Author Archives: Tammy Wu

About Tammy Wu

Dr. Tzuying Tammy Wu, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Modesto, CA and co-founder of Surgical Artistry. She graduated top of her medical school class at Brown University. She received her plastic surgery training with Dr. Elvin Zook at Southern Illinois University. She and her husband, Dr. Calvin Lee created Surgical Artistry in 2006 in Modesto, CA. Her specialty includes Breast Augmentation, Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Facelift, and several other cosmetic surgeries. Before 2006, she worked with Sutter Gould-Memorial in Modesto, a large multispecialty group, as their sole Plastic Surgeon in Modesto. She also works as a board of director member for the Cooperative of American Physicians in Los Angeles, CA. She regularly runs marathons and half marathons. She is the title sponsor of the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon. There are about 16 other doctors in her family - brothers, parents, uncles, aunts, in-laws, and cousins. Disclaimer: Please see your physician in person for specific medical advice, this webpage is intended for information, not advice directed towards you.

Tattoos and Tummy Tucks

The Abdomen as a Tattoo Artist’s Canvas

People have large tattoos over their abdomen.  Some have it just for the looks, others use it for a combination of looks and for the purpose of covering up some scars or stretch marks.  Both scars and stretch marks are common after child birth for women.  For men, it might be due to trauma.  However because of the location of the tummy tuck incisions that need to be made and the foot-ball shaped skin/adipose tissue removal, the tattoo will be partially removed, and misaligned etc.  In the end, the tattoo will be altered at the belly button and at the lower incision that goes from side to side (horizontal).  For some abdominoplasties (tummy tuck surgeries) a vertical incision is needed and thus adds another component to an altered tattoo.

Consider redoing the Tattoo after the Tummy Tuck surgery

We think that after the Tummy Tuck surgery, perhaps one can choose to touch up the abdominal tattoo and make it into a new piece of art.

Talk to your surgeon and have them mark out the areas of removal, and the areas of reconnection on your Tattoo.  Perhaps most of your tattoo (and stretch marks) can be removed with the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  In general we prefer that patients did not get a tattoo on their abdominal wall before having abdominal cosmetic surgery.  However, if a tattoo is present, we feel bad about having to alter the tattoo, but we will do our best to discuss options with you regarding preservation of sections of the tattoo and part of the discussion will involve necessary sacrifices in order to obtain optimal contouring with a tummy tuck.

How long is the Tummy Tuck incision?

Length of the Tummy Tuck Incision

The length of the tummy tuck incision varies depending on the amount of tissue needed to be removed.  The greater the amount of tissue removed, the longer the scar.  The incision discussed here is the horizontal incision that is located very low on the bottom of the abdomen.

Short incision are usually found in the mini tummy tuck where the belly button is left alone, and thus the area of removal is relatively lesser than a full tummy tuck.  In the mini tummy tuck the “shorter” incision is probably within the hip bones.  This could probably be less than 12 inches.

Longer incisions are found in the full tummy tuck.  The longer incision accommodates a wider elliptical shape of the tissue removed (skin and the underlying adipose tissue, adipose = fat).  This could be from one side to the other side.  Sometimes the surgeons say it’s from one side of the table to the other side of the table.

And in some cases the incision can go all the way around the body, but this gets into a discussion of belt lipectomy which is a different operation.  So in general if you’re looking for a tummy tuck, this all around incision isn’t what’s in store.

Of course, this discussion about abdominoplasty incision length is a personal one which depends on your surgeon’s preferences as well.  So this discussion is best done personally one-on-one with your plastic surgeon.  If you’re in Modesto or close to us in Modesto, CA – we hope you’ll have a chance to visit us for a Tummy Tuck consultation.

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888

Tummy Tuck Skin Incisions

Location of Tummy Tuck Skin Incisions

Incision for the removal of skin and adipose tissue

There are actual a few choices for the incisions.

If there are existing incisions, your plastic surgeon may consider either excising the old incision or going through the old incision.  Existing incisions would be possibly from a cesarean section.

Most Tummy Tuck incisions go from left to right.  Some are shorter than other incisions.  But for most patients our incisions go from one side to the other and we try to hide them near or below underwear/bikini lines whenever possible

Dog ears at the ends of Tummy Tuck incisions?

At the sides of the incision, some challenges exist such as bump that can form.  Sometimes we call these dog ears.  They are usually managed at the initial operation by some further excision, but sometimes a stage procedure is needed to remove these at a later date and sometimes these “dog ears” disappear on their own.

All around incision? – like a belt

For some other patients, a tummy tuck is done in the front and then the same type of procedure is done on the back side, and this results in something known as a belt-lipectomy.  We’ll talk about this procedure in another page.  Belt-lipectomy, like it sounds, is a all around procedure, like a belt that goes around the body.

Vertical Incision?

There may be some patients who need a skin incision vertically – up and down, this is possibly needed for someone with extremely loose skin.  For some patients it goes the full length of the abdomen and for some it is only from the belly button down.

This is rare in our practice as we try to keep this type of incision to a minimum.

Belly button incision – an outline of the belly button.

