Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
A Tummy Tuck by Dr. Tenley Lawton
Dr. Tenley Lawton MD, makes it a special point to help her Newport Beach tummy tuck patients achieve significant transformations. There are a variety of reasons why excess skin develops around the tummy. An abdominoplasty — or tummy tuck — is performed specifically to address lax tissue around that troublesome area, so patients can enjoy a tighter, firmer-looking abdomen after surgery.
While every procedure is unique, all patients looking for a tummy tuck in Newport Beach have one thing in common: They want to feel confident and comfortable with the appearance of their bodies.
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Tenley Lawton knows how important this area of the body is to her patients. Tummy-tuck recipients typically notice that their abdomen looks younger, more fit; they may notice a boost in confidence and self-esteem as well. If you’re looking for a tummy tuck, Dr. Lawton will help ensure your results look as tasteful and natural as possible.
Tummy Tuck Fact Sheet
- A tummy tuck is used to remove excess skin from the abdomen
- Pregnancy or weight loss are common causes of excess skin in that area
- Once the excess skin is removed, the tummy will be flatter and firmer — and the patient will look more fit
- It’s not possible to remove excess skin through diet or exercise
- Recovery from a tummy tuck usually takes 3-5 weeks
What are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
Everyone’s body is different, and Newport Beach-area patients interested in tummy-tuck surgery with Dr. Lawton will have different desires. However, most patients will agree on one thing: Getting a firmer-looking tummy is the top priority. That’s not the only positive result of a tummy tuck, however. Many patients may also notice the following benefits:
- A more toned-looking abdomen that is noticeably firmer.
- The removal of stretch marks or other lines and wrinkles around the tummy.
- The removal of incidental fat: On average, approximately 10 pounds of fat is removed with the excess skin targeted by a tummy tuck.
- The completion of a weight-loss transformation: Many patients who lose weight are left with excess skin that diminishes their results — tummy-tuck surgery can mitigate that.
- Improvement in posture: Believe it or not, a tummy tuck actually can help improve your posture, because the procedure often tightens muscles that support the spine.
- Reduction of SUI: Some studies have shown that patients who undergo a tummy tuck also will show improvement in the symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence, which can develop after giving birth. Usually, SUI is treated non-surgically, but this benefit has been noted in patients who undergo a tummy tuck for aesthetic reasons.
- Improved confidence and self-esteem.
Whatever benefits you are hoping to realize from your procedure, Dr. Lawton will take great care to recognize your individuality. During your consultation, you’ll discuss the best way to achieve the results that are right for your body.
Is an Abdominoplasty Right for Me?
Abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck procedure is performed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen while tightening the abdominal wall. The tummy tuck procedure creates a smoother, flatter, and firmer contour. Through years of experience, Newport Beach abdominoplasty expert and plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton, MD, has found that the best candidates for abdominoplasty are men and women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet and exercise no matter how much the person diets or exercises.
In general, candidates for tummy-tuck surgery typically have the following indicators:
- Loose skin around the tummy, sometimes dropping below the waistline.
- Stretch marks on the skin around the abdomen.
- Lines and wrinkles, especially around the belly button.
- Excess skin caused by pregnancy, weight loss or other factors.
Dr. Lawton strongly recommends that potential tummy-tuck patients maintain a relatively stable weight when they are considering this surgery. Significant fluctuations in your weight after your procedure may compromise your results. Additionally, all patients are counseled to avoid cigarettes or cigarette smoke leading up to their surgery and during their recovery. Dr. Lawton can help you determine whether tummy-tuck surgery is a good fit for your desired results. She may also recommend that some patients consider liposuction as well in order to achieve the most comprehensive transformation possible.
Abdominoplasty is particularly helpful to women who, through a single or multiple pregnancies, have abdominal muscles and skin too stretched to regain their original elasticity through diet and exercise alone. Tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Lawton also performs abdominoplasty on older patients who have lost weight from her office in Newport Beach.
