Question:

I had an ETT 6 months ago and my skin is getting loose and I have a muffin top. My doc told me an ETT would remove all the hanging skin below and above the belly button and my hips would be lifted and I would no longer have the loose wrinkly skin on hips/stomach. I am not happy with my results and I am going for a BL/BA with this doc in June and I don`t know how to tell him I am not happy because I think he`ll say it looks alot better then pre op. HELP!

Answer:

in most cases the doctor will usually do a touch up in order to get you closer to the desired result. Loosening of the skin after an ETT is common and touch ups are pretty much expected in about 5-10% of cases. I think and honest discussion with him prior to your next surgery will be welcomed by him. JG 3.30.12

Question:

hello dr. Garcia, 10 months after full abdominoplasty i am still hollowed between legs and sides above with an raised pubis and a waist also hollowed between stomach and belly, weight gain does not help, there is no fat any more on the waist, my waist is as tiny as it is not normal. i am a petite figure, pants dont fit any more, hips are larger then before and then with all the hollows as i described, it is completely abnormal, would this get better with masages from a specialst to reduce the internal scar tissue, what can i do? thanks for reply

Answer:

you might need some fat injections to give you a better contuor. The massages might help a bit. Best of luck. JG 3.8.12

Question:

Hi dr. G! I have had two c-sections. (5 1/2 years ago and 1 year ago) I had a TT with muscle repair and an umbellical hernia repair 4 weeks ago. My PS said that the hernia was as big as a tomato and he had to move some fat around to fill in a hollow space under my belly button. I was not prepared for the amount of swelling that I am experiencing and I did not realize it would take so long to heal. As of now, I have a deep crease below my belly button. My PS says that he may have to go back in and cut the skin and sew it back together. My question is, have you ever seen anything like what I have described? Also, how long should I expect to be swollen? I can`t wear my normal clothes yet... Will my stomach ever be flat?? I spent a lot of money to have a pretty belly again and I`m afraid it`s not going to be flat. :(

Answer:

it can happen in cases where the hernia has thinned the tissue out. revisions are not uncommon under those circumstances. The greater the amount of work that is required to perform the tummy tuck, the longer the time for healing I am afraid. In time it should all get better. Hang in there. JG 3.8.12

Question:

I am considering abdominoplasty, I have lost over 50lbs since have twins & a single child & I have too much skin! My question is this; I have a small hernia from a c-section type surgery removal of a large cyst. Can these two surgeries be done together? fixing the hernia & a tummy tuck? or do I need to fix the hernia first? and if I do, how long should I wait before a tummy tuck?

Answer:

yes, those surgeries can be combined. Best of luck. JG 3.2.12

Question:

Hola Dr. Me hize una mini dermo, lipo y aumento de senos en Venezuela Octubre 14 2011, todo salio muy bien, regrese a USA en Octubre 29 segui todas las indicaciones al pie de la letra, la herida se ha curado muy bien casi ni se ve, pero empeze a notar Que alrededor de mi ombligo se miraba hinchado, mas del lado izquierdo y hacia abajo, diria Que 2 cms alrededor, circular, bueno me comunique cob el Dr. Y me dijo Que me hiziera Masajes y ultrasonido, Que me ayudaria, ha pasado in mes y Lo estoy haciendo 1 vez a la semana, el me dijo Que no use mas la faja Porque me puede estar afectando mas...fui a un cirujano aqui y trato de extraer, pero casi no salio nada, y me dijo Que Masajes, y talvez con velashape me podria ayudar...estoy preocupada nose Si seguir haciendo los Masajes y ultrasonido, y nada mas esperar o buscar otra opinion, Si sigue pasando el tiempo y se pone peor? Ya viene el verano y la verdad es Que se.nota la diferencia en mi abdomen plano...Que me recomienda?

Answer:

si los masajes no han ayudado, lo puedes parar. Si no se mejora, alomejor debes de ver otro cirujano, a veces el cirujano nuevo no quiere aceptar un paciente qual se opero en otro lugar, y a el le calle los problemas.Bueno suerte. JG 2.29.12

Question:

Hi dr Garcia, Is it tru that after abdominoplasty with liposuction from certain areas, pubis, hips and stomach middle line, the body stores fat in other places whithin one year like arms , breasts or back , this even when the weight stays the same. I heard that the body needs a certain amount of fat and that if fat is removed from certain areas it will go to other areas to keep up with the amount that it needs, resulting in deformed body composition. to less fat in some parts and too much in other parts. Can it go to the face as well ? What can be done to prevent or to correct this. thanks for explanation.

Answer:

the fat removed with liposuction is permanently removed, so if you continue to eat above your minimal daily requirement of calories, then you will store fat, and since the original first places for the fat to go to are gone, the fat will find a new place to be stored. It only happens if you over eat though. Your weight staying the same means you actually gained weight since you lost fat from the liposuction, so there was a fat gain you have that has not been appreciated. The body does not need a certain amount of fat. In some cases, after menopause, the body is low in estrogens and your body can make you can gain intra-abdominal fat in an attempt for that fat to make estrogens, but it will not cause fat gain in other areas. Fat gain in the face is weight controlled, not influenced by liposuction.I think you need to get your body fat tested and then start on a smart eating program and exercise program and lose some fat while gaining muscle. All the best. JG 1.26.12

Question:

I am presently 5 months post-op following a full abdominoplasty w/liposuction, and have two concerns. First, I have had a band of very firm tissue (internally) at the suture line, which has resolved everywhere but at the mons pubis. My surgeon believes it will continue to improve with time, but the mons remains puffy and the firm tissue seems resistant to go away completely. Assuming this firm area will eventually soften, will this relieve some of the puffiness of the mons (which I believe is due to some fluid retention)??? Second, and probably of greater concern is that at approximately 8-9 weeks post-op, I foolishly attempted to lift a 40-lb bag of dog food into a shopping cart, and felt searing pain in the left-midline upper abdominal area. My surgeon had told me that the rectus abdominis was significantly separated to the far lateral sides of my abdomen due to years of obesity and two pregnancies, one of which was a twin gestation, and that he did some “heavy suturing” to reconnect the two sheets of muscle. I discussed my lifting ‘injury’ with my surgeon, and he seems to feel that since there is no bulging or evidence of internal bleeding, that the muscle will heal normally. However, it has been over 3 months since I injured the site, and I continue to have considerable pain with the area very sore with even the slightest pressure. I am unable to sleep on my side without a pillow firmly tucked against my upper abs, or without my abdominal binder in place. Although I trust my surgeon and am overall VERY pleased with the aesthetic results of the surgery, I was hoping you could provide some reassurance that this will heal and will eventually stop causing me pain. Thank you so much for your time.

