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Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty

Sagging, loose skin that accumulates around your abdomen may be preventing you from achieving the attractive body contours you desire. Unsightly excess tissue is often the result of pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process. Countless men and women attempt to tone their midsection and restore lean contours through diet and exercise. However, once your skin loses its elasticity and becomes loose, no amount of natural remedies can restore its firmness. Dr. Kao performs abdominoplasty to eliminate excess, hanging abdominal tissue for patients who desire firmer, more toned abdominal contours.

Candidates

Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are in good health and have realistic expectations about their results. Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight-loss procedure and should only be performed on patients who are close to their ideal weight. People seeking abdominoplasty may identify with one or more of the following:

  • Flabby, sagging skin around the abdomen that is resistant to improvement through diet and exercise
  • Lack of an attractive abdominal shape due to pregnancy or weight loss
  • Loose abdominal muscles that contribute to the appearance of a stomach pooch
  • Unsightly stretch marks
  • Low confidence due to the appearance of the abdomen

Abdominoplasty Procedure

Dr. Kao performs abdominoplasty using intravenous sedation and EXPAREL® to ensure a pain-free procedure and decreased pain. Each abdominoplasty is customized to the patient to provide the maximum and best correction possible.

Full Tummy Tuck

Dr. Kao creates a pencil-thin incision low on the abdomen directly above the pubic bone (typically lower than a c-section scar). He considers how the individual patient wears her underwear or swimwear when determining the location of the incision so that the resulting scar can be easily hidden. The incision follows the natural curvature of the pelvis with each end gently curving upwards. Utilizing a curved technique allows Dr. Kao to remove extra skin and prevents the accumulation of skin and fat at the sides of the incisions (“dog ears”).

Through the incision, Dr. Kao trims away excess skin. He pays careful attention to the thickness of the upper and lower flap of the mon pubis. He thins out the tissue of the mons pubis and thins the deeper fat of the upper skin flap so that it matches the slimmer aesthetic of the rest of the abdomen. Dr. Kao also removes tissue from the mid and lower abdomen.

A loose rectus abdominis muscle can be tightened if necessary. Dr. Kao stitches the muscle together by pulling the midline edges together and then adding another layer of sutures to provide support. Dr. Kao utilizes suturing techniques that provide definition along the obliques. Tightening the abdominal muscle helps create a flatter, more toned appearance.

Dr. Kao also corrects the appearance of the navel if it has begun to sag along with the skin. An incision is created around the navel, which allows Dr. Kao to place it in a more attractive position. He pays special attention to ensure the navel maintains a natural appearance by creating a hood in the upper portion and a gentle slant in the shape. If the skin surrounding the navel is weak, Dr. Kao uses minor fat grafting to provide adequate support for natural-looking results.

A full tummy tuck can also correct the appearance of unsightly stretch marks. Any stretch marks and other blemishes that are present on excised skin will be permanently removed. This helps you achieve a smoother abdominal appearance.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Mini tummy tucks are reserved for patients who have good skin elasticity, no diastasis, and only isolated fat on their lower abdomen (lower “pooch”). The incision is limited and placed very low on the abdomen so it can be easily concealed. Excess fat and skin are removed from the lower abdomen.

Endoscopically-Assisted Tummy Tuck

Patients who qualify for an endoscopically-assisted tummy tuck are 1) thin with a little excess skin and have muscle laxity or separation or 2) candidates for a mini tummy tuck that also have some muscle laxity. Dr. Kao makes an incision in the lower abdomen about the size of a c-section. Using an endoscope, he dissects up to the xiphoid process (lower end of the sternum) and places two layers of stitches to strengthen the muscles and tighten their appearance. He then removes a little bit of skin if necessary.

Liposuction

Dr. Kao always uses liposuction on the hips with all of his abdominoplasty techniques. Liposuctioning the hips helps create a better curvature and brings the hips into balance with the new abdominal contour. Restoring this balance creates a more natural-looking appearance and enhances your overall abdominal aesthetic.

Recovery

Dr. Kao places drains out both ends of your incision, which he removes after seven to ten days. After your drains are removed, you will be fitted for an abdominal binder. You will experience some bruising, swelling, and tightness of the abdomen.

All of Dr. Kao’s patients have the option to stay at an aftercare facility following their procedure. Serenity is a post-surgical care facility situated just across the street from Dr. Kao’s surgical facility, and it is located in a federally and state-licensed healthcare center.

Patients may get out of bed by themselves and walk around, the day after surgery. Most patients can drive within 10 to 14 days after surgery and can return to work within two weeks. You will need to limit your physical activities for three to four weeks following your surgery. Major swelling should begin to subside after six weeks.

Results

Tummy tuck results should be long lasting as long as you follow proper postoperative care. Additional weight loss or gain can alter your results, so you should maintain a stable weight following your surgery.

Dr. Kao’s incision techniques result in minimal scarring. The pencil-thin incisions combined with his five-layer stitching technique results in a fine, obscured scar. Dr. Kao also places incisions beneath the underwear line so you can easily conceal any resulting scar.

If you wish to improve the appearance of a flabby abdomen, schedule your consultation today. Dr. Kao is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He and his helpful, friendly staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our office at 310-315-9211, or fill out our online contact form for additional information.

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