Because of the amount of skin and adipose tissue which we pull down, the belly button needs to be re-arranged a bit.  The stalk of the belly button stays in place but the skin surface – a new “button hole” needs to be made, and we try to keep this on the narrow side.  Thus when we’re done, there is a separate incision which outlines the belly button

The decision making process of incision placement in Tummy Tuck surgery is complex.

There is a lot more that goes into the decision making process of placement of incisions, but this page was designed to give you a brief introduction and overview of the incisions used for Tummy Tuck surgeries.  At your consultation with your surgeon, much of this will be discussed.


Modesto Hospitals where we perform Tummy Tuck Surgeries

a doctors medical center modesto front entrance with flag IMG_9605

Modesto Area Hospitals for our Tummy Tuck Surgeries

We perform our Tummy Tuck surgeries at hospitals.  And most of them are outpatient procedures – meaning that patients go home the same day.

These costs for the facility (hospital) fee and the anesthesia fees are passed through to our patients without any markups from us.  In fact the patients usually pay the facility and the anesthesiologists directly.  The patients choose their facilities and there are different prices set by these facilities.  Our surgeons fees however, remain the same regardless of location.  For more information about the cost of Tummy Tuck surgeries, please follow the link.

If a patient requests to stay overnight, arrangements can be made at the hospitals.  Stanislaus Surgical Hospital has been the choice of most of our patients who choose to stay overnight, and the special tummy tuck over night rate is that of a high end hotel.

Pictured above is Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto, CA.  Dr. Tammy Wu, Modesto plastic surgeon, has operative privileges at these hospitals listed above.

Dr. Tammy Wu on Google+

What is the cost of a Tummy Tuck procedure?

How much for that tummy tuck?

We are often asked why there’s a range for the prices for a Tummy Tuck.  There are many variables and we want to charge a fair price for the amount of work which is needed and every patient is different.  Full vs. Mini becomes one of the reasons for a price range differential.  Plus the duration of the surgery becomes another variable.  Thus it isn’t like buying a one-size fits all product.

We are located in Central Valley, California, specifically Modesto, CA.  Our fees for the tummy tucks which includes the Surgeons Fee, Anesthesia Fee, and Hospital Fees usually range from $6000 to $10,000 (in 2013 – please call for updated prices!).  We have occasionally seen less and have also seen more for our own patients.  Dr. Tammy Wu is a board certified plastic surgeon.  We have seen tummy tucks advertised by other specialties, we however, feel that a board certified plastic surgeon offers the best training and experience for a tummy tuck procedure.

National Average Surgeon’s Fee for Tummy Tuck

According to ASPS (Dr. Tammy Wu is a member), the national average surgeon’s fee for a tummy tuck in 2012 was $5,241.  This does not include the anesthesia or operating room fees.

The cost of a tummy tuck surgery involves these components:

  • Plastic Surgeon’s Fee
  • Hospital (facility) Costs
  • Anesthesia Costs
  • Prescription costs or medicine costs
  • Post Surgery Compressive Garments
  • Medical Tests
  • Optional Pain Pump
  • Optional stay at the hospital (inpatient instead of outpatient procedure)

There may be other fees in involved, but for the most part, the above lists covers it.

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888

Office in Modesto, California, USA

Located next to the Post office on Sylvan Ave.  Nearest cross street is Oakdale Road.

This is our old office. Located next to the Post office on Sylvan Ave. Nearest cross street is Oakdale Road. Our new office is on Dale Road (4754 Dale Road) in Modesto.

The picture of our office and Sylvan location is out of date.  We are no longer on Sylvan Ave.  We moved to 4754 Dale Road, Modesto, CA 95356.

We specialize in Tummy Tuck surgeries and we are providing this educational resource about Tummy Tucks.  Abdominoplasties is another name for Tummy Tuck.  Dr. Tammy Wu is a board certified plastic surgeon who has been practicing Plastic Surgery in Modesto, CA since 2003.  This office building has been in place since 2006.  There is ample free parking space around this structure.  Please use door #C for your entrance.  Click on the picture above for a larger view.

Currently we do our abdominoplasties at hospitals and not at an office based surgery center.  We use fully trained anesthesiologists to put you to sleep for your cosmetic abdomen surgery, and we put them in charge of keeping you comfortable and safe throughout your surgery.  And Dr. Tammy Wu and her assistants concentrate on performing your tummy tuck.

Call Us to consider Tummy Tuck: (209) 551-1888
or visit us on the web

Our address: 4754 Dale Road, Modesto, CA 95356

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888


Happy with Breast Reduction from Tammy Wu, MD

a review from C.A  in Modesto, CA on 12/30/12.