Answer:

I believe as the firmness in the mons area softens, it will also shrink in size. Edema of the mons can take a long time to resolve. As to the pain after the lifting, if the fascia where the sutures were placed partially tore, that can take a number of months to feel better due to the constant movement and function of the muscle. I agree with your surgeon`s perspective and that it will likely go away and heal without any significant problem. Hang in there and I wish you the best. JG 12.6.11

Question:

Hello, Dr. Garcia. 2 years ago, I had a circumferential body lift. The scar on my abdomen is wide and red, but the scar on my back is almost invisible and hairlie thin. My surgeon at the time told me she closed the top layer of the back in a quick-dissolving suture because it tends to leave thin scars and because back scars are never thin otherwise. (It did spit a few of the sutures out but that is, I understand, a known an anticipated complication with that particular suture material.) She used a slower-dissolving suture on my abdomen on the theory that it would be thin anyway, but of course, it didn`t work out that way. I`ve since moved across the country and would like to have the abdomenal scar revised. What is the name of that fast-dissolving suture that my previous surgeon used o the final layer of my back incision so that I can discuss this intelligently with a new surgeon? Thank you for your help.

Answer:

might be Monocryl, but the redness and width of the scar might be related to the degree of tension upon closure and not the type of suture. JG 12.4.11

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia. I am 16 days post op from a tummy tuck and lippo. I have been able to get myself to stand up straight since week 1 but am still have trouble standing up straight after I`ve been sitting down for 20 mins or so. My belly gets so tight that its uncomfortable at first so I walk hunched over for a minute or so. Is this normal? Or should I be alarmed?

Answer:

It can be normal, the more skin that was removed and the tighter the repair of the muscles was, the longer it will take, but a little stretching out every day will get you back to normal sooner. JG 10.27.11

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia. I had smart lippo and tummy tuck done and am a little over 2 weeks post op. I have this big dip on right side that don`t look anything at all like my left side. It looks more visible to me each day. Will this completely go away after the swelling is gone? I`m afraid my sides is going to look uneven permanently:-(

Answer:

hard to say without seeing you, but at this point one can hope that it is mostly due to uneven swelling, which can happen. I think you need to see your surgeon for the routine follow ups and see what they say, as they can see you in person. All the best. JG 10.26.11

Question:

I`m 16 weeks post tt. took ultrasoud,with dx of 4 x 8cm area compatible with organizing hematoma located anterior to the left hip,which communicates with small open wound approx. 1cm deep. Had previously used guaze packing, before ultrasound. Doctor now says do not pack, and just allow it to close. He has aspirated twice. 40cc the first time and 20 cc the second time. I am wearing a compression garment except while sleeping. Will this eventually all go away as he suggest, or am I facing surgury

Answer:

I think if you continue to aspirate any fluid in there, then the capsule can close off sooner and you can avoid surgery. It would be hard for you to pack the entire 4X8 cm area, so you were likely just plugging up the more superficial part. I wish you the best. JG 10.7.11

Question:

HI Dr G Hope this finds you well. I`m now 6 weeks post op from Abdominoplasty, healing going well my incision is a fine pale line but just underneath my incision line I am spitting a few staples, my surgeon used these not to close the skin (this was glued) but to close tissues. I have been spitting one for about 4 weeks that has been painful and has come to what looks like a big red pimple,the others are just a bit red but are not painful. My surgeon is a long drive away and has told me it will pop out on it`s own and when it does just to treat it with Iodine and loose dress it . The thing is it has been ages now and though it looks like it will pop should I wait ,will it do any harm for me to wait for me to let them pop on their own....or should I go and get them taken out by the surgeon?but will it take many trips. Do they need to be right near the surface of the skin to get them out? Thanks Dr Garcia in advance, great site. Just wish you lived in my country!!

Answer:

I think in order to get the best scar, a trip to the surgeon is warranted, and they should be able to remove all of the problem staples in one setting. All the best. JG 7.13.11

Question:

Thank you for your quick reply to my question below about the hematoma. My next appointment with my surgeon is on July 20. Anything I should do to help the blood to liquefy in the meantime? And is there anything in particular that I should watch for that would warrant a call to his office before July 20? I`m not too worried about this but I don`t want to be careless either. (What is the worst case scenario with a hematoma like this? Necrotic tissue?) Thank you again so much for your generous time.

Answer:

warm moist heat and massage, and if it gets softer, I suggest you see him sooner.The worst case scenario is that the tissue below the skin will necrose and leave you with a depression form the subcutaneous tissue loss. Hope that helps. JG 6.27.11

Question:

Hi, Dr. Garcia. I had a butt lift last week and had quite a bit of post-op bleeding on one side, which finally stopped with 3 hours of manual compression. I am, of course, swollen and bruised but my left hip has a large spongy ball of tissue (halfway between the size of a baseball and a golf ball) protruding from it. I saw my surgeon today and he ruled out both a hematoma and a seroma. He tried to aspirate it but only got a tiny amount of blood on multiple sticks. He told me that it`s probably blood that`s just infiltrated the tissue and that it will take 4 or 5 months to dissolve on its own. Does this sound right to you? Could it be something else? Anything I can/should do to hasten its dissolution? He didn`t offer my any suggestions -- just told me to watch it for signs of infection. In the meantime, even the compression garment can`t disguise this. It looks like I have a tumor on my hip! Thank you very much for your help.

Answer:

I still believe it is a hematoma, that is just not liquified enough yet for him to be able to aspirate it, and I think repeat visits are indicated. Once the area is softer and the hematoma is more liquified, it likely will be able to be aspirated, although sometimes a regular needle is not big enough and they have to use small liposuction cannulas.All the best. JG 6.27.11

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia I had a full Abdominoplasty 3 weeks ago with muscle repair, the surgeon removed 2 LB of skin , lipoed very little out for contouring as I had very little body fat at 122 LBs and said I had slight muscle separation which was corrected. He said my muscles were very toned as I am an elite marathon runner. I am a great shape and he is known for pulling you very tight, I`m only just getting upright. The slight concern I have ,and I do understand it is very early in the healing is that I have a very deep grove/crease that runs up from my belly button vertically up to my bra band. He did the quilting technique so I had no drains and very little swelling , I can see my muscles now like I have done a million sit ups. He said it will flatten out somewhat but it is good to have a crease there as it really gives definition to the abs...to be honest at the moment it looks odd and if I really stretch the skin out flat with my fingers the grove is still pretty visible. I was told by the nurse that this is all due to the quilting stitches that need to dissolve. Could my compression garments contribute to this? Have you heard of this being a byproduct of this technique? Could it be down to my toned muscles being brought together and be permanent? sorry for all these questions so early but you have always been an honest opinion and a star! Thanks Dr G

Answer:

do not think the compression garment is making it any worse, and with quilting sutures, it is common, I see it my patients, especially thin ones. In time, as the sutures dissolve and you start moving around, that crease will improve, just takes some time. Hang in there. JG 6.23.11

Question:

How soon after a butt lift can the scar be revised? My surgeon and I agree that my scar is too high and needs to be lowered. Wondering when it`s safe/advisable to do that. Thanks so much!

