Hughes Plastic Surgery Logo
Los Angeles | Beverly Hills

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgery that removes loose skin and fat from the abdomen, repairs rectus diastasis and abdominal wall laxity, and creates a new position for the underlying belly button. Dr. Kenneth Hughes, an expert tummy tuck surgeon, has performed hundreds of tummy tucks in his Los Angeles surgery center, and he can perform these procedures in about 2 hours. This shorter operative time means less time under general anesthesia, fewer complications, and a faster, better recovery.

Many women sacrifice a great deal in having a child or children, and restoring a svelte and contoured abdomen is a common goal for women after pregnancy. The tummy tuck is not just for women who have had children. Women who have lost significant weight from diet and exercise or a weight loss surgery like a gastric sleeve or a lap band procedure may benefit from a tummy tuck as well. Furthermore, many men can benefit from a tummy tuck after a weight loss procedure or massive weight loss as well.

expert plastic surgeon in los angeles and beverly hills

Dr. Kenneth Hughes, Harvard-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon, is an expert surgeon who has performed hundreds of tummy tucks in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.  If you have loose skin on your belly or abdomen, hanging fat, or muscle separation (rectus diastasis), a tummy tuck may be the best surgical option.

Dr. Kenneth Hughes will remove the loose skin and fat, tighten your abdominal muscles, and give you a natural belly button or navel.   Many patients with sedentary jobs can return to work in 1 to 2 weeks.

In his fully accredited surgery center by AAAASF, Dr. Hughes can perform tummy tucks in combination with many other procedures such as liposuction or breast augmentation. When a tummy tuck is combined with breast augmentation this can be referred to as a mommy makeover, and Dr. Kenneth Hughes is a mommy makeover expert.

These represent only a few of the procedures that can be performed in addition to tummy tuck or in conjunction with tummy tuck at Hughes Plastic Surgery. Breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, Brazilian butt lift, arm lift, thigh lift, body lift, rhinoplasty, and other facial surgeries can all be performed at the same time as the tummy tuck with the expert skill set and knowledge base of Dr. Kenneth Hughes, a Harvard-educated and Harvard-trained board certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

the tummy tuck procedure in detail

The tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure to address loose skin and fat in the abdomen that has developed most commonly as a result of pregnancy or major weight loss. The abdominal wall can be tightened in this procedure as well through a process called plication (rectus muscle plication as well as oblique muscle plication).

Though the incision in some may need to be longer to address more significant skin issues, Dr. Hughes specializes in short scar tummy tucks. These short scar tummy tucks offer all of the advantages of a tummy tuck with a shorter scar.

In most cases, the short scar tummy tuck has the same length incision as a mini tummy tuck but removes about twice as much skin and fat as the mini tummy tuck and tightens the abdominal muscles as well.

Dr. Kenneth Hughes tightens the muscles, removes skin and fat, and gives you a new belly button all through a smaller incision. The incision that is made is very low, below C-section scars, which can be removed at the time of the tummy tuck. The incision is so low that bikinis may be worn afterwards.


In addition, Dr. Hughes creates the best possible scar which is flat all the way across and is not a smiley face. This way, the ends of the scar never rise above low cut clothing.

In addition, though healing is never entirely predictable, many patients have commented that the scar is not only low but the limbs are perfectly symmetric and straight. Dr. Hughes really endeavors to create the optimal and best result for the individual tummy tuck patient.

Belly Button

Dr. Hughes creates a belly button that eliminates the scar at the top of the belly button, because Dr. Hughes knows that the odd appearing belly button can make patients hesitant about undergoing the procedure in the first place.

Dr. Hughes also anchors the belly button to the underlying fascia to give the belly button more depth to improve the appearance. These seemingly trivial details can mean the difference between an average and a superlative result.


Dr. Hughes is also very aware of the fact that many patients want to have the appearance of a smaller waist and not appear to be square or straight. Dr. Hughes creates the appearance of a smaller waist through very particular technical maneuvers during the tummy tuck.

In addition, Dr. Hughes frequently performs liposuction of the sides, flanks, and back to reduce the waist by many inches. The results can be absolutely unbelievable.


While the tummy tuck is certainly effective in its removal of tissue and correcting issues of skin laxity and size, the scar produced is often objectionable to many patients. Dr. Kenneth Hughes in Los Angeles has extensive experience and amazing successes with the Bodytite technology to avoid the longer scars associated with tummy tucks as well as other excisional procedures such as arm lifts, thigh lifts, butt lifts, etc.