“I just had breast reduction surgery two weeks ago with Dr. Tammy Wu of Surgical Artistry in Modesto, CA. Dr. Wu and everyone that I have had any contact with at Surgical Artistry have been highly professional, encouraging and genuine in their concern for their patients. I first met with Dr. Wu about a year ago and immediately knew she was the right surgeon for my procedure. I had suffered from upper back and neck pain for years but always let the fear of surgery keep me from having the corrective procedure that would help. She eased my fears with what I found to be a highly skilled professional that took time to give me a very thorough view of expectations both of the surgical experience and the realistic outcome that would result from the procedure. She listened to me and not only relieved me of the weight causing strain but used procedures that resulted in a very improved cosmetic appearance. Her high level training and skill as a surgeon, combined with her very warm demeanor, makes her a uniquely wonderful doctor. I can’t say enough good about her and the practice at Surgical Artistry. I would recommend her to any family member or friend. Thank you Dr. Wu !!!!!!”

Angie’s List Review for Dr. Tammy Wu regarding Breast Reduction


Angie’s List wrote us email to tell us that we got this review (thank you very much – we are not members of Angie’s List, but I guess people could still write reviews on us):

“I saw Dr. Wu for a breast reduction and lift following a large weight loss. Dr. Wu was very easy to talk to and explained all the risks and benefits to me in detail. She also was not put off by the amount of online research I had done into the various procedures and techniques, in fact she seemed pleased that I had done my homework and could ask intelligent questions. When I was adamant about nipple placement, she made sure I was really aware of the look I would be receiving and was sweet enough to tell me afterward that I was right in being so persistent, as they look great , even now after 5+ years and -30 more pounds.

If I had the money to “fix” some of my other problems right now, I would go back to her in a heartbeat. She is expensive, but very much inline with what is being charged in the area for similar procedures. Dr. Wu is very busy, so if you even think you want to see her, make the appointment now, as she gets booked up to months in advance.”

Happy with Breast Reduction with Dr. Tammy Wu, response to above review

a facebook comment from JD 11/14/12 in response to the review above

While this isn’t my story (see above), my encounter was very similar. When my insurance would not pay for my reduction, I worked a lot of OT and paid cash, and I’m glad I did because I was able to choose who did my procedure. I knew I wanted the ONLY PS in the area that I hadn’t heard ANY negative feedback about – Dr. Wu. She truly is a treasure to our valley.

Spanish Review of Tummy Tuck Surgery

4-29-10 from Mrs. P

Estimada Dra. Tammy Wu & Staff

Sólo quiero decir muchas gracias por hacer de mi cirugía una experiencia tan agradable! Realmente fue mucho más fácil de lo que esperaba debido a que te transmite mucha confianza y seguridad en la calidad de su trabajo y mis resultados son aún mejores de lo que crei! Dr. Wu es realmente una doctora talentosa y muy minuciosa en el desarrollo de su procedimiento de trabajo;incluso la considero la única cirujana capaz de realizar un gran cambio excelente en tu fisico; es por eso que la recomiendo a toda mi familia y amigos hispanos . Muchas gracias por todo.

Mrs. P


English translation:

Dear Dr. Tammy Wu & Staff

I just wanted to say thank you so much for making my surgery experience so pleasant! It really was a lot easier than I was anticipating and my results are even better than expected! Dr. Wu, you are a very meticulous and talented doctor and consider you to be a very capable surgeon. You have done excellent job transforming my body. I am so pleased, that I am recommending you to my family and Hispanic friends in the community. Thank you so much for all ..

Mrs. P

Happy with Tummy Tuck and Eye Lid Surgery with Dr. Tammy Wu

a review from S. 2/27/10

I’ve visited several plastic surgeons in my life. I have to say that I am most impressed with Dr. Tammy Wu. I had two completely different plastic surgeries with her. She did my revision tummy tuck and a second staged procedure to touch up the corners of the tummy tuck. I’m now extremely proud of my body. The she also worked on my eyes (my lids were sagging) – scars are completely invisible – just perfect cosmetically! and the Latisse (lash growing drug) adds to the finishing touch. I only have the best things to say about Dr. Wu. I LOVE the compliments I get every day and I hope to send a TON of patients to Dr. Wu.

Comparisons to other plastic surgeons

Anonymous review 8/16/2007

Wonderful. I am very pleased. Knowledgeable staff. The best plastic surgeon I’ve met. I’ve had serial plastic surgery done and have had comparisons. You won’t go wrong with Dr. Tammy Wu.

Acupuncture Review of Dr. Calvin Lee

a review from SB in Modesto, CA 10/20/10

I was actually referred to Dr. Lee for a throat problem and was skeptical as I was not familiar with acupuncture.  He took the time to sit and talk with me about my problems and concerns and felt he could help me. As fate would have it, I mentioned that I had been having hip and leg pain for 5-6 weeks (probably siatica) and had been to a chiropractor 5 or 6 times without much relief.  He gave me my first treatment, which was really painless, left me to relax in a calm atmosphere for about 20 mins.  That was on a Tuesday.  The following Thursday morning, I got up and realized I barely had a twinge in the hip and leg that had been killing me for weeks.  It had to be the treatment I had just received. I returned for other treatments and have had no more hip or leg pain.  Unfortunately, the treatments may have helped some but have not really resolved the problems I am having.  His staff is very friendly. He is very easy to talk to.  Even though he is an out of service provider for us, I continue to go to him for treatments.  Highly recommend.

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888