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Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
During your initial tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Kolder at our Camarillo or Santa Barbara office, you will be able to ask any questions you may have about the surgery. He will review your physical condition and listen to your goals and expectations to decide whether or not a tummy tuck is the best procedure for you. You will discuss the procedure in detail during your consultation, including the risks, procedure steps, benefits, alternatives, and recovery.
You will also be able to see tummy tuck before and after photos so you know what kind of results you can expect. It is important to realize that the tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. This surgery works best for men and women who are already at or near a healthy weight, but who are uncomfortable with a protruding belly caused by loose skin and damaged muscles
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck will be performed under general anesthesia at our own Ambulatory Surgery Center. This body contouring surgery consists of a horizontal incision beneath your belly button to tighten excess skin and repair the underlying abdominal muscles. Dr. Kolder may recommend adding liposuction to your tummy tuck to eliminate small amounts of stubborn fat. Women who have undergone multiple pregnancies may choose to have their tummy tucks performed as part of a mommy makeover for the best, comprehensive approach to body recontouring.
Recovering from a Tummy Tuck
Once your tummy tuck is complete, you will need to take some time away from work & some other daily activities. You may feel sore for a few days, but pain medications can be used to help ease any discomfort. You should expect to spend approximately two weeks recovering from your tummy tuck surgery.
At first, your abdomen will appear bruised and swollen, and your scar will appear red and raised. However, over the next few weeks, your body will continue to heal and scarring will gradually flatten and fade. Once you are fully healed, your incision lines can be easily hidden beneath your underwear and most bathing suits. With the excess skin gone and the underlying muscles repaired, you will finally be able to enjoy the tighter, well-contoured silhouette.
Note: It is recommend you get up and carefully move around every hour for at least 5 minutes.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Good candidates for tummy tuck surgery are typically in good general health and close to their ideal body weight. If you still have weight to lose, you may be advised to wait until you are closer to your ideal weight. Losing more weight after a tummy tuck may result in additional loose skin. Women are usually advised to wait until they are finished having children before having a tummy tuck as future pregnancies can stretch out the skin and muscles.
This all depends on where your stretch marks are located. Because a tummy tuck removes a lot of the skin in the lower abdomen, any stretch marks in this area will be removed. However, this does not guarantee that you will be stretch-mark free after surgery.
Tummy tuck costs will include items such as fees for anesthesia, surgeon’s fees, use of operating room facilities and other costs. Additionally, the exact cost of your tummy tuck will vary based on the specific details of your procedure. You will receive a more accurate tummy tuck cost estimate at your consultation, once Dr. Kolder has created an individualized tummy tuck approach for your needs.
Finding the right plastic surgeon near you for your tummy tuck requires a mix of research and in-person visits to ensure the best pick on paper is also a great fit for you on a personal level. Start by verifying medical credentials like certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery online, read online reviews and view before and after tummy tuck photos to narrow your search. Once you have a shortlist of plastic surgeons near you who offer abdominoplasty, schedule a consultation with your top picks to find the best fit for you.
While the majority of people who get a tummy tuck are between the ages of 30 and 50, there is no “best” age to get this procedure. Likewise, there is no technical upper age limit to getting a tummy tuck. The most important questions to ask yourself when deciding if you could be a good candidate for a tummy tuck are:
- Are you finished having children?
- Are you within 10 to 15 pounds of your ideal weight
- Do you have time to take off work and other responsibilities to focus on tummy tuck recovery?
- Do you have realistic expectations for your results?
During your consultation, Dr. Kolder will listen to your goals, perform a physical examination and help you determine if a tummy tuck could be right for you at your current age and stage of life.
Your tummy tuck procedure itself will not be painful, as it is performed under general anesthesia. For most people, the first few days to a week after getting a tummy tuck are the most uncomfortable. Symptoms like discomfort, tenderness, swelling and bruising are usually easily managed with a proper compression garment, over-the-counter or prescription pain medication and plenty of rest. These symptoms generally begin to dissipate by the second week of your abdominoplasty recovery.
While a tummy tuck is a relatively safe procedure, all surgeries pose potential risks. Some of the possible risks associated with a tummy tuck include:
- Wound healing complications
- Complications with anesthesia
- Scar asymmetry
- Numbness or changes in skin sensations
- Blood clots
Expect your tummy tuck results to develop gradually over the weeks and months following your procedure. Generally speaking, you should have a good idea of what your final outcome will look like around three months after getting a tummy tuck. However, it can take up to six months for all swelling to completely subside and for your final results to fully develop.
A tummy tuck is strictly a cosmetic procedure and does not affect your ability to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to full term. However, pregnancy can and likely will change the results your tummy tuck provided. This is why most surgeons recommend a tummy tuck after you have your family and no longer plan on having children.
A tummy tuck procedure can provide long-lasting results. However, this depends entirely on you and your lifestyle. In order to maintain your results over time, you will need to follow a healthy diet and maintain a stable body weight. Gaining weight can again stretch out the skin and muscles of the abdomen, undoing your tummy tuck results.