Tummy tuck is a surgical procedure to tighten the abdomen muscles. Abdominoplasty procedure helps to tight the muscles that have loosened due to age, weight fluctuations, childbirths and pregnancies. Tummy tuck procedure is good for anyone on who is in a good health and who feels that their abdomen is large or ill shaped. Sometimes people only need to correct the hanging or saggy pannus or lower abdomen. For that, a mini or partial abdominoplasty will suffice and it will make lower abdomen tightened. Tummy tuck will involve a preoperative medical examination so that our plastic surgeons will be able to determine what kind of surgery would suit you the best.
An abdominoplasty procedure is safe and our plastic surgeons will try their best to make your abdomen firm as it was. It is not necessarily a surgical procedure to reduce some amount of weight, but it only makes your abdomen firm. Our surgeons may remove some unwanted fat deposits to give you the desirable shape. After the tummy tuck at Spectrum Aesthetics Miami, your abdomen will not only be firm, but it will also be well shaped, well contoured and much flatter than it was. You can have the best tummy tuck surgery with the help of our skilled and reputed surgeons in Miami.
Tummy Tuck patient review – Spectrum Aesthetics, Miami
What is an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck?
The name of this plastic surgery procedure is “tummy tuck”. It aims to give a taut, trim abdomen. Plastic surgeons perform this surgery under a general anesthetic and usually as an inpatient procedure. Our doctors can modify the tummy tuck surgery to suit your exact requirements. Some people only have an excess of skin and fat in the lower abdomen and therefore don’t require the muscle tightening in those with abdominal muscle laxity. This is sometimes called a mini-abdominoplasty. Mini-Tummy Tuck results in a shorter scar and a quicker recovery. Our doctors will discuss with you the procedure of Tummy Tuck that will give you the best results.
Candidates for Tummy Tuck
Patients who are considering tummy tuck will meet with our surgeon prior to the operation to determine whether the procedure is right for them. The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is someone close to their ideal weight who has loose or sagging abdominal wall skin. This is frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the abdominal wall muscles (divarication). Our plastic surgeons can correct widening of the abdominal muscles with minimal skin excision if lax skin is not a problem (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies or prior to surgery).
Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck is a good option for you if you are:
- Physically healthy and at a stable weight
- Realistic expectations
- Bothered by the feeling that your tummy is too large
We provide our patients with an opportunity to look through before and after photos of actual tummy tuck patients. We urge our visitors to view our interactive before and after gallery while visiting our website. If you have any questions about abdominoplasty please send us your questions or call our office directly.
What tummy tuck procedure wont do:
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of an abdominoplasty surgery are technically permanent. The positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
Also, an abdominoplasty surgery cannot correct stretch marks. Although our doctors can remove or somewhat improve if the scars are on the areas of excess skin, generally those treated areas below the belly button.
After Abdominoplasty Surgery at Spectrum Aesthetics, Miami
Just after a full abdominoplasty, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending toward the flanks or beyond, as well as a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly a shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline. For abdominoplasty in Miami Our surgeons will discuss your incision lines with you and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles.
After a mini abdominoplasty you will have neither a scar around the umbilicus nor any possibility of a vertical scar. The horizontal scar above the pubic hairline will be shorter than the scar after a full abdominoplasty. Redness, thickness, and some widening of these scars to a variable extent will occur once you return to normal activities. Incisions placed in high-tension areas (i.e. abdomen, shoulders, knees) tend to create slightly wider scars. This can be minimized by taping the wound for three months.
Healing from Tummy Tuck
During the first few days after surgery, you will experience swelling. This should settle down after a few days and resolve completely within 2 to 6 months. Within a couple of weeks after your surgery you will be able to start noticing your new sleeker look!
Most people can return to work within 1 to 2 weeks. You need to remember that this is a major surgery and you will need to take it easy. For example, exercise is generally not permitted for at least 6 weeks.
