A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen, along with tightening of abdomen muscles into a tighter formation. This cosmetic surgical enhancement procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter stomach. Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to improve abdominal contour. Pregnancy and successful weight loss all create changes that exercise alone doesn't fix.

Tummy Tuck Before & After

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Tight and Toned

There are areas of the body that can be nearly impossible to tone and tighten through diet and exercise alone. Factors such as pregnancy, weight change, and age significantly influence metabolism, fat accumulation, and skin elasticity. The abdominal muscles and skin along the lower half of the abdomen are notorious for being stubbornly resistant to diet and exercise. In addition, pregnancy can also actually create more skin and decrease skin elasticity. Pregnancy also can separate your abdominal wall muscles known as diastasis recti. A tummy tuck can be an effective solution for muscle separation, laxity, excess skin, and fat storage around the belly.

Tri Valley Plastic Surgery’s expert team of medical professionals is led by board-certified Oakland plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Williams. Dr. Williams is a nationally recognized leader in plastic surgery and has given thousands of satisfied patients beautiful surgical results. Give yourself the gift of body sculpting at the hands of a true master of the craft. Dr. Williams strives to deliver the best Tummy Tuck Oakland has to offer and will assess your candidacy for the procedure and guide you toward a customized body sculpting plan, ensuring that you receive the best possible care and results.

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What is a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery (or abdominoplasty) is a body contouring procedure that treats excess skin, fat, and muscle separation to create a tighter, flatter abdomen.

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Types of Tummy Tucks

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck is exactly what it sounds like, a less extensive version of the full tummy tuck. The incision is smaller since it only treats the skin and fat below the belly button, leaving a short scar along the bikini line. Abdominal muscle repair is generally not included.

Full Tummy Tuck

During a full tummy tuck, the incision runs horizontally from one hip to the other. After detaching the navel and freeing the skin from the abdominal wall, the surgeon tightens the abdominal muscle and removes the excess skin and fat. This process results in a smoother, flatter, more youthful-looking abdominal contour.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck has the longest incision. The incision extends across the abdomen and toward the lower back. In addition to removing excess skin and fat, your surgeon may also suture the abdominal muscle together if necessary.

Complementary Procedure: Liposuction

Liposuction removes excess subcutaneous fat through a hollow instrument via suction. It is ideal for treating fat that has not responded to diet and exercise. As one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, it often accompanies body contouring treatments such as tummy tucks.

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Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tuck surgery has long been a favorite plastic surgery procedure due to demand, efficacy, and longevity of results. Most of our Oakland Tummy Tuck patients experience a boost in self-confidence, as well as improvements in how they look and feel in clothes and swimwear. Tummy tuck surgery eliminates excess skin and gives patients a flatter, smoother, and more youthful body contour.

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Who is a candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

The ideal candidate is in relatively good physical shape despite having excess skin or stubborn areas of fat. Most tummy tuck patients fall into one or more of the following categories:

Postpartum Women

After pregnancy, many mothers develop lax skin and muscle separation, making it difficult to achieve a flat, firm abdomen with diet and exercise alone. Often, the skin and abdominal muscles have stretched beyond the point where they can naturally return to their original location and shape, necessitating a tummy tuck.

Post-Weight-Loss Patients

Losing a substantial amount of weight through exercise, dieting, or bariatric surgery frequently leads to sagging skin on the abdomen.

Mature Patients

With age comes a loss of skin elasticity and firmness on the midsection. A tummy tuck is possible later in life so long as the patient is in good health.

Who is not a Candidate?

A tummy tuck may not be appropriate if:

  • You are obese
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have a history of blood clots
  • You smoke or are unable to quit
  • You are currently pregnant or planning to get pregnant
  • You are unwilling to live with a surgical scar on your abdomen

Tummy Tuck Consultation

To find out more about the tummy tuck Oakland patients are encouraged to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Williams. If you are a candidate, he will detail your surgical plan, recovery, potential risks, scar location, anesthesia, and cost.

