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Tummy Tuck

Bay Area Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in San Francisco, CA, with Dr. Leonard Gray

Having a child or losing significant amounts of weight for the right reasons should be celebrated, but this isn’t always the case. Often, stretch marks, loose skin, stretched abdominal muscles, and other issues can stay with you — physically and mentally — after a weight loss journey or pregnancy. While these often cannot be removed by diet and exercise alone, tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is an outstanding way to restore a tight, youthful-looking, and contoured midsection.

Dr. Leonard Gray of Bay Area Plastic Surgery has been helping these types of patients for many years from his San Francisco based plastic surgery practice. Patients in San Francisco and the Bay Area regularly turn to Dr. Gray because of his renowned expertise, patient-first approach to care, excellent results, and personable demeanor.

If you would like to learn more about San Francisco tummy tuck surgery, please continue reading or schedule an informative consultation with Dr. Gray today!

model posing showing body contours

What is a Tummy Tuck?​

Tummy tuck surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that addresses issues caused by pregnancy, considerable weight loss, and similar conditions. While many think that the tummy tuck procedure is a “weight loss” operation, it actually serves as a body contouring solution.

What are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck with Dr. Leonard Gray?

Many plastic surgeons in the San Francisco area may offer tummy tuck procedures. However, it’s best to choose an experienced specialist who fully understands the operation’s intricate details. As one of the best tummy tuck surgeons in the Bay Area, Dr. Gray has performed countless successful tummy tucks over the years.

He strives to give each of his tummy tuck patients:

  • A more contoured midsection
  • The shortest, lowest, and most hidden scar possible
  • A real and natural-looking belly button

Stunning natural results

Dr. Gray’s training, precision, and personalized treatment plans provide genuinely outstanding results. Want to see for yourself? Follow the link below to view before and after pictures of Dr. Gray’s actual patients.

What Does an Abdominoplasty Address?

Patients interested in this surgery generally report having:

  • Loose skin
  • Excess fat
  • Stretch marks
  • Stretched or splayed abdominal muscles
  • Bulging or protrusions in the abdominal region
before and after Tummy Tuck right side view female patient San Francisco, CA

Low Scar Placement:

Patients often desire a tummy tuck scar that is as low as possible to be concealed by underwear or swimwear. Dr. Gray places the scar within the natural bikini line to make it less noticeable. Careful scar placement allows patients to confidently wear various clothing without revealing the surgical scar.

Flatter Abdomen:

A key objective of a tummy tuck is to create a flatter abdominal profile by removing excess skin and fat. Tightening the underlying muscles also contributes to a smoother and more toned appearance. Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks (Lipo 360) is also typically used during a tummy tuck to enhance the flattened appearance and smaller waist.

Tight Skin:

Tightening loose or sagging abdominal skin is a fundamental aspect of a tummy tuck. Dr. Gray will remove excess skin and redrape the remaining skin to create a taut and smooth abdominal surface.

Natural-Looking Belly Button:

A well-executed tummy tuck includes the creation of a natural-looking belly button. I take great care to reposition the belly button so that it appears harmonious with the newly contoured abdomen.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Dr. Gray typically finds that two groups of patients are best suited for a tummy tuck: women who have had children, or men or women who have recently lost a considerable amount of weight.

Anyone who has the conditions listed above is welcome to contact Dr. Gray for a tummy tuck consultation. Dr. Gray has found that the best candidates are:

  • Suffering from one of the symptoms listed above.
  • Generally healthy and at a stable weight.
  • Do not plan to have any more children after the surgery.
  • Understand the scope, recovery requirements, and risks of the procedure.
Dr. Leonard Gray

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Instilling Beauty
Inspiring Confidence

Dr. Gray is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience conducting surgical procedures of the breast, body, and face. His emphasis on patient education and attention to detail have made him the top choice for plastic surgery in the Bay Area. Dr. Gray invites you to meet with him for a friendly and informative consultation.

