound child too soon after your tummy tuck can jeopardize your results by stretching the incision site and possibly leading to prolonged bleeding or swelling. You will feel “back to normal” in about 3-6 months.

Read More: Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect

Choosing A Surgeon

Choose Your Surgeon Wisely

Tummy tuck surgery is a demanding procedure that requires a high level of skill and artistry as well as careful attention to detail. It is imperative that the surgeon be highly skilled and experienced. Dr. Fan is highly experienced with a variety of tummy tuck techniques including mini tummy tuck, limited tummy tuck, tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck, flankplasty, belt lipectomy, high lateral tension abdominoplasty, and lipoabdominoplasty techniques. He will choose the technique that is best suited for your condition and goals. Dr. Fan believes that less is more and will use the simplest, safest, and most reliable procedure to help you look younger.

Dr. Fan is an Expert with A Full Range of Body Contouring Treatments Both Surgical and Non-Surgical

Dr. Fan is also highly experienced with minimally invasive body contouring treatments such as liposuction and non-invasive body contouring treatments such as CoolSculpting, so he will be able to help you understand the benefits, expected results, risks, and limitations of each type of treatment so that you can decide which is best for you.

Look Beautiful and Natural, Not “Done”

Dr. Fan is known for his elegant sense of artistry and refined surgical skills. You will look firmer and more sculpted. 

Free eBook: 14 Questions to When Choosing Plastic Surgery 

Costs

Exact Costs Vary Depending On Your Specific Needs and Desired Results

The cost of a tummy tuck varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors including your specific needs and desired results.

Factors that contribute to the cost of treatment include:

  • Your particular needs and goals
  • The extent and specific type of tummy tuck procedure chosen
  • The experience and reputation of the plastic surgeon
  • Any advanced technology or surgical techniques that may be used
  • The geographic location where the procedure takes place
  • The surgical facility used
  • The type of anesthesia a patient selects

Costs of surgery may include fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, operating room, facility, equipment, implants, garments, aftercare, lab tests, and medications.

The cost for a tummy tuck ranges from $5,000 to $30,000, with most procedures falling in the $12,000-18,000 range.

We offer a range of patient financing plans including low monthly payment plans and plans for those with suboptimal credit histories.

You can find more information about our Financing plans here

See Your Results

Get A Flat and Firm Tummy

A tummy tuck will help you obtain a flatter and firmer abdomen and will accomplish the following:

  • Removal of excessive lower abdominal skin and stretch marks
  • Tightening of the abdominal wall (assuming you do not have more children or a major weight gain after surgery
  • Create a flatter abdomen and narrower waist
  • Increase self confidence that comes with the enhanced abdominal shape

The end result is a flatter, firmer, and more sculpted abdomen and waistline.

Dr. Fan is known for his artistic eye, expert hands, experience, and meticulous attention to detail. He is also known for his outstanding body contouring results.

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Actual Patient Before and After Tummy Tuck.*

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Tummy Tuck FAQ

How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

For a tummy tuck procedure, anesthesia is given for safety and comfort. A low horizontal incision is made across the bikini line. The skin is lifted. The underlying abdominal muscles, which are separated or weakened after pregnancy, are tightened. Excess fat is removed using liposuction. The skin is redraped, and the excess fat and skin are removed. A small drainage tube or two may be left in place temporarily to facilitate healing. The scars are hidden in the bikini line and belly button. Some patients may be candidates for a mini tummy tuck, a limited tummy tuck, an extended tummy tuck, a flankplasty, or a belt lipectomy.

Tummy Tuck Vs. Liposuction: How Do I Know Which Procedure Is Better for Me?

Liposuction is an excellent procedure for removing unwanted tummy fat. You may be a good candidate for liposuction if you wish to improve the shape of your tummy, are in good overall health, and have a modest amount of excess fatty deposits under the skin along with good skin and muscle tone.

If you have had children and have minimal to modest loss of skin elasticity and good muscle tone, liposuction may be appropriate treatment if you are willing to accept that your skin quality will not be improved while your contour is improved.

If you have significant amounts of loose skin and/or loose or separated underlying abdominal muscles, then a tummy tuck may be needed.

Be wary of anyone suggesting that a laser or other "fancy" technology (eg. Smartlipo, laser assisted liposuction, nonsurgical skin tightening treatments, etc.) can eliminate the need for a tummy tuck. This is rarely true, and we frequently see patients who have been disappointed by these technologies ending up at our office in need of a tummy tuck or, worse yet, more extensive reconstruction for residual loose skin, cobblestoning, or other cosmetic deformities. It has been suggested that a laser can help with skin tightening after liposuction, but scientific evidence is lacking. Our advice to you - don't believe the hype that Smartlipo is a quicker, safer alternative to a tummy tuck or that it can help you avoid a tummy tuck or lift. Because it's rarely true.