Answer:

In your case, it cannot be done until there is enough loose skin above the scar to be able to move it down, likely year or more.Best of luck. JG 5.24.11

Question:

Due to the skin removal during tummy tuck, the fat in my lower belly and stomach is more concentrated, too much skin was removed and therefore my belly and stomach is bulging up, because too much fat concentrated. Before when i took a fold of skin is was like half en inch and now it is more then one inch fat under the skin. So my muscles which were visible before are now covered by this concentyrated fat layer. Pubis and tighs are not going down, they were eleveated and pubis still sticking forward. I can not wear tight clothes any more with all the bilging in stomach, belly pubis and tighs, before the tummy tuck i had no problem with that. is this a normal condition ? More bulging belly, ALL THE FAT FROM THE SIDES IS PUSHED FORWARD. Does this condition only improves when the skin gets more loose with aging, other possible remedies.

Answer:

it does improve, but very slowly, sorry. JG 4.10.11

Question:

What is the reason for the tick bulging noduled skin above the scar from a tummy tuck. On the underside of the scar the skin is flat , above it , the skin is raised, 7 weeks after tummy tuck. What can be done to improve, is this normal condition, Will it stay this way, does some kind of lasers can be used to improve also for the redness, maybe IPL ? Thanks.

Answer:

that is edema or swelling from above the incision that settles there due to gravity, but it will decrease in time and flatten out. IPL can be used to help speed the fading of the redness. JG 4.3.11

Question:

With the tummy tuck, the skin on the hips was draped forwards, to tighten, now the fat that was previously on the hips is on the front of my lower belly, making it much more rounder then before, before the hip bones were visible, now i am as small as round, very noticible, it created more an appearance of a circel, how do i get rid of this issue, i am much too small on the hips and too round in the middle of the lower belly, probably it is a procedure used to create an houtglass figure for heavy woman, which i was not before, the tummy tuck made me rounder in lower front belly, it is not an improvement at all. all the contents of my belly seems concentrated now, in a too tight skin, what can i do to fix this issue. all the fat in the belly in concentrated forwards. Doer this settle by its own , my clothes don´t fit me any more, i am as round as small. Also in the stomach area. Above the scar there are hard nodes, bulging, The skin has been stiched a bit wrinkeled, due to the draping forwards, does the skin adapts or contracts back to get rid of the wrinkling, with the bulging underneath ? Is this a common issue, I was already so small before, did not need this, also the surgeon has done some liposuction on the hips i am afraid, so this also contibutes to be even smaller and rounder then before. Does the fat comes back where it was, do i get rid of the too round appearance ? Also my mucles are bulging out stomach area and lower belly, due too the tighetening is guess ? Do abdominal exercises help with this ? I will probably never see my hip bones again, due to the concentrated fat that is covering the area . Also my tighs are much fullerdue too the skin tighetning pulling them up as i told you before. Any solution ? My body had changed for the worse.

Answer:

without seeing you in person, it is difficult for me to say what has happened, but in time the skin will loosen, no way to tell how much and how fast though. JG 3.31.11

Question:

I just heared from a woman from the shapewear store that a lot of woman she has seen, where the skin was pulled too tight that they were left with horrible strech marks. Is this a common problem, can this be avoided ? How long do you have to wear the compression garment ? How long before abdominal exercises ? Above and under the belly button, it feels like a cord which is tight and can not be released, avoiding movement. thanks for advice.

Answer:

most patients that are having tummy tucks had stretch marks to begin with, and when the skin is pulled excessively tight, it can cause some of the stretch marks to look more visible due to the uneven distribution of tension over the surface of the skin. It is avoided by not over pulling the skin. I typically have my patients wear the garment for 4-6 weeks after the tummy tuck.I wait the same amount of time for the abdominal exercises too, in order to allow the skin to re-adhere to the fascia over the muscle. JG 3.25.11

Question:

how long should i wait for the swelling to go downe and see the final result of the procedure. I had no idea this would be so complicated. Swollen for such a long time, not be able to wear normal garments, ticker then before............. waistline gone, eleveted forewars stiking underbelly and pubic, tighs lifted unintentionally, bulging appearance........... etc. What if after 2 months no approvement ? Same with breast uplift and implants, no way they will drop due to my heavy muscles which i can not reduce because i also take GH (better healing, mood is better, but the afwfull is that is created muscles, even without exercises. Could this have any effect on the final result ? Thanks

Answer:

GH will not affect it in a negative way, and usually by 8 weeks things should look better, I think it best for you to go back to see your surgeon and discuss your concerns. I can pretty much guarantee you your breasts will drop in time, the GH will not stop that. You have to give it all time and follow up with your surgeon. All the best. JG 3.23.11

Question:

Is it common to do muscle plication with tummy tuck, does plication mean, stiching the muscles over each other to make someone smaller ? I can not find the reason why my belly is rounder then before unless the muscles party stiched over each other is creating the rounder middle part especially at the lower belly. Maybe is it just a standart procedure ? thanks for clarification

Answer:

it is common to plicate the muscles in cases where the muscles have spread apart due to childbirth or large weight loss, they are sutured back side by side, like they should be naturally, not any tighter than that. Without seeing you before and after the surgery and knowing exactly what was done at surgery, it is hard to say but the swelling after the surgery alone can cause a rounded appearance that can last weeks in some cases. JG 3.23.11

Question:

How long will this take to get my skin back normal again, is this years or months ? What in case someone has still good elasticity of the skin ? thanks

Answer:

if you are the person wit the concerns after the tummy tuck, it can take 12-18 months. The better the skin was to start, the faster it comes back. JG 3.22.11

Question:

When the inner tissues heals from a tummy tuck, will the skin move again to normal , sliding back over the muscles to the place were they belong. Is this a common issue with tummy tuck the bulging of the pubis and tighs ? If i had known this, i would never have done this.

Answer:

yes, the skin will move normally in time. It is common, especially when pulled very tightly. JG 3.21.11

Question:

Will my pubis , vagina and tighs ever get back to normal shape after agressive tummy tuck ? I have a very weird appearance now. Can never walk in bikini like this. Everything bulging forward. I look like a man.

