Brent Moelleken, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices in Beverly Hills, Calif, has introduced the Hybrid Tummy Tuck™, an abdominoplasty technique that gets rid of the pregnancy “pooch” and gives new mothers their old “pre-baby” figures.

“The Hybrid Tummy Tuck is a short-incision tummy tuck especially designed for fit moms who don’t have a lot of loose skin,” Moelleken says. “The Hybrid Tummy Tuck tightens the entire deep layer [fascia] through an incision about the size of a C-section incision.”

When women have children, the lining of the abdominal muscles—the fascia—can rip and the abdomen can develop a bulge—a type of hernia. The patient can then feel a layer of fat on the lower abdomen. According to Moelleken, the post-baby “pot belly” that does not go away is the result of the fascia tearing during pregnancy. No amount of crunches or sit-ups can correct this, he says. Liposuction removes excess fat, but cannot tighten the fascia or remove sagging skin. Therefore, tightening the fascia via an abdominoplasty is necessary.

During surgery, Moelleken makes an incision either through an already-existing

C-section scar, which he revises, or creates a new small incision in the pubic area of the abdomen. Moelleken then tightens the complete fascia using a small incision to work through without having to create a new belly button, as in traditional tummy tucks.

Moelleken adds that liposuction or simultaneous breast-augmentation procedures are performed more safely with the Hybrid Tummy Tuck.

Moelleken notes that the recovery time with the Hybrid Tummy Tuck is about 7 to 10 days, as opposed to 14 days with traditional abdominoplasty.

“Women are encouraged not to lift their new babies for 2 weeks,” he says. “Most patients are driving within 1 week and walking long distances by 2 weeks.”

Good candidates for the Hybrid Tummy Tuck are fit patients who have gained 35 pounds or less during their pregnancies.

The Hybrid Tummy Tuck costs about $15,000, which includes OR and anesthesia fees.

A patient before and after undergoing a Hybrid Tummy Tuck with breast augmentation.


According to Moelleken, many different types of abdominoplasty techniques are available to patients. The type of technique that is performed depends on what the patient is trying to achieve.

  • Full abdominoplasty with body lift requires a hip-to-hip incision with full fascial tightening and additional incisions around the back. This is performed on women who have had a large weight gain during pregnancy and have a large amount of sagging skin in the front and on the sides.
  • Full abdominoplasty requires a hip-to-hip incision and full fascial tightening. This is the most commonly performed technique, and it is for women who have hanging skin in the front of their abdominal area.
  • Hybrid abdominoplasty requires a C-section-type scar and full fascial tightening. This is performed on women who have a bulge in their abdominal area due to childbirth, but no hanging skin.
  • Mini tucks require a C-section-type scar and lower abdominal tightening. This is performed on women who have extra skin below their belly button.

Moelleken notes that abdominoplasty procedures are not recommended for women who plan to have more children. For them, the procedure may be performed only to remove excess, sagging skin. In that case, the fascia is not tightened because it may need to be redone in the future.

“It is always best to be healthy and exercise, before and after surgery, for all patients,” Moelleken says. “No surgery is an excuse to gain weight or stop exercising.”

In the June 2008 issue of PSP, in the article “PSP Roundtable” the biographical information on Mark G. Rubin, MD, and Ira Papel, MD, FACS, was accidentally reversed. The online version of the article, available at, displays the correct biographies. PSP’s editors regret the error.