Read More: Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

How does abdominal liposuction differ from a tummy tuck?

Abdominal liposuction can help contour the belly by removing unwanted fat while a tummy tuck also removes loose skin and stretch marks and tightens loose muscles. If you have loose, hanging skin, or loose, bulging abdominal muscles, it is very likely that a tummy tuck may be needed. You should seek out the advice of a Board Certified plastic surgeon who performs both liposuction and tummy tucks.

Is It Safe to Perform Liposuction Along With a Tummy Tuck?

Yes, liposuction can be safely performed along with a tummy tuck, as long as you are not a smoker.

In fact, it is often recommended that liposuction of the abdomen and love handles be performed along with a tummy tuck for best results.

What is a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure in which a shorter incision is made along the bikini line. A mini tummy tuck is only suited for patients with very small amounts of loose lower abdominal skin and good muscle tone. Although mini tummy tucks are frequently discussed, we have found that most patients are better candidates for either liposuction alone or a full tummy tuck. Proper patient selection is important.

What is the difference between a mini tummy tuck, tummy tuck, flankplasty, and a belt lipectomy?

In general, there are ten distinct abdominal contouring procedures available:

1. CoolScupting: The best candidates for CoolScupting are women (and men) who have not had children who have a modest amount of excess abdominal wall fat and good skin and muscle tone. CoolScupting may also be appropriate for some women who have had children with minimal to modest loss of skin elasticity and good muscle tone if they understand that their skin quality will not be improved but their contour enhanced. CoolScupting uses controlled cooling to freeze off unwanted fat cells. CoolScupting is completely non-invasive, has no downtime, is comfortable, and produces modest but consistent results.

2. Liposuction: For candidates similar to those for CoolSculpting above. A few ¼ inch incisions are used to remove the excessive fat. Liposuction can remove more fat and therefore produce a greater degree of improvement compared to CoolSculpting.

3. Mini Tummy Tuck: For patients with mild lower abdominal skin and/or muscle laxity and excessive fat but good upper abdominal skin and muscle tone. Through a limited bikini line incision, a small amount of excessive skin is removed through a limited bikini line incision. Excessive fat is removed using liposuction. If deemed appropriate, the abdominal muscles below the belly button may be tightened. Only a small percentage of patients are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck.

4. Limited (or Mid or Modified) Tummy Tuck: This procedure is similar to a mini tummy tuck but involves a longer incision, which is useful for patients with greater degrees of lower abdominal skin laxity.

5. Tummy Tuck (or full tummy tuck): For patients with loose skin, stretched out muscles, and excessive fat, a full tummy tuck is usually the best option. Through a full bikini line incision, all excessive skin and fat of the lower abdomen between the belly button and pubic area is removed. Upper abdominal liposuction is performed. The muscles are repaired, often decreasing waist size by 2 to 4 inches. The scar is hidden in the bikini line.

6. Extended Tummy Tuck (or fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty): An extended tummy tuck is appropriate for patients who require more aggressive treatment for excess skin throughout the abdomen and trunk, particularly in the upper abdomen and lower chest and back. In addition to the horizontal bikini line incision, a full midline incision is used to performa a more complete skin removal.

7. Reverse Tummy Tuck: The reverse tummy tuck is best suited for patients with primary or residual excess upper abdominal skin. Through a bra-line incision, excess skin and fat of the upper abdomen is removed. A reverse tummy tuck is often performed in conjunction with a breast lift.

8. Flankplasty: Flankplasty is appropriate for patients with larger amounts of excess skin throughout the abdomen and trunk, particularly along the lateral trunk and flank regions. This procedure is similar to a full tummy tuck but involves a longer incision extending three quarters of the way around the lower trunk. A flankplasty is well suited for patients who are bothered by sagging flanks as well as abdomen.

9. Belt Lipectomy: A belt lipectomy is appropriate for patients with large amounts of excess skin throughout the abdomen, trunk, hips, and buttocks, particularly patients who have lost large amounts of weight. This procedure is similar to a full tummy tuck but involves a longer incision extending circumferentially around the lower trunk. A “belt” of lower trunk fat and skin is removed. The improvement gained from a belt lipectomy is usually very dramatic. A belt lipectomy is well suited for patients who are bothered by sagging buttocks and hips as well as flanks and abdomen.

10. Extended Belt Lipectomy: This procedure is similar to a belt lipectomy but also involves a full midline incision. This is appropriate for patients who have lost a large amount of weight and require the most aggressive treatment for excess skin throughout the abdomen, trunk, flank, hip, and buttock regions.

