(818) 907-9090

15503 Ventura Blvd #370, Encino, CA


Tummy Tuck in Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Los Angeles

Patients regularly come to board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven J. Varkony for a tummy tuck in Encino and they typically have many questions. The rest of this page is intended to help prospective patients understand some of the most important aspects of the procedure, which may help them to ask more informed questions.

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Questions and Answers about Tummy Tuck Surgery

What is a tummy tuck and how does it differ from other plastic surgeries?

Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure intended to create a more toned, leaner appearance in the midsection. It typically includes removing excess skin and fat as well as tightening core muscles, particularly after one or more childbirths or a significant weight loss.

Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who are at or near their target weight and do not expect any major changes to their weight in the foreseeable future (such as a pregnancy). Candidates should understand that abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. Otherwise, patients who are in good health are optimal candidates for the surgery.

What occurs during a tummy tuck?

Once a patient is fully sedated by our board-certified anesthesiologist, an incision is made at the pubic area and around the umbilicus (belly button), the abdominal muscles are tightened, and the excess skin is removed.

At that point, a new opening for the patient’s umbilicus will be created. The skin is sutured and bandages are applied to the surgical sites. The patient is then sent to the recovery room. After the patient regains consciousness and goes through an observation period, patients are cleared and able to leave accompanied by a caretaker, usually a friend or relative.

How long does it take for tummy tuck results to show?

The initial flatter abdominal appearance should be immediately apparent, but it can take several weeks for swelling to subside and the complete results to show.

What can I expect during the recovery period?

Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but most can return to work approximately one to two weeks after surgery. The complexity of the surgery is typically a major factor in the length of recovery, and more in-depth procedures are likely to require more downtime. In any case, a follow-up appointment approximately several days to one week later will be made. At that time, we will remove the bandages and ensure that healing is progressing appropriately.

Patients will be given individualized instructions to follow after the procedure. Physical activity will be gradually increased over the first several weeks and a normal routine can usually be resumed between six to eight weeks after the procedure. Patients should avoid anti-inflammatory medications and drinking alcoholic beverages following surgery, as these can increase bruising and bleeding. The doctor will advise you when it is safe to start taking anti-inflammatories and drinking beverages with alcohol in moderation.

Are there any non-cosmetic benefits of abdominoplasty?

There is some evidence that a tummy tuck may provide relief for lower back pain because weight distribution no longer favors the stomach region and it may also be due to the newly supported abdominal muscles. Some female patients have also reported an improvement in terms of decreased urinary incontinence. Finally, some individuals who have lost a very large amount of weight, such as following a bariatric procedure, have reported relief from symptoms created by excessively large folds of skin that remain after a weight loss.

Are there different types of tummy tuck surgery?

Yes. While all procedures are customized to the specific patient, tummy tucks generally come in two types. A full tummy tuck is usually recommended for individuals with hanging skin and fat above and below the belly button. A mini tummy tuck is less extensive for patients with excess skin and fat restricted to the area below the belly button. One notable difference between the two: a mini tummy tuck does not require a new incision to reposition the navel. Additionally, liposuction and/or muscle repair are often included but are not necessary for every patient.

Can abdominal skin become loose again after weight gain?

Yes. The larger the weight gain, the more the skin and underlying tissues are stretched. If the weight is shed again, a new procedure may be necessary to correct disproportional fat distribution and hanging skin. Not surprisingly, it’s best to maintain a stable weight after the procedure.

Is a tummy tuck a weight loss treatment?

No. While some weight may be lost because of skin and fat removal, abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure and should never be considered a treatment for weight issues.

How visible is a tummy tuck scar?

Dr. Varkony is an innovator in the area of minimizing post-operative scars and he will do everything he can to make them as inconspicuous as possible. Generally speaking, the scar is placed very low on the abdominal wall, at the level of the pubic bone, so it is usually well hidden, even in a bikini.

Get in Touch and Learn More

If you want to be rid of excess abdominal skin and fat, abdominoplasty with leading tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Steven J. Varkony is here to help patients look and feel their very best. For more information on a tummy tuck in the Sherman Oaks and Encino area of Greater Los Angeles, we encourage you to reach out to our office by visiting the contact page or by calling (818) 907-9090.

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