Cosmetic Surgery in San Diego

Welcome to the website of Dr. Eugene J. Nowak, a Cosmetic Dermatologist in San Diego. Dr. Nowak knows that a beautiful look is comprehensive: the shape of your body, the tone and texture of your skin and the features of your face! You can trust Dr. Nowak to provide you with the most up-to-date cosmetic treatments available to his patients including laser liposuction, facial fillers, CoolSculpting, and Botox in the South Bay.


Tummy Tuck Alternatives

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.

What exactly is a tummy tuck?

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.

ThermaLipo vs. Tummy Tuck


  • 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

Benefits of ThermaLipo

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.

Other Alternatives to Reduce Fat and Tighten Skin


A revolutionary non-invasive, non-surgical, FDA-cleared procedure clinically proven to safely remove unwanted fat with little to no downtime. Areas that can be treated are the abdomen, flanks, hips, and thighs.Read More

Body by Thermage

A safe, non-invasive procedure clinically proven to help tighten and contour your skin. Thermage uses radio frequency technology to safely heat the deep layers of your skin to stimulate and renew collagen, resulting in tighter, smoother skin with little to no downtime.Read More


Skin Tightening with Exilis Ultra

A non-invasive skin tightening treatment that safely treats sagging skin through the powers of radio frequency and ultrasound energy. These components combined gently heat the skin, causing it to carefully contract for a slimmer, redefined contour.Read More

Before & After Photos

This 31 year old patient is a mother of four and was told by two different practices that a tummy tuck was her only option. She came to Nowak Aesthetics for ThermaLipo (a combination of liposuction and Thermage skin tightening) and received a wonderful result. The after pictures were taken 6 weeks after the procedure and show a flatter, tighter stomach along with a more streamlined shape which accentuates the curvature of her lower back area. All this was achieved without the major downtime and huge unsightly scars of a tummy tuck!
This patient is a 28 year old mother of two who was initially going to have a tummy tuck procedure. She decided to do ThermaLipo at Nowak Aesthetics instead. Her results show a slimmer midsection with significantly tighter skin and improvement in the appearance of her stretch marks.
This patient had a tummy tuck and was unhappy with her results. The large scar from hip to hip and ‘dog ear’ pooches are typical of a tummy tuck and do not compliment her flat tummy at all. Her midsection including her hips, lower back, arms, and flanks were treated with one ThermaLipo procedure in order to correct and balance her overall body. If you look closely you can see tiny dots which are the incision points of a ThermaLipo procedure.
This patient had a tummy tuck and around the world surgery elsewhere that was unusually high in the midsection and left her with large, pigmented scars that was difficult to conceal with today’s clothing styles. She had ThermaLipo to reshape and contour the rest of her body which was not addressed by her previous surgeries.
This patient had a tummy tuck procedure but needed ThermaLipo in order to flatten out the ‘dog ear’ pooches typically leftover from the tummy tuck procedure as well as ThermaLipo to contour the rest of her body. After liposuction, her ‘dog ears’ have become less prominent and her lower back area is more balanced.
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