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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in San Diego

Losing weight or having a baby are both exciting life events. Unfortunately, they often leave loose skin and stretch marks on your abdomen. And it can be nearly impossible to get your slim waist back, even with diet and exercise. If this sounds familiar, you might be a candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in San Diego. After tummy tuck surgery, you’ll see a dramatic change in your body’s shape—and in the way you feel about yourself.

Firm up your tummy with the help of LJC’s board-certified plastic surgeons. Since 1988, they’ve helped thousands of people rediscover confidence in their bodies. Now, it’s your time to shine!

What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

There are 3 basic types of tummy tucks that we perform at LJC in San Diego: mini tummy tuck, standard tummy tuck, and extended tummy tuck. Your surgeon will help you choose the right approach during your consultation.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The most limited and easiest tummy tuck to recover from is the mini tummy tuck.

  • Candidates: This procedure is typically suited to women who have had up to 1 pregnancy and/or people who have lost a limited amount of weight. This procedure is appropriate if there is only a small amount of loose skin in the central lower abdomen.
  • How it’s done: In this procedure, the surgeon tightens the skin only and doesn’t plicate (repair) the underlying abdominal muscle.
  • Incisions: The scar on the mini tummy tuck is normally shorter, horizontal, and usually placed just above the pubic area within the upper pubic hairline. There is no bellybutton incision.

Standard Tummy Tuck

The next step up from the mini tummy tuck is the standard tummy tuck.

  • Candidates: If you have had several pregnancies or lost a moderate amount of weight, this is usually the best approach.
  • How it’s done: Normally with this surgery, the excess skin is excised, and underlying abdominal muscles are repaired. Your surgeon also reconstructs an attractive bellybutton.
  • Incisions: The scar is usually horizontal and above the pubic area, but it is longer, extending from approximately one hip bone out to the other hip bone. There is also an incision inside the bellybutton.

Extended Tummy Tuck

As the name implies, the most involved procedure is the extended tummy tuck.

  • Candidates: This procedure is often indicated for women who have had multiple pregnancies or for those who have lost a significant amount of weight.
  • How it’s done: The surgeon excises skin from the abdomen and flanks, repairs the underlying abdominal muscle, and reconstructs an attractive bellybutton.
  • Incisions: The scar runs across the upper pubic hair area and extends upwards toward the back on both sides. It is a long scar, but the benefit is that it improves your entire lower torso. There is also an incision within the bellybutton.

Comparing Abdominal Contouring Options: Which Is Right for Me?

Today there are more options than ever to help you get a flatter tummy. But which is best for you? This largely depends on your personal goals and physical characteristics, and we’re here to help! 

  • CoolSculpting®: CoolSculpting is nonsurgical way to shrink fatty bulges. It’s best for those who are generally happy with their proportions, have good skin tone, and a modest amount of fat to address.
  • Liposuction: Liposuction removes excess fat and sculpts an area with very little scarring. It’s best for those with good skin and muscle tone who want to remove excess abdominal fat and get a slimmer torso.
  • Tummy Tuck: This is the most extensive procedure of the 3 with the most dramatic results. It’s best for those with stretched, sagging skin or those who need abdominal muscle repair.

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Considering Tummy Tuck Surgery in San Diego? Here’s What To Expect at Your Consultation

During your consultation with one of our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons, you’ll talk to him or her about your specific goals and concerns. You can also expect to:

  • Discuss the specifics of your recommended procedure.
  • Undergo a limited physical exam.
  • Receive information and materials to help you in the decision-making process.
  • See before-and-after photos of real patients.
  • Get a specific written quote detailing all the costs.

After scheduling your surgery, you’ll attend an individual pre-op appointment to discuss your health history and make sure you’re a good candidate for the procedure.

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Do I Need to Lose Weight Before Getting a Tummy Tuck?

