A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, repairs core muscles, and redefines aesthetic contours. Because of childbirth, weight loss, or the natural aging process, your tummy might’ve lost its slim curves and muscular definition. When this happens, we often turn to diet and exercise for simple, straightforward remedies. But, after diet and exercise have exhaustingly led to underwhelming results, you might be at your wits’ end in finding an effective, long-lasting solution. Dr. Daniel H. Lin and his team at Shine Cosmetic Surgery offer tummy tuck surgeries that can finally solve your stubborn fat and loose skin once and for all.
If you are interested in redefining your contours and would like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Lin, fill out this contact form. To reach our Southern California offices directly, call us at (626) 810-6165.
- 1 Before & After Photos
- 2 Before and After Photos
- 3 Abdominal Changes
- 4 Benefits of A Tummy Tuck
- 5 Types of Tummy Tuck
- 6 Candidates
- 7 Personal Consultation
- 8 Preparation
- 9 Procedure
- 10 Recovery
- 11 Other Body Contouring Procedures
- 12 How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost in Southern California?
- 13 References
Before & After Photos
Before and After Photos
When we’re young, it’s easier for many of us to maintain our desired physical appearance. But as our body’s systems slow with age, certain aspects of our physique are harder to control. Loose skin, damaged abdominal muscles, and stubborn fat are three common problems that affect millions of people worldwide. At Shine Cosmetic Surgery, most of our patients who undergo a tummy tuck procedure are recovering from either the effects of weight loss or pregnancy.
You might know that our skin is our largest organ, but did you know that each cell is replaced almost every 27 days? Because cell turnover is so high, our dermal structures have to remain strong and durable to keep up with the changes in our body – specifically weight gain and pregnancy. Collagen is the key protein that serves this role. Collagen is a strong, tensile protein to keeps skin smooth and wrinkle-free. From birth, a complex network of collagen fibers constructs the scaffolding of our dermis. These fibers are replenished by fibroblast cells that repair or replace damaged fibers with fresh collagen. However, with age, these cells slow down in production, leaving damaged fibers behind. So, for example, when our skin expands during pregnancy or weight gain, it doesn’t have the ability to return to its former appearance. So, patients are often left with loose, excess abdominal skin that doesn’t respond to changes in diet or exercise. Likewise, those who have capped a weight loss journey often find themselves with more excess skin than they were expecting. Heavy, loose folds of skin around the abdomen can sag and lead to painful rashes along the hips, groin, and pubic area. However, a tummy tuck can offer relief, and improve mobility.
A tummy tuck does more than just remove excess skin from your midsection. This simple procedure can also repair muscles that have separated during pregnancy. Around the third trimester, abdominal muscles are under so much pressure that they split from the long band of connective tissue tethering them together – the linea alba. After giving birth, the stretched linea alba can lead to a prominent bulge of tissue in the abdomen – a condition called diastasis recti. In addition to this noticeable bulge, diastasis recti causes many other concerns like urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders. For some mothers, this condition remedies itself as the muscles naturally return to their original position. But for many, diastasis recti can persist long after giving birth, causing conditions that impact a mother’s daily health and happiness.
After giving birth or achieving your goal weight, you might still see fat in stubborn areas around your abdomen. For those who have already tried diet and exercise, you know how hard this fat is to lose. This fat rests just below the skin’s surface and protects the body from dermal infection, heat loss, and external forces. Because it helps keep the body safe and healthy, the body is reluctant to burn subcutaneous fat. So, even after following a strict diet and exercise regimen, you will often see subcutaneous fat persist.
Benefits of A Tummy Tuck
If you are interested in reading previous patients’ reviews, check out our reviews page. Here, they mention the added benefits of choosing to undergo a tummy tuck procedure. In addition to a slimmer, tighter abdominal profile, you can expect:
- Discreet scarring
- Repaired abdominal muscles
- Liposuction for unwanted fat
- A tailored procedural approach
- State-of-the-art, comprehensive care
Types of Tummy Tuck
A complete abdominoplasty involves a horizontal incision above your pubic hairline that travels from hip bone to hip bone and a second incision around your belly button. This allows Dr. Lin access to repair the rectus abdominis muscles, the vertical pair of muscles that run up the center of the abdomen. Excess skin is removed, and liposuction may be used to improve the contours of the midsection.
Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty
A mini abdominoplasty is performed on patients who only require moderate improvements. This is perfect for patients with little skin to be removed, and whose muscles only require slight adjustments. A mini tummy tuck uses a single smaller incision than the one used during a complete abdominoplasty, and liposuction may also be added.
