Everyone, for the most part, wants to look their best. However, this is often easier said than done. Eating nutritious foods and being active are vital elements of staying healthy and maintaining a fit appearance. Still, these good habits are not always enough to achieve the desired body contours.
One of the most challenging areas of the body to slim down using diet and exercise is the abdomen. As we age, factors such as significant weight changes and pregnancy can leave excess skin and loose muscles that cannot be treated with diet and exercise alone.
Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is designed to address problems that are difficult or impossible to correct, like stretched abdominal muscles, stubborn residual fat, and loose skin. This plastic surgery procedure removes unwanted fat from the belly and waist, strengthens the core muscles, and tightens skin for a firmer and flatter abdomen.
Dr. Vincent Hung uses his vast expertise to provide successful tummy tucks in Pasadena, California.
Skin naturally loses elasticity with age, and when individuals experience major weight loss, the stretched-out skin is left in place. This can also be caused by pregnancy and results in excess and loose skin. A tummy tuck tightens the skin and removes the excess, taking dimples and stretch marks with it. The remaining skin is carefully placed back over your new contours.
The abdominal muscles can become separated due to a sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, and other factors. Once fully separated, they can not be restored without surgical intervention. A tummy tuck can restore and tighten these muscles to create a more fit-looking midsection.
A tummy tuck procedure can strategically remove fat from specific areas to reveal muscle contours that would otherwise be obscured. This is ideal for patients who have been exercising but have not seen the desired results. A tummy tuck procedure can reshape the body’s contours to be more aesthetically appealing.
The first step in a successful cosmetic surgery is to schedule a consultation with a triple board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Hung. At this consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss your aesthetic goals for abdominoplasty, how the process works, any potential risks or complications, and the price of your tummy tuck. This is the time to ask any questions you may have. Dr. Hung will determine if your desired procedure is feasible and if it will achieve your goals.
Tummy tuck surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep when the surgery begins. In some cases, local anesthesia with sedation may be used.
An incision will be made along the pelvic region from hip bone to hip bone. From there, muscles will be tightened, and excess fat will be removed. Skin will then be tightened over the new muscle contours, and excess skin will be trimmed away. The incisions will be sealed with either sutures or medical glue.
A tummy tuck procedure commonly includes liposuction techniques for patients with a significant amount of fat they want to remove from their abdomen. Patients may also choose to remove unwanted fat from other areas of their body, such as the upper arms and thighs, to further sculpt their silhouette.
Female patients frequently combine their tummy tuck surgery with a breast lift or breast augmentation surgery (a combination known as Mommy Makeover surgery). Male patients often combine their abdominoplasty with gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) to achieve a firmer, more contoured chest and midsection.
Dr. Hung’s patients are observed in a comfortable recovery area immediately after surgery. You will be placed in a compression garment around your abdomen, which you must continue wearing to protect your incisions, reduce swelling, and promote healing. Once he feels you are ready to be discharged, you will be allowed to leave but will require someone to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery. You’ll be provided with prescribed medication or recommendations for over-the-counter pain medicines to take as directed by Dr. Hung. You will also receive postoperative instructions that must be followed to avoid complications and help ensure ideal results.
The initial recovery period lasts one to two weeks, during which patients should refrain from working and any form of exercise aside from short, gentle walks.
Your first follow-up appointment typically occurs during this time.
The secondary recovery period lasts two to four weeks after the initial recovery period. During this portion of your recovery, you can probably return to work and resume light activities. Vigorous exercise and physically intense activities should be avoided until at least six weeks post-surgery, as advised by Dr. Hung at your second or third post-op visit.
While some results will become apparent in the first two weeks following your surgery, the final results may take up to six months to fully develop. Tummy tuck results will generally be permanent, barring significant physical changes such as major weight gain, pregnancy, or another surgical procedure. Your abdomen will continue to age naturally over time.
Scars will occur as a result of a tummy tuck procedure. These scars will be concealable beneath most clothing and bathing suits. Scars will naturally fade with time, but proper treatment and avoiding direct sunlight may speed the process.
The cost of a tummy tuck surgery can vary widely depending on the operating facility’s location, the complexity of the procedure, fees associated with anesthesia, the surgeon, and the care facility. Therefore, it is difficult to provide an accurate price before a visit with the surgeon. Dr. Hung will be able to provide you with a personalized quote at the conclusion of your in-depth consultation.
Dr. Vincent C. Hung is a well-respected, board-certified plastic surgeon who was a fully certified physician specializing in internal medicine and dermatology before becoming a plastic surgeon. He and his team welcome you to call 626-432-5032 with any questions or to schedule your Pasadena tummy tuck consultation.
Get in contact with us below to schedule your Tummy Tuck today.
Ideal candidates for an abdominoplasty procedure are non-smokers in good health who are displeased with their abdomen’s appearance due to loose, sagging skin and stubborn pockets of fat. Before undergoing abdominoplasty surgery, patients should be within 15 pounds of their goal weight and committed to maintaining a stable weight after surgery. It is also important that patients have realistic expectations of their results.
Abdominoplasty takes two to five hours to perform, depending on the complexity of the surgery and any other procedures the patient may wish to combine with their tummy tuck.
While not the procedure’s primary purpose, a tummy tuck will remove stretch marks if they are on the lower abdomen and are part of the excess skin that is removed. Some stretch marks outside of the targeted treatment area may remain after a tummy tuck procedure.
A tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure and is not a replacement for diet and exercise. Most patients will lose some weight due to the tummy tuck operation, but without the practice of a proper lifestyle, this weight loss may not be permanent. Should you regain the weight lost during the surgical procedure, some beneficial aspects of the surgery may be undone.
The surgery itself should not cause any pain due to the use of general or localized anesthesia. You may experience mild to moderate pain in the first two weeks following the procedure, which may be treated with prescription or over-the-counter pain medication as needed.
Some risks and side effects associated with abdominoplasty surgery may include:
By following all of Dr. Hung’s instructions before and after your tummy tuck, you will significantly reduce your risks.