Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck can produce among the most dramatic and wonderful improvements of all plastic surgical procedures. At the same time, the scar and the recovery are not insignificant. It is a relatively large procedure but with similarly impressive results. While diet and exercise are helpful in weight loss, they cannot remove loose skin or tighten separated muscles.  Unlike what laser treatments and fillers can do for the face, to date there are no non-surgical alternatives to a tummy tuck.

Liposuction removes fat but it does not remove loose skin or stretch marks. Neither does liposuction bring back together separated muscles in the abdomen. These are problems that can only be corrected with a tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck surgery contains a wide spectrum of actual procedures, beginning on the minor end with the removal of some skin along an indented C-section scar. But as the skin laxity grows greater or wider, the incision can be incrementally lengthened and more skin removed. On the far end are cases where there is muscle laxity all the way up to the breastbone, skin laxity above the belly button, and skin laxity out to the flanks.

Though the procedure is called a tummy tuck, and though the primary objective of a tummy tuck is to improve the abdomen, a good abdominoplasty will also tighten the front of the thighs, mons, and inguinal region when those changes are also desired.

As clothing styles have lowered in recent years, Dr. Teitelbaum has modified his approach to further lower his scars so that they can be concealed within most underwear and two-piece bathing suits.

The shortcoming of a tummy tuck is its relatively long scar. But the improvement is more than worth it for Dr. Teitelbaum’s hundreds of satisfied tummy tuck patients.

tummy tuck before and after sitting down


elle magazine quotePregnancy can do two things to a woman’s stomach that can only be fixed with surgery: The skin can stretch and simply not have the ability to snap back.

After pregnancies, even the thinnest and fittest of women can have excess or loose skin.  Exercise and dieting is great, but neither tightens skin. There is, alas, no “skin machine” in the gym.  We work out to strengthen our muscles, heart, and lungs, but we can’t tighten skin through exercise.

Second, the enlarging uterus puts enormous pressure on the abdominal wall, which can separate the paired rectus muscles that go all the way from the rib cage down to the pubic bone. When these muscles are separated, it is called a “rectus diastasis.”  Sit-ups can make the muscles stronger, but they won’t fuse them back together. Once there is a gap, the pressure from inside the abdomen pushes out and can at times make even a thin woman look bloated or pregnant. Just like the skin, only a tummy tuck can connect those muscles together again.

A swift and safe recovery is critical to enable mothers to return to being with their children. Dr. Teitelbaum is very conservative and careful with every aspect of his surgery.  He has lectured about the complications of tummy tuck surgery and understands the findings of the latest publications.  While safety is paramount for every surgical patient, Dr. Teitelbaum realizes that there is somehow an extra something that needs to be considered by mothers contemplating surgery.


Many men and women are seeing plastic surgeons following enormous weight loss, either following new weight loss operations or committed diet and exercise programs.  After devoting enormous effort to losing weight, people want to look as good as possible.  Depending on the quality of the skin and the amount of weight lost, patients can vary from having a little skin laxity to being extremely deflated and suffering from a substantial amount of excess and hanging skin.

Dr. Teitelbaum visited the plastic surgeon that pioneered the modern techniques for body contouring following weight loss.  He even attended the very first meeting ever devoted to discussing the plastic surgery treatments of massive weight loss.  He has spoken to weight loss support groups to explain the potential of these procedures.  His experience is vast and longstanding.

Massive weight loss patients differ from post pregnancy tummy tuck patients in three important ways: First, the amount of laxity can be substantially greater, and the laxity more frequently extends all the way around the waist. Correcting this often requires more complicated procedures, better preoperative planning, and a very detailed execution.

The second difference is that there is generally a greater degree of damage to the quality of the skin in patients who have lost a lot of weight than patients who have simply had pregnancies.  This requires a different degree of pull on the skin. Directions of pull, the amount of pull, and other technical issues are different with weight loss patients. Patients need to understand that the impaired skin elasticity frequently prevents the result from being quite as excellent as the patient and surgeon would desire because surgeons cannot improve the underlying quality of skin. It is important for a plastic surgeon to notice the quality of the patient’s skin and incorporate that into the surgical plan as well as to help the patient understand before surgery the sort of result he or she is likely to achieve.

Finally, some, but not all, massive weight loss patients have significant medical issues that need to be considered, such as diabetes, hypertension, skin rashes, nutritional deficiencies, and sleep apnea, among others. To be safe, such patients should consult with plastic surgeons experienced with helping plastic surgical patients with these problems. Dr. Teitelbaum and his nursing staff excel at managing these medical issues.


Dr. Teitelbaum has performed hundreds of tummy tucks since the early 1990s and continues to do so on a regular basis.  He has authored a peer-reviewed journal article, written two recent plastic surgery textbook chapters on abdominoplasty, and has made a major presentation about combining liposuction with tummy tuck at a national plastic surgery meeting.

Dr. Teitelbaum has been a leader in writing about the high lateral tension abdominoplasty.  This technique, while being more difficult to understand, is known for achieving a more natural improvement to the entire trunk as well as the thighs. Years ago, Dr. Teitelbaum visited the surgeon who invented this technique to learn its nuances and master its execution.

Dr. Teitelbaum openly discusses with patients both the amount of improvement they are likely to get as well as the extent of scars necessary to achieve their desired look.  While the results are magnificent, he believes a patient should be given substantial opportunity to think about and then decide on what she wants.

As a long-term member of a plastic society’s task force on emerging trends, Dr. Teitelbaum is aware of every new innovation in plastic surgery. There has been a cavalcade of high tech devices that claim to tighten skin or remove fat without surgery, and patients are naturally interested in these procedures.  However, until they offer the results that patients are expecting, Dr. Teitelbaum will protect his patients from dashed hopes, lost money, and potential health hazards.

Dr. Teitelbaum has written articles and book chapters on abdominoplasty. He has lectured about it at plastic surgery meetings to other plastic surgeons. He has a complete, thorough, and up-to-date knowledge of tummy tucks. He is a resource on tummy tucks for surgeons and patients alike, and articulately advises his patients about their full range of options from the smallest mini-tummy tuck all the way through an extended tummy tuck.


For more information about tummy tuck surgery in Los Angeles, call board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Teitelbaum at 310-315-1121 or click here to contact us by email.