Bodytite can be used in conjunction with liposuction to tighten the tissues of the abdomen (tummy), arms or thighs or wherever by about 40%. These types of results will not be achievable by another technology or my another surgeon. Please look at these amazing Bodytite results. Although Bodytite will never reproduce the excisional surgical results, optimal treatment by Dr. Hughes in Los Angeles can come pretty close.

physical exam considerations for tummy tuck

Dr. Kenneth Hughes will note skin laxity, striae, and scars. He will point out any irregularities or asymmetries such as an umbilicus that is not midline. Vertical midline scars will decrease the amount of flap advancement possible. Dr. Hughes will determine whether scars are mobile or fixed to the underlying fascia — fixed scars are more likely to reflect interrupted flap circulation.

If the skin appears of good quality with minimal or no laxity and the defect appears to be excess adipose tissue or musculoaponeurotic laxity, a minimal scar procedure may be appropriate.

Dr. Hughes performs many short scar tummy tucks or mini tummy tucks, and he will determine if these are appropriate for you during your consultation. He will also determine if liposuction or liposculpture will be appropriate or beneficial.

Upper and lower abdominal skin laxity with significant umbilical ptosis should be addressed with full abdominoplasty. The amount of lateral and back skin laxity should also be assessed to determine whether a high lateral tension abdominoplasty, abdominoplasty with thigh lift, or circumferential body lift would be appropriate.

Pinching the subcutaneous tissue between thumb and forefinger in various locations helps assess the differences in thickness of the subcutaneous layer.

Dr. Kenneth Benjamin Hughes, MD will distinguish between intra-abdominal and subcutaneous fat. The relative contribution of subcutaneous fat and intra-abdominal contents to the abdominal contour defect will be assessed and discussed with the patient. Only subcutaneous fat can be remedied surgically. Intra-abdominal fat is not amenable to removal during the tummy tuck procedure.

Dr. Hughes will assess for midline abdominal protuberance in the standing patient. He will ascertain whether the prominence is epigastric, infraumbilical, or both. Dr. Hughes will assess the strength of the abdominal wall musculature as well as diastasis recti and musculoaponeurotic laxity that may be amenable to application and correction during the tummy tuck.

The abdomen will be palpated for masses and hernias. If a ventral or umbilical hernia is discovered, Dr. Hughes can usually repair most of these hernias during the tummy tuck procedure.

what is the cost of a tummy tuck in los angeles and beverly hills, ca

  • The mini tummy tuck costs $8000.
  • The tummy tuck costs $12000 to $16000, depending upon the amount of skin resection required. For larger patients or massive weight loss patients or those seeking extended tummy tucks, the cost would be greater.

Please note that pricing for a tummy tuck may vary based on the individual needs of the patient. Dr. Kenneth Hughes operates in both Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and prices or costs for tummy tuck may vary slightly by location.

types of tummy tucks

mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck involves removal of a small amount of skin and fat below the belly button that addresses only the lower portion of the abdomen. No plication or muscle tightening is performed, and the belly button remains attached and unchanged.

This procedure applies to very few patients and is appropriate only for patients who have loose skin at the inferior aspect, or bottom, of the abdomen. If patients have loose skin above the belly button or a muscle laxity, a full tummy tuck would be more appropriate.

If a patient does not want a lot of down time but a small improvement without an optimal improvement, then a mini tummy tuck can be considered as well.

tummy tuck float procedure, or umbilical float procedure

A tummy tuck float procedure involves removing skin from below the belly button and detaching the belly button to get additional skin removal without performing a full tummy tuck. Plication may be performed at the same time.

This procedure is used very infrequently due to the fact that the belly button is moved to an inferior location. Thus, it is a more appropriate technique for a patient with a high belly button.

extended tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck represents a full tummy tuck and all of its components (muscle plication, umbilical transposition, etc.) with the addition of an extended incision to the sides or toward the back.

This type of extended tummy tuck will treat patients who have tremendous skin laxity on the sides or near circumferential skin laxity, most frequently observed after massive weight loss.

If the skin laxity is completely circumferential then a lower body lift or circumferential belt lipectomy may be appropriate. This surgery involves a scar that goes completely around the body at the level of the belt line.

reverse tummy tuck

This is a very specialized type of tummy tuck procedure which situates the scar under the breasts and treats upper abdominal skin laxity only. Dr. Hughes does not perform the conventional procedure in which the scar crosses the midline. Dr. Hughes camouflages the entirety of the scar under the breasts.

This type of tummy tuck requires immense skill to take out enough tissue to improve the appearance, to anchor the abdominal flap to minimize breast droop, and to perfectly reapproximate the tissues to avoid bunching and wrinkling.