To discuss a tummy tuck in more detail, contact our offices to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Lawton.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
With either the full or partial tummy tuck procedure, a well-camouflaged incision is made in a natural skin crease of the bikini area. Dr. Lawton will then bring the abdominal muscles back together to create a firmer abdominal wall and the excess skin and fat are removed.
What it Truly Takes for a Complete Tummy Tuck
A complete abdominoplasty usually takes 2 to 3 hours. Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Lawton will make an incision from hipbone to hipbone and also an incision around the navel. A partial abdominoplasty, or mini tummy tuck procedure, may take an hour or 2 and often may be combined with liposuction, though this all—and always—depends on the candidate’s needs. The incision for a mini tummy tuck procedure is much shorter and does not require an incision around the navel.
Tummy tucks are performed in abdominoplasty expert Dr. Lawton’s Newport Beach outpatient surgery suite.
Tummy Tucks and Mommy Makeovers
The moniker “Mommy Makeover” refers to a set of procedures performed to diminish and decrease the signs of aging and body stress common to mothers. One of the most universal procedures performed as part of the Mommy Makeover is a tummy tuck because pregnancy often severely stretches the skin around the abdomen. A tummy tuck is perfect for moms who want to firm up that area of their bodies. By removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal wall, a tummy tuck performed as part of a Mommy Makeover can minimize the signs of stretched skin and make you look more like your pre-motherhood self.
Recovery from the Abdominoplasty Procedure
You can expect mild to moderate swelling and discomfort after a tummy tuck procedure, both of which are well controlled with oral pain medication. You should plan on not driving or working for 7 to 10 days. Vigorous exercise or heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 4 weeks. Drains are placed under the abdominal flap to prevent any fluid collection and are usually removed after 5 to 10 days in the office.
Everyone heals at a different pace, so Dr. Lawton provides all patients with individualized recovery instructions. These are designed to do two things: minimize your discomfort and help you achieve the best results possible. Despite the individualized nature of healing, most tummy-tuck patients can generally expect to follow a recovery timeline similar to this:
- Week 1: Most discomfort from your recovery will come during the first five or so days after your surgery. During this time, patients should largely remain restful. When lying down, keep pillows under your legs in order to elevate your lower body and help control swelling. As noted above, patients usually have drains kept in place to help control fluid buildup. It’s important that patients refrain from showering during these first days, though sponge bathing can be performed as long as you do not get your compression garment wet. The first five days after surgery will largely be committed to helping you rest and recover while controlling bruising and swelling.
- Week 2: Once Dr. Lawton has removed any drains from the incision area, patients are usually encouraged to start getting more mobile. Most surgeons will encourage patients to get up and walk around at least three times a day — however, it’s not uncommon for patients to be a little unsteady on their feet, so having some company around to help is be a good idea. Patients can begin to shower, as long as they follow Dr. Lawton’s instructions.
- Week 3: During the third week of recovery, Dr. Lawton will advise most patients to continue wearing the compression garment for at least 50% of the time. At this point, patients should be able to walk around the house without issue. However, it’s important not to push your recovery too far too quickly. Dr. Lawton is always available to answer patients’ questions about their recovery.
- Week 4: Patients should be able to resume some moderately normal activities. That said, most patients are still advised to avoid driving or long trips (fatigue can become an issue). Some patients are even advised to begin gently stretching.
- Week 5: By the fifth week or so, most patients are able to return to work and start driving again. Most normal activities can be resumed at this point, but it’s still wise not to push yourself too hard. Dr. Lawton will be able to give you personalized instructions about activity levels.
Tummy-tuck surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton sees patients from Orange County, Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach and other areas across Southern California, creating significant transformations with graceful, natural-looking results.
Would you like to learn more about a Tummy Tuck procedure? Fill out the “Request a Consultation” form on this page or call Tenley K. Lawton M.D. at 949-640-0999 to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton serving Newport Beach and the greater Orange County, CA area.