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Located in the beautiful coastal area of Orange County, our practice understands the importance of maintaining a confident and radiant body year-round. Living close to the stunning West Coast beaches, it’s essential to feel comfortable and self-assured in your own skin. At California Aesthetic Center, we specialize in helping patients achieve their desired aesthetic goals. Dr. Steve Vu, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has extensive experience performing tummy tuck procedures and is dedicated to delivering exceptional results. We understand our patients’ unique needs and desires in Orange County and are committed to providing personalized care tailored to each individual.

What Is A Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. Frequently, it is also utilized to repair weakened or separated muscles, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing abdomen that enhances your appearance regardless of the setting.

Is a Tummy Tuck the Right Choice for You?

Opting for an abdominoplasty requires a serious commitment to preserving your sculpted, beach-ready results. Above all, Dr. Vu prioritizes the safety and well-being of his patients in Orange County. For this reason, potential candidates are thoroughly evaluated before proceeding with the surgery. To qualify for a tummy tuck, you must:

  • Maintain your current weight to prevent reversing the surgery’s results through future weight gain. 
  • Have a reliable birth control plan, as subsequent pregnancies may undo your surgical results. 
  • Continue your diet and exercise regimen to uphold your remarkable results.

Alongside these commitments, Dr. Vu assesses his abdominoplasty patients in Orange County to confirm they’re physically fit for the procedure.

This involves ensuring they:

  • Are in good overall health. 
  • Do not smoke, as smoking can lead to dangerous surgical complications or delay your recovery process. 
  • Possess realistic expectations for the surgery, including understanding that abdominoplasty isn’t a weight loss procedure. 
  • Are in sound psychological health.

Reasons To Choose A Tummy Tuck

There are several reasons why residents of Orange County might consider a tummy tuck, including:

  • Genetic factors 
  • Childbearing 
  • The aging process 
  • Weight changes 
  • Previous surgeries 
  • Excessive weight in the abdominal area 
  • Sagging or loose skin around the belly 
  • Post-childbirth


Women in the Orange County region who enjoy overall good health are ideal candidates, provided they commit to preserving the procedure’s outcome through consistent diets and regular exercise. Dr. Vu recommends completing or having no plans for childbearing, as subsequent pregnancies can negate your efforts by causing stretched skin and possible muscle separation – thus undoing the results of your surgery. Abdominoplasty is often chosen by women with multiple pregnancies, aiming to tighten their slackened abdominal muscles. Some tummy tucks may incorporate liposuction to eliminate persistent excess fat post-pregnancy.


As we age, our skin gradually loses its natural flexibility. This aging process significantly affects the abdominal region, often resulting in a droopy and saggy midsection. Some individuals find this unappealing and begin to feel older than their actual age.

Substantial Weight Loss 

Candidates for abdominoplasty also include those with saggy abdominal skin due to substantial weight loss. Such individuals can often become self-conscious, leading them to regain the lost weight. Plastic surgery procedures like abdominoplasty help maintain their healthy physique and provide an added boost of confidence.


Genetics are a large determinant of body shape and the areas where fat accumulates. In many cases, excess fat may not necessarily result from a lack of exercise—procedures like abdominoplasty and liposuction address this issue.

The Procedure 

Dr. Vu may use a variety of methods for your abdominoplasty surgery, including:

  • Mini Tummy Tuck 
  • Traditional Tummy Tuck 
  • Comprehensive Tummy Tuck

Conventional Abdominoplasty 

This procedure involves a sizable surgical incision made in a straight line between the hip bones. Minor liposuction might be required to eliminate excess fat before Dr. Vu tightens the abdominal muscles and closes the incision. The belly button is relocated at the end since a large quantity of skin needs to be excised. The recovery period typically ranges from 2 to 4 weeks. It may be necessary to stay in the hospital overnight during the initial recovery stage. Patients may also be prescribed medication to alleviate pain and discomfort. 

The traditional tummy tuck surgery is for healthy men and women in Orange County who need to remove a substantial portion of excess skin from the midsection. Candidates for this procedure often grapple with loose skin after considerable weight loss, those who haven’t achieved the desired results with weight loss techniques alone, and those with weakened abdominal muscles post-pregnancy.

Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery

The extended tummy tuck caters to Orange County patients with a significant amount of sagging skin on their midsection, sides, hips, and lower back. Dr. Vu makes an incision in the abdomen extending across the hips to the lower back. This procedure often requires liposuction to drain extra fluids and remove excess fat cells. Afterward, Dr. Vu tightens the abdominal muscles, excises loose skin, and sutures the wound. The belly button must be repositioned to suit the patient’s new shape and profile.

Additional Tummy Tuck Variations 

While the above mentioned procedures are the most common, other options are also available.