How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

Each tummy tuck will be customized to the individual. That said, Dr. Gray follows some necessary steps for each operation:

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia in Bay Area Plastic Surgery’s AAAASF accredited surgical center. You will be safely sedated before the abdominoplasty begins.

Initially, Dr. Gray will use liposuction to remove excess fat around the waist, hips, and tummy. This will help provide the most contoured end result. After liposuction, he will begin the tummy tuck operation.

Dr. Gray will create a small incision in the pubic area. He will make these incisions in the best spot to ensure that any future scarring will be minimal and concealable.

After making the incisions, Dr. Gray will separate the abdominal skin from the muscle all the way up to the chest.

Next, Dr. Gray will tighten stretched abdominal muscles by suturing them together. These specialized sutures will bring bulging muscles back into a more natural, straight up-and-down position.

The next step in the process is to excise loose skin. Dr. Gray will use his specialized surgical table, which allows the patient to safely move to a sitting position during the surgery, to allow him to review and approve each marking before removing any skin. Once checked, all of the extra skin is extracted. Dr. Gray will insert a drain at this time.

While you are still in a sitting position, Dr. Gray will carefully connect and suture the remaining skin flaps. Dr. Gray’s methods will not leave any excess skin or “dog ears.” 

Once the skin is pulled down and connected in the correct areas, Dr. Gray will recreate your belly button. He will make a tiny incision, remove a wedge of skin, and then carefully sew the belly button into this spot. Dr. Gray uses this method to get a belly button that tucks in on the bottom and hoods over on top— simulating an aesthetically natural look.

What Can I Expect in Recovery?

Dr. Gray wants all of his patients to understand that while this surgery is worth the demands, it is a relatively challenging recovery to undergo. That said, the Bay Area Plastic Surgery team will be there to help you along every step of the journey. You can call Dr. Gray at any point during your tummy tuck recovery with any questions, issues, or requests.

Most patients follow this general timeline for recovery:

Immediately After

After the surgery has concluded, you will be taken to a recovery room and monitored until you awaken on your own. As tummy tucks are an outpatient procedure, you can return home the same day with the help of a friend or family member. Dr. Gray typically uses a powerful numbing solution, Exparel®, during surgery to alleviate any post procedure pain. Working for up to four days after the operation, Exparel makes patients significantly less sore than past methods.

First Three Weeks

Dr. Gray instructs most of his patients to remain in a bent-over position for the first three weeks post-op. You will receive a walker, pain medications, and detailed instructions on what to do and not do during this time frame.

Two Months

You will need to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for two months. This allows your wounds to strengthen, heal correctly, and also prevent any complications. As Dr. Gray tells his patients in consultation, the lifting limit for this period will be about as much as a cup of coffee. You can still get up and move around when Dr. Gray clears you, but this will primarily be limited to flat walking.

Four Months

You should see most of the swelling dissipate in about four months. You can call Dr. Gray at any point during your recovery with any questions, issues, or requests.

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck in the Bay Area, also known as a mini abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to address mild excess skin and mild muscle laxity in the lower abdomen. It is a less extensive version of the traditional tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and is typically recommended for patients who have localized concerns in the lower abdominal area.

Here’s an overview of the mini tummy tuck procedure:

before and after tummy tuck right side view female patient San Francisco, CA
Actual Patient Results

Patient Selection:

Ideal candidates for a mini tummy tuck are those who have:

  • Mild excess skin and laxity primarily in the lower abdomen.
  • Minimal to no muscle separation (diastasis recti) above the navel but some separation below the umbilicus.
  • Fat can be addressed with liposuction at the same time.
  • Realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure.

Procedure Steps:

While the details of a mini tummy tuck can vary based on the patient’s needs, the general steps often include:

  • Incision: A smaller incision is made just above the pubic area, usually within or slightly above the natural bikini line. This incision is significantly shorter than the incision used in a full tummy tuck.
  • Muscle Tightening: If there is any muscle separation (diastasis recti) in the lower abdomen, the muscles may be tightened.
  • Skin and Fat Removal: Small amounts of excess skin and a limited amount of fat are removed from the lower abdominal area. Liposuction can be used to remove more fat.
  • Skin Redraping: The remaining skin is carefully redraped and sutured in place to create a smoother, flatter abdominal contour.
  • Belly Button Adjustment: In some cases, the belly button may need minor adjustment to ensure its natural appearance is maintained.

