Tummy Tuck

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Are you frustrated with your shape when you stand sideways in front of the mirror? Are situps not helping, no matter how many you do? Unfortunately, an overstretched muscle wall, which often occurs after pregnancy, can’t be tightened with a core workout. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin and corrects weakened abdominal muscles to create a smoother, firmer profile. A tummy tuck is often combined with liposuction and breast augmentation for a true mommy makeover. 

Plastic Surgery Specialists offers a deep and broad base of experience in all aspects of body contouring, and our practice is known for our expertise and consistently excellent results with the tummy tuck. 

tummy tuck

We pride ourselves in offering the most cutting-edge treatment for our patients, which is why we are excited to offer a drain-free option for our tummy tuck procedures. During an abdominoplasty, excess skin and fat are removed to create a smoother, firmer stomach area. After surgery, fluid can build up between tissue layers, causing a delay in the healing process. Drains are typically placed postoperatively as a means of preventing this fluid accumulation. By using TissuGlu® Surgical Adhesive in our tummy tucks, we can remove the need for burdensome drains and the stress they can cause during recovery.

Additionally, we offer a new pain management injection called Exparel that provides pain relief for up to three days, so there is less need for other pain medications and their subsequent side effects.

The tummy tuck has evolved over the years to become one of the most popular and successful plastic surgery procedures available today. PSS surgeons have performed this procedure countless times and provide every option to our patients to maximize safety and comfort.

Our experienced team of board-certified plastic surgeons combines an aesthetic perspective, the ability to listen closely to your needs, and the skills to achieve those goals. This combination of talent is a hallmark of a world-class plastic surgery clinic, located in Marin County, CA.

*Results May Vary

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Smartlipo uses laser technology to permanently destroy unwanted fat cells, tighten tissue and improve overall body shape – all with minimal downtime.
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Best Candidates

Candidates for a tummy tuck should be healthy and reasonably fit. Men and women seeking a tummy tuck after a significant weight loss should be committed to keeping the weight off in order to maintain the best results. If you are interested in a drain-free tummy tuck with TissuGlu®, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our surgeons to determine if a drain-free procedure is right for you.

*Results May Vary

Before and After Photos


During your consultation, the Plastic Surgery Specialists team will describe in detail the entire tummy tuck process as well as how to care for yourself after the procedure. Steps to take and medications to avoid during the weeks leading up to your surgery will be explained as well. During your appointment, make sure you explain all the areas you wish to enhance or improve so that your surgeon can understand your aesthetic goals and set expectations. One of our accredited PSS surgeons will complete a full examination to assess what the best options will be for you. Questions and concerns will be happily addressed during your consultation as well. Our goal at Plastic Surgery Specialists is to make you feel as comfortable as possible throughout your entire procedure process, from the first phone call to your last postoperative visit.

*Results May Vary


Tummy tuck procedures vary depending on what you want to accomplish. The length of your surgery will be dependent on the procedures you receive, whether related to the abdomen only or other parts of the body as well. The specifics of the procedure also depend on how much tissue and skin needs to be removed. In certain cases, patients will have the option of a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic.

Mini Tummy Tuck

During a mini tummy tuck, an incision is made above the pubic line; the skin and fat layers that lie above the abdominal wall are then separated and lifted to expose the muscles of the lower abdomen. The skin is then pulled back down and the excess is removed. The skin above the belly button is not tightened nor is the umbilicus reconstructed. The upper abdominal muscles are not tightened. A mini tummy tuck may result in a shorter scar, but your anatomy will determine if it is an option for you.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck works with the abdomen above the navel as well as below. This procedure requires creating a second incision around the belly button so that when the skin and muscles are tightened a new belly button will be created. The full tummy tuck procedure is often combined with other procedures including breast augmentation or breast lift as part of a mommy makeover.

High-Tension Tummy Tuck

If you desire the corset look, you may consider a high-tension tummy tuck. Much like the mini and full tummy tuck, this procedure tightens the muscles vertically and removes excess skin. The muscles are then tightened horizontally as well. The high-tension horizontal tightening cinches the waist, creating a more defined, contoured waistline.

Male Tummy Tuck

When men undergo a tummy tuck, the high-tension tummy tuck technique is used, but the horizontal tightening is much less than women receive. The muscles are not pulled together, only tightened.

*Results May Vary



Liposuction removes fat that lies between the skin and the muscle by means of suctioning. This procedure is geared more toward patients who have specific pockets of fat that have not diminished through diet or exercise. Liposuction is not meant to solve extensive weight issues. In order to be a candidate for liposuction, patients must have reasonable skin elasticity to allow retraction, or else skin excision is still necessary.