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Tummy Tuck Risks and Complications

During your consultation, Dr. Williams will review the possible risks associated with the procedure. He will make every effort to ensure you have a beautiful result with as few risks as possible.

Each patient varies in their anatomy, medical history, and healing. While abdominoplasty is safe for most candidates, outcomes can be unpredictable. Before your operation, you must sign a consent form acknowledging that you have read and understood the risks. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea or vomiting from the anesthetic
  • Swelling, which usually settles after a few months
  • Considerable bruising, which can take a month to clear
  • Scarring, which should fade over the next 12 months and leave a permanent scar

Possible complications may include:

  • Necrosis
  • A difficult recovery
  • Wound dehiscence
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Asymmetry or uneven contours
  • Seroma, or a collection of clear fluid under the skin
  • Infection that requires antibiotics or another surgery
  • Dissatisfying results that may require a surgical revision
  • Numbness, which typically lasts several months but can be permanent
  • Damage to internal organs, which can be fatal or require additional surgery to repair
  • Pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that moves to the lungs, which can be life-threatening
  • Hematoma (blood collected outside of a blood vessel), which may require further surgery to drain
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Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck

For the safest surgery possible, follow all pre-operative instructions. Your Oakland tummy tuck surgeon may advise you to discontinue certain medications and supplements. Smokers will need to quit several weeks in advance.

Your anesthesiologist may instruct you to avoid eating or drinking for several hours before your operation. However, you may be able to take small sips of water up until two hours before your surgery.

Tummy Tuck Preparation Checklist

  • Arrange a ride to and from the surgical center.
  • Make childcare arrangements if you have young children.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.
  • Give up smoking, which increases the risk of infection, anesthesia complications, and a slow recovery.
  • Stop taking contraceptive pills to reduce the risk of blood clotting (thrombosis), which can be serious. Six weeks before your surgery, switch to an alternative form of contraception.

Our Technique

Dr. Williams is known for taking their time on important details when performing tummy tuck procedures - like making sure the belly button looks natural and that scars are in more desirable areas. When it comes to a great tummy tuck, natural results are really in the minor details. Check out our tummy tuck before and after gallery to see our work.

Before & After

What to Expect

Tummy Tuck

Length of Surgery

Inpatient / Outpatient

Duration of Results

Complete Abdominoplasty: 1-5 Hours; Mini Abdominoplasty: 1-2 Hours
General, sometimes local with sedation
Long lasting. Weight loss/gain, pregnancy, and age may reduce surgical results over time

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Tummy Tuck Procedure

A complete abdominoplasty can take up to five hours. A partial abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) might only take one to two hours. Your surgery is completely customized, and the length of the surgery as well as other options will be discussed at your consultation.

Intake Appointment

When you arrive at the surgery center, a nurse will check your heart rate and blood pressure and take a urine sample. Dr. Williams will then meet with you to go over any last-minute questions you might have. He will plan the incisions by drawing lines on your abdomen as you stand upright before you head into the operating room.

Step 1: Anesthesia

Most patients receive general anesthesia. Your surgeon may use local anesthesia with sedation if minimal work is required.

Step 2: Incisions And Surgery

Dr. Williams will make an incision from hip to hip right above the pubic area. The length of the incision depends on the degree of correction needed. During a full or extended tummy tuck, he will also make an incision around the navel.

He will dissect the underlying tissues and elevate the skin flap to reveal the abdominal wall. If necessary, he will tighten the rectus abdominis muscle with sutures. Finally, he will measure and trim off the excess skin.

Next, our surgeons will create a new hole for the navel. They then reposition the navel in this hole and suture it in place. For mini tummy tucks, belly button repositioning is not necessary.

Step 3: Closing The Incision

Dr. Williams will pull the remaining skin down as he closes the incision, leaving the abdomen taut. He will place a bandage and compression garment to protect the incision and minimize swelling.