Answer:

they should, slowly over time. Give it some time and see your surgeon for your routine follow ups. JG 3.21.11

Question:

How much ime does it take for the skin to reattach to the muscles after tummy tuck ? Do abdominal exercises speed up this process ? Is there a chance to have widened scars hen doing light exercises after 4 weeks. Can the skin reopen again by doing this. I still can not stand straight 4 weeks after the full tummy tuck. Everything is still pulling. I feel like a piece of paper which is layed over the muscles without following the contour of the abdomen leaving hollows under the skin making the belly bigger. I was lean to begin with , only loose skin, now my waist and belly are bigger. Someone mentioned the michelin syndrome, having a tiny waist due to the folds of skin and after tummy tuck the folds are gone , but the waist is permanently bigger , could that be possible. I can not see my muscle definition any more not even when i pull in my belly. All definition is gone. Did not gain weight.

Answer:

it varies, the more swelling there is after surgery, the longer it will take, you will get some re-adherence in 4-6 weeks but total end result will likely take up to one year. The scars can stretch starting anytime after surgery, so if you have not had any stretching at this point, it can still happen in the future. I think at this time you are still swollen and the tissue needs to heal before you worry about the Michellin issue. Muscles will not show through the skin until all the swelling goes down,hang in there. 3.21.11

Question:

Other question about tummy tuck, 4 weeks later i still have the pulled up pubis and vagina, also tighs seem to be different, tissues from the inner tighs are also pulled up, kind of rotating that area forward, not any pant fits me, strabge contour on the upper tighs, bulging and rotated. Does this ever normalize, very distressing. I have a forward sticking pubis, vagina, inner and upper tighs. How long does it take for that to have a normal contour again, very distressing. Should i try to strech the skin , but i am afraid to harm the scars by pulling too much.

Answer:

yes, but it will take a couple of months, as soon as you can start standing up straight, it will start getting better. 3.21.11

Question:

Three weeks after tummy tuck, i do not see a reduction in swelling, my upper and lower belly have a fat bulging appearance that is not getting better. I had a much flatter tummy before, more sagging skin but much flatter, all the bulging is in the middle where the muscles were stiched i suppose. I feel numbness in the middle but not on the sides , is this normal, probably only the middle part of the skin was dissected, maybe not completely, creating some sort of tention and weird streching towards the middle going to the bottom where the tummy tuck scar is. Is only the part which is numb dissected ? I really don´t see any difference else then some skin removal besides a fatter appearance. Very discouraged and disappointed.

Answer:

can be still a lot of fluid underneath the skin giving you that sensation, it takes time for that to go away and the skin to reattach I am afraid, got to give it some more time. Disappointment and being discouraged is common at this time period after surgery of that type, just hang in there. JG 3.14.11

Question:

Is it true that when you have had liposuction on a certain part of the body or when a certain part of the body has been truogh surgery like a breast lift or tummy tuck that you gain the lost fat from those places in other areas ? At least that is what many woman experience, gaining fat in other parts not especially with gaining weight.

Answer:

you will gain fat in other areas only if you eat more calories than you were prior to the surgery. If you eat the same, then it will not go to those locations.It is not uncommon for patients to overeat after having a body part operated on, as proportions change and they sometimes let themselves go more easy on the diet. Surgery, especially liposuction should not used in lieu of a good diet and exercise program. You don`t get to eat a whole cheese cake everyday after liposuction and not gain fat. JG 3.10.11

Question:

How much time does it take for the skin to reattach to the muscles after a full tummy tuck ? The surgeon who performed the tummy tuck also reinforced the skin with several rows of stiches in order to prevent sagging. These rows of stiches all over my belly are creating a pulling sensation, do they strech again together with the skin ?

Answer:

those stitches will break and the skin should be reattached in about 6 weeks or so, as long as there were no large fluid collections. The skin will remain puffy though for a few months. JG 2.28.11

Question:

I noticed today that a stich from the tummy tuck at the lower belly is loose, i think it happened after a good sneeze, the stich is protruding and the wound is painfull in that area. What should be done ? I also have the impression that the muscle repair is extremely tight, when i try to stand straight, the whole stomache area feels like i can not move more. The skin seems draped and creating some kind of lines or folds from the upper region onto the belly button. Is there anything that can be done to strech the muscles again. With the skin so tight i can not pull more due to the fact that the stiches below will break or create a wider scar.

Answer:

there are usually a few layers of sutures, so no need to worry too much. Just put some neosporin and a band aid over it until you can see your surgeon. In time you be allowed to stretch the skin and the muscles and I think a little massage for the skin folds in the upper abdomen are a good idea as long as you check with your surgeon first. Hang in there. JG 2.25.11

Question:

How long will it take for the scar tissue underneath the skin on the upper abdomen to relax after a full tummy tuck. Skin feels hard and stiff and a bit lumpy. Is this a normal condition ?

Answer:

in some cases it can take 10-12 months. It is a normal thing, yes. JG 2.25.11

Question:

I had visible abdomen muscles before full tummy tuck. Now they seem to have diappeared, what could be the reason ? Lat time i had my body fat percentage checked it was around 14, maybe it will be 17 now, certainly not more.

Answer:

there can be a prolonged period of time of swelling on the abdominal wall skin that can make those muscles hide, so it is a little swelling, a little body fat increase, and also to some degree, the inability to work those muscles out for a bit after surgery. They should all get visible again, in time. JG 2.25.11

Question:

Dr. Garcia, thanks for reply on the abdominoplasty question. What do you mean by if the skin on the upper abdomen was tick ? IDo you mean fat in that area. My skin itself is not very tick, i have thin skin, could it be the streching of the skin , making my previous curves less prononciated and creating a straither silhouette with a fuller waist. Second question, seems that after the surgery, my fasting glucose level is much higher then before, is this related to the narcose,or something else ? Thanks again.

Answer:

I meant to type, thick,so yes, fat underneath the skin. Tightening of the skin should not make you lose your curves. At times the fasting glucose is higher as you are not as active and not burning as many calories. Best of luck. JG 2.21.11

Question:

Dr. Garcia, A few days ago i had an abdominoplasty and now it seems that first i have a big belly, a fatty elevated pubic area, and also my waist is like 4 inches bigger then before. Is this because the fat and skin that was on the stomach area it pulled down, making my waist that much bigger, also the skin was streched a little forward to tighten the loose skin on the sides, does all this contributers to bigger waist and belly ? I also had a breast lift with replecement of old implants, the old 225 cc implants were replaced by 200 cc implants, however my breast are bigger then before ? How much bigger in cup size does 200cc ? Concidering a tiny frame on a tiny person ? Would it be possible to remove the implants and replace them by smaller ones after a few days ? Does that affect the breast lift ? Thanks for answer.