This procedure uses a 360-degree approach to tighten and lift the entire midsection and back and allows Dr. Lin to remove excess skin and fat from the hip region as well. This is ideal for patients that have undergone massive weight loss and require extensive contouring.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Lin, please fill out this contact form or call our office at (626) 810-6165. During this consultation, we will determine your candidacy for a tummy tuck procedure. In consulting patients who are interested in a tummy tuck, the most important factor to be aware of is future weight gain or pregnancies. We advise that you be at or near the end of your weight loss journey, just a few pounds away from a healthy, stable weight. If any future weight is gained, the results of your tummy tuck will be seriously diminished. Likewise, mothers should understand that any future pregnancies will also alter the results. So, we typically recommend that patients be at the end of their family-building journeys.
If this is your first time with us, we will begin with a new patient intake interview and a physical examination. We will note the excess skin around your abdomen and if you have persisting diastasis recti. Then, Dr. Lin will begin constructing your personalized treatment plan. This plan will map out your care and include any special preparations or recovery guidelines that are unique to your circumstances. After scheduling your procedure, we will give you a general list of instructions to follow.
Because a tummy tuck is an involved surgery, there are a few key steps you must follow before the date of your procedure. These steps include:
- Schedule a ride home. Designate a friend, family member, or caregiver to drive you home and look after you for the first few days.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol for a few weeks before your surgery. These products contain compounds that interrupt the body’s natural healing process.
- Avoid blood-thinning medications. If you are prescribed a blood thinner, please consult with your healthcare provider, and make sure that you’ve let Dr. Lin know about all medications that you’re taking.
- Pre-fill all prescriptions. It will be important to have the prescribed pain medication and antibiotics on hand immediately after your surgery.
A tummy tuck begins with general anesthesia. Then, Dr. Lin makes a hip-to-hip incision and carefully works under the skin to suture separated muscles back into their original position. Next, he may liposuction away unwanted fat so abdominal contours are slimmer and more flattering after you have fully healed. Dr. Lin pulls the tissue taut and excises all the excess skin, ensuring that the belly button remains in its natural position.. Once he has achieved the desired alterations, he will suture the incisions closed and wrap your abdomen in a compression garment.
Many tummy tuck patients have unwanted fat in different areas of their physique. Additional liposuction can be seamlessly incorporated into your treatment protocol. Be sure to ask if liposuction is right for you during your personal consultation.
After your tummy tuck, you will need to commit to rest and recovery for the next few weeks. Patients typically experience some swelling and discomfort for the first few days and have been prescribed pain medication to manage their symptoms. After 5-7 days, your surface stitches will be removed. The deeper surgical sutures will be removed after 2-3 weeks. It may take several weeks before you start feeling recovered, As with any surgery, patients in good physical shape experience the fastest recoveries. Avoid strenuous activity or vigorous exercise until Dr. Lin instructs you that you are ready for it. Abdominoplasty does produce a permanent scar which is most noticeable during the first 3-6 months of your recovery. This scar will eventually flatten out, soften, and fade.
Other Body Contouring Procedures
A tummy tuck is often included in a mommy makeover procedure. A mommy makeover is an all-in-one procedure that aims to give women their pre-baby bodies back. This collection of procedures includes breast augmentation, liposuction, breast lift, and much more. Dr. Lin listens to your cosmetic concerns and tailors a mommy makeover procedure to help you look and feel your best. The main advantage of a mommy makeover is that it can all be done during one surgical procedure. So, you don’t need to worry about multiple surgeries and multiple downtimes. With this comprehensive approach, you can get back on your feet in as little as one to two weeks.
How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost in Southern California?
The cost of your procedure will be determined by the extent of your personalized treatment plan. We will discuss and determine the cost of your unique care during your personal consultation. If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest in the cosmetic surgery industry and the latest at Shine Cosmetic Surgery, please visit our blog. If you have any questions or would like to call our office to learn about our financing options, our number is (626) 810-6165.
- Tepole, A. B., Gosain, A. K., & Kuhl, E. (2012). Stretching skin: The physiological limit and beyond. International journal of non-linear mechanics, 47(8), 938–949. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2011.07.006
- Boswell C. B. (2010). Body contouring following massive weight loss. Missouri medicine, 107(3), 189–194. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6188338/
- Jessen, M. L., Öberg, S., & Rosenberg, J. (2019). Treatment Options for Abdominal Rectus Diastasis. Frontiers in surgery, 6, 65. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2019.00065
- Benjamin, D. R., van de Water, A. T., & Peiris, C. L. (2014). Effects of exercise on diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle in the antenatal and postnatal periods: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 100(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2013.08.005
- Kwok, K., Lam, K. & Xu, A. Heterogeneity of white adipose tissue: molecular basis and clinical implications. Exp Mol Med 48, e215 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/emm.2016.5