What is a Tummy Tuck, and How Does it Work?

By: Our Staff


If you are feeling self-conscious about loose skin around the stomach and a growing belly pooch, it's time to take action. A healthy diet and exercise is a great way to start, but it's challenging to get rid of excess skin this way. While factors such as age, genetics, pregnancy, and a sedentary lifestyle often contribute to a flabby stomach, new technologies in cosmetic treatments make it possible to create the firmer look you desire. J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. performs tummy tuck surgery to melt away this excess fat and tighten the skin. Now you can have a beach-ready body without all the work! 

During a tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) an incision is made from hip to hip, or shorter for a less extensive version of the operation. The abdominal muscles are tightened, and the skin is pulled down to the pubic region.  Then, excess abdominal skin is removed. Once you heal from the tummy tuck, you are free to enjoy your brand new body. 

As an experienced, plastic surgeon, Dr. J. Timothy Katzen can help you achieve the look you desire through a carefully planned procedure to flatten the belly. During your consultation at Dr. Katzen's Beverly Hills, CA practice, he will be able to offer recommendations based on your unique condition as well as cosmetic goals. Learn more about what to anticipate in an abdominoplasty below. 

What to expect in a tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is an excellent treatment for both men and women in Beverly Hills who have loose or sagging skin in addition to a little extra fatty tissue. Patients should note that a tummy tuck is not an alternative to weight loss. It simply focuses on removing loose skin and tightening the abdomen. However, Dr. Katzen can use a form of liposuction to target some resistant fat to make your results even better.

Although you can get pregnant after an abdominoplasty, it will affect your overall results, which is why Dr. Katzen encourages patients to wait until they are finished building their family before the tummy tuck surgery. If you are unsure, feel free to give our office a call so we can walk you through the process. For those who do become pregnant again following your tummy tuck, Dr. Katzen will gladly perform another tummy tuck surgery to refresh your belly if needed.

When you arrive for your abdominoplasty, Dr. Katzen, or a member of his team will prepare you for surgery and make sure you feel as comfortable and at ease as possible. Dr. Katzen performs the tummy tuck procedure using general anesthesia. Afterward, Dr. Katzen will give you a careful examination and send you home with a compression garment to help with any swelling. You will also get a list of follow-up instructions to make your healing more pleasant. You may also have small drainage tubes to assist with potential fluid buildup, which are only temporary. 

Healing from a tummy tuck 

At home, it's a good idea to have a responsible adult or family member help with certain household tasks while you recover, especially since standing and walking will pose a challenge to you over the next few days. As with any surgery, you need to take the time to rest and heal, or you risk altering the results. We suggest a comfortable spot on the couch or in bed with easy access to plenty of water, healthy snacks, and entertainment such as your smartphone or television. You may resume activities in about two weeks, so you may want to consider taking off some time from work. Usually at about 6 – 8 weeks, Dr. Katzen will allow you to work and exercise.  

Ultimately, the results of a tummy tuck look different for each patient. While the team at J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills works hard to minimize scarring, an abdominoplasty usually leaves behind a scar. The scar can be hidden with a bathing suit or underwear. Our staff is happy to give you aftercare instructions to make sure that the scar heals flat and blends in with your natural skin. 

Combining a tummy tuck with other procedures

Did you know that you can combine a tummy tuck procedure with a second surgery to get more dramatic results? Dr. Katzen can discuss other cosmetic options along with a tummy tuck such as thigh lift that targets additional areas of the body for contouring. For those who are trying to regain their body after pregnancy or if you have lost a significant amount of weight, a tummy tuck is a great procedure to combine with other body parts.

If you would like a more contoured and flatter abdomen, please contact the office of plastic surgeon Dr. J. Timothy Katzen in Beverly Hills, CA today and schedule a tummy tuck consultation. We can come up with a comprehensive plan so you can regain a slimmer, more toned figure. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.