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Sculpting the lower body for a more youthful, streamlined physique

A flat, trim stomach is a hallmark of a youthful figure, yet as we age, so many of us struggle to control unwanted bulging in the lower body as well as weakened six-pack muscles. Aging, heredity, weight gain and pregnancy can all take a toll, creating dissatisfaction with one’s appearance and dampening self-confidence. What’s worse, abdominal fat is notoriously resistant to dieting and exercise.

Dr. Sadrian's tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) in San Diego can be performed to contour and reshape the belly, trimming away excess fat, skin and tissue to reveal a slimmer silhouette. The surgery is often a major component of a mommy makeover, a combination procedure that addresses the post-pregnancy physique from head to toe.


Tummy Tuck by Dr. Sadrian

View actual patient photos of tummy tuck surgery performed by Dr. Sadrian in his San Diego practice.


What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure in which excess fat and skin is removed and, frequently, weak or separated muscles are tightened and restored. This combination results in a smoother, firmer and more attractive figure, with the bulging fat, skin and tissue gone.

During a tummy tuck, the incision is placed as low as possible so that a bikini bottom or underwear can effectively hide the scar. Natural hills and valleys are created so that results appear natural and organic. The belly button will be repositioned if necessary so as to create the most pleasing outcome possible.

Tan woman in white bikini touching the side of her thigh

What are the different types of abdominoplasty available?

While the basic concept of removing excess fat and tightening abdominal tissue is the same, there are actually several types of tummy tucks available in our San Diego clinic to address the abdomen itself, as well as different problem areas that can be addressed and resolved with the procedure. These are:

  • Traditional tummy tuck: This procedure addresses the whole abdominal area. The incision goes from hip to hip. The six-pack muscles are tightened.
  • Mini tummy tuck: This surgery corrects the area below the navel. The six-pack muscles are not tightened.
  • Extended tummy tuck: This procedure “extends” around the abdominal area to the sides and addresses the “love handles.”
  • Circumferential tummy tuck: Circumferential means surrounding. It is the most extensive of all the tummy tuck procedures and can include the thighs, buttocks and hips. It is typically appropriate for patients who have had gastric bypass surgery and have had extensive weight loss and loss of skin elasticity who are left with an excess of sagging skin and tissue in the area.

During your consultation with Dr. Sadrian in his San Diego plastic surgery clinic, he will be able to recommend the type of abdominoplasty that will best work to help you have a flat, firm abdomen.

What are the different types of tummy tuck incisions?

Every tummy tuck performed by Dr. Sadrian is a custom procedure, and the incisions will vary based upon the need of the patient. There are four basic types of incisions:

  • Mini-tummy tuck: The incision is just above the pubic bone.
  • Full tummy tuck: The incision is above the pubic bone, extending from hip to hip.
  • Extended tummy tuck: The incision is above the pubic bone and extending to the flanks.
  • Lower body lift: An incision is placed around the entire body like a belt, which may be necessary to resolve excess skin, fat, and tissue for those who have lost 80 lbs. or more.

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What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?

  • Tightened stomach muscles
  • Smoother, firmer skin
  • Reduction in excess fat, skin and tissue
  • Improved satisfaction with one’s image
  • Increase in clothing options
  • Well-hidden scars
  • Natural-looking results

What are the risks involved with tummy tuck surgery?

All surgeries have some risk. It is important that your tummy tuck is performed under the most stringent safety protocols, and by a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Sadrian is regarded as being one of the most talented plastic surgeons practicing in San Diego. He is double board-certified, and has established a state-of-the-art clinic, equipped with the most advanced technology and patient safety features.

Who makes a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

If you are living with a tummy bulge, sagging skin, stretch marks, or your abdomen has lost its firm, youthful and fit appearance, you are likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck, regardless of your age or gender.

To undergo this surgery, you should be at least 18, in good general health, a non-smoker, and not have a medical condition or illness that could put you at risk. It is fine to have children after a tummy tuck, but pregnancy will stretch the skin and muscles, so you may require a revision if your results were affected.

It’s important to bear in mind that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, but rather a highly effective method of removing the fat lingering on your abdomen. All clients should have realistic expectations for what the surgery can and cannot accomplish.

How should I prepare for tummy tuck surgery?

Since your activities will be restricted for at least two weeks following your tummy tuck in San Diego, to get the best results, be sure to:

  • Arrange in advance for transportation home, as well as assistance for the first night or two.
  • Pick up any medication or other post-op supplies, such as bandages, before the surgery.
  • Ensure you have plenty of fluids and easy-to-prepare food or meals at home.
  • Arrange your home and bed so you can be comfortable resting, reading, or sleeping. As with any surgery, you will need extra sleep so your body can use its energy healing.
  • Mild exercise (walking) can be helpful for healing.
  • Always follow the aftercare instructions provided to you and reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

What can I expect from recovery?