Great Results. Minimal Downtime.

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Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy Tuck recovery times vary depending on the extent of the operation and the surgical techniques used. Full abdominoplasty recovery can take between three and six months.

Waking From Surgery

You will wake in a recovery room attended by a nurse. You may receive a small snack and water to alleviate nausea from the anesthesia. An IV drip may be placed in your arm to keep you hydrated.

You may have a catheter (a fine tube) to drain urine from your bladder into a bag during the procedure, and is removed prior to being awakened from anesthesia. After removing the catheter, you may have sudden urges to urinate or difficulty emptying your bladder. This discomfort should subside within 24 hours.

You may also have drains on your tummy for up to 48 hours to allow fluid to exit the treatment area. These will likely be removed at your first clinic visit, depending on the output.

Leaving the Surgery Center

A majority of our patients return home the same day, while others spend one or more nights in the hospital. Either way, someone will need to drive you from the hospital. Once home, a friend or family member should look after you for the first 24 to 48 hours.

Swelling, Bruising, and Numbness

Your abdomen will be swollen and bruised, and you may experience some residual drainage. It is normal to have numbness in your abdomen, which generally resolves in six to twelve months. Don't strain or stretch the healing wound since it may slow your recovery. You will need to wear a special pressure garment to decrease swelling and bruising. Continue wearing your support garment for at least a month or as instructed by your surgeon.

Pain Management

Pain and discomfort are most prominent during the first few days. Exparel is a new medication we use routinely during our tummy tucks. It is a long-term local anesthetic that can last up to 48-72 hours after your procedure, when the pain is the worst, and has dramatically reduced pain and recovery time! Your surgeon may also prescribe medication for pain relief. You may be able to take over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, which will be prescribed to you.

Returning to Work and Exercise

Tummy tuck patients should plan to stay home from work for at least two weeks while they recover. Mini tummy tuck recovery is typically quicker than a full tummy tuck, but patients should still take 14 days off to rest. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity for up to six weeks.

Scar Care

The surgical scar should mature in 12 to 18 months. Your surgeon may recommend topical scar gel, prescription creams, or silicone sheets to help the scar heal nicely. Avoid tanning since sun exposure can worsen scarring.

Recovery Tips

  • Do not smoke.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
  • Wear your compression garment as instructed.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon.
  • Freeze meals ahead of time or have someone cook for you during the first two weeks of recovery.
  • Store food, clothing, and toiletries where you can easily access them without reaching, bending, or straining.
  • Place medications, tissues, bottled water, reading materials, chargers, and remotes on your nightstand so they are easy to reach.

Tummy Tuck Results

A tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. During the first few weeks, you should begin to see your new, slimmer profile take shape. It can take several months for all the swelling to go down. Most tummy tuck patients see their final results within a year.

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Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

When the skin and fat is not excessive, a short scar version called a mini abdominoplasty, or a mini tummy tuck, may be an alternative. The mini tummy tuck with liposuction works best for women in their early to late thirties who have had children. The scars with a mini tummy tuck are shorter and have quicker recovery times. Finally, for patients that have little to no excess skin and good skin elasticity, Liposuction alone can be used to improve your abdominal contour.

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Your Tri Valley Plastic Surgery Tummy Tuck Consultation

Tri Valley Plastic Surgery is your Tummy Tuck destination. If you would like to discuss your options for this procedure in detail with Dr. Steven Williams, please contact us to schedule your consultation.


Are Tummy Tuck surgeries common?

Can I combine a Tummy Tuck with another procedure?

What are the risks of a Tummy Tuck?

Is a Tummy Tuck permanent?

Will I need to change how I sleep while recovering from a Tummy Tuck?

How long should I pause exercise and physical activity following a Tummy Tuck?

Can I get pregnant following a Tummy Tuck?