Tummy Tuck Miami cost is $3000 with our board certified plastic surgeon in Miami, Florida. This affordable tummy tuck promotional offer at our clinic in Miami, Florida includes physician cost, surgery room cost, anesthesia, anesthesiologist, labs, and 1 year of follow up visits.
One of our esteemed tummy tuck patient has this to say:
Taking the decision to share your plastic surgery story is a personal one.
In 2017 I finally decided that I wanted to go ahead and proceed with having a tummy tuck, after many years of going back and forth on the idea. I have never been model material, but I always maintained a healthy body weight and was comfortable in my own skin, up until I got pregnant. I was 21 when I got pregnant with my first born and was amazed at the way my body changed and grew to become a home to my little baby, but it was also hard to wrap my mind around the fact that my body may never look the same again, and let’s be honest, for most 21 year old’s this is a big deal. I tried to remind myself that my body was doing an amazing task of providing a life source for my precious baby and that once he arrived safe and sound that I would be able to put myself back together again. If only I knew how wrong that thought process was going to be. After my son was born, my body did not instantly snap back to its pre-baby physique, and on top of that, when my son was only 7 months old, I found out I was already 4 weeks pregnant with my second child. I ended up having 3 children in a matter of 4 years and boy did it take a toll on my body. Yes, I lost majority of my baby weight, but I did not get back to the same size I was pre-kids, and I had to realize that I needed to learn to love and accept this new body that I was now walking around in.
I’m not going to lie; this was not an easy task and I was never 100% comfortable with my body after having kids. Yes I realized that my body had performed an amazing, special, and beautiful miracle, but it had also taken a toll and left me with separated stomach muscles that didn’t want to go back together, stretch marks, loose skin, and that extra pooch of fat in the lower stomach that just didn’t want to go away. Due to the large separation in my abdominal muscles and the extra fat and skin in my lower abdomen if I was going to go through with this, I was going to need a full abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.
This was not a decision that I came to lightly as any type of surgery can be dangerous and have its risks, but I told myself that if I did my due diligence and research that I would be able to reduce the anxiety and stress that could accompany such a decision by making sure I was choosing the right Plastic Surgeon who was not only qualified and had the experience but also who truly had the best interests of their patients in mind anytime they were performing a procedure.
For anyone who lives here in Miami, you know that the above can be easier said then done given the vast number of plastic surgery centers that seem to pop up regularly around here. Many of these centers have enticing offers with lower costs or easier financing terms, however, with them comes greater risks. Although I can’t speak to all these facilities personally, it is their common practice to offer such discounts and offers due to the inexperience of their staff or because their staff may not actually be qualified for the job they are performing. For me, since I would be putting my life in the hands of the surgeon who was performing my abdominoplasty, I was going to be sure that not only were they qualified and experienced, but that I as an individual and patient mattered to them.
When I first moved to Miami in 2013, I had really started to put more thought into finally getting my tummy tuck, but I was overwhelmed with the abundance of information and various options that it was overwhelming and hard to know where to start. So, I started to do my research and looked into the most notable facilities here in South Florida and made of list of the top 3 companies and surgeons that I would be willing to go to a consultation with and see what they had to say. I based my top 3 options based on not only the facility’s reputation but also the surgeon who performed the procedure. Another benefit I had to help me in assisting with my decision that was 4 years in the making, was social media. I made sure that my search focused on double board-certified surgeon who specialized in the “mommy makeover” type surgeries and had a very extensive portfolio that I could look through to see their work and what to expect in terms of scars. Of course, I also looked at various online reviews of not only the doctor but the facility they worked out of as well.
As important as it was for me to have an amazing doctor to perform my tummy tuck, I also wanted to ensure that the facility where I would be having the procedure was a quality and reputable location. Not only was it important that the Doctor was qualified, but I also wanted to ensure that the other staff assisting and taking care of me post-op were also qualified and caring. I needed to know that once my surgery was over that my care wouldn’t end there, but rather continue all throughout my recovery and healing stages as well. Another key role in my selection of who would perform my surgery was also the anesthesiologist. It is often overlooked but they play a huge role in your surgery, so I also wanted to ensure that the Doctor I went with had a strong working partnership with their anesthesiologist and that they regularly worked with. So, after about a year of doing research and going back and forth on whether I really wanted to commit to having this surgery I decided it was time to reach out to my top 3 choices and set up consultations.
