What is a Tummy Tuck?

brucker la jolla tummytuck

A flatter and firmer abdomen is a goal of both men and women yet even with exercise and a reasonable diet some still have sagging, loose skin or a protruding abdomen. Factors like pregnancy, significant fluctuation in weight, heredity and aging can further hinder achieving a desired flat and well-toned abdomen. If you are exploring ways to improve the contour of your torso and if diet and exercise have not helped, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): a surgical procedure that creates a firmer, tighter midsection, creating an abdominal profile that is firmer and smoother.

In his more-than-15 years of practice as a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael J. Brucker has performed over 5,000 procedures, including tummy tucks. La Jolla patients rely on his work in part because of his experience, skil, and approach. Dr. Brucker tailors each procedure to the patient’s needs, spends time during surgery creating attractive, natural-looking outcomes, and utilizes the newest techniques to provide the most comfortable recovery possible.

Reasons for a Tummy Tuck?

tummy tuck pregnancy icon La Jolla brucker plastic surgery


tummy tuck weight fluctuation icon La Jolla brucker plastic surgery

Weight fluctuation

tummy tuck heredity icon La Jolla brucker plastic surgery


tummy tuck aging icon La Jolla brucker plastic surgery


The Purpose of Tummy Tuck

Post-pregnancy and/or major weight loss patients in La Jolla and Del Mar often mistake the cause of a protruding abdomen as belly fat. While fat can contribute to this appearance, the root cause may actually be loose skin and weakened, separated abdominal muscles.

A tummy tuck can help La Jolla and Del Mar patients address both of these concerns. Dr. Brucker performs this procedure to remove loose skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. As a result, your belly will look more toned following surgery, your core strength will increase, and patients frequently report improvement of low back pain and urinary incontinence.   

Dr. Brucker has found that a tummy tuck offers patients an extremely high degree of satisfaction and as such, it is one of his favorite operations. A restorative surgery, it can reverse the effects of weight change and pregnancy in a way that other measures may not. He may also recommend that you receive liposuction to contour neighboring areas—such as your hips and waist—to give your body a more streamlined shape with natural-looking transitions.

How Dr. Brucker Performs a Tummy Tuck

Expect to spend about an hour during your initial consultation learning about your options and receiving guidance to accommodate your needs. Dr. Brucker helps La Jolla and Del Mar patients learn about the benefits and limitations of each procedure they are considering.

His La Jolla and Del Mar tummy tuck patients typically have questions about how the surgery works and about the quality of outcomes. To provide more natural-looking results:

  • Dr. Brucker spends significant time during surgery shaping and sculpting the belly button area, making sure to keep the scar hidden inside the belly button rather than around it. The purpose of this is to make your umbilical scar virtually undetectable in a bikini.
  • Similarly, he places the tummy tuck incision low on the abdomen so that you should be able to wear a bikini and have no one know that you’ve had a procedure. If you have had previous C-section(s) these scars will be removed and replaced with one tummy tuck scar.
  • He uses taping and tension reduction to reduce the appearance of scars over time.

Dr. Brucker also offers a variation on the traditional tummy tuck for patients with lax muscles but little-to-no loose skin. If you are a candidate for this, he can perform the procedure in a way that leaves no belly button scar and shortens the bikini line scar.

Typically, patients want to know more about the recovery as well. Even as little as 10 years ago, a tummy tuck came with high discomfort and a lengthy recuperation. Now, pain control systems that Dr. Brucker employs make the experience significantly easier for patients. He uses Exparel, a long-lasting muscle-numbing medicine that reduces sensation for five days, giving you greater mobility and comfort in the days following surgery.  Exparel is more effective than the use of pain pumps.

Your Experience with Tummy Tuck

Dr. Brucker’s facility includes two AAAASF-certified operating rooms. Performing procedures at his office provides you with a more private and efficient experience. Additionally, the staff that you get to know during your earlier visits will be there to support you during your surgery. In addition to the high standards required for AAAASFs certification, the advantage of performing surgery on-site is that we can offer a more personalized approach and a more private and comfortable environment than in a hospital setting.  For your safety and peace of mind, our operating rooms, equipment, and staff are certified to meet the same rigorous standards as hospital operating rooms.

A tummy tuck takes place under general anesthesia and requires about 2 to 3 weeks for recovery. While the resources that Dr. Brucker provides will make your recuperation much more comfortable, you may need help with some daily activities such as child care and transportation as your body heals. Our practice will provide you with extensive guidelines for post-operative care.

By the end of 3 weeks, you should be able to see the outcome of your tummy tuck: a firmer, more toned, and more attractively contoured midsection. Minimal swelling will continue to resolve over the next several months and your shape will continue to improve.  Scars should fade over time to give your results a natural-looking appearance.

A tummy tuck provides La Jolla and Del Mar patients a well-established procedure for slimming down their abdominal area. Learn more by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Brucker online or by phone.

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