Several considerations are critical to obtaining superior tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) results. Each of the items listed below must be addressed in order to ensure that the aesthetic improvements of the abdomen are maximized and that your torso shape is harmonious with your abdomen. It is of the utmost importance that your cosmetic surgeon is experienced and highly-skilled in addressing all of these key factors to ensure optimal tummy tuck results.

Figure 1: A depiction of the changes in the abdominal musculature that can occur following pregnancy. The main culprit is the stretching out of the linea alba ligament.

1. Avoiding a Muffin Top

This complication arises when the tension on the muscle repair is not performed appropriately. Muscle repair is required both above and below the belly button in order to re-tighten the muscle ligaments in the mid-line that stretch with pregnancy. Meticulous attention to muscle tension both before and after tightening above and below the belly button is critical to avoiding this deformity. Post pregnancy surgery, often termed a “mommy makeover” often requires multiple procedures including liposuction or breast augmentation to improve results.

2. A Low Incision Line

A low incision line is critical for several reasons. First, the incision should be low enough that it can easily be hidden in your undergarment or bikini bottom, so as not to be evident that a tummy tuck was performed. Second, by virtue of having a low abdominal incision a natural division between the belly and the pubic region are created. When the incision is placed high, the pubic triangle (mons) aesthetics can be compromised. And Finally, when the incision line is too high, a shelf deformity is created. Meticulous surgical design is critical to planning and successfully performing low incision line tummy tucks.

Figure 2. Patient with a low incision line, showing successful, “non-operated” results even when wearing undergarments.

Figure 3. Patient with an aesthetically pleasing “innie” belly button result.

3. A Narrow Waistline

The waistline is important because it’s what creates a feminine silhouette. In order to create the ideal “hour glass” shape, the waist must also be narrowed during your tummy tuck. This requires modification of the traditional undermining techniques to limit skin elevation to the central abdomen. By leaving the lateral skin attached to the muscle, it allows your lateral waistline tissues to pull in making your waistline more pronounced and shapely.

4. Avoiding the “Double Bubble” and “Dog Ears”

Lateral flank and love handle prominence can result following a tummy tuck which compresses the tissues in the front and pushes out the lateral abdominal tissues. If there is preoperative fullness in this area, it will become even more pronounced after surgery. This is why every tummy tuck patient needs to have the lateral flanks evaluated and treated with either liposuction and/or with an extension of the traditional tummy tuck incisions.

Figure 4. Patient showing a narrow waistline and feminine silhouette result.

Figure 5. Patient showing a successful tummy tuck revision transformation. A prior surgery performed by another surgeon resulted in dog ears, double bubble, and high incision lines. Note the improved contour and shapely waistline in the final result.

5. A Smooth Recovery

An ideal recovery requires the patient to have tolerable discomfort, rather than excruciating pain. Pain management is crucial over the first three days when the pain is most severe due to the fact that swelling levels are highest right after surgery. Swelling increases pressure on the pain nerves, causing discomfort. As such, we utilize Experal, a special medication that contains a long lasting numbing medication called Marcaine. Experal is placed in specialized microspheres which time-release the medication over the first three postoperative days, ensuring maximum comfort for our patients.

For more information and to determine if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery or a revision of a prior abdominoplasty, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Mowlavi, Orange County’s premiere tummy tuck surgeon.

Tummy Tuck Before and After Gallery

Patient Testimonials

Dr Mowlavi has extraordinary bedside manner. In all aspects of my medical needs. He, along with his staff performed amazing feats for me as a patient traveling from out of state. They work like a fine art painting being fine-tuned and the concerns of the patient were always addressed and resolved efficiently. The medical profession is blessed with Dr. Mowlavi. My veins are flowing again, my eyes can see again and my back pain is gone. He goes beyond plastic surgery and I have found a surgeon I can count on for life.
Wendy W. Norwalk, CA
Without a doubt best doctor and staff I have ever encountered! My tummy tuck results are amazing, I have my confidence back and feel great, Dr. Mowlavi is the best doctor I have seen in my life, in addition to his medical expertise, he is kind, patient, and extremely caring. Every staff member is professional, friendly and patient. I was very nervous about the procedure but Dr. Mowlavi’s professional, kind demeanor got me through it, his PA James was very knowledgeable, kind and professional. I was referred to him by my dermatologist to remove some lipomas on my back and feel so fortunate for that referral because that really changed my life. I look forward to enjoying the rest of my life feeling and looking my best, I do not hesitate in highly recommending Dr. Mowlavi and am happy to answer any questions…….
Rosalie D. Dana Point, CA
Dr Mowlavi is by far the, most competent, knowledgeable, and kind Dr you will ever meet. Just being a Dr. he has given the profession a huge gift. I have been through many surgeries in my life and he is more like a friend, just because he will always!! be there for you, if you want a “Beverly Hills” surgeon, you just found him. He has saved me from years of worry and despair, I happened to be referred to him for a wound specialist that would not heal. I can say he saved my life. I could go on and on with many words but at the end of the day he is there. Then my wife wanted some work on her appearance for the last 35 years and he made that a priority that he would do once I healed up enough. Dr Mowlavi is an artist. My wife is 15 years younger, in her heart, and her appearance. She had received a complete makeover. She had her arms, breast augmentation, tummy tuck and inner thighs done at the same time and you would not think she is the same person. When he had completed his work the results were perfect! If you use him, you will never forget him. The Dr is more than words can say. I have been seeing him for almost 2 years and he also has found many skin cancers my dermatologist has missed for years. If you are thinking about anything regarding plastic surgery, skin problems or just a consultation please see him first, you owe it to yourself to have the best. Plus I forgot to say very affordable to every person that comes in the door. With all sincerity, Wayne H.
Wayne H. San Clemente, CA