Setting up the consultation appointments was easy enough, so I felt that this was a good sign in my decision to move forward. I would later find out why the consultation appointments were so simple to set up at some of these locations. I went for my first consultation and was so excited to be taking this first step in my journey to feel myself again, however, that feeling did not last long once I was inside the first stop on my consultation rounds. I was greeted by a woman at the front desk who looked like she really wanted to be anywhere but at work and asked me what she could help me with. When I told her that I had a consultation appointment with the doctor she let out a long sigh and told me to go and sit to the left with the others waiting as the doctor was running behind with his appointments. Although I was less than impressed by her greeting, I decided that I wasn’t going to let it dull my excitement of finally being able to have a consultation. I was also a little disappointed that the Doctor was running behind, but I figured, realistically, when have I ever gone to see any Doctor for an appointment, and they were actually ready to see me right at the time of my appointment. So, I took a seat and pulled out my phone to try and beat a few levels of Candy Crush. Next thing I knew an hour had passed and I still hadn’t been called to see the Doctor for my consultation. I decided to go check in again with the woman at the front and find out if there was any update. Her response was that the Doctor was busy with multiple cases today and that they will call me when they can see me. Obviously, this was not starting out as I had hoped and anticipated my first consultation would go. I went and sat back down. I told myself that if the Doctor didn’t come out in the next 30 minutes I would not waste anymore of my time. Not only was there no consideration for the time I was spending waiting, it was concerning to me how little the staff seemed to care about those who were there waiting, and that I was more of an inconvenience than anything else. I waited the 30 minutes and I still hadn’t been called to see the Doctor, so I collected my personal items and left. This was not the type of service I had expected and for obvious reasons, it didn’t leave me feeling like this could be a facility and staff that I could trust with such a major procedure.
3 days later I went for my second consultation. I was greeted by friendly staff whom were all very helpful and I only had to wait for 35 minutes to be seen by the Doctor. I was taken back into a consultation room and given a paper gown to change into. One of the only complaints about this process was that the consultation room was so cold, and the paper gown didn’t do much for keeping me warm. It was about 20 minutes and the Doctor came in. He asked me why I was there and what I was looking to have done. I told him about my pregnancies and the issues I had struggled with since having kids and that I was wanting to have a tummy tuck. He asked me the standard questions about my medical history and my family medical history, and then proceeded to tell me that since I was already going under the knife that I should consider doing some other procedures at the same time. This was where it seemed to change from a consultation to a sales pitch. The doctor started pushing for me to not only have a tummy tuck, but to also have a breast lift with implants, and liposuction. I am not a person to rush into these decisions, so it was all very overwhelming when the doctor started pushing for me to do additional procedures. I left that consultation with the feeling that this would likely not be the facility and surgeon for me. I felt that even though the staff and the Doctor themselves were nice, I didn’t like that I felt a lot of pressure to do other procedures than what I had initially gone in for, and to be honest the cost was a lot more than I had anticipated and budgeted for. By no means am I saying that anyone should only consider the cheapest plans or procedures, but I had a limit of what I could pay which I knew to be realistic based on the research I had done. This particular facility and Doctor had a lot of additional fees that would be added on top of the base price, which increased the total cost beyond what I was comfortable to pay.
Not going to lie, after having two consultations, with neither one of them going how I had planned in my head I was feeling disheartened and doubting my decision to have a tummy tuck. I decided that I had come this far and done all the research, so I wasn’t going to give up yet. I was going to go to my last consultation, and if it didn’t go well then, I would go back to the drawing board and start again.
