Marina del Rey
Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Loose skin, stretch marks and fat on the abdomen are among the most common reasons people seek help from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, they have excess skin and fat on the abdomen from significant weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many are frustrated that diet and exercise do not tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can't see their muscles underneath their loose skin. For many women and men, abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, in Los Angeles is their best opportunity to reclaim a youthful form.
Tummy tuck surgery is one of my favorite operations because of the dramatic improvements my patients achieve. Over the last decade, I've done extensive research on patient safety and cutting-edge techniques for abdominoplasty surgery.
Candidates for a tummy tuck have some (or all) of the following problems:
Good abdominoplasty candidates should be healthy non-smokers. Avoiding smoking is important to decrease risks. Although it's better for patients to be near their ideal weight, many patients who are overweight are still good candidates for the procedure. I help patients understand the advantages and disadvantages for their particular situation when they visit me for a consultation.
During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks. Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis ("six-pack") muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That's why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their "Mommy Makeover".
Although tummy tucks can achieve dramatic improvements, it's important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.
The tummy tuck procedure involves the following steps:
Tummy tuck procedures (and results) vary substantially between surgeons. As a specialist in body contouring surgery, my tummy tuck techniques have evolved significantly in an attempt to achieve the best possible results for my patients.
I make tummy tuck incisions as low as possible on the abdomen--just above the pubic area--so patients can wear virtually any bikini bottom, low-cut pants, or any other fashion that reveals most of the abdomen. The location and length of the incision is something I discuss in detail with patients during their consultation so they know what to expect. Typically, the length of the incision depends on the amount of skin that needs to be removed.
In some cases, I can perform a modified tummy tuck, otherwise known as a mini tummy tuck. The benefit of this procedure over a full tummy tuck is that the incision is much shorter--about 6 inches. Candidates for a mini tummy tuck are women whose concerns are limited to the area below the belly button. These women usually have a small flap of excess skin they want to remove and are at their target weight. The surgery doesn't include upper abdominal skin or repairing and tightening abdominal muscles.
Most of my tummy tuck patients have a list of questions about the procedure and recovery when they arrive for their consultations. The information included on the pages listed below may help answer many of those questions.
Following a tummy tuck, patients should take at least one week to recover before returning to work, but this varies depending on the extent of your surgery. It's best to gradually ease back into your exercise routine and avoid strenuous workouts for at least 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. I provide detailed post-op instructions to all patients, and it's very important that you follow them closely to help you recover as quickly as possible and to minimize the risk of complications.