Answer:

hard to say without seeing you before, it could be swelling, but if the skin of the upper abdomen was thick, and it was pulled down, it might be that also. The breasts are also swollen at this point. The difference from 200 to 225 would be less than a 1/4 cup. I think there are not many sizes smaller than what you had placed and a breast implant will not lift a breast, especially going smaller. JG 2.20.11

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia. I had a FTT with umbilical hernia repair in July 2010. Six months post op, I`m generally pleased with my results. However, I don`t have unrestricted movement in my right hand side, for 2/3 inches above the scar. At night I feel a pulling sensation when I lie on that side. I strongly suspect I have adhesions; i was told after my last c section that I have severe adhesions, so possibly I am susceptible to this happening after surgery. I live in a different country to my PS, so can`t ask him; he saw me at 3 months and discharged me. This is not a huge problem, but at the same time is a little frustrating.I assumed that any pulling sensation would have stopped by now. Can I take any steps to resolve it? Thank you for your time

Answer:

at this point, stretching exercises, like Yoga or Pilates will, slowly, stretch the scar tissue that has formed, but it can take up to one year to get full mobility. All the best. JG 2.2.11

Question:

Not sure what happened to my question so I will try again. 3-4 years ago I had a ftt. I still have no feeling straight down the mid section of the abdomen directly under the rib cage and above the navel. Is this normal? And if so why does it hurt then when that skin gets stretched or pulled such as when rubbing up against something. Also, the incision directly below my belly button did not heal well. I have about a 6 inch section where I had open wounds for several weeks and the scar is much wider and redder there. If I got just this part repaired would I run the risk of the same thing happening all over again? I think the skin there is thinner because of the stretch marks I had. Also, it seems as though the skin on my abdomen is loosening up again. I have never been over weight and at the time of the surgery weighed around 117 lbs. I am now 123 lbs but I wouldn`t think that would do it. I exercise regulary and am 52 years old. Is it just my age? I was 22 and at 113 lbs (5` 3 ) with my first child and had three more after that. I did not gain much weight with each child but was very large in front. Love handles have also appeared in the last year. I wasn`t expecting that with the tt being done either. It just seems to be a never ending battle with the stomach area. Thanks for your reply.

Answer:

sorry for the glitch with your question. As to the loss of sensation in the upper abdomen, I am afraid it is not common, but it can happen and it is from the nerves being cut during the surgery, not much that can be done to repair those nerves I am afraid. Stretching the area can cause more pain as the scar tissue can pull on the nerves that are trapped there. I think revising the lower abdominal scar should not have any additional risks but there has to be enough loose skin for that scar to be able to be excised and then closed again. Your age should not be any large component in your case. As to the love handles, they are fat accumulations and the prior tummy tuck will never prevent them from growing with weight gain. All the best. JG 1.9.11

Question:

I have four questions for you, Dr. Garcia. 1)How long should a scar mature (on the lower back from a buttocks lift) before a tattoo can be placed over it? I`ve never had a tattoo, but the scar is, obviously, permanent so I`m thinking that a little art (like a small vine) on top of it might make it slightly less ugly. 2)In general, do you find that tattoos on such scars take well? Alternatively, in your experience, do these scars tend to fade so much over time that a tattoo isn`t necessary -- though, of course, no tattoo is necessary? 3)If you`ve had patients who`ve chosen to get tattoos over lower torso scars, have they generally ended up being pleased with their decision or have they more often regretted it? 4Not that I would get a tattoo with the intention of having it removed, but if I do elect to get one, should I only choose blue or black ink, since reds and yellows are difficult to remove by laser? Thank you for your insight on this weird topic, Dr. Garcia. (Weird for me, anyway!)

Answer:

I would wait at least 6-8 weeks for the scar to heal before contemplating a tattoo. The ink does take well, but it might have to be touched up a little more often than normal tattoos as the scar tissue can be a little resistant in holding the ink, not a big problem though. A scar might get better over a 12 month period, but that area will always have a scar and scars in that area are rarely hairline thin scars. I have not had a patient that got a tattoo over a scar that regretted it. Dark blue or black are the easiest colors to remove with a laser down the road, so if possible, those colors would be what I might suggest. Best of luck. JG 11.29.10

Question:

Hi Dr. G! I had a tummy tuck about 4 or 5 years ago and I`m having a hysterectomy within the next 4 weeks. I`m not sure if the doctor plans on opening me up or doing it vaginally ( I meet him next week to set it up). I have painful endometriosis and just found out why I had all the pain when I had emergency surgery to remove my right ovary with a 6cm cyst on it about 2 months ago. My Obgyn will be removing the other ovary, uterus and cervix and all signs of endometriosis he can. If he wants to open me up how will this affect my tummy tuck? :/ I am hoping he can remove it all by laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. Thank you for your time and expertise. :)

Answer:

If you skin is tight from the tummy tuck and he repairs everything he cuts to perform the surgery, it should all look the same afterwards. All the best. JG 10.21.10

Question:

How long do I have wait to get a tummy tuck after getting a c-section? This is my 4th one.

Answer:

I prefer to wait 6 months. JG 10.15.10

Question:

Dr. Garcia, First, thanks for answering all these questions. Your site is a wealth of ihformation and I appreciate your candid answers. Over the past year I have lost 53 pounds through diet and exercise. I have pretty good muscle tone and I am in the best shape of my life with one exception. I have a small, saggy belly (Looks like a balloon that deflated over time over time) and my belly button needs stretched horizontally because of the extra skin that has melted in to it. I am not interested in a full tummy tuck as I have good muscle tone and not a lot of extra fat. I am 5`4 and weigh 137 pounds with a muscular build. I would love to wear a bikini to the pool but am very self conscious of my belly. Would a mini tummy tuck leave the large scars I have seen on some of the photos. I already have a C section and gall bladder removal scars, so not too crazy about the idea of having huge scars. What is the cost difference between full and mini abdominoplasty? Thanks!!!

Answer:

firstly, congratulations on the weight loss using the best method out there. Whether a mini tummy tuck will give you a good result depends on how much loose skin there is above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck will not tighten any skin above the belly button, so if ther is laxity there and a full tummy tuck is not performed, then the lower part will look smoother and the part above the belly button will look different. Hope that helps differentiate what you might need. All the best. JG 9.29.10

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I am 1 month post full tummy tuck. My surgeon removed the drains on post op day 8. 2 days later I developed a seroma. The surgeon has been aspirating it since then daily with the exception of Sunday. Finally yesterday he inserted a drain (angiocath) which did not work. The catheter became kinked and I saw him this morning. He instructed me to continue to try and advance the catheter myself and push on my lower abdomen by the incision to try to get the fluid out. That did not work. I began to have a lot of discomfort near the drain and a pulling sensation along with the feeling that there was air bubbles where the pocket is. I called him and he instructed me to cut the sutures and remove the drain myself. At this point I am frustrated and I don`t know what to do. I have a girdle as well as a binder that he has instructed me to wear along with two OR towels stuffed into to create more compression. I`m just wondering if there is another way to handle this issue.

