Skip to main content

Tummy Tuck in Pasadena, CA

Aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy can transform the body in ways out of our control. Often, the changes the body goes through can be difficult to correct, even with a vigorous diet and exercise plan. Stretched skin, excess fat, and weak abdominal muscles can create the appearance of a protruding abdomen. Having hanging skin and a stomach that sticks out can be unflattering and even uncomfortable for a person. Tummy tuck surgery can be performed to reverse the effects caused by weight changes, aging, and pregnancy. By removing excess fat and skin tissue and tightening the abdominal muscles, an individual can achieve a tighter, smoother abdomen.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and stubborn fat and tightening the abdominal muscles. It is often sought by individuals who have undergone pregnancy or significant weight loss, resulting in loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles. Tummy tuck surgery can provide dramatic results, revealing a smoother and firmer abdominal contour.
Schedule a Consultation

What Are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?

How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

Tummy tuck surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Three tummy tuck options are available depending on the amount of correction needed.

How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

Tummy tuck surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Three tummy tuck options are available depending on the amount of correction needed.

Traditional Tummy Tuck

For a traditional tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made below the pubic hairline and under the panty line. The navel is separated from the abdominal skin, and liposuction is used to remove excess fat to enhance the abdominal contour. Weakened and separated abdominal muscles, or diastasis recti, are tightened to create a firmer contour. Excess skin is trimmed, and the remaining skin is carefully redraped and sutured in place, resulting in a smoother, flatter abdomen. If necessary, a skin opening will be created for the belly button in a natural location.

In many cases, excess fat on the hips and flanks is also removed by liposuction. Liposuction involves the surgical removal of fat using a small vibrating wand called a cannula that is attached to a motorized handpiece. Removing excess fat around the area gives you a smoother midsection overall.

Mini Tummy Tuck

When a patient has a small “pooch” below the belly button that they would like to get rid of, a mini tummy tuck may be appropriate. A mini tummy tuck uses a smaller incision, tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess fat and skin below the navel. A mini tummy tuck does not change the location of the belly button.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Patients with love handles or excess skin and fat on their flanks and hips can have these areas addressed along with the abdomen. An extended tummy tuck involves a tummy tuck in the front of the abdomen, and the incision extends over the hips and to the side of the thighs to improve the contours of your midsection and lateral thighs. An extended tummy tuck is performed using an incision that is located along the pubic line and extends around to your lower back. The rest of the procedure is much like a traditional tummy tuck, including liposuction, abdominal repair, and excess skin removal. Once your belly button is repositioned, the incision is closed with sutures, and the procedure is complete.

What Can I Expect During My Tummy Tuck Recovery?

Surgical drains are applied to promote healing and control swelling. Patients should rest and avoid strenuous activity that can put stress on the abdomen for two to four weeks. Once the patient is feeling better in a few days, they should start activities such as walking to help them avoid complications such as blood clots. In two weeks, patients may resume normal activities and return to work. Exercise may be resumed in six weeks.

When Will I See My Tummy Tuck Results?

Results are designed to last a lifetime; however, it is important to maintain results with a healthy lifestyle. Significant weight gain or subsequent pregnancy can cause a reversal of the results.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

  • Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery?

    The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are nonsmokers in good overall health. They should be close to their ideal body weight and bothered by stubborn fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal region. Good candidates for a tummy tuck also:

    • Have lost weight through diet and exercise, but their stomach still protrudes and has stubborn pockets of fat and skin that won’t respond to lifestyle changes.
    • Have abdominal muscle damage after pregnancy (diastasis recti), causing lower back pain and poor posture.
    • Have excess loose skin hanging from their stomach after losing a significant amount of weight.
    • Are in good physical shape, but no amount of exercise reduces their stomach shape and size.
    • Have realistic expectations for their results.
  • How much does a tummy tuck cost in Pasadena, CA?

    The cost of tummy tuck surgery will vary depending on the geographic location, the extent of the correction needed, and the surgeon’s experience. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average surgeon’s fee for tummy tuck surgery in 2022 was $7,215. However, this cost does not include operating room fees, anesthesia, and other surgery-related expenses. You will receive an accurate cost estimate for your tummy tuck surgery during your consultation.

  • Does a tummy tuck leave scars?

    There will be some scarring after tummy tuck surgery that will fade and become less noticeable over time. Fading of scars will vary depending on the patient’s ability to heal and genetic factors. Our surgeons make the incision low in the bikini area, making it easy to hide scars under a bathing suit and underwear. Once the incision has healed, you may use silicone scar strips, gels, or lotions to help diminish the appearance of your tummy tuck scars.