I headed to my third and final location for my consultation and without any knowledge on my part I had saved the best for last. When I walked into Spectrum Aesthetics, I was greeted by their front office staff and checked in for my consultation. I was again informed that the Doctor was finishing up a surgery so he was running a little behind but that he should be able to meet with me shorty. After my previous consultations you can imagine that my anxiety had started to set in thinking that I’d have a repeat of my first disastrous consult. Thankfully this was not the case. After about 15 minutes I was taken back to one of the consultation rooms and was given a paper gown to change into. After about another 15 minutes there was a knock on the door and Dr. Ortega along with his medical assistant came in. Both of them greeted me with a smile and asked how I was doing. In reality, it made me feel more relaxed and comfortable to have his medical assistant in the room. I didn’t think that it would given the fact that another person would be seeing my “problem areas” and in my head passing judgement on my inability to get a flat stomach, but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Both Dr. Ortega and his medical assistant made small talk with me and while getting my medical history they also tried to get to know me a little as well. It was comforting to have another female in the room for such a vulnerable moment.
Dr. Ortega took his time to talk to me and understand what it was I was hoping to see as my results after the procedure and what my expectations were so that he could best understand them. He explained to me that I would need a full abdominoplasty, meaning my incision would stretch from hip to hip, in order to achieve my desired results. A full abdominoplasty is not necessary in all cases, but for mine it was. He also explained to me what the recovery would be like and what the steps in the recovery process would be. It was clear that he wanted me to have a solid understanding of the procedure I was interested in and what it would look like from start to finish. One of my biggest fears was the scar that would be left behind. The scar is similar to that of a c-section and is placed low on the tummy, except mine would be twice the size given the fact that my tummy tuck would be hip to hip. Dr. Ortega was great at easing my concerns and even worked with me to customize the exact location for where my incision would be so that once healed it would be covered by underwear or bathing suit bottom once healed. He suggested that a week or so before I had my procedure to lay in the sun with a bathing suit that I would want to wear after my surgery so that I would have a tan line for him to work from. I definitely took that advice since not only did I want my scar to be in a location where it could be concealed, but also because I knew that it would be sometime post-surgery before I would be able to lay out in the sun and relax again. Dr. Ortega was also able to recommend some care tips for the incision post-op and that he would check it regularly on my post-op appointments to ensure that it was healing properly. After spending quite some time with Dr. Ortega I was feeling more and more confident about electing him as the surgeon to perform my surgery. I walked away from my consultation feeling confident with his experience and with my worries and concerns put to ease. I decided that day to go ahead and book my procedure, which is when one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself began. I made my deposit and tentatively booked my surgery date. I say tentatively because there were still a few more steps that had to be completed before it would be time for my surgery.
About 45 days prior to my surgery I started receiving the necessary forms and documentation that would be required to be completed prior to my surgery date. The forms came without issue to my email and with clear instructions of what needed to be completed. I reviewed the forms and made the necessary appointment with my primary physician to complete my physical and medical clearance for the surgery. Once this was completed, I was able to make another appointment with Spectrum Aesthetics to complete the cardiogram and blood work that were required as part of the clearance as well. The medical assistant who performed the tests and drew the blood did a great job and I didn’t even bruise (which is not common when I have blood drawn). I waited about 48 hours and then received an email informing me that all my tests had come back clean and that I was cleared for surgery. This is when I started to get really excited, because until I received the all clear, there was still that sliver of doubt in my mind that something may happen and one of my tests could come back abnormal. Receiving my all clear was so exciting.
Then finally came the day for my pre-op appointment. I was full of excitement and ready to check off another task on my to do list leading up to my tummy tuck. One thing that was a little frustrating was that the day of my pre-op there were a lot of other patients waiting to be seen and so there was a much longer wait then I had anticipated. If I were to give anyone else who decides to have their surgery with Spectrum Aesthetics it would be to be patient and be prepared to wait on the day of your pre-op appointment. They did their best to keep me updated on the wait time, and were apologetic for the long delay, but the reality is that the Doctors are busy, and they try to give each patient they meet with the necessary time and care each case needs. I would have been less inclined to move forward with Dr. Ortega if I had felt that he was just rushing through my consultation and appointments so that he could just move on to the next case and be done with his line of waiting patients.
