If you’ve been told that a tummy tuck in San Diego was your only option, you should look into Dr. Nowak’s innovative procedure called ThermaLipo. You owe it to your health and well-being to stay up to date with all the latest options available and should always get a second opinion when finding a procedure that is right for you.

Many patients that come to Nowak Aesthetics for a body sculpting procedure have been told by other places that a tummy tuck was their only option, but received great results from ThermaLipo.


A typical question that arises during a body sculpting consultation: Is a tummy tuck the same as a ThermaLipo? Although both procedures are designed to improve the abdomen, they are different in the way each procedure is done and in the results.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin. In most cases, a tummy tuck restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer with a trade off of scarring and general anesthesia risks.

Look at how high this tummy tuck scar is. With the clothing styles of today it will be still be visible. The marks are for the liposcution procedure she will have to correct this.

A tummy tuck procedure involves medications that are administered intravenously for sedation and general anesthesia. A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.

This procedure also involves sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips to close the skin incisions. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may be collected.

During a tummy tuck recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to incisions, and may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support the abdomen as it heals following surgery.

Recovery may take several weeks to months. In most cases it is a slow recovery for this is a very invasive surgery.



  • Overall slimmer and balanced body shape with smoother, tighter, younger looking skin
  • Entire body can be reshaped including the back, flanks, hips, arms, and thighs
  • Weakened abdominal muscles are not repaired and extremely loose skin will be tighter, but may not tighten as much as a tummy tuck
  • Small incisions that don’t require stitches to heal!
  • No General Anesthesia needed! Safer with less risk of IV related complications
  • Immediate results that improve over time – only ONE procedure needed to shape and balance your entire midsection
  • Safely removes fat and tightens skin without the complications of a major surgery.

Tummy Tuck

  • Stomach looks nice and flat, but at the cost of huge scars and ‘dog ear’ pooches on the hips
  • A tummy tuck won’t shape and contour your back hip area!
  • Weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and loose skin is pulled tight.
  • Large amounts of cutting (hip to hip and around the belly button) that need sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, and drainage tubes to heal
  • General Anesthesia needed which increases risk of complications during surgery
  • Additional cosmetic procedures may be needed to re-balance and shape the rest of your midsection
  • Liposuction the same day as a tummy tuck greatly increases the risk of complications such as a fat embolism


ThemaLipo in San Diego is a great option for someone who is looking to loose inches and look slimmer without a large amount of down time or recovery time that a tummy tuck requires. ThermaLipo is a unique procedure pioneered by Dr.Nowak. It is essentially the combination of Tumescent Liposculpture and Thermage. Typical areas that can be treated are the upper and lower abdomen and waist as well as the lower back and upper buttocks – areas not addressed by a tummy tuck! This results in a more balanced and natural body shape.

Dr. Nowak also limits the amount of procedures per day in order to deliver the best care and results for his patients. Be assured that you will be the main priority for the day of your ThermaLipo procedure.

Tumescent liposuction removes unwanted fat and reshapes your curves, giving you a slimmer, more attractive figure while minimizing the risks associated with traditional liposuction techniques. The tumescent technique infuses a mixture of local anesthetic, epinephrine saline solution that is injected and infused into the area being treated. It numbs the area and constricts the blood vessels reducing the risk of bleeding or blood loss. And, most importantly, there is no need for general anesthesia. All of this adds up to making fat removal safer, easier, and more comfortable with little or no blood loss.

In addition, Dr. Nowak utilizes the power-assisted technology which rapidly moves through the tissue removing small amounts of fat at a time. This movement creates a vibration that some patients describe as being similar to a massage providing greater patient comfort. The injection incisions are so small they close up naturally so there’s no need for stitches.

Once the fat is removed, the skin of the abdomen is tightened with Thermage which uses a unique radiofrequency (RF) technology to safely heat the deep layers of your skin while keeping the outer skin cool and comfortable during the procedure. This deep heating stimulates the body to tighten existing collagen and form new collagen. Not only does ThermaLipo remove 60-80% fat, it also tightens the abdomen for optimal results.

The average healing time is up to six weeks, but improvement is visible almost immediately and patients are requested to walk and get moving the next day. It’s often known as a weekend procedure where patients can have the procedure done on a Thursday or Friday and can be back to work Monday or Tuesday. You will be asked to wear a pressure garment for days or weeks after your treatment to help skin contract and speed the healing process.

While for some patients a tummy tuck may be the only alternative in removing excess skin, ThermaLipo to this day still astonishes patients with the amazing results it delivers without the same risks and complications that may occur from a tummy tuck. There are also a number of patients that have received tummy tucks with results that are less pleasant than expected. For example, the typical dog ears (fat pockets at the end of the incision), deformed belly buttons, large, thick and pigmented scars occurring from hip to hip not only disheartened patients but also required additional procedures to correct.

In most cases the choice is clear. ThermaLipo is not only safer than a tummy tuck, for many patients it is the best alternative to removing unwanted belly fat, waist fat and lower back fat as well as skin tightening to the abdomen area. This all inclusive, innovative procedure is done in one day with patients up and walking the next day, and a recovery time of 3-7 days.

Contact us at (619) 420-1840 and let us help you decide if ThermaLipo is right for you.