Answer:

well, besdies repeated aspirations, the only thing would be to place a drain, another attempt at the angiocath is worth it I feel, sounds like it was just placed through the skin too far from the pocket and it moved out of the area needed, otherwise it would need to be done in the operating room. JG 8.21.10

Question:

I am so thankful for you Dr. Garcia! I`m coming to you for yet another anxiety riddled question! I am 11 days post-op from umbilical hernia repair. I had 4 protrusions, but my PS was able to correct them all through my belly button. My conern is that the inside/center of my belly button is still black. The ring around it is still swollen, but nice and pink. During my post op last week, I was instructed to just keep the area clean with a little peroxice and bacitracin ointment. I also have to wear a compression wrap for 6 weeks. I can`t really tell if the black part is just a scab, but it doesn`t seem to be coming out. There is no pus, or red streaks. Other than the soreness from the surgical aspect, ther is no pain either. I`ve read so much about umbilical tissue necrosis that now I`m terrified that`s what I have. Am I just being a nervous nelly? Thanks :)

Answer:

it is likely a scab, still adherent and will not fall off until the tissues underneath it are healing. So do not try to knock it off, let it fall off when it is ready. That can happen frequently when umbilical henrias are repaired multiple times, just got to hang in there. Keep up what you are doing too. JG 4.12.10

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I would like to get a tummy tuck for a skirt that I have had for a long time, however, I also want to have kids in the next couple of years. Should I wait until after I have the kids or can I get it now?

Answer:

yes, wait for the kids to be finished, best of luck. JG 3.6.10

Question:

Hello, I had a tt on 1/28 and 2 drains for 1 week with ~25cc/day, Dr did NOT have me wear a compression garment. On 2/8, Dr. aspirated ~150cc, on 2/11, he aspirated ~ 200cc. Lower abdomen is like a water bed, but upper abdomen is hard. I guess my question is how long does it take to form a pseudobursa and is it possible that one has already formed in the upper part of my abdomen? What recommendations do you have for me?

Answer:

the pseudobursa usually takes 4-6 weeks to form, repeat aspirations will assist in getting the tissues to readhere and close the space though. You also might want to ask him about using a compression garment or even placing a drain back in to help with resolving the fluid problem. We at times will also inject sclerosing medications into the pocket to cause irritation and get the pocket or bursa to close faster. All the best. JG 2.14.10

Question:

HIY MY NAME IS MARIA GARCIA IAM 24 YEARS GOING TO TURN 25 I BEAN TRIYING EVRYTHING AND IT DONT WORK ,I HAVE 4 KIDS MY LAST NOT MY LAST SHES 1 AND IAM LOOKING FORWORD IN GHTING A TUMMY TUKE BUT I DONT HAVE A JOB BUT MY BOYFRIEN IS WILING TO PAY IT IN PAYMENTS I REALY BEAN WONTING TO LOOK NICE FOR MY SELF I TRIED EVRYTHING THANK YOU

Answer:

we offer financing through a credit company for our interested patients, and then they pay the comapny over time. JG 1.26.10

Question:

Hi, it is nice of you to answer questions for people. Thanks. I had a full tt and breast aug (300cc) 4 weeks ago. One spot of the ab incision just doesn`t seem to be staying closed. My ps wants to wait (I showed him monday) due to infection risks... but what can be done. I`m afraid to spend much time in the shower for fear of water getting in there. Also, I have a LOT of stretch marks still despite my ps stating he removed as much skin as he possibly could. Is there any way to get rid of the remaining stretch marks. They are white and 15 years old.

Answer:

I am afriad there is not much that can be done for the stretch marks that remain and as to the tummy tuck incision healing slowly, that happens frequently and does close on its own over time. You might want to ask your plastic surgeon if it is OK to cover it with plastic and tape before getting into the shower to avoid it getting too wet, that might help. I wish you the best and not to worry, all of that will get better soon. JG 1.15.10

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I have a serious problem. Twelve years ago, in Florida, I had liposuction of the abdomen and the Dr removed quite a lot of fat and the result was lumpy. I wasn`t an overweight person at the time (5`5 and 130 lbs) but I had a vertical C-section scar from having had 4 children and I didn`t like the crease my skin formed on each side of it. (I couldn`t afford abdominoplasty). I now live in Europe and my medical plan here paid for the abdominoplasty I had always wanted so I had it done in October of 2008. By March I had developed 3 seromas with pseudobursas around them and the surgeon did a second procedure to remove them. It was his conjecture that maybe my previous lipo had been too aggressive and there was scarring which may have caused the seromas. Now it is January, 10 months post my second abdominoplasty procedure and I have another jelly-like mass inside of me which they think is another pseudobursa. I don`t understand this, as I had the drains left in me, post surgery, for 1 week and I wore the garment for 12 weeks after my procedure. My doctor even did an ultrasound 3 months post surgery to make sure there was no fluid there and there was just a little bit near the scar. Now I think I have to have another surgery and I`m really scared. What do you think about this? Please advise me as I don`t know what to do! I am scheduled for an ultrasound in a week but I`m telling you I know what this feels like and there is something bulging out on my abdomen and it feels like a hard bubble that tunnels down me like a tube. My doctor looked concerned. Thank you for reading this. Please respond. Sarah

Answer:

well, seromas can happen, even without prior liposuction,I will say that liposuction does cause some scarring, whether it was an aggressive liposuction or not. If you do have another fluid collection with a pseudobursa, it will not go away on its own. The most definitive method is to have it removed, including the entire bursal sac, to avoid recurrance, if the bursa capsule is left, it will reform. In some cases when they are small, injecting the bursa after suctioning the fluid out is possible at the tiem of the ultrasound. The injection of the sclerosing material is meant to scar it down, but is not as definitive as an excision of the bursal sac. All the best. JG 1.8.10

Question:

tt and breast augmentation was done Dec 17th 2009 now have an enternal stitch poking through slightly to the right of belly button.Was told that the inside stitching was not desolvable but a permanent stitch.It is poking through more everyday, can actually feel the stitch,feels like a little needle on my finger. Is this something that will go away or get worse. If it has to be removed will it incure another sacar and would there be more recovery time from this too. Thank you, your insight is appreciated

Answer:

likely best to have it cut out, your surgeon can do that easily. JG 1.6.10

Question:

I`m planning my full tummy tuck for next summer. I`m trying to maintain a reasonable level of cardio fitness; I run 5 km 5 times a week. My question is, is it advisable or desirable to build up abdominal strength? I don`t usually exercise that part of my body; I have such a wide muscle separation it doesn`t make it look any better! Grateful for your input.