When I was finally called back to begin my pre-op appointment, it was the same medical assistant that I met with at my first appointment, and she took me into a private room and gave me another lovely paper gown to change into. A few moments later, she came back and started with the process of taking my pre-op pictures so that I would be able to see the difference once my procedure was done and healing had begun. For some this could be a very awkward and uncomfortable moment being photographed in nothing but your underwear, but the staff again did their best to make me as comfortable as possible during the process. Once I finished with my photographs, she went through all my paperwork with me, my list of current medications, and then everything I wanted to talk about.
Some of my main questions that I wanted to address were:
When would follow up appointments take place after surgery and what would they entail?
She informed me that I would have an appointment 2 days after surgery with Dr. Ortega to check for any signs of complications and make sure everything looked good. Then 1 week after the surgery I would return to the office for another follow up appointment. After two weeks from the surgery date, I would return to the office again for a check up and so long as healing was progressing and there were no infections or complications, I would get to have my drains removed. Then 3 weeks after surgery I’ll meet with the medical assistant again to go over scar treatment and check on my healing progress. After this, there would be follow up appointments at 6 weeks, and 3 months. Keep in mind that I live in the same city as the facility where I was having my procedure, so this is what my appointment schedule would look like, however, if someone is coming from out of town this may look completely different.
How long will I have to wait after my surgery before I’m allowed to shower?
Dr. Ortega would give me the clearance, but it is typically after I have my first post-surgery check in.
What type of activity restrictions will I have post-surgery?
I was told that it’s expected I could be up and do some slow easy walking, but not to exercise, just to move around the house a little. Around the 3-to 4-week mark, I should be able to start some light cardio and that by 6 weeks I should be completely cleared for normal activity, just no heavy lifting or extraneous exercise.
What should I wear the day of surgery?
Yoga pants or sweatpantsthat fit very loose, with abutton up or zip up top (nothing that goes over your head) or a button front nightgown. She let me know I would wake up from surgery in my compression garment with these clothes back on over it.
She also went over all my pre-op instructions to make sure I was ready for the day of my surgery.
The main things I needed to do were
- Stop taking aspirin or ibuprofen2 weeks before surgery, and only use Tylenol if needed.
- Wash with an antibacterial soap(such as Dial) for one week prior to surgery to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin as much as possible.
- Take Arnica tablets(a homeopathic medicine) for one week prior to surgery to help minimize post-operative swelling, pain and bruising.
- No drinking alcoholfor one week prior to surgery.
- Fill all my prescriptions(antibiotics, anti-nausea, and pain killers) and get my house ready (cleaned, fridge stocked, supplies, etc).
After we went through all the paperwork, my questions, and her instructions, she left the room to bring in Dr. Ortega for the final exam. After going through any other questions, I wanted to ask him, he did an exam and talked about his exact approach with the procedure and the results I should expect. He marked me on my body where I should expect the incision to be and how things will look after surgery. His mannerisms, professionalism, and caring personality made me so sure in my decision to go with Dr. Ortega. He was very patient, thorough, and put me at ease about the surgery. Once I finished with Dr. Ortega, I asked to see the room where the surgery will be performed, since it’s done onsite at the doctor’s surgical center rather than in a hospital. The surgical room was very nice, clean, and I was also shown the recovery area where I would be waking up from anesthesia.
After seeing the operating and recovery room I went back out to the front full of excitement knowing that the next time I was there would be the afternoon of my surgery.