As with other body procedures, you’re going to be happiest with tummy tuck results if you are not considering the procedure to solve weight issues. Although you don’t have to be at your ideal weight, it’s best to be near your target weight for the most satisfying results. If you are a post-massive weight loss patient, we recommend maintaining your goal weight for at least a year before considering cosmetic procedures.

Your body mass index (BMI) is an important factor in evaluating whether a tummy tuck is a good solution for you. Calculate your BMI here >>

How Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?

Your board-certified plastic surgeon will perform your tummy tuck while you are under general anesthesia in our AAAASF-accredited surgical suite. (Mini-abdominoplasties can be performed under sedation and local anesthesia.) You’ll be under the care of a board-certified anesthesiologist who will make sure you are safe and comfortable from start to finish.

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How Long Does Tummy Tuck Surgery Take?

The length of the surgery will depend on the extent of your tummy tuck and whether or not you need liposuction as well. You’ll know approximately how many hours it will take before you head into surgery. With the 2 more extensive tummy tucks—the standard and extended—your surgeon may recommend or require that you have a trained after-care nurse for your first post-surgical night. This ensures that you are receiving proper care and observation.  

What Are the Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to having a tummy tuck. Some of the risks specific to tummy tucks are hematomas, seromas, infection, and scarring issues. Your surgeon will go over risks with you and provide written information on risks as well.

What Is Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?

Once home, you’ll continue with bed rest, but it is also important that you get up and move around several times a day. Plan your initial recovery so that there is a friend or family member with you at home for at least the first 3 to 5 days. You will need help with the basics.

You’ll be given very specific instructions about not lifting kids or weighty items and other guidelines to help you have a better result. You don’t want to strain your incision sites and potentially increase the width of your scars.

If you prefer, there are after-surgery assistants and after-surgery facilities that provide professional help during recovery. We are happy to suggest reputable providers if you desire this level of private care.

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Is Tummy Tuck Recovery Painful?

After a tummy tuck, you will likely experience some discomfort, which is managed with medication.

When Can I Go Back to Work After a Tummy Tuck?

Plan on 2 to 3 weeks of recuperation time before you get back to your normal daily activities. This will vary with the type of tummy tuck you have, but it’s a good basic estimate. It’s important that you plan well so that you give your body time to heal in the best manner possible. You can usually resume exercise, with your surgeon’s clearance, about 6 weeks after surgery.

What Do Tummy Tuck Scars Look Like?

Any tummy tuck procedure involves an incision that will leave a scar on your abdomen. The size of the scar depends on the extent of your tummy tuck. In most cases, your surgeon will be able to make incisions, so the resulting scar is well-hidden by even minimal clothing, like your favorite swimsuit.

Once in a while, your surgeon may need to place a vertical scar in a tummy tuck procedure. This could be necessary if you have so much loose skin that horizontal tightening only is not enough to eliminate all the laxity. Most people happily accept the scar for the result. They consider it a good tradeoff for their new look and newfound confidence.

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Since 1988, more than 36,000 patients have had safe, successful procedures at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa.

Will My Tummy Tuck Scars Fade?

While these scars will fade over time, we highly recommend adopting a proactive approach to scar care:

  • Keep the scars protected from the sun. Use sunscreen consistently and wear clothing with an SPF factor.
  • Using a scar minimizing gel or cream. We suggest the SkinMedica® Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline™.

How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost in San Diego?

The cost of a tummy tuck in San Diego is typically $10,000 to $17,000. Your cost may vary depending on whether you need a mini, standard, or extended tummy tuck. Get all the info you need about costs on our pricing page.

Procedure Fee Range
Tummy Tuck $10,000–$17,000

LJC is happy to accept payments through several affordable financing plans. Learn more on our financing page.

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It’s time for you to live your most confident and carefree life. Let’s make your dream a reality together. To get started, request your free consultation online or give us a call at (858) 452-1981. This is just the beginning!

Last reviewed by a La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa Editor on March 29th, 2023. Meet Our Medical Editors

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