Dr. Sadrian will provide detailed instructions for your at-home, post-operative care, but here are some general guidelines:

  • On average, you will need to refrain from returning to work for at least two weeks, during which you should sleep with your head elevated. Full recovery can take up to six weeks, depending on the procedure.
  • It is important to get adequate rest and to eat healthy, nutritious foods during that time, so the body can heal.
  • Drink plenty of water daily to avoid dehydration and constipation, which will put strain on the abdominal muscles.
  • If you have a heightened sensitivity to pain or discomfort, Dr. Sadrian will recommend a prescription or OTC pain medication.
  • To reduce visible scarring, do not expose incision sites to direct sunlight. You can also protect them with special silicone products that Dr. Sadrian can recommend.
  • Plan on two weeks off work to recover. Some patients may feel well enough sooner, but the most important point is to avoid putting stress on the incisions.
  • You will be restricted from lifting anything heavy – including your child – for six weeks following surgery.
  • In most cases, six weeks is required before returning to vigorous exercise of any type. Even then, if you feel discomfort, stop the exercise you are performing.
  • As a general rule, you should wait for three to four weeks before having sex. You should check with Dr. Sadrian to ensure it is safe.
  • You should be pool or beach ready by about the four-week mark. One warning: You must not expose the incisions to excessive sun as it can affect your scars.
  • You will see fast results, as you have had excess skin, fat, and tissue removed, but your scars will take up to a year to fully mature.

What is the cost of a tummy tuck in San Diego?

Costs for tummy tuck surgery are based on facility fees, surgeon’s fees and anesthesia fees, among others. The typical range is between $7000 and $15,000. While elective cosmetic procedures are not typically covered by insurance, our office will help you to finance your surgery by using one of our trusted healthcare lenders such as CareCredit and Alphaeon Credit. We also take credit cards.

Why choose Sadrian Plastic Surgery in San Diego for abdominoplasty?

Dr. Sadrian is a board-certified plastic surgeon who over the course of several decades has performed hundreds of successful tummy tucks with beautiful results. He combines his expertise with personalized attention and care to create the best possible outcome and a positive patient experience, from start to finish.

Dr. Sadrian completed his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is dual certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Sadrian's Patient Testimonial: Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Before and After Testimonial For Patient of Dr. Sadrian

Tummy Tuck Testimonial

Risks – FAQs

Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?

Clients struggling with excess fat, skin or muscle laxity in the belly who have already tried diet and exercise with little improvement can consider a surgical abdominoplasty as a way to tone, trim and revitalize the figure.

All patients undergoing surgery should be in good mental and physical health, with no major medical issues to contend with. They should also be non-smokers, and have realistic expectations for what the surgery can accomplish cosmetically.

How does a tummy tuck help restore the figure after pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the six-pack muscles become separated, compromising the appearance of the lower body and reducing self-confidence. During tummy tuck surgery, these abdominal muscles are tightened and the skin is redraped, creating a smoother, firmer belly and increasing your wardrobe options.

What procedures can be well combined with abdominoplasty?

A tummy tuck is a component of a combination treatment known as a mommy makeover, which may also include liposuction, breast augmentation or breast reduction, breast lift, labiaplasty, an arm lift, a thigh lift, and/or facial rejuvenation.

Is a tummy tuck effective in treating stretch marks?

A tummy tuck is a great procedure for those whose lower body has been affected by pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, and aging. Stretch marks in the lower abdomen can be well treated with abdominoplasty, which helps to tighten and tone the skin while also strengthening the abdominal wall.

What’s a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure which addresses only the lower portion of the belly, removing excess skin and fat with reduced scarring and downtime. Unlike during a traditional tummy tuck, the six-pack muscles are not tightened with the mini tummy tuck.

How long is the recovery for a tummy tuck?

Patients will typically need a few weeks off after their surgery, and most can resume exercising within about six weeks. Every client is different, however, so it is important to listen to your body.

How bad is the scarring for abdominoplasty?

Incisions for a tummy tuck are well hidden in the natural creases of where a bikini bottom might meet the skin. A secondary scar may be placed inside the belly button where it is inconspicuous. At Sadrian Plastic Surgery, we practice meticulous precision, minimizing your post-surgical scarring through conservative tissue-sparing techniques.

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