Fast forward a few days and it was surgery day. I was full of nervousness but also excitement since the long-awaited day had finally arrived. I made sure to complete my pre-op check list so that I wouldn’t have any unforeseen consequences that may prevent me from being able to have my surgery. Once I arrived, they asked me to complete a urinalysis and put me in a room to again get dressed in one of those paper robes and compression socks. They also gave me some blankets to put on to keep me warm as the air conditioner was on high. After a bit the anesthesiologist came in to meet with me and ask his questions and answer any questions that I may have had. Following him Dr. Ortega came in with the same medical assistant from my previous appointments and they started marking me up for the surgery. Once all the markings were complete, the medical assistant went ahead and got me hooked up to my IV and, they asked me if I had any questions or concerns that I wanted to ask before we headed to the operating room. Once I had asked all my questions and the operating room was ready it was time to head in for my surgery. Dr. Ortega and his staff walked with me down to the operating room and I climbed up on the table. The anesthesiologist I had met from my earlier appointment was there and he was walking me through the process of him administering the anesthesia and what I would feel. He was great at helping ease my nerves and talked to me the whole time while they were getting me ready on the table. He told me that I would feel a warmth in my arm after he administered the anesthesia and possibly a sour taste in my mouth. As he spoke to me, I could feel the warmth climb up my arm and then felt a strange sensation in the back of my throat and then I was out. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up in recovery.
Waking up from the surgery was groggy and I just felt like I wanted to keep sleeping. I remember feeling cold but was completely dressed in the clothes I had brought with me for after my surgery and the binder that the Doctor and staff had put on. I honestly wasn’t in a lot of pain until it was time for me to get into the wheelchair and head to the car. That initial movement of trying to slightly sit up and put my feet over the side of the bed sent waves of pain shooting through my body and then they faded away. The slightest of movements would make my groggy brain painfully aware that my body had been through a major surgery and that I needed to take it easy. I remember falling back asleep once I was able to sit in the wheelchair and woke up again once I had been wheeled to the car where the nurse and my husband worked to get me into the car. Again, this was accompanied by shockwaves of pain, but once I was comfortably situated and no longer need to move the pain subsided and I fell asleep again. Next thing I remembered was waking up in front of my house with my husband helping me inside. I made it into the house and headed to my room where my recliner chair had been relocated from the living room as that was where I would be spending my first few days of recovery. Once I was settled in and had the alarms set for my medications, I drifted off to sleep yet again. I remember that later that night Dr. Ortega had called my husband to check up on me and give him some final reminders for helping take care of me. The first night was really a blur and I was in and out of it but I would remember my alarm going off and my husband getting up to help me take my medications, help me get up to use the bathroom, and then I would fall back asleep. By the second day I was definitely feeling more aware of my surroundings and my pain, but it was definitely manageable with the pain medication I had been prescribed. It was interesting trying to move around since I was still very sore and bruised and could not stand fully upright. I knew that I would have to walk around hunched over for a while since my skin would need time to stretch and my body to heal, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to move around. I had my husband take me to my first follow up appointment where Dr. Ortega check my incision and drains and the amount of fluids, I was draining to make sure that everything was looking good and that I didn’t have any infection. The nurse was there to look me over with the Doctor and after he had checked my incision, swelling, and bruising she proceeded to change my dressings and put my binder back on. She also went over with my husband how to change the dressings around my drains and my incision and how to properly tighten the binder, so that when I showered at home, he would be able to help me put the clean dressings and binder back on. After I finished my appointment I went back home and settled back into my recliner. The next few days were very uneventful, and I spent majority of time in my recliner napping or reading and then getting up every couple of hours to walk around a short time to get myself moving. I would say that the first 4 days were the most painful, but by the fifth day I was able to reduce my dosage of the pain medication and only take it when I really needed it. I was able to return to work after a full week from my surgery since I work in an office setting and would be very sedentary at my desk, and there was no lifting involved with my role. When I returned to work a week after my surgery, I still had to take it easy and wasn’t able to move very fast as I was still healing, and my drains were still in place. I just made sure to get up from my desk every once and awhile and do a short walk in the hallway, and I wore a lot of loose dresses that wouldn’t irritate me incision or where the drains were placed. On