abdominoplasty 2

7 Tips for the Best Results With Your Abdominoplasty

January 31, 2018

Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, after weight loss surgery can be a huge step towards completing your body transformation. A tummy tuck removes the excess loose skin on the abdomen, revealing—often for the first time in a patient’s adult life—a flat, toned midsection and a defined waist.

Going into the procedure informed, educated and prepared are key if you want to have a positive experience and a great outcome. Here are some tips that should help you to get the results you want from your tummy tuck.

7 Tips for the Best Results With Your Abdominoplasty


The first step to getting desirable results from your tummy tuck is understanding how the surgery works—as well as its limitations. Most importantly, tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Instead, it’s a body contouring surgery that tightens and tones the abdomen. Although each procedure is uniquely planned based on the needs of the patient, one hallmark of abdominoplasty is that it reduces excess skin. Using a horizontal incision made just above the pubic area, and another around the navel, your surgeon tightens underlying muscles and cuts away loose skin, suturing the remaining skin together and creating a smooth, taut abdominal contour. There are other variations on the traditional incision pattern--such as including a pubic lift, where the mons pubis is lifted and reduced in size without any additional incisions. Your surgeon will go over your options and recommend the best approach for your needs and goals.


Because abdominoplasty is not a weight loss surgery, it’s best to be as close to your goal weight as possible before pursuing surgery. Not only will this improve the safety of your abdominoplasty, it can also ensure your results are satisfying and long-lasting. Losing a significant amount of weight after your tummy tuck can result in additional loose skin and may even necessitate a secondary procedure.


It’s never too early to start researching plastic surgeons to help you put the finishing touches on your weight loss results. A simple web search is a good place to start—you can create a list of potential surgeons near you and narrow it down as you learn more about them. The most important credential to look for is board certification. By choosing a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, you’re ensuring treatment from a true professional who has demonstrated advanced knowledge of the field, including post-weight loss procedures. Take a look at your prospective surgeons’ before-and-after photos, read online reviews, and start booking consultations to experience an in-person interaction.


Navigating your plastic surgery options after weight loss surgery can be incredibly daunting. There are plenty of resources online, including right here at ObsesityHelp, to help you learn more about your options and what you can expect. The online community here is full of people who have been exactly where you are now. They can provide valuable insight that can help you plan for your best body.


Once you finally do choose a surgeon and begin planning your tummy tuck in earnest, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions exactly. Abdominoplasty patients at my Los Angeles practice receive detailed instructions as to the medications they need to discontinue prior to surgery, as well as things to avoid in the days leading up to their procedure. You’ll need to stop eating and drinking after a certain time in the evening the night before your surgery. It’s also a good idea to have your prescriptions filled in advance so they’re ready for you when you return home. Adhering to your doctor’s instructions can keep you feeling comfortable and the entire process running smoothly.


The work doesn’t stop on surgery day. Tummy tuck surgery affects the core muscles, which we use throughout the day for stability and strength. Because these muscles get used so often, it’s imperative to relax as much as possible to give them plenty of time to heal. Avoid bending, reaching, or lifting anything over a few pounds for at least a couple of weeks after your procedure. Be sure you’ve arranged for help with housework, childcare, pet care, and other daily obligations in advance of your procedure. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If something really hurts or doesn’t look or feel right, be sure to call your surgeon’s office. It’s important to take it easy and listen to your body during the initial phase of healing. This can greatly reduce the risk of complications and encourage healthy healing.


In the weeks, months, and years following your surgery, think stability. Significant weight fluctuations—in either direction—can have an impact on your results. While sticking to one precise weight for the rest of your life isn’t realistic, it’s a good idea to do your best to keep your weight as steady as you can. This includes pregnancy. If you’re planning on having children after your weight loss surgery, you should also wait to have your tummy tuck so you can fully enjoy your results for as long as possible.



David Stoker, M.D., is a board-certified plastic surgeon at Stoker Plastic Surgery who specializes in procedures such as abdominoplasty in Greater Los Angeles. At his office in Marina del Rey, Dr. Stoker treats a diverse range of patients, including a sizeable population of post-weight loss surgery patients. He finds special satisfaction in helping these inspirational men and women bring out the potential in their bodies.

Read more articles by Dr. Stoker!