Tummy Tuck

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Tummy Tuck San Diego

A tummy tuck – or abdominoplasty – is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to tighten loose abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and body fat from the midsection. A tummy tuck can help restore healthy function to abdominal muscles that have been loosened or split as a result of injury or having a child (diastasis recti). It can also improve the appearance of a sagging or protruding abdomen and remove excess skin resulting from dramatic weight loss. Whether it’s an hourglass waist for women or a chiseled six-pack for men, a contoured midsection is a fundamental part of our society’s aesthetic ideal. It’s also something that many people struggle to achieve. Sometimes, to our frustration, diet and exercise are not enough to achieve the results we want. By removing and tightening loose skin, and restoring the shape of the abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck can be a perfect final step on your quest for a firm, flat tummy.

Dr. Wael Kouli is renowned for his experience and expertise in tummy tuck operations, earning him a reputation for delivering the best tummy tuck in San Diego. If you’re ready to achieve an aesthetically-pleasing abdomen, then contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our offices in Del Mar by calling 858.367.7514, and our Coronado location at  619.836.1682.

All Ab-out Tummy Tucks

The tummy tuck became popular in 1967, after Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, inarguably one of the most famous plastic surgeons to date, published his techniques. His approach to repairing hernias and restoring the abdominal muscles while also improving the appearance of the abdomen became the basis of the tummy tuck we know today.(1)(2) In 1980s, surgeons developed a way to successfully incorporate liposuction into the procedure, and the tummy tuck became even more effective. With approximately 100,000 tummy tucks performed in the United States in 2020,(3) today’s abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic surgical procedures.

Before and After Photos

Benefits

An abdominoplasty can provide many benefits to the patient:

  • Improve the appearance and shape of the midsection
  • Enhance core strength
  • Reduce irritation and risk of infection from excess skin
  • Improve the function of the bladder
  • Restore abdominal muscles stretched or weakened from injury or pregnancy
  • Improve flexibility, balance, and posture
  • Relieve lower back pain 

Candidates

Most ideal candidates are postpartum women, people who have lost a dramatic amount of weight, people with abdominal muscles damage, and people with excess abdominal skin that will not improve through diet and exercise. Diastasis Recti – when the rectus abdominis muscles separate from being stretched during pregnancy – is a common reason for undergoing a tummy tuck. While abdominoplasty procedures are not considered treatments for stretch marks on skin, they can eliminate stretch marks through the removal of the skin itself. While body fat can be removed during a tummy tuck, it is not a weight loss treatment and is not suitable for obese patients. Candidates must be healthy enough for surgery. Underlying medical conditions such as blood-clotting disorders or diabetes may affect one’s eligibility for a tummy tuck. The procedure should be delayed if the patient has not yet reached a stable weight or plans to have more children.

Personal Consultation

In order to determine if a tummy tuck is right for you, Dr. Kouli will meet with you for a personal consultation at our offices to discuss your abdominal contouring needs. The consultation will allow Dr. Kouli to get a better sense of your personal and medical history. He will ask you about your history of diseases, illnesses, surgeries, immunizations, medications, allergies, mental health issues, as well as your current diet and exercise habits. Your personal consultation will ensure that Dr. Kouli will be able to help you determine the best treatment plan for your unique goals, as well as alert you to any possible risks, complications, or considerations for the procedure.

Preparation

Our experienced, professional, and friendly staff will ensure that you are aware of everything you need to know prior to undergoing the procedure. It is extremely important to have a full understanding of what to expect and how to best prepare for it before the treatment takes place.

Make sure that you cease the use of any alcohol, ibuprofen, Vitamin E and any other blood-thinning supplement or medication for three days prior to the procedure since these dramatically increase the chance of bleeding complications. Smoking and tobacco products slow the healing process and dramatically increase the likelihood of complications. Patients are instructed to cease smoking at least two weeks before the procedure and throughout the recovery process. 

Procedure

Abdominoplasties are performed under general anesthesia and usually take two to three hours. A curved, horizontal incision is made between the hip bones and the skin is separated from the abdominal muscles. Dr. Kouli will then thread permanent, medical-grade, nylon stitches through the abdominal muscles to repair and tighten them. After that, Dr. Kouli will remove body fat around the midsection, trim excess skin, and reposition the navel. After the incisions have been closed with sutures, the abdomen is bandaged.

Recovery

Bruising and swelling are to be expected during the initial stages of recovery. Other common side effects include a tugging sensation in the lower abdomen and numbness in the skin between the navel and incision.(4) Patients can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication or the prescribed pain medication. You’ll return to Dr. Kouli’s office for regular follow-up appointments so that he can monitor the progress of your recovery. Most patients are able to return to work after two weeks. It is recommended that you avoid any strenuous activity for at least six weeks. A compression garment is to be worn for several weeks after the procedure in order to reduce swelling.

Results

Abdominoplasties will provide immediate improvements in the contour and appearance of your abdomen, but the full results will not be noticeable until several weeks later when the swelling goes down. Treatment results are permanent, however, it is important to keep in mind that a tummy tuck will not prevent you from gaining weight in the future, and that weight fluctuations and future pregnancies can impact your results. 

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

Depending on the patient’s goals, Dr. Kouli may suggest a tummy tuck procedure in conjunction with other treatment options to enhance the overall result. Tummy tuck procedures are most frequently paired with liposuction in order to improve the contour and shape of the midsection. You can learn more about the other procedures that Dr. Kouli performs here.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in San Diego?

Tummy tuck procedures vary in price depending on the extent of the treatment as well as the addition of other procedures such as liposuction. Dr. Kouli will give you a price for your treatment during your personal consultation. Also, be sure to ask us about our financing options as well.

FAQ

What is included in the cost of the procedure?

The cost of your tummy tuck includes all appointments and consultations, both before and after the operation, as well as anesthesia, the operation and surgical materials, and any required post-operation compression garments.

What is the difference between a partial tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?

A partial tummy tuck – or mini tummy tuck – is when the procedure removes excess skin and repairs the lower abdominals below the navel, whereas a full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdomen, both below and above the navel.

References

  1. O’Kelly N, Nguyen K, Gibstein A, Bradley JP, Tanna N, Matarasso A. Standards and Trends in Lipoabdominoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2020;8(10). doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000003144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647643/ 
  2. Pitanguy V. Abdominal Lipectomy: An Approach to It through an Analysis of 300 Consecutive Cases. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 1967;40(4):384-391. Accessed September 16, 2022. https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/citation/1967/10000/abdominal_lipectomy__an_approach_to_it_through_an.12.aspx
  3. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2020 National Plastic Surgery Statistics.; 2020. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/plastic-surgery-statistics-report-2020.pdf
  4. Chowdhry S, Davis J, Boyd T, et al. Safe Tummy Tuck: Anatomy and Strategy to Avoid Injury to the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve During Abdominoplasty. Eplasty. 2015;15:e22. Accessed September 6, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473816/