Belly overhang is the result of pregnancy, weight fluctuation or genetic predisposition. An abdominoplasty is intended for people of relatively normal weight. It is not the answer for a huge overhang of skin. Those who intend to lose significant weight should postpone having a tummy tuck until their weight is within a satisfactory range.

Candidacy at a glance

Many tummy tuck patients…

  • Have tried diet and exercise to trim their midsection with no significant results
  • Have bellies that have slowly increased with age
  • Suffer from stretch marks or sagging skin due to pregnancy
  • Are not planning to get pregnant again or to lose a lot of weight
  • Are in good overall health, both physically and mentally
  • Have aligned their expectations with information gleaned from consultation
  • Are seeking out a tummy tuck as part of a Mommy Makeover or other comprehensive body contouring package

Benefits of Abdominoplasty:

  • Tightens six-pack muscles that have become separated as a result of pregnancy
  • Combats dense, stretch marks gained during childbearing
  • Can be performed just a few months after giving birth
  • Trims, tones, slims and sculpts the stomach for a more youthful aesthetic
  • Improves self-image and self-confidence
  • Improves the fit of clothing, including swimwear and eveningwear
  • Provides a safe, long-lasting solution to the problem of abdominal bulging
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Video Testimonial

Patient testimonial

How do I select the best surgeon for my tummy tuck?

Body contouring requires an intimate knowledge of anatomical ratios along with consummate experience in both liposuction and surgical excision techniques. Our team's impeccable training, clinical reputation and exquisite results place us among the top tummy tuck surgeons in the San Francisco and San Mateo areas.

While credentials are mandatory, patients must also feel a sense of ease and trust when talking with their plastic surgeon. Dr. Liu and his team strive for open, honest communication, continuous patient education, and frank disclosure of all risks and possible complications. Our professional integrity demands that we will never recommend procedures that are not necessary.

Instead, each treatment plan is tailored to the patient’s expressed wishes and goals. Lastly, our team is constantly pursuing opportunities to increase our lexicon of cutting edge cosmetic strategies, and as such they attend industry seminars, networking events and conferences to stay abreast of the latest developments in abdominal surgery, passing these advantages on to their patients.

How do I get started with abdominoplasty?

Dr. Liu and his team are pleased to offer their patients a confidential consultation in the privacy of his Bay Area offices. During this time he will examine your torso, review your medical history, pregnancies and previous surgeries, if any, and begin to formulate your unique treatment plan. Please take a look at our phenomenal before and after photos, as these can help you to better visualize your desired outcome.

The consultation is a great time to ask questions and voice any concerns. Our team can also devote a portion of the consultation to describing additional body contouring procedures you may be interested in, as combining treatments often results in less overall downtime and post-surgical pain.

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Where will my surgery take place?

Tummy tuck surgery takes place in the Bay Area’s premier outpatient facility, The San Mateo Surgery Center. This peaceful, private setting is accredited by the AAAASF and boasts world-class diagnostic tools and surgical equipment in addition to groundbreaking technology and software. Our waiting areas, surgery suites and recovery arenas are all designed with your comfort, safety and well being in mind. Each member of our team, from the receptionist to your board certified anesthesiologist, is standing by to ensure a pleasant, rewarding patient experience and exemplary results.

How is a tummy tuck done?

Full Tummy Tuck

When a patient is looking for a dynamic solution to moderate to severe belly bulging, the doctor may recommend what is called a full abdominoplasty. A full tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the mid and lower abdomen. An incision is made near the pubic hairline from hip to hip. It is placed low enough to be undetectable in bikini attire. If necessary, sagging or separated vertical muscles in the abdomen are tightened with permanent internal sutures.

Abdominal fat may be treated with surgical excision at the time of surgery. Skin and tissue are pulled down over the existing navel and excess skin is removed. A compression garment is placed after the surgery, and on rare occasions, drains to siphon off extraneous fluids. An abdominoplasty is considered major aesthetic surgery and takes up to 5 hours. It is performed under general anesthesia.


Often a surgeon will combine a surgical tummy tuck with liposuction to help address love handles, muffin tops and other lower torso flaws. As one of the most versatile body contouring methods, liposuction can also be used to streamline the buttocks, hips, thighs, back or arms. Lipo works best on patients who have maintained a fair amount of muscle tone, and do not suffer from undue skin laxity. However, liposuction differs from a full abdominoplasty, in that it cannot address the separated abdominal six-pack muscles on its own.

