Marina del Rey
Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
If you're considering tummy tuck surgery in Los Angeles, your research may have created more questions than answers. In a consultation, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Stoker helps patients sort through the information they've gained from other sources and answers their questions. Although a personal consultation is the only way to get information that is specific for you, here are the answers to some FAQs.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck have excess skin, fat or muscle laxity of the lower abdomen that's unresponsive to diet and exercise. The best candidates are also healthy and do not smoke.
Stretch marks of the lower abdomen may be removed entirely by a tummy tuck. Stretch marks above the belly button may still remain, but the tummy tuck skin tightening improves the appearance of the remaining stretch marks.
The scars for a tummy tuck are inside the belly button and at the lower abdominal waistline. Ideally, the scar should be positioned so that it is covered by a low-cut bikini bottom.
A mini tummy tuck removes a small amount of excess skin from the lower abdomen. The scar is typically about 6 inches long. The best candidates for this procedure are lean women who have a small flap of excess skin in the middle lower abdomen, such as above a caesarean section scar. The abdominal muscles and upper abdominal skin are not improved with this limited procedure.
A lower tummy tuck removes a large amount of excess skin from the lower abdomen. The best candidates have a tight upper abdomen that is already close to ideal. Lower abdominal skin and fat is removed from the central abdomen as well as the sides. The pubic area may also be tightened. The abdominal muscles are not tightened with this limited procedure.
A pubic lift tightens the mons pubis and surrounding areas that tend to sag after pregnancies or weight loss. I consider it to be an important part of the tummy tuck procedures that I perform.
The rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen frequently become separated from pregnancy. During a tummy tuck, the muscles may be repositioned by tightening the fibrous fascia. The muscle is not cut, so recovery is faster.
Most of my abdominoplasty patients also have liposuction around their waistline or thighs to enhance their results. It's also common for my patients to have breast surgery at the same time as well. I call this combination of procedures a "Mommy Makeover."
I've done extensive clinical research on the safety of tummy tucks and combined procedures. In my hands, there's no increase in complication rates when I combine a tummy tuck with other operations. Of course, not all patients are candidates for combined surgical procedures. I make that decision on an individual basis in a detailed consultation with my patient.
Complications that may occur from a tummy tuck include bleeding, infection, seroma, delayed wound healing and venous thrombosis. The complication rate may be decreased with experience and diligent postoperative care. Even patients with complications are still likely to ultimately be pleased with the improvements they receive from an abdominoplasty.
Patients typically take a week off from work following a tummy tuck. Exercise is usually resumed 6 weeks following the surgery.