Dr. Fan will be able to help you understand the differences between these procedures and decide which is best for you.

What is the scar like after a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck scars are hidden along the bikini line. We prefer to keep the tummy tuck scar as low as possible, but final placement of the scar will depend on a number of factors including your anatomy, the amount of loose skin present, the location of your belly button, and the degree to which your tissues relax and stretch after surgery.

The tummy tuck scar usually fades after several months to a few years. The final quality of the tummy tuck scar depends on a number of factors including your age, genetics, skin type, and healing properties. Dr. Fan uses very meticulous surgical technique to optimize the quality of the scars. We also offer a number of scar management treatments to assist with healing.

 

Will my belly button look funny after surgery?

Most patients see an improvement in the appearance of their belly button after a tummy tuck, with a tighter, more youthful appearance. Dr. Fan pays very careful attention to this part of the procedure to create a very natural looking belly button.

What is A No Drain Tummy Tuck?

During a tummy tuck, small drainage tubes are often left in place for a period of time to help evacuate fluid that may collect after surgery, which helps speed up recovery. An alternative technique is to use internal quilting sutures to reduce the need for drains. Dr. Fan performs tummy tucks both with and without drains and can discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

What are the Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Choosing to have a tummy tuck is a very personal decision. Only you can decide whether a tummy tuck can achieve your goals and whether the recovery and risk profile are acceptable to you.

All surgical procedures carry a small degree of risk. Fortunately, significant complications from tummy tuck surgery are infrequent.

Potential risks of tummy tuck surgery include:

· Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)

· Infection

· Scarring

· Adverse reaction to anesthesia

· Delayed healing

· Tissue loss

· Altered sensation

· Damage to underlying structures

· Blood clots

· Fat embolism

· Contour irregularity

· Asymmetry

· Allergic reactions

· Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures

How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost?

Tummy tuck costs vary depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the procedure needed, type of anesthesia, facility, geography, and the surgeon’s expertise.

Costs of surgery may include fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, operating room, facility, equipment, implants, garments, aftercare, lab tests, and medications.

A general cost range for tummy tuck surgery is $ 5,000 - $30,000, with most procedures falling in the $12,000-18,000 range.

We offer a range of patient financing plans including low monthly payment plans and plans for those with suboptimal credit histories.

Read More: How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in San Francisco?

You can find more information about our Financing plans here

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Related Procedures

Liposuction

Liposuction is a procedure that removes unwanted fat through tiny openings in the skin. Liposuction does not remove or tighten sagging skin. Liposuction is often performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck.

Learn More About Liposuction

Mommy Makeover

A Mommy Makeover is a series of procedures designed to help you regain your pre-pregnancy figure. A Mommy Makeover often includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast enhancement.

Learn More About Mommy Makeover

Belt Lipectomy

A belt lipectomy, or lower body lift, removes excess skin circumferentially from the trunk.

Learn More About Belt Lipectomy

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells without surgery or downtime. CoolSculpting does not remove or tighten sagging skin. The results seen with CoolScupting are more modest compared to those achieved with liposuction and tummy tucks.

Learn More About CoolSculpting

VIEW ALL PROCEDURES
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I was very nervous about having an elective procedure and within a few minutes I felt like I was visiting with friends or family. Dr. Fan spent so much time patiently answering my laundry list of questions and even told me to call or come back if I needed more information. If you are looking for the best plastic surgeon, then look no further. I had a mommy makeover, which included a tummy tuck and a breast lift and augmentation. I have my body back. Thank you Dr. Fan and staff. Five stars all the way."*

— Ms. E

Why Dr. Larry Fan & 77 Plastic Surgery

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Larry Fan, MD

 
Dr. Larry Fan is an award winning, Harvard educated, and nationally recognized plastic surgeon. He is a progressive, compassionate thinker who is committed to achieving the highest levels of excellence and the very best aesthetic results. Dr. Fan is an expert facelift surgeon who is known for achieving natural beauty, never “overdone.”
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Harvard Trained & One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons

Dr. Fan is known for his elegant sense of artistry and refined surgical skills. He will perform your surgery with expert, world-class execution and has the results to prov

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Exceptional Results & Award Winning Care

Dr. Fan and his team are committed to providing you with exceptional care, counseling, and support before, during, and after surgery. We take pride and joy in caring for you and have received numerous awards for our compassionate care.

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During your consultation, Dr. Fan will take the time to address your specific goals and to discuss your treatment options. He will determine if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery and review the results that can be realistically achieved. He will also help you determine which complementary procedures may benefit you the most.

 

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