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Abdominoplasty Expectations Conveniently located to serve Long Beach and Huntington Beach

Southern California Plastic Surgery Group

You’ll almost certainly be very pleased with the results of an abdominoplasty if you know what to expect from it.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Hicks will evaluate your overall health and the areas you wish to improve. He’ll consider many factors:

  • Your skin type
  • Location of fat deposits
  • Muscle tone and amount of stretching
  • Skin elasticity
  • Your desired results

and will explain your best options, answering any questions you may have. Be sure to discuss your expectations openly and honestly with Dr. Hicks.

Preparing for abdominoplasty

Well in advance of the surgery, you will be provided with specific instructions for how to prepare for the procedure including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking medications and supplements, during the weeks, days, and hours prior to surgery.

  • Stay out of the sun. Overexposure to the sun, especially on your abdomen will reduce your ability to heal.
  • Don’t go on a diet. You body needs nutrients to heal after surgery. Dieting will deplete your body’s healing resources.
  • You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure and should have someone available to stay with you for the first few days of recovery, or you may choose to spend a few days in a luxury recovery facility.

The procedure

Most abdominoplasties are performed under general anesthesia, but can be performed under local anesthesia with a sedative.

  • During a complete abdominoplasty an incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area, and another incision is made around the navel.
  • The skin, from the incision to the bottom of the ribs, is separated from the abdominal wall.
  • The vertical muscles are pulled together and stitched.
  • The skin is pulled down and any excess removed. A new hole is made in the appropriate location for your navel and its stitched into place.
  • All incisions are stitched closed.

A mini tuck is very similar, but involves a smaller incision, the navel may be left in place, and the skin is separated only from the incision to the navel. Complete abdominoplasty takes about two to five hours. A mini tuck may only take one or two hours.


You will probably feel some pain and discomfort for the first few days after surgery. Dr. Hicks will prescribe pain medication to minimize this discomfort.

  • Your abdomen will be swollen and you’ll need to wear a compression garment.
  • You may not be able to stand up straight at first, but you should start moving around and start mild exercise as soon as possible.
  • The vertical muscles are pulled together and stitched.
  • External stitches will be removed in five to seven days and deeper stitches will be removed in two to three weeks.
  • You may return to work and light activities in about two weeks, but some people need a month to recuperate. Full recovery can take several months.

Learn more about liposuction in Beverly Hills, Long Beach, or Los Angeles, California, by viewing our Before and After Gallery, or contact us today for your initial consultation.

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