Lipo is performed by inserting a slender, blunt tube known as a cannula through a minute incision. Excess fat is then suctioned out, leaving the areas of concern flatter and more contoured. It typically takes less than one hour to perform.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is known for its shorter surgical time of 1-2 hours, reduced downtime, limited scarring and more manageable post-op discomfort. This type of procedure is best suited to those patients whose abdominal bulging appears mostly below the navel. An incision is hidden in the bikini line where it can be nicely covered by clothing.

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Abdominoplasty Recuperation

The patient can expect to leave the outpatient surgery center after a short period in the recovery center. A support garment will be worn to aid in swelling, bruising, and healing. As with most major surgeries, patients may experience minor pain and discomfort after treatment, but these are easily combated with prescription medications that the doctor will discuss as part of your complete aftercare regimen.

While the rate of healing will vary from person to person, on average, recovery usually takes 7 to 10 days and work is typically resumed within 2 weeks. While patients should be walking around the same day as surgery, any lifting or strenuous activity should be avoided for the first 6 weeks. Scar healing will be discussed thoroughly with our patients, as well as recommendations for medical-grade products to optimize scar maturation. Continued adherence to a healthy diet and exercise plan will ensure that your fabulous new waistline maintains its shape long term.

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Getting the RNR® You Deserve

Returning to normal after a tummy tuck frequently involves a fair amount of discomfort. At the Silicon Valley Institute for Aesthetics in San Mateo, we ensure you’re up and moving around immediately after your surgery. We have pioneered an approach that foregoes the need for narcotics pain medications, thanks to our signature RNR® Procedures. When paired with our Drainless Tummy Tuck method, you get the RNR® you deserve, and recovery will be a breeze.

A drainless tummy tuck uses a specific layered suturing technique to eliminate the need for post-surgical drains. You won’t need to measure fluid output or empty a drain while you recover, reducing the time before returning to your regular activities.

Additionally, we use traditional anesthesia with an epidural injection and sedation. You’ll be breathing independently but won’t feel any pain due to a long-acting local injection that keeps you comfortable during your tummy tuck.

To prepare for your operation, we’ll use a unique formulation of medications to optimize pain control and avoid severe nausea once your tummy tuck is complete.

If you’d like to learn more about the various RNR® Procedures we offer, simply reach out and set up your consultation with a member of our San Mateo team today.

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Mommy Makeover

A Mommy Makeover is a wonderful combination procedure aimed at helping women to regain their pre-pregnancy figure and self-confidence. The Mommy Makeover procedure usually includes abdominoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation and breast lift, and facial rejuvenation through injectables or dermal fillers. Our team can discuss the details of a Mommy Makeover during your consultation, just ask.

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A Word About Financing...

Abdominoplasty can be made very affordable through our partners at CareCredit, ALPHAEON, and PatientFi.  We would be happy to answer any of your questions or assist you with the necessary paperwork.

Insurance Notes:

Abdominoplasty is considered a purely aesthetic procedure and as such is not covered by insurance.

Ask Our Team

Can I have an abdominoplasty if I intend to have children?

If I exercise after having a baby, won’t that get me back to a pre-pregnancy shape?

I have heard of a non-surgical tummy tuck. What is that?

My stomach hangs over my pubic region ever since I lost weight. Can a tummy tuck pull this up and tighten it?

Can I have an abdominoplasty if I intend to have children?

You can have liposuction and/or a tummy tuck prior to having children, but if you get pregnant you will likely lose the benefits you have gained.

If I exercise after having a baby, won’t that get me back to a pre-pregnancy shape?

It depends on your body. Some women are fortunate to resume near pre-pregnancy shape while the majority of women complain that they cannot return to their “previous” body proportions. While exercise will help strengthen the muscles stretched open during pregnancy, it cannot replace the effectiveness of surgery for damaged or loose skin.

I have heard of a non-surgical tummy tuck. What is that?

A new form of light-based energy uses laser heat to tighten excess skin. This does not address minor fat pockets but can improve very mild sagging.

My stomach hangs over my pubic region ever since I lost weight. Can a tummy tuck pull this up and tighten it?

What you are describing may necessitate a procedure called a panniculectomy to reduce significant skin and fat hanging below the abs. This degree of skin sag is often experienced by those who were or are morbidly obese. Gastric bypass patients often need this type of body contouring for overall hygiene as well as aesthetic considerations

As leading tummy tuck San Francisco surgeons, Dr. Liu and his team take pride in helping their patients achieve their desired body contour. We also have extensive experience with facelift, liposuction, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty procedures for patients from San Francisco, San Jose and San Mateo.

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