Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)


Extra fat in the stomach can be removed simply through liposuction, but when stretched muscles and loose skin are also present, it is best to consider abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck). An incision is made on the lower abdomen, just above the pubic bone, through which excess fat and skin are removed. Just prior to the procedure, I recommend patients wear an undergarment or bikini to ensure the scar will fall below the garment. Abdominal muscles and skin can be tightened to flatten the abdomen. Depending on the amount of skin excess, the belly-button may need an incision around it as well.


Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) – Body Contouring

You’ve worked hard to lose weight and to improve your muscle tone through diet and exercise programs. But sometimes proper exercise and diet aren’t enough to get your desired shape; it may be time to consider a tummy tuck. Our Newport Beach patients choose this procedure when they are having trouble achieving a flat and toned tummy appearance.  Now that you’ve dropped the pounds, you’ve also dropped the skin – it probably hangs on your belly and creates an unflattering look. And no matter how many crunches you do, you just can’t seem to get those abdominal muscles anywhere near a six-pack. Without the help of plastic surgery, you might be stuck. No amount of special creams or ointments will tighten loose stomach muscles or lift lax tummy skin, and oftentimes even the healthiest diet will not be able to reduce certain fat deposits along the abdominal wall.  Coolsculpting or Zeltiq is one of the latest technologies that ‘freezes’ fat causing fat cells to die which later are removed by your bodies immune system.  While Coolsculpting may be right for some younger patients with little fat excess, zero skin laxity, and youthful skin elasticity, most patients will be unsatisfied with the results.   Only abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) from Rosing Plastic Surgery can help you address these problem areas sufficiently by removing skin laxity, stretch marks and fat excess creating a natural appearing fit abdomen.


Below, Dr. James Rosing outlines how to decide between a standard tummy-tuck, mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy-tuck), or liposuction for patients desiring a procedure to improve abdominal skin laxity, fat excess, and loose abdominal muscles.  The video highlights the mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy-tuck referred to in the video as 'abdominal skin removal') can be performed in-office for select patients.  Thank you for your interest in Rosing Plastic Surgery. 



What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles resulting in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.  A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.

Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

• Pregnancy

• Aging

• Significant fluctuations in weight

• Heredity

• Prior surgery

Abdominoplasty is the one of the most popular plastic surgeries for women, and is becoming increasingly popular for men as well. If you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, additional combination surgeries such as liposuction also may be appropriate. Many women have abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover”, which can combine procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, inner thigh liposuction, neck lifts and more. In our gallery you can see real results from actual patients of Dr. James Rosing.

This is truly a transformative procedure, and many of our patients tell us that they wish they scheduled surgery sooner. Picture yourself standing in front of a mirror in just your underwear seeing a svelte stomach that lies flat between your hips with no rolls or bulges over the elastic waistband of your underpants. You’ve done the workouts, you’ve lost the weight, and you owe it to yourself to pursue your desired figure.

Keep in mind, the final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.  Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident in being able to see the early results of your new slimmer profile.  Typically, most patients are able to fully appreciate the result from the procedure by three months.  


What a tummy tuck won't do:

Tummy tucks are not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Also, tummy tuck surgery cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised, generally the treated areas below the belly button. 


Tummy Tuck Candidates

After pregnancy and childbirth, or after losing weight many people lose the elasticity of their abdominal skin as well as the firmness of the abdominal wall muscles. This results in stretch marks, hanging skin folds, and a "pooch". No matter how much fat and weight they lose, or after many sit -ups they just can't firm up their abdomen and can't get rid of their stretch marks. No laser treatment, cream, excises can remove the stretch marks and tighten the abdomen. 

• You are physically healthy and at a stable weight

• You have realistic expectations

• You do not smoke or use Nicotine products

Although the results of an abdominoplasty procedure are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. 

For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone abdominoplasty surgery.

Tummy tuck surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.


What is a mini tummy tuck?

A Mini Tummy Tuck or Mini-Abdominoplasty is not as extensive as a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty, requiring only one hour of surgery as opposed to the three to four hours needed for a Tummy Tuck. Since it does not involve tightening of the abdominal muscles, it is reserved only for those who only have limited amount of loose skin or stretch marks in the lower abdomen or above the pubic bone. Also, it does not alter the shape of the belly button. A Mini-Tummy Tuck does not involve an extensive undermining and tightening of the abdominal skin, so it can be safely combined with full Liposuction of the abdomen and flank. Therefore, the combination of Mini-Tummy Tuck with Liposuction might be a better choice for those with excessive fat, but limited looseness of the abdomen. 