Answer:

I think it can wait for after the repositioning of the muscle if you have not worked them out before. Best of luck. JG 12.3.09

Question:

Hi, I had a tummy tuck 10 years ago and three years ago a tender lump appeared to the right of my xifiod. I had surgery to remove the lump and was told it was a suture granduloma. I have another lump 4 1/2 inches down. I`m wondering if I should have them all removed the same way they were put in instead of having them removed one by one as thay become lumps and having many incisions.

Answer:

well, you could but that would involve a larger surgery to remove all of them and it might not be a problem for you in the future. JG 11.19.09

Question:

I`d like a FTT done next summer. I`m bothered by a hard round pot shaped belly, following 3 pregnancies. I don`t have a lot of loose skin, but am sure I have a huge muscle separation. I`m 5ft 4, 120 pounds, but my waist size is 33 inches! I`ve been told I have an umbilical hernia, I call it an outie. This happened after my 3rd pregnancy. My question is, will the FTT itself cure the hernia, simply by closure of the muscles, preventing my abdominal contents from protruding? Or, do some hernias need something else, eg mesh?

Answer:

the full ummy tuck will help fix the hernia, but if the intra-abdominal contents are large, the degree of tightening of the hernia might not make your waistline any smaller. Mesh might be required if the tissues are weak, but placing mesh without brining the muscles together will not improve the shape of the abdomen. JG 11.13.09

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia. I am 37 year old female and had a TT with full hyst Feb 2008. Since right after my surgery I have had a bump directly over my belly button. It appears to be a lump of fat. Also the right side of stomach pokes out all the way down to my scar starting at my belly button. I cannot suck it in. When I do everything is very flat except for these areas protrude. It is very hard underneath the fat. I have since had lipo at my PS suggestion with no result other than less fat but same lumps and bumps. All is the same I am just a little thinner . I am already 130, 5`6 and very fit. When I go in to see my PS he gets very frustrated about it, asking me if I did anything such as vomit after my surgery. I did not have my BB removed or moved and I think he was unable to do the surgery as he thought in the beginning although he has not stated this. I was given the lipo for free. My question is do you think I should get a different opinion? I have read other answers to similar questions that you have posted and none of your suggestions have been made by my PS. Thank you, Kristy

Answer:

sounds like you have some separation of the muscles and that is what is causing the protunerance, liposuction alone will not correct that, it will likely require a formal tummy tuck with muscle tightening from the ribcage all the way down to your pelvic region. JG 11.9.09

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a circumferential body lift in Sept., 2007. The following 2 years have been a nightmare. I had a second surgery to remove a capsule formation that tracked hip to hip in the back. After that surgery, my pain gradually worsened everday until it was excrusiating. I went to physical therapy, bought a motomassage hot tub, wore a tens unit, took pain pills and nothing gave significant relief. I found a second cosmetic surgeon that agreed to do an exploratory if I continued to have pain for one year. At 10 months I went back to him and he removed a foreign body granuloma from hip to hip in the back. He also removed all the permanent sutures that were anchored to my fascia to lift my buttocks. I closed by secondary intention. 2 weeks after that surgery, a tissue biopsy came back positive for 2 million colonies of MRSA. The wound was 14 cm. up my back and went hip to hip. I had a wound vac for 4 months. I am now about one year post that surgery and my back hurts all the time. I pop and crack in my right lower back, in between my shoulder blades, and my neck. I have spasms in my left shoulder blade area once in awhile. I have alot of scar tissue on my lower back, as the incision was very high to start with and it seems all the time like the scar tissue is up higher now. Can it be the contracting of the scar tissue that pulls and hurts my back? If yes, do you think the possibility of it softening and loosening over the next year or 2 will give me some relief?

Answer:

yes, it can be due to the scar tissue shrinking and being tight.I think slowly that will get better with massage and stretching, sorry to her about all the problems. JG 9.3.09

Question:

Drg. is fascia and replication same? think i know answer, just want to be sure.

Answer:

well, the fascia is the layer over the muscles that is plicated, or tightened.JG 9.2.09

Question:

Hello drg. here I am coming to you for answer. if you remember me i had my tt in DR and my sutures became loose giving me flabby and protrude abs. surgery was a year ago. well, after begging at a local hospital (was rejected for a couple of times)i found a surgeon who is willing to help me with my problem. After a couple of c-scan and MRI he came up with the conclusion that fascia look intact. according to him i need scar revision for my keloids plus lipo, plus he will look in case there is any other problem. Drg this surgeon is director of surgery dept in this hospital. Does this sound right. remember, my confident level is on the ground.

Answer:

it sounds like a likely scenario, yes. I wish you the best. JG 9.2.09

Question:

Hello Dr. In your opinion, what is the best option for removing love handles?

Answer:

usually liposuction.JG 8.15.09

Question:

Hi Dr G I am coming up for a c-section i am middle eastern decent with skin type 4 on the fitzpatrick table coloring. I requested to have my scar stitched rather than stapled due to keloid formation and overall unsightliness of the scar. Dr told me that staples cause less chance of keloid/scars and problems with infection rather than stitching if removed within 48 hrs???? how about moving around and the tissue that`s open in between the staples is can rub against eachother and move about and heal uneven? i am not sure i buy this theory. i think he is just too lazy to do the xtra work of stitching and would rather do the fastest thing and get the he-- out! what`s your opinion on this? thanks Dr G

Answer:

as long as they place sutures below the surface of the skin to keep the tissue together the staples are fine if remvoed in a short period of time, all the best. JG 8.12.09

Question:

Is there such a thing as a mini tummy tuck? I just have extra skin, not fat. Can this be done under a local anethestic? Thank you!

Answer:

yes, it is a tightening of the skin belwo the belly button, I do not perform it under local anesthesia though. JG 5.5.09

Question:

July 11, 2008 I had a full tummy tuck with breast lift/reduction. Instantly the skin around the right nipple died and turned dark brownish red and hard. It conintued to grow until it took over most of my breast. there was some on my left boob but not as much. My tummy tuck went from hip bone to hip bone, started out ok and then went bad. My incision split open, my skin died got hard like my breast. It ended up being 4 inches deep 12 inches long and about 6 inches wide. It was horrible. Had to pick out all sorts of dead skin out of it and of my boob. It was the most painful thing I have ever been through. Most of the hardening of the area occurred about three weeks after it was done. At that time my ps went on a trip out of the country for two weeks. Which i knew he was going to do, but i also thought none of that other stuff was going to happen. Was there a way to stop all that dying skin and fat? When he returned he cut out all the stuff in my stomach and off my boob. So during this time i was on a lot of pain killers, took shots in my boob for over six weeks because of this one nerve spot, and lost 35 pounds. I now have what I call a cave it looks totally riduclous and I am self conscious about it. What would you recommend doing to get it to go down at least some. It proably has a 4 inch lip then goes straight down to the vagina. He has used lipodissolve but I haven`t really seen a difference. I did however get a merca infection in one of the needle holes. I am very discouraged. I now know why they say don`t lose weight. Srry so long.

