Steve T. Vu MD, FACS | Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335, Huntington Beach, CA 92647  |  (714) 848-1133

Tummy Tuck

What is it?

Also known as abdominoplasty, the aim of a tummy tuck procedure is to remove excess skin and fat from around the abdomen. In most cases, the procedure is used to restore separated or weakened muscles in order to create an abdominal profile that looks more appealing.


Weight loss exercises aren’t always an option for people who want to lose weight. As a result, the abdominal area tends to protrude. Some of the most common reasons why patients opt for this procedure include factors such as:

  • Hereditary causes

  • Pregnancy

  • Aging

  • Fluctuations in weight

  • Prior surgeries

  • Excess weight in midsection

  • Droopy or loose skin around the abdomen

Other candidates include people in the following categories –

  • After Pregnancy

  • Patients who are in good general health are ideal candidates. In addition, they must commit to maintaining the results of the procedure by following stable diets and a regular exercise plan. Tummy tuck procedures are also opted for by women who have undergone multiple pregnancies in a bid to tighten loosened abdominal muscles. Some tummy tucks incorporate liposuction to remove stubborn excess fat that remains after childbirth.

  • Age

  • The skin loses its natural elasticity as a person ages. Aging has a significant impact on the abdominal area. A flabby and sagging midsection is often the result. Some perceive the prospect as grotesque and begin to feel older than they actually are.

  • Significant Weight Loss

  • Candidates also include people who have saggy abdominal skin due to losing a significant amount of weight. Such people often tend to become self conscious due to the fact and as a result often gain back the weight that they lose. Plastic surgery procedures such as tummy tucks help them regain their physique and self confidence.

  • Genetics

  • The area where fat accumulates in the body and the shape of a person’s body depends largely on hereditary factors. Excess fat may not be due to inactivity. Procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction rectify this problem.

Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures

Tummy tucks come in the following categories –

  • Standard Tummy Tuck

  • This particular procedure involves a large surgical incision that is made in a straight line between the hip bones. Minor liposuction may be needed to get rid of excess fat before the doctor tightens the muscles in the abdomen and seals the incision. The belly button is repositioned at the end since a large part of the skin needs to be removed. The recovery time is usually 2 to 4 weeks. Initial recovery stages might require patients to stay overnight. They might also be prescribed medication to manage any pain and discomfort.

    The traditional or standard tummy tuck is for women or men who are in good physical health and need to remove a large section of excess skin from the middle. Candidates often have to deal with loose skin after losing a considerable amount of weight, those who haven’t been able to with weight loss techniques alone and those who have weak abdominal muscles after pregnancy.

  • Extended Tummy Tuck

  • The extended tummy tuck is for patients who have a large amount of sagging skin on their midsection, sides, hips and lower back. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen that reaches across the hips all the way to the lower back. This particular procedure almost always requires a liposuction procedure in order to drain extra fluids and remove excess fat cells. After this, the surgeon tightens the abdominal muscles, removes loose skin and seals the cut.

    Again, the belly button must be repositioned in order to accommodate the person’s new shape and profile.

  • Other Options

  • The procedures mentioned above are two of the most common. However, other options are also available –

    • Endoscopic tummy tuck – This particular procedure leaves the least scars since it removes the least amount of skin and is performed with a small incision.

    • Panniculectomy – This is also known as a fat apron removal surgery

    • Circumferential Tummy Tucks – Like the name implies, this procedure involves a surgical incision that is made completely around the waistline.

What it Won’t Do

Contrary to popular belief, a tummy tuck is not a good substitute for an exercise program even if the results are permanent. Women who are planning pregnancies or are planning to lose a significant amount of weight are advised to wait before they go for the procedure. It is also important to note that a tummy tuck does not conceal stretch marks.

Associated Costs

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a tummy tuck comes up to around $5,493. However, the fee can vary according to factors such as the experience of the plastic surgeon, the geographical medical facility, operating room facilities and cost of anesthesia. This can hike the price up to $12,000.

Patients are advised to analyze billing thoroughly. Additional costs may not always be included in the final quote. For example the chosen anesthesia and the cost of the surgical facility may be billed separately. Patients should discuss every cost with their chosen plastic surgeons before they go ahead with the procedure.

Patients are also advised to consult with qualified plastic surgeons before they opt for the surgery. Tummy tuck is a procedure that lasts a lifetime. An experienced doctor will determine whether a person is a suitable candidate and recommend suitable procedures. In addition, choose a seasoned surgeon also comes with less risks and a faster recovery. It’s best that patients choose doctors who are certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as well as additional medical boards that prove their qualifications. Their chosen doctors must also have experience in carrying out several tummy tuck procedures over the years.

Not everyone can lose weight with exercise alone. Genetics also plays a part in some cases. As a result, such people are often left to contend with mounds of excess skin and fat around their midsections. Tummy tuck procedures help such people regain slim profiles and self confidence.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

To discuss your interests, we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Steve Vu. We can answer general questions about our our procedures and practice by phone and email during our regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For out-of-town visitors, please contact us so that we can suggest accomodations and make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Office Locations:

Huntington Beach Office:
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Tel: (714) 848-1133
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Corona Office:
800 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 109
Corona, CA 92879-3157
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Temecula Office:
31720 Temecula Parkway, Suite 203
Temecula, CA 92592
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114