While the incisions for a "full" Tummy Tuck can extend from hipbone to hipbone, those of a Mini-Tummy Tuck are much shorter, usually extending only the width of the pubic area and similar to a C-section scar.

During your consultation Dr. Rosing reviews your treatment options for body contouring and tummy tuck, including pros and cons, potential risks and complications, recovery course, pre and postoperative instructions, and esthetic outcomes. There are also many before-and-after pictures, high-resolution images of abdominoplasty available in our photo gallery (hyperlink). 


Tummy tuck or liposuction of the abdomen? 

Liposuction can only remove excess fat and it does not address redundant flab or abdominal wall weakness. If you have good skin elasticity, rare stretch marks, and minimal skin excess, liposuction could be a good option for you. On the other hand if you are mainly concerned about excess flabby lower abdominal skin and have minimal fat, you might be a better candidate for a tummy tuck.  There are some people that have much fat as well as lose skin folds. In those cases, it might be necessary to first do a liposuction in order to remove the excess fat, and then later do a tummy tuck to tighten the abdomen.


Can I become pregnant again following a tummy tuck? 

In most cases, women considering a Tummy Tuck should not be planning additional pregnancies. Although it is possible to have more children following a Tummy Tuck, another pregnancy could impact your Tummy Tuck outcome, and lead to the need to have your abdomen “re-tightened.” Therefore, a responsible cosmetic surgeon will advise you that it is preferable to be satisfied with the size of your family before undergoing a Tummy Tuck.


What to expect during your tummy tuck consultation

The success and safety of your tummy tuck procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.


Be prepared to discuss:

• Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome

• Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments

• Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs

• Previous surgeries

Dr. James Rosing may also:

• Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors

• Take photographs for your medical record

• Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment

• Discuss likely outcomes of the tummy tuck and any risks or potential complications


Preparing for tummy tuck surgery: Prior to Surgery

Dr. Rosing will provide very specific instructions prior to surgery so you will have an optimal and safe experience. These include what medications to avoid to prevent excessive bleeding and bruising, required medical exams, what to eat and drink prior to surgery, and the prescription of an anti-nausea pill to take on the morning of the surgery. In all cases, you will be asked to have a reliable friend or family member take you home after the surgery, as you will not be allowed to drive. Some procedures do require overnight stay in an aftercare facility or a hospital.

Also, tend to all of your chores before your surgery so you don’t have to worry about taking care of things early during your recuperation.  This would include tending to your house, pets, and carpools for your children, etc.  


Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

• Get lab testing or a medical evaluation

• Take certain medications or adjust your current medications

• Stop smoking or using Nicotine products well in advance of surgery

• Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase the incidence of bleeding and bruising


Special instructions you receive will cover:

• What to do on the day of surgery

• The use of anesthesia during your tummy tuck

• Post-operative care and follow-up

• Getting all post-surgery prescriptions filled prior to surgery (pain medicine, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medicine)


You’ll need help

If your tummy tuck is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours following surgery.  If you don’t have such a person, or live far away, or are having extensive or multiple procedures please let us know in advance so that we can help you make arrangements for a stay at an after-care facility or hospital.


Tummy tuck recovery

Following your surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your abdomen as it heals.  A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect to minimize swelling after tummy tuck surgery.  You will be given specific instructions to aid your recovery from tummy tuck surgery: how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with Dr. Rosing.  Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of a tummy tuck. In women who have undergone cesarean section, the existing scars may often be incorporated into the new scar.


Tummy tuck risks and safety information

The decision to have tummy tuck surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential abdominoplasty complications are acceptable.  Dr. Rosing and/or his staff will explain in detail potential tummy tuck complications. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.


Possible abdominoplasty risks include:

• Unfavorable scarring

• Bleeding (hematoma)

• Infection

• Fluid accumulation

• Poor wound healing

• Skin loss

• Blood clots

• Numbness or other changes in skin sensation

• Anesthesia risks

• Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling

• Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)

• Major wound separation

• Asymmetry

• Recurrent looseness of skin

• Pain, which may persist

• Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications

• Persistent swelling in the legs

• Nerve damage

• Suboptimal aesthetic result


Request a Consultation  

To learn more about having a tummy tuck, call our office in Newport Beach at (949) 706-7874 and arrange a private consultation with Dr. James Rosing today.


 Dr. James Rosing outlines how to decide between a standard tummy-tuck, mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy-tuck), or liposuction for patients desiring a procedure to improve abdominal skin laxity, fat excess, and loose abdominal muscles.  The video highlights the mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy-tuck referred to in the video as 'abdominal skin removal') can be performed in-office for select patients.  Thank you for your interest in Rosing Plastic Surgery.