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Frequently Asked Questions
About Tummy Tuck Surgery

  1. How is a Tummy Tuck performed?
  2. What can I expect during my initial consultation?
  3. Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a Tummy Tuck?
  4. How long does the Tummy Tuck procedure take?
  5. What type of anesthesia is administered during a Tummy Tuck?
  6. Will I be able to return home the same day as my Tummy Tuck?
  7. When can I return to work?
  8. Will I have significant scars following my Tummy Tuck procedure?
  9. Will I be able to have children after a Tummy Tuck?
  10. How can I tell if I am a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

1. How is a tummy tuck performed?
During a Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty, Dr. Delgado makes a horizontal incision across along the lower abdomen, staying inside within the underwear coverage area line. The underlying muscle is tightened like a corset. Excess skin is pulled down and meticulously trimmed and the incision line is sewn closed. The belly button (navel) does not change from its original location in the abdomen, but it is pulled through a tiny incision made in the newly tightened abdominal skin. Tiny sutures reaffix it to the skin surface, resulting in a flat reset as an “innie” style belly button (navel). ”.

2. What can I expect during my initial consultation?
Dr. Delgado sees patients for consultations in both his offices, with one being located in San Francisco and the other being located north of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the city of Marin County, in Marin County. He sees patients in both locations for consultations. In your initial consultation, Dr. Delgado will inquire about your concerns and goals, both short-term and long-term.

Dr. Delgado, in addition, will confirm and ensure that you are certain you will not become pregnant in the future. This is because Tummy Tucks are intended only for patients who have completed childbearing or have no intentions or ability to become pregnant in the future.

Dr. Delgado will perform a physical examination to assess the degree of your skin laxity, determine any slackness in the belly button and your abdominal wall and evaluate the appearance of the belly button (navel). He will show you an outline of where the incisions will be located and how long they would be. Dr. Delgado will have the opportunity to review then show you before and after photographs of patients that he has performed Tummy Tucks so that you have an impression of his artistic work and talent. You will be presented with a DVD that shows patient testimonials regarding the Tummy Tuck procedure. An exact price quote for your procedure will be prepared and given to you the day of your consultation for review.

3. Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a tummy tuck?
The most important preparation you need to make for a Tummy Tuck is to prepare your family (or friend caregiver) and your home for your recovery. Make it as comfortable and uneventful as possible. Initially, your family/caregiver will be required to help you initially get in and out of bed and to and from the bathroom. You will need them to prepare food for you and assist you with your medications.

If it is your habit to smoke, you need to discontinue this entirely. This needs to be stopped at least four weeks prior to surgery as smoking significantly impedes normal healing and can compromise your final results.

Dr. Delgado and his staff will explain all the elements for the blood clot prevention program, which is a pro-active educational process designed to help prevent the serious complications of blood clots and thromboembolism.

Prior to surgery, it is important to avoid all blood-thinning products that inhibit the blood’s ability to clot. These products include all non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Advil, aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, ibuprofen) and medications containing aspirin. Fish oil and certain herbal supplements need to be avoided for the same reason. Dr. Delgado will be providing a 20-page information booklet with these and other details to help you prepare for your Tummy Tuck procedure.

4. How long does a tummy tuck procedure take?
A Tummy Tuck takes approximately four to five hours. Often times, liposuction is done at the same time, which takes an additional hour or so. The Tummy Tuck also depends on if there is a waist-enhancement procedure performed, which takes more time as well. The length of time, in addition, depends on if there are additional procedures, such as breast surgery, performed, much like a Mommy Makeover. Dr. Delgado will be able to give you a fairly accurate time of the length of time for your surgery in the planning of your overall procedure.

5. What type of anesthesia is administered during a tummy tuck?
Tummy Tucks require general anesthesia. The Tummy Tuck procedure requires a general anesthetic. An LMA (or laryngeal mask airway), is a new, state-of-the-art procedure that allows the patient to breathe unassisted during the procedure. Short acting anesthesia medications are given to maintain an adequate, but light level of general anesthesia. This allows the patient to awaken very quickly at the end of the procedure. However, with a Tummy Tuck procedure, it is required that a short period of paralysis is performed, so that the abdominal muscles can be adequately tightened. This, again, is a short-acting paralysis, which quickly wears off before the procedure is concluded.

With Tummy Tuck procedures, paralysis must be induced for the brief period during which the surgeon tightens the muscle wall. Unless the muscles are in a relaxed state, this cannot be adequately accomplished. The anesthesiologist manages the patient’s breathing during this short phase. For most of the procedure, however, the patient breathes on their own.

6. Will I be able to return home the same day as my tummy tuck?
Most patients undergoing a Tummy Tuck are able to return home the day of surgery. Significant advances have been made regarding the early postop recovery with the addition of pain pumps, which gently disperse local anesthetic directly into the surgical site for three to four days following surgery. This greatly reduces the amount of discomfort during the early postoperative period. However, if other procedures are performed along with the Tummy Tuck, an overnight stay may be required for safety and pain management.

7. When can I return to work?
You will be able to return to work and most other activities within two weeks following your Tummy Tuck procedure. However, intense exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for at least four to six weeks to avoid unnecessary swelling and excessive stress on freshly healed structures. Driving generally can be resumed usually within reach in seven to ten days.

8. How significant are my scars following my tummy tuck procedure?
All surgical procedures leave incisional scars. Dr. Delgado understands that you want these scars located in the most inconspicuous areas, so that they will be concealed by regular clothing. The Tummy Tuck scar is located low on the abdomen, just above the pubic hairline on most patients. The scar traverses from hip bone to hip bone. Your scars will extend from the pubic hair towards the hipbones. The exact length of the scar will depend on how much extra skin is to be removed. The scars can be easily be hidden with clothing and will significantly blend into your skin tone over the subsequent following year. Women tend to wear a large variety of clothing styles and they can opt to have incision shape options. They can request a variety of shapes for their incisions so they are customized to accommodate their individual tastes in apparel.

9. Will I be able to have children after a tummy tuck?
We recommend that the childbearing years be completed. The internal tightening of the muscles could adversely affect a future pregnancy and, therefore, pregnancy is highly discouraged following a Tummy Tuck. We do not recommend it.

10. How can I tell if I am a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Many women, after childbearing years, require a Tummy Tuck to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies. The results of pregnancy can cause irreversible stretching, increased laxity of the skin, increased muscle laxity around the mid torso region and unwelcome increased fat deposits.

A patient may best benefit from a Mommy Makeover, which, in addition to a Tummy Tuck, includes breast surgery and liposuction. This has become a very popular surgery combination.

Other patients who are good candidates for a Tummy Tuck are patients who lose a large amount of weight, resulting in excess skin, which responds extremely well with a Tummy Tuck procedure.

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