How much does a Tummy Tuck cost?

What does the Tummy Tuck scar look like?

How can I maintain my tummy tuck results long-term?

Can I have a Tummy Tuck instead of weight-loss surgery?

Do I need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

Will adding Liposuction to a Tummy Tuck help me lose weight?

How long does the Tummy Tuck operation take to perform?

Are Tummy Tuck surgeries common?

More than 118,000 tummy tuck surgeries took place in 2019, up from nearly 63,000 tummy tucks in 2000. Most patients undergo abdominoplasty to combat the physical effects of extreme weight loss or pregnancy.

Can I combine a Tummy Tuck with another procedure?

Tummy tucks pair well with liposuction. Other combinations include a tummy tuck with an arm lift (brachioplasty), thigh lift, breast augmentation, or breast lift surgery.

What are the risks of a Tummy Tuck?

Serious complications are rare, but prolonged numbness, infection, and even death have been reported. To ensure the safest surgery and recovery, follow all instructions provided by your surgeon.

Is a Tummy Tuck permanent?

Abdominoplasty produces long-lasting results, but it will not stop age-related changes. To maintain your results, avoid drastic weight fluctuations and use contraceptives to prevent a future pregnancy.

Will I need to change how I sleep while recovering from a Tummy Tuck?

Most patients find sleeping on their back with pillows under their knees and behind their back to be the most comfortable position. Some patients even find it more comfortable sleeping in a recliner chair.

How long should I pause exercise and physical activity following a Tummy Tuck?

Depending on the type of tummy tuck, most patients resume normal exercise within six weeks. You can begin walking on the same day as your surgery. Walking bent at the waist during the first ten days is generally more comfortable.

Can I get pregnant following a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck will not affect your ability to conceive, although you may want to hold off on booking the surgery until you have finished building your family. Take steps to avoid getting pregnant within the first year to allow the abdomen to heal.

How much does a Tummy Tuck cost?

Tummy Tuck costs are comprehensive and can include related expenses such as anesthesia, aftercare, and facility fees, and can fluctuate depending on the surgeon and the type of procedure. Discuss costs as well as financing options with us at the time of your consultation.

What does the Tummy Tuck scar look like?

Abdominoplasty operations leave a permanent scar, usually across the lower abdomen. Dr. Williams makes every effort to place the scar so it is well hidden. They typically make the incision on the bikini line, so it is not visible in most swimwear or undergarment styles. The surgery also leaves a scar around the belly button, except for mini tummy tucks.

How can I maintain my tummy tuck results long-term?

The results can be long-lasting, especially if you exercise, eat a healthy diet, and maintain a stable weight.

Can I have a Tummy Tuck instead of weight-loss surgery?

Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for losing weight through regular physical activity and a balanced diet. If you are significantly overweight, our providers Dr. Williams will advise you to slim down to a reasonably healthy BMI and maintain a stable weight before your procedure. A tummy tuck is an excellent way to contour and tone the abdomen following bariatric surgery or massive weight loss.

Do I need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is ideal for patients with excess skin. Patients with good skin elasticity and isolated areas of fat may only require liposuction. Dr. Williams frequently performs liposuction-based tummy tucks on individuals with both excess fat and lax skin on the abdomen.

Will adding Liposuction to a Tummy Tuck help me lose weight?

Lipo-abdominoplasty cannot treat obesity. The procedure helps define and sculpt the abdominal contours of patients at or close to their ideal weight.

How long does the Tummy Tuck operation take to perform?

The procedure can take up to five hours. A mini tummy tuck may only take an hour or two. If you had a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover, expect to spend additional time in the operating room.

We are leaders in breast enhancement, body sculpting, and facial cosmetic surgery, serving the entire San Francisco Bay area. Whether you live in the Bay Area or are coming in from out of town, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have on your path to your new self. Schedule an intro call with us today to take the first step towards realizing the look you’ve always wanted for yourself.

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