week two of recovery I went back to see Dr. Ortega and my healing was progressing well with no infection and minimal swelling. My fluid output from the drains had drastically reduced and I was given the all clear to have them removed. To remove my drains, they had me lay down on the bed so that they could remove the binder and the stiches that were holding the drains in place. The Doctor then told me to take a deep breath and that when he let me know to breath out slowly. With Dr. Ortega on one side and the nurse on the other side I took a deep breath in and waited for the signal to breath out. Once they told me to breath out both Dr. Ortega and the nurse slowly started to pull the drains out. Although it wasn’t extremely painful it was definitely uncomfortable and a very strange feeling. It felt as if there was a snake wrapped through my abdomen and that as they pulled out the drains it was making its way out of my body. Once the drains were removed, the nurse cleaned the area where the drains were inserted and then dressed the area with clean gauze and antibacterial cream. Since the drains had now been removed, I was able to put on a full faja that went from my knees to my chest. The faja was made with a stronger material that had less stretch, so it was able to compress the abdomen better. The nurse also gave me a foam insert that I could wear under the faja that would help with shaping my waist better. Another suggestion that was given to me by Dr. Ortega was to tape a marble over my belly button to help with keeping the newly created belly button pushed in during the healing process. The constant pressure was also supposed to help with the healing of the scar and help it to lighten in color once it healed. It was one of the strangest things I had heard, but it definitely worked. Once my faja was in place and I was dressed I was on my way home. It felt so great to finally be free of the drains. Not because they were painful or anything, but more due to the fact that they were just an inconvenience and always in the way. Also, the faja with the compression helped my abdomen to feel more secure and less painful when I was moving around, which I wasn’t able to wear while I still had the drains in.
Week 3 and 4 were full of more healing and slowly starting to feel more like myself again. I went back for another post-op appointment at 6 weeks and spoke to Dr. Ortega about how to care for my scar to help with the healing process and he told me about a silicone scar cream that I could purchase and regularly apply to my incision. I made sure that I was regularly applying to scar cream in an effort to reduce the visibility of my scar as much as possible. By this time, I was still a little swollen, but aside from that I was feeling good and was allowed to start exercising again. By two months’ time my incision had completely closed, and now my scar is soft and smooth. It has lightened in color quite a bit, but even if this is as light as it will get, it is so low on my body that the only person who will ever see it is my husband, or maybe a friend or family member that I feel comfortable sharing that with.
At the end of everything, I looked back and asked, was it worth it? The answer is 100% yes. Sometimes in the beginning I would look in the mirror and think that I was still big and didn’t see much change, but then I look back on me before pictures and remind myself of how far I’ve come. It wasn’t until after my surgery, and the healing that I started to feel like my pre-baby self, and I had forgotten what that felt like. My intention was not to make myself into a bikini model or set up unattainable expectations, but rather to be happy and comfortable in my own skin, which I hadn’t felt in a very long time. There were times during my recovery when I would ask myself if I had made the right choice, or if I had put myself through all this pain and discomfort for the wrong reasons. Yet every time I asked myself that question I would look back at the before pictures and that was sufficient to remind me that yes, I had done the right thing and that it was worth it.
I understand that when someone hears the phrase “tummy tuck” it can sound really scary; I mean it took me 5 years to finally take that step to move forward and commit to making the decision to do this for myself. Yes, I was nervous and scared about making such a big decision, but the results are permanent and has had nothing but positive impacts on my life since the day I had my surgery. I didn’t realize how much my body had changed since my pregnancies, and how much I struggled with my post baby body until I saw the end results from my surgery. I wore a bikini that summer after my surgery for the first time in 9 years. That was a huge accomplishment for me, and I was so proud to be able to be on a public beach in a bikini and feel so confident and comfortable in my skin and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision. In fact, I was so happy with my results and the care of Dr. Ortega and the Spectrum Aesthetics staff that I am going back for another consultation to do a breast lift. I had thought about doing it at the same time as my tummy tuck, but I was so anxious about having such a major surgery that I didn’t want to put my body through too much at one time. I can’t wait to meet with Dr. Ortega again and look forward to what my results will be once I have undergone the procedure.
Pregnancy and kids take a big toll on your body for sure, but I am a big supporter of the thought process that “you do you”, and as a mom I realize how important it is that we take the time to care for ourselves. If we are not taking care of ourselves, how can we best care for our family.