Tummy Tuck Newport Beach


A Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure designed to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and to tighten the abdominal wall.

Who is a candidate?

Patients who are healthy but have EXCESS SKIN OR FAT that does not respond to diet and exercise. Patients who have undergone SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT LOSS and have hanging skin. Women with loose skin and stretch marks FOLLOWING PREGNANCY. Anyone with LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY. Patients who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall with exercise.

If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin; often associated with relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies).

Intended Result

  • A smoother, flatter abdomen

Procedure description

This is an operation designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen, which may be overly protruding, or may have excess loose skin and fat. There are variations of the standard operation, including “mini-tucks,” which may be of benefit to patients who require removal of a small amount of skin and/or tightening of the abdominal muscles below the umbilicus (belly button). This can be done in conjunction with an umbilicoplasty, improving the size/shape of the belly button. Most patients with massive weight loss require a more extensive operation. Frequently, additional enhancing surgeries such as liposuction to improve the waist line or other regions, pubis lift or breast surgery can be performed at the same time without delaying your recovery period. Please discuss with your doctor if this applies to you.

Under general anesthesia, an incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen at the pubic hair line extending to your hips. A circular incision is made around the navel which stays attached to the muscle. The skin is then separated from the muscle up toward the ribs, so that it can be pulled down like a window shade. The tummy is then “tightened,” (narrowing and flattening the abdomen) by stitching the muscles together to a position of youth and pre-pregnancy. “Mini” tummy tucks can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protruding of the lower abdomen. Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients. A pubis lift can reduce the redundant pubis skin or excess amount of hair bearing tissue.

Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar). Liposuction or an Umbilicoplasty can also be performed at the same time if desired.

Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions usually below the umbilicus where the muscle wall and the abdominal skin requires repair. Variations of this procedure depend on each patients needs.

Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar). It also reshapes the belly button.

Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the hips/flanks towards the lower back).

Recuperation and healing

So Dr Horowitz, let’s talk about the healing process of the tummy tuck. What does the patient experience when they go home from the surgery?

OK, some new things that we’re doing. There’s always new things. Some new things that we’re doing– so I call this drainless, painless. So it’s not painless totally, but there’s less pain.

And what’s happened is there’s been a newer medication called Exparel, which has become available in the last few years. And Exparel is like a Novocaine. It’s a topical anesthetic that could be injected into the skin and muscle, but it lasts for three days.

So if you go to the dentist and you have an injection, you know it lasts a few hours. And that’s all that was available up until recently. So up until recently, what we did was we’d use pain pumps. And a pain pump was a small, very fine plastic tube that we would place under the skin over the muscle. It would stay in place for three days and drip in a type of Novocaine and a local anesthetic for three days. And that worked pretty well, because for three days the patient would have much less pain.

Now with Exparel, we could do the injection at the end of the operation, not use the pain pump, and when they leave, there’s no pain pump, there’s no plastic tube, and they have that same three days of relief while they’re healing. So that means they need less pain medication, they can move around easier, and their recovery is quicker.

But the second part is I’ve stopped using drainage tubes. So typically after tummy tucks, we use plastic tubes that would be placed after surgery. And the drainage tubes would collect a small amount of blood and fluid that would sometimes accumulate after a tummy tuck.

But a number of other surgeons stopped using these in the last few years. And I followed this very closely, and their results seemed to be the same. And so I started to do this, or provided the service for my patients, and there’s been no downside.

And the upside’s been the patients leave, they have no drainage tubes, and they don’t have a pain pump. They just wear a girdle when they leave. It’s easier for them to get up and move about. And nobody has ever liked having plastic tubes coming out of their body after surgery, whether it’s a breast operation or tummy tuck. So the patient’s been really very happy with this change.

Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more. ?

Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. To decrease this discomfort, we offer a long acting local anesthetic. This numbing injection solution (Exparel) which lasts for 3-4 days allows for an easier recovery and is preferable to older pain pump technology.

3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated. We can arrange for a nurse to stay with you if helpful.

You will be encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory.

Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more – please discuss with your doctor for specific questions.

Other options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Pubis Lift, or Thigh Lift which are commonly done at the same time and do not usually delay your recovery substantially in most cases.

Variations of the standard abdominoplasty, including “mini-tucks” may be possible.

Specific as you heal information

TIGHTNESS: Your abdomen will feel tight for a month or longer. If you have had a muscle repair as well (the usual case), you will feel the most tightness down the center of your tummy where the doctor has actually repaired your muscles.

ACTIVITIES: If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 10-14 days, with the understanding that you can still have discomfort with motion. Please discuss this with the doctor and the nursing staff. Excess swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do.

RealSelf Q&A with Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS

For more information

To speak to our knowledgeable staff or to ask a specific question, get in touch with us by phone by calling (949) 203-3841.