Recovery and Results:

Recovery after a mini tummy tuck is generally shorter and less involved compared to a full tummy tuck. Patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, but the overall recovery process is often quicker. Most patients can return to light activities within a week or two, with more strenuous activities gradually reintroduced over several weeks.

Advantages of a Mini Tummy Tuck

  • Smaller Incision: The smaller incision used in a mini tummy tuck results in a shorter scar.
  • Faster Recovery: Because it is a less extensive procedure, the recovery time is typically shorter.
  • Localized Correction: A mini tummy tuck is specifically tailored to address concerns in the lower abdomen, making it suitable for patients with limited issues in that area.

Learn More About Tummy Tucks in San Francisco

If you would like to learn more about how this procedure can help you specifically, your next step is to contact Bay Area Plastic Surgery. In this one-on-one consultation, Dr. Gray will take the time to fully explain the procedure, educate you on the details, and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Gray believes in empowering his patients to make an educated decision on their own. He also wants to make sure each patient is confident that the procedure will benefit them.

Dr. Gray and Bay Area Plastic Surgery invite you to contact us online or call 415-434-8858 to schedule your consultation today.

San Francisco Tummy Tuck FAQ

If patients have bulging, stretch marks, or loose skin only below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck may be the right option. Dr. Gray will help you decide which procedure is suitable for you.

Dr. Gray has found that the best way to safely give a patient a low, short scar is to use one surgical drain. His specialized surgical bed also helps him to perform this process accurately and safely.

Dr. Gray will not close this wound, as doing so presents a greater risk of infection. He will place the incision for the drain in the pubic area, where any scarring will be almost entirely imperceptible after being removed.

As with the surgical drains, Dr. Gray will expertly place this tiny incision in a place that will be hidden. He can show you exactly where the spots will be when you speak with him in consultation.

Your tummy tuck cost San Francisco will depend on a variety of factors, so you will need to meet with Dr. Gray in a personalized consultation. After assessing your concerns and outlining your surgical plan, we will give you an itemized cost breakdown. 

An extended tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is used to remove excess skin, fat, and tissue from the abdomen area. This procedure is similar to a traditional tummy tuck, but extends the incision line further around the waist to include the excess skin and tissue on the back as well. This allows for a more comprehensive change to the overall appearance of the midsection. The extended tummy tuck is often recommended for individuals who have experienced significant weight loss, pregnancy, or aging, and have excessive skin or weakened muscles in the abdomen area.

Dr. Gray sometimes sees patients who have had a previous tummy tuck surgery. These patients may still have stretch marks, excess skin, or other issues that were not solved by the first surgery. Many patients have also had more children or gained weight since their first operation. Dr. Gray will evaluate these patients to see if another operation is doable to re-tighten the abdomen and remove abdominal skin and fat (it is most often possible).

Nothing about this surgery will harm you if you decide to have children down the road. However, it is recommended that you try to have this surgery when you are finished having children, as the results may be lost with a new pregnancy or weight gain.

Yes, Dr. Gray performs many male tummy tucks. Most of these patients have lost a large amount of weight.

Dr. Gray will place your scar as low, short, and discreet as possible. He will be able to show you where your scar is going to be placed at the time of your consultation.

In addition to his expertise in breast and face procedures, Dr. Gray has mastered several body contouring procedures, including liposuction, Brazilian butt lift/fat transfer, mommy makeovers, labiaplasty, gynecomastia surgery, and more. In a mommy makeover, patients often combine tummy tuck surgery with breast augmentation or other procedures to minimize downtime and costs. We encourage you to read through the information on each page to see what’s right for you, or you can contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gray today!