Smartlipo is a minimally invasive technique that decreases body fat through the use of 3 different lasers. This process melts away fat deposits and tightens skin with little bruising and zero scarring*. Candidates for SmartLipo should have ideal skin elasticity. Recovery time for this procedure is as little as a few short days for the ideal candidate.

Vaser Lipo

Much like SmartLipo, Vaser Lipo is a procedure where the fat is melted by ultrasound prior to its removal. This process does not affect nerves or blood vessels and lessens the amount of bruising or any discomfort. Quick recovery is possible for the ideal candidate. Vaser Lipo is the most popular alternative procedure performed at Plastic Surgery Specialists.

Body Lift

Body Lift is ideal for patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight and have a large excess amount of skin. This procedure is much like a Tummy Tuck, but it additionally tends to the surrounding areas of the abdomen including the back, thighs, and buttocks. This process involves both the removal of fat and the tightening of skin. Some patients who receive Body Contouring may opt to include other procedures such as breast surgery or an Arm Lift.

*Results May Vary


The length of recovery time varies from patient to patient. Body type, age, and how your specific body reacts to surgery are all determining factors. For all patients, it is important to get enough rest so your body can fully heal, giving you the best results. The caring and compassionate staff at PSS will give you a recovery schedule to ensure your healing process is as quick and smooth as possible.

For more information on how the tummy tuck is performed, please visit our 3D Education Center.

*Results May Vary

A Note About Tissuglu®

TissuGlu® patients experience a better quality of life during recovery compared to patients who require drains. A clinical study proved that patients who used TissuGlu returned to a normal work schedule approximately three days sooner than those with drains. Although you might feel eager to resume heavy activity following your tummy tuck with TissuGlu, please remember you just had a major surgery and your body will need time to heal. Be sure to carefully follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions.

*Results May Vary


Pricing for a tummy tuck varies depending on the surgical techniques needed to achieve your cosmetic goals. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss every detail with you, making sure you are well-informed about what techniques are necessary. Then a price quote will be discussed and a date set for your upcoming surgery. PSS offers convenient financing options designed to fit a wide range of budgets.

Center of Excellence

  • Over 50,000 procedures performed
  • Over 75 years of combined experience

Our experienced team of board-certified plastic surgeons combines a unique aesthetic perspective, the ability to listen closely to your needs, and the skills to achieve those desires. This combination sets PSS apart as a world-class plastic surgery clinic, located in Marin County, CA.

Meet Dr. HvistendahlMeet Dr. Poulos

Black Diamond


Our mission at Plastic Surgery Specialists is to give our patients the information they need to make educated decisions about what procedures will produce the most satisfying outcome. Patients who want a trimmer abdominal area, for example, are often unsure whether they need liposuction or a tummy tuck. Our board-certified Marin County plastic surgeons are known for their body contouring results and use their experience and expertise to help patients make the best choices for them. Below, you can find answers to many of the most common questions they hear about tummy tuck at their Greenbrae practice.

Can scars resulting from a C-section or Hysterectomy be corrected during a Tummy Tuck?

Yes. Indented, widened, or raised C-section or hysterectomy scars are very common. The scar itself can easily be corrected at the time of the tummy tuck.

Is a Tummy Tuck scar visible?

An incision is required to remove loose abdominal skin. In most cases, incisions are made where the resulting scar is hidden in the bikini area of the body. It can take up to two years for the scar to fade and shrink.

Can I go home after a Tummy Tuck?

Most patients can safely return home within hours after surgery if they have adequate home care. If you do not, we will gladly make arrangements for you at home or at an overnight facility.

Can other procedures be combined with a Tummy Tuck?

Yes. Almost all abdominoplasty procedures benefit from liposuction at the same time, often including hips or thighs. Additionally, many women who have had children want cosmetic breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures is commonly referred to as a mommy makeover.

What is the main risk or trade-off of a Tummy Tuck?

An incision is required to remove the loose abdominal skin, resulting in a scar. In most cases, the scar will be minimally visible and can be hidden in the bikini area of the body. Full maturation (fading size and color of the scar) can take up to two years. Temporary healing problems such as swelling, firmness, numbness, fluid collection, or drainage are usually short-lived. Due to the fact that the abdominal muscles usually need to be tightened, there may be a period of abdominal cramping or tightness, which may limit normal activities.

What determines how long the scar will be?

The skin’s condition is the most important factor. In most cases, all of the skin between the belly button and pubic area is removed. The belly button is reconstructed at a new position and the surgery results in dramatic changes to the abdomen’s contour. If loose skin is limited to the lower abdomen, there is a smaller excision with a minimal scar. However, loose skin on the lower back and tummy requires what’s called a circumferential abdominoplasty, or body lift. Again, the scar is hidden within the bikini area, but the tissue on the waist, back, and even buttocks can be tightened at the same time if desired.

How to Find Us

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