Umbilicoplasty or alteration of the belly button is done as a component of the tummy tuck but can be done as an individual procedure. Dr. Hughes in Los Angeles is frequently tasked with belly button correction following tummy tuck performed somewhere else or as a separate procedure to improve the belly button shape. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and can be done in combination with umbilical hernia repair in certain cases.

patient testimonial

As a nurse with a doctor husband, I have interacted with many medical professionals from San Francisco to San Diego. Dr. Hughes’s work as a plastic surgeon was flawless. I could not have been happier with my results from my tummy tuck and BBL. He was personable, straight to the point and confident of his skills. Most importantly, his skills showed not only a mastery of the latest plastic surgery techniques but artistry that can’t be taught in a fellowship. In my opinion there is no better choice.

tummy tuck surgery day

On the day of surgery, the patient will arrive at the surgery center approximately one hour prior to the beginning of the surgery. The patient will be checked in and paperwork and consents will be finalized as well as additional questions answered. Vital signs will be obtained as well as additional history and physical information obtained by the nurse and anesthesiologist.

The anesthesiologist will meet with the patient to explain the anesthesia process and answer any concerns about anesthesia. The patient will meet with Dr. Hughes again to reiterate the surgical plan and to answer any additional questions or concerns.

The patient will be taken into the operating room and administered relaxing medication and be ushered off to sleep. The tummy tuck surgery itself will take about 2 hours on average, and the patient will be transferred to the recovery room upon completion. The patient will remain in recovery for 1 to 2 hours before departing from the surgery center with a responsible adult.

tummy tuck recovery

The tummy tuck typically requires 1 to 2 weeks before a patient can return to a sedentary job. The patient should avoid exercise, strenuous activity, and lifting more than 5 lbs for at least 6 weeks. Patients should consume at least 100 grams of protein during the recovery period to ensure adequate wound healing. Patients should not strain the area around the incision.

Poor nutrition and stressing an incision have ruined many of Dr. Hughes’s best tummy tuck results on the table and these complications are almost completely preventable by following Dr. Hughes’s postoperative instructions.

Dr. Kenneth Benjamin Hughes, MD typically uses 1 drain in tummy tucks to avoid the most common complication, which is seroma or fluid collection. Drainless tummy tucks will not help avoid fluid collections, but rather will result in a higher percentage of fluid collections. It is simply not worth the risk of developing a fluid collection, which can sabotage the contours, result in infection, and cause the incision to open.

Dr. Hughes can typically remove the drain in 2 weeks or so. An abdominal compression garment will be given to the patient to be worn for the first 6 weeks or so after surgery to help reduce the risk of fluid collection.

most common complications of a tummy tuck

The most frequently described postoperative complications are seroma, wound separation, and infection. Generally, one or two drains are placed after a standard tummy tuck. A standard operative abdominal binder provides compression to decrease seroma formation and maximize contouring results. These are usually relatively minor in nature and can be addressed nonoperatively.

  • Postoperative skin necrosis, scar dehiscence, and dog ears may require revision procedures.
  • Injuries to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh occur in as many as 10% of patients.
  • It is imperative that the patient ambulate early and often after surgery to reduce complications including deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in legs) and pulmonary embolus (blood clot that travels to the lungs). Fatal pulmonary embolism is uncommon (1/1000), but prophylaxis is prudent.
  • Low-molecular-weight heparin can be administered to patients who are at higher risk for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
  • In addition, fat embolus has been reported when liposuction is added to abdominoplasty procedures.
  • Large quantities of tumescent fluid can lead to lidocaine toxicity and pulmonary edema.

achieving your best tummy tuck result

If you want to have surgery, you should seek out the board-certified plastic surgeon who you feel has the highest likelihood of success and then dedicate yourself to recovery process for the best result.

It simply does not make any sense to go through a surgery with its attendant risks and long recovery period and its expense and then not get the best result due to not following postoperative instructions.

Dr. Kenneth Hughes will get you the best tummy tuck result possible, but you will have to do your part in the recovery process. Visit Dr. Kenneth Hughes, MD at his new offices and surgery center in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills).

schedule your consultation for tummy tuck procedures today!

Contact the office of Dr. Kenneth Hughes to schedule your consultation for a tummy tuck in Los Angeles. We will be happy to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

frequently asked questions


No. Dr. Hughes performs short scar tummy tuck variants for patients who are good candidates. He also performs mini tummy tucks, tummy tuck float procedures, and reverse tummy tucks as well for appropriate candidates.


Low. Dr. Hughes will place the scar as low as possible. This will be below the level of a C-section scar and almost to the level of the leg crease. With the low scar, the scar can be concealed by virtually any piece of clothing. Dr. Hughes will produce the best possible scar and contours for tummy tuck.


Yes. In most cases, Dr. Hughes performs tummy tucks after previous surgeries including gastric bypass, lap band, C-section, hysterectomy, appendectomy, gall bladder removal, etc.


Yes. In most instances, Dr. Hughes can repair your hernia at the time of the tummy tuck.


If you have reached a safe, stable weight and are otherwise healthy, you can be considered for a tummy tuck in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills from Dr. Hughes.

related procedures