  • Is a tummy tuck painful?

    Patients will experience some temporary discomfort, bruising, and swelling, which will subside each day. Pain can be controlled with prescription medication. Our surgeons also place a pain pump for the first three days to help lessen muscle pain.

  • How long does a tummy tuck take?

    The duration of a tummy tuck procedure can vary depending on the specific techniques used, the extent of the surgery, and individual patient factors. Generally, tummy tuck surgery can take between two to five hours to complete. More complex cases or additional procedures performed alongside the tummy tuck can extend the duration. It’s important to discuss the expected duration of the surgery with your surgeon during your preoperative consultation.

  • Are tummy tuck results permanent?

    The results of a tummy tuck can be long lasting. While the excess skin and fat removed during the procedure are permanently removed, factors such as aging, weight fluctuations, and lifestyle choices can affect the longevity of the results. Additionally, individual variations in healing and skin elasticity can impact the durability of the results. Maintaining a stable weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help prolong your tummy tuck results.

  • Is there any reason I should wait to have a tummy tuck?

    Women interested in tummy tuck surgery should wait until they are done having children before having the procedure. Those who plan on losing a significant amount of weight should also postpone surgery.

  • Can tummy tuck surgery be combined with other procedures?

    In addition to liposuction, tummy tuck surgery can also be combined with other body contouring procedures, like liposuction, a lower body lift, thigh lift, or arm lift. These are commonly utilized during post-bariatric plastic surgery. Tummy tuck surgery is also commonly performed along with liposuction and a breast lift or breast augmentation during a Mommy Makeover.

  • What are the risks and complications of tummy tuck surgery?

    As with any surgery, a tummy tuck can involve some risks and complications, such as:

    • Bleeding
    • Anesthesia risks
    • Infection
    • Impaired wound healing
    • Allergic reactions
    • Scarring
    • Pain
  • What are the medical benefits of a tummy tuck?

    Besides the cosmetic advantages a tummy tuck offers, there are several medical benefits to tightening your ab muscles and removing excess fat and skin, including:

    • Tighter, stronger abdominal muscles to better support your core.
    • Better posture and decreased lower back pain due to improved abdominal support.
    • Reduced symptoms of urinary incontinence.
    • Hernia prevention and correction.
    • Elimination of issues caused by excess skin, including chronic rashes, infections, and skin breakdown.
    • Exercise and physical activity are more accessible and more comfortable.
  • How long will it take to see the final results of my tummy tuck?

    You will be able to see some of your results within a couple of weeks after surgery. However, it takes a few months for the swelling to go down completely. You will continue to see improvement in your abdominal contour over the following weeks and months, and your final results will be visible about six months after your surgery.

  • Where will my tummy tuck surgery be performed?

    Your tummy tuck surgery will take place at our QUAD A-accredited outpatient surgical facility located on the second floor of Pasadena Cosmetic Surgery. Our surgical center is staffed by our board-certified plastic surgeons, our board-certified anesthesiologists, and other licensed, certified, and experienced staff.

  • How should I prepare for my tummy tuck?

    Preparing for a tummy tuck involves several key steps to ensure a smooth and successful procedure.

    • Follow your surgeon’s preoperative instructions, which may include stopping certain medications or supplements that can increase bleeding and refraining from smoking.
    • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and stay with you for the first 24–48 hours during the initial stages of your recovery.
    • You cannot drive for a few weeks after your procedure and will need to limit your physical activity, so you should make arrangements for any childcare or transportation accordingly.
    • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet will optimize your overall health and aid in your recovery. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with nutritious foods and drinks, and prepare some meals ahead of time to make it easier during the first few days of your recovery.
    • Ensure your home is stocked with all the necessary supplies, and prepare a designated recovery area at home equipped with everything you will need to make you comfortable. This may include extra pillows to support and prop you up, a water bottle, phone and phone charger, remote controls, pain medication, and snacks (just to name a few). The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to rest once you arrive home.


“Dr. O’Toole and his staff are amazingly warm and comforting. I felt comfortable asking as many questions as I wanted and left feeling completely confident in my plastic surgery treatment. Dr. O’Toole was my breast implant surgeon and after 20 years, I wouldn’t go to anyone else for future body beautification needs. In fact, I love his work so much, that I have referred my mom and she has happily booked her appointment already. He is truly the best plastic surgeon! Love you all!”
Read All Testimonials