If your midsection is out of proportion with your otherwise trim figure despite all your efforts to eat right and stay active, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck surgery is an extremely popular plastic surgery procedure because it offers an effective way to reclaim a smooth, flat, youthful abdomen.
Dr. Eric Mariotti is a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs a specialized procedure called a “no drain” or drainless tummy tuck. This technique that speeds your recuperation and lets you get back to your favorite activities sooner.
No-Drain Tummy Tuck Benefits
A traditional tummy tuck creates a space between the abdominal wall and the layer of fat and skin above it. This area naturally fills with fluid until those layers heal back together. Surgeons would place drains during the surgery so that fluid doesn’t build up beneath the skin.
The no-drain approach Dr. Mariotti uses prevents fluid buildup by eliminating the space where fluid accumulates. Instead, the abdominal wall and other tissues are sutured together at the time of surgery. The sutures are dissolvable and there is no need for a follow up procedure to remove sutures or drains. This means recovery is simpler, more comfortable, and in many cases more rapid.
Tummy Tuck at a Glance
The Best Candidates
A tummy tuck, technically called abdominoplasty, is a fairly involved surgery that removes excess skin and fat from your waistline. Tummy tuck surgery also typically removes any stretch marks and old scars you had below the level of your belly button.
Many people wonder whether they will need a tummy tuck, liposuction or both. If you have abdominal skin that hangs loosely and has numerous stretch marks—particularly after pregnancy or significant weight loss—Dr. Mariotti will likely not recommend liposuction because it would only result in more loose skin and would have no impact on stretch marks. In these cases, you are more likely a better tummy tuck candidate.
If the excess fat and skin rests below the belly button and you do not need muscle tightening, you may be able to achieve the results you want with a mini tummy tuck, or partial abdominoplasty. A consultation with Dr. Mariotti will give you a definitive answer.
What to Expect
Abdominoplasty takes place under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep the entire time. First, Dr. Mariotti removes the loose skin between the belly button and pubic area. He then tightens the muscles that have become stretched due to pregnancies or weight gain. Afterward, he pulls the skin down tight and crafts a shallower, more youthful-looking belly button.
Dr. Mariotti is a local leader in the no-drain tummy tuck technique: In 2016, he presented on no-drain tummy tucks to the Sacramento Society of Plastic Surgery. This approach bypasses the need for post-op tummy tuck drains by eliminating the open space where fluid would otherwise collect in the abdominal wall.
The no-drain tummy tuck has several advantages when compared with a traditional tummy tuck:
- Faster recovery thanks to easier, more comfortable mobility
- More discreet scarring
- Simpler recovery period with no drains to worry about
What's Best for You?Dr. Mariotti wrote an article for the popular weight loss site Obesity Help where he talked about the differences between a tummy tuck and lower body lift. We encourage you to check it out!
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After Your Abdominoplasty
Because an abdominoplasty is a more extensive procedure, Dr. Mariotti will usually recommend an overnight stay at the surgery center. If you choose to combine liposuction with your tummy tuck or other surgery after weight loss, you will be given a supportive compression garment at the end of surgery. You will then return to our office after about 5 days to have your light bandages removed.
Light activity should become comfortable in about 2 weeks; however, sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks. Incisions will be noticeable at first but will fade with time. Dr. Mariotti strategically plans the incision lines so they are easily hidden within a bikini or underwear.
Take the first step toward your dream look and contact us online or call our Concord office at 925-685-4533 to request a consultation.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
If you have stretched abdominal skin that isn’t very elastic, meaning it doesn’t bounce back into place when pulled, then a tummy tuck could be a good choice, because the procedure surgically removes this skin. It also removes excess fat and tightens the underlying muscles. If your skin is elastic and your concern has more to do with stubborn fat, then Dr. Mariotti may instead recommend liposuction. He can also combine a tummy tuck with liposuction for more comprehensive results.
The traditional method of performing an abdominoplasty required placing drains to remove fluid that naturally builds up between the adbdominal wall and the tissue above it. A drainless or “no drain” procedure is instead used by Dr. Mariotti to suture these layers of tissue together and prevent fluid buildup in the first place. Drains are uncomfortable, can limit a person’s mobility, and are a hassle to keep clean. The no-drain technique prevents all these issues.
Scars are an inevitable part of any plastic surgery, but Dr. Mariotti uses techniques to ensure that his incisions are fine and discreet. With a traditional tummy tuck, the incision usually runs from hip to hip low on the abdomen, so that it is hidden by clothing and swimwear. Another incision may also be hidden within the belly button. Dr. Mariotti and our team provide detailed aftercare instructions to help your incisions heal quickly and beautifully until they are nearly invisible.
A tummy tuck is often performed at the same time as other procedures. In fact, the popular mommy makeover surgery usually combines a tummy tuck with breast enhancement surgery and liposuction. A tummy tuck may also be combined with other body contouring procedures as part of post-weight loss plastic surgery.
As with most plastic surgery procedures, tummy tuck costs vary. In Walnut Creek and surrounding communities, the cost is lower than in areas such Los Angeles. The total cost of your tummy tuck will include operating room fees, the length of the procedure, anesthesiology fees and other factors. Dr. Mariotti can give you an accurate cost estimate at your consultation. We offer plastic surgery financing for all our cosmetic surgery procedures.
A tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens weak abdominal muscles, but can’t prevent future weight gain. When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Mariotti, a tummy tuck produces results that last for years if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Yes. Navigate to our tummy tuck before and after photo gallery to view authentic photos of previous abdominoplasty results that Dr. Mariotti has achieved. When looking at before and after photos, try to focus on people with similar body types and trouble spots as you. This will give you a more accurate idea of what your results could look like. If you find one or two that you feel accurately represent the goals you’d like to achieve, it can be helpful to point them out at your consultation.
When choosing a plastic surgeon, the first qualification to look for is board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You should be able to find this information online, along with other memberships and affiliations with accredited medical associations. Look at before and after photos, client reviews and the information presented on the practice’s website. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to one or two tummy tuck plastic surgeons, schedule a consultation or two to make your final decision.
Tummy tucks are performed under general anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. After surgery, you can expect to feel some tenderness and soreness, along with bruising and swelling. Dr. Mariotti will prescribe you appropriate pain medication to manage any discomfort during the initial phase of recovery. Some people find that over-the-counter medication is sufficient.
In general, many people take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks off work after their tummy tuck. This can depend on how physically demanding your job is and your body’s healing process. Everyone recovers at a slightly different rate.
While some results are immediate, it can take up to a year to see your finished tummy tuck results. However, you should be able to see a good representation of your final results around the 6-month mark. The most noticeable swelling typically subsides around 2 to 3 months after your tummy tuck.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck will already be at or very close to their ideal weight before their procedure. Significant weight loss following a tummy tuck could lead to excess skin, requiring a revision abdominoplasty in order to achieve your same results again. That said, small weight fluctuations following your tummy tuck are not likely to affect your results.
How do I prepare for a tummy tuck?
At your consultation, Dr. Mariotti will provide you with detailed information about how to prepare for your upcoming procedure. He may recommend that you:
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking NSAIDs and certain other medications and supplements that can increase bleeding
- Get prescriptions filled in advance
- Reach your weight loss goals prior to your procedure
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment and help you around the house for the first few days
*Information for education only, not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary. Unless otherwise noted, images on this site are of models.