Endoscopic Tummy Tuck – Also known as endoscopic abdominoplasty, this surgery is minimally invasive and aims to improve the appearance of the abdomen. This procedure leaves minimal scarring as it involves a small incision and removes the least amount of skin. 

Panniculectomy – A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. 

Circumferential Abdominoplasty – Circumferential abdominoplasty, or a lower body lift, is a surgical procedure that aims to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, back, hips, and buttocks.

Understanding Belt Lipectomy

A belt lipectomy is a surgical operation designed to eliminate excess skin around your waistline or ‘belt line.’ This procedure is a fusion of a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty, and buttock lift. It’s most commonly performed on individuals who have shed significant weight. A continuous incision is made around the waist or ‘belt’ area to reshape the abdomen and backside. Both surplus fat and skin are removed to enhance the lift and contour of the waistline significantly.

Tummy Tuck or Belt Lipectomy: Which One to Choose?

Are you torn between opting for a belt lipectomy or a tummy tuck? While both procedures bear similarities, they yield different results.

Opting for a Tummy Tuck 

Also referred to as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck involves removing excess skin from the area spanning the upper abdomen and the pubic region. Dr. Vu will make a horizontal cut between the navel and the pubic bone, and possibly around the navel. He will excise the excess loose skin and shape the abdominal muscles. Liposuction will be used along the flanks and mons pubis for further contouring.

Opting for a Belt Lipectomy 

Like a tummy tuck, a belt lipectomy removes extra loose skin from the abdominal and lower back regions. The difference lies in the extent of the procedure; a belt lipectomy is a more extensive surgery to sculpt your waistline. A long, horizontal incision is made across the waistline and around the back to eliminate drooping skin on the buttock and mid-back.

Tummy Tuck vs. Belt Lipectomy 

The ideal way to determine which procedure would best suit you is by scheduling a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Vu in Orange County. He can evaluate your excess loose skin to determine whether a belt lipectomy or a tummy tuck is right for you.

Limitations of a Tummy Tuck 

While the outcomes of a tummy tuck are noticeable, this procedure has certain limitations. Firstly, a tummy tuck is not designed as a weight loss surgery. All patients of Dr. Vu in Orange County must be at or very close to their ideal weight before being considered for this surgery. It is crucial to note that you should have maintained your weight for some time, typically six months, to ensure you are committed to your new lifestyle. Secondly, the procedure will not eradicate all your stretch marks, though some may be removed as the loose abdominal skin is excised. Lastly, abdominoplasty is not a replacement for adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. However, vigorous exercise should be avoided during your recovery period. Once Dr. Vu gives the green light to resume exercise, it is vital to maintain an exercise routine to prevent weight gain, which could reverse your surgical results. Additionally, sustaining a healthy diet is critically important before, during, and after your surgery.

Your Journey on the Day of Surgery

For many of our patients in Orange County, this might be their first surgical experience. Even if it’s not, Dr. Vu ensures you are in the best hands possible. At California Aesthetic Center, we strive to provide ample information to alleviate any apprehensions you may have leading up to your surgery. Here’s an overview of what a typical tummy tuck procedure involves.

To begin with, you’ll arrive at the surgical facility after fasting for at least 12 hours. This fasting period is fundamental as you’ll be administered general anesthesia, and having any food or drink in your system could potentially lead to complications.

Before you are escorted to the operating room, you’ll be taken to a pre-op area, where a team of nurses and professional medical staff will prepare you for your surgery. You can expect to change into a surgical gown and have your vital signs monitored. You will also be provided with a comfortable hospital bed with a pillow, sheet, and a warm blanket if you feel cold. The pre-op room is a tranquil space, dimly lit and serene, with caring and attentive nurses on hand to assist you.

When it is time for your procedure, you’ll be moved into a sterile, brightly lit operating room where Dr. Vu and his surgical team will be waiting. Their professionalism will further reassure you. An anesthesiologist will place a mask over your nose and mouth, and within moments, you will be under the effects of the anesthesia. Once you are asleep, Dr. Vu and his team will perform your tummy tuck.

After your surgery, you will be transferred to a recovery room where you’ll gradually awaken from the anesthesia. You will likely feel groggy and find yourself bandaged and prepared for post-surgery care. Your condition will be closely monitored to ensure there are no complications. Once Dr. Vu is satisfied with your recovery, you’ll be discharged into the care of a trusted friend or family member who will take you home to continue your recovery in the comfort of familiar surroundings.

Achieve the Sleek, Toned Abdomen You’ve Always Wanted 

If you are eager to attain a slimmer and trimmer abdomen that you’ll be proud to show off, it’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vu at California Aesthetic Center. During your initial visit, he will assess your abdominal region, understand your concerns and goals, take a comprehensive medical history to confirm the procedure will be safe for you, and answer any questions.

Contact California Aesthetic Center in Orange County today at (714) 848-1133 to book a consultation.

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