Answer:

I think you will need to let the tissues heal and soften for at least one year and then likely more surgery will be needed. I think LipoDissolve is a waste of time and could cause further tissue damage and would advise against it. I think the hardest part will be waiting, but it is needed. What can be doen at that time, after a full year, will depend on how soft and pliable the tissue are. I am so sorry to hear about your troubles, they are rare probelms, but do happen. JG 4.14.09

Question:

thank you doc.

Answer:

most welcome.JG 4.14.09

Question:

Drg. i just finish writing but i don`t think it post. anyway, we spoken before about my situation which is loose muscle sutures after tummy tuck and pain in middle of belly, all around navel. dr g. i was going to travel to same surgeon who did my tt for revision. before i decided to consult with a local hospital surgery department and one of the surgeon told me that i should just leave it alone, because my fascia was intact, that what i had is keloid and scar tissue inside and doing rvision was going to make it worse. i couln`nt believe what i heard from this lady, her diagnosis is to massage the area and shots of kenalogs in time will make it better. also, she said pain around navel is due to scar tissue and keloids which formed and nerves that connnects them. could it be that they don`t want to feel resposible for a job done in another country. remember my keloids is just at the end of scar and one side more than the other. i know i have muscle damage because i consulted early in my tt with a surgeon and he said same thing you told me, also my belly protude now like before my tt. thanks doc.

Answer:

it might be that they are not looking forward to getting involved with a problem done elsewhere, yes. You might have to go back and see the original surgeon, sorry. JG 4.14.09

Question:

I am planning to have a full tummy tuck soon and my ps does them using a mesh. This makes me nervous as i search the web for info on it and find so many people begging others to never get mesh put into there bodys.. as they have suffered infections and nerve damage and they say it is near impossible to find someone willing to remove the mesh. so i ask myself why would i do this for an elective surgery if it risky. My ps does not believe it is and he feels the long term results using the mesh is just great! please tell me what you think. Have you used mesh before for a full tt? weighing the risks of complications with sutures and this mesh what is more risky. I will be going back to him to talk again and get some more questions answered, i like him and trust him, just I feel he is way too supportive of this mesh and i would love to hear what you think. additional info: i am 5`4 125lbs going in for full tt and breast implants, round silicone 200cc my hope is to just restore what has changed after having my 2 children. (30 years old)

Answer:

in massive weight loss patients the mesh is at times required but I see no reason to use a mesh for a routine tummy tuck as yours. JG 3.12.09

Question:

Whats the cost of BB revision? thanks

Answer:

it would need to be determined after seeing it I am afraid. JG 2.26.09

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I had lipo in my abdomen area about 3 years ago. Since, my navel is sagging(so to speak) In other words, instead of being a normal round innie, it`s more like a frown. I`m 5`6 , 118 pounds. Despite the fact that I work out, it hasn`t helped. Is this because there was too much fat removed during the lipo or because I`m 47 and that`s just what happens as we get older? If I press the area directly above my navel or pull the skin up a bit, it looks normal. Is there any type of minor cosmetic procedure that could make my navel look normal again. (a couple of small inscisions and/or sututres????) thank you

Answer:

well, it is because the skin is loose and now that alters the skin around the belly button. If less fat had been removed it might still have happened, no way to know. In a small number of cases, a small crescent of skin can be removed form the upper part of the navel to make it look better, but it is only a small amount as too much will look obvious and the scar will be seen. JG 2.8.09

Question:

Hi, I got atummy tuck 7 months ago and i noticed that my stomach is getting bigger, i look like i`m 5 month pregnant, i feel someone has put air inside my stomach ,it`s like i`m bloating. and the on the scar i still feel pain ,if someone put a hand on my stomach i feel the pain and on the left side of my hip ,i don`t have any sensation ever since i came out of my surgery,and after 7 month it`s the same ,if i scrath ,i don`t feel anything. is it normal?

Answer:

unsual for that to be like that, I suggest seeing your surgeon to make sure you do not have a delayed fluid collection. JG 2.7.09

Question:

My tummy tuck scar is healing well. However, there is an area where there is actually a flap of skin hanging over the incision and it is not sewn down where it looks like it should be, I can lift it up. It is healed underneath so it isn`t raw. it just looks like the surgeon forgot to top stitch this piece down when he cut it. Will it possibly stretch upward and recede with time or is it something I should be concerned about?

Answer:

in many cases, yes, the skin will stretch and flatten in time. JG 2.7.09

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia. One month ago I had a full tt. I now wear pants 2 full sizes bigger because my abdomen seems fuller. It is because everything inside the abdomen has less room now or is it just common swelling? It`s so tight it just seems like there isn`t room for anyhting. I was looking forward to fitting intoa smaller size but that doesn`t seem to be the case. Also, how long it is recommended to wear the garment? It is more difficult to stand straight with this thing on but i don`t want to rush things. I read that athletic shorts will not provide the same kind of support and isn`t recommended.

Answer:

likely due to swellling at this point. We usualy use the garment for 4-6 weeks in our patients. Best of luck. JG 2.3.09

Question:

My dear dr.thank you for everything!, im ready for my tt revision to fix lower loose muscle sutures, which for a year i suffered with pain. i also developed dog ears which hopefully will be fix this time. Now, i developed keloid at each end of the incision, even though in middle is fine. i heard dr can give me a shot to avoid keloid from forming again. any facts with this info. again, thanks for your honest answers.

Answer:

well, shots of kenalog are used for keloids, but they will not prevent it from forming if doen at the time of surgery and can also slow the healing process. The soonest I would do the injections is 6 weeks afterwards and you want to treat it as little as possible for fear of the surrounding tissues developing atrophy. JG 1.23.09

Question:

Hola Dr.Garcia,Espero q este muy bien. mi pregunta es ,seria posible hacer un tummy tuck con anestesia local? o algo q se le paresca,q me sugiere? baje 30 libras y tengo mucha piel desde hace mucho quiero hacerlo pero lo unico q me detiene es el pavor a la anestesia! q otra alternativa tengo? muchas gracias por su tiempo.

Answer:

no creo que se puediera hacer con un resultado que uno desea. Buena suerte. JG 1.22.09

Question:

Hola Dr. Garcia! Es posible que al realizar una abdominoplastia el doctor amarre las costillas con un hilo? Y despues de unir los musculos que se separaron, corte la parte del MUSCULO que sobra. Y no solo eso sino que la piel de la espalda la hale hacia el frente y luego cortar toda la piel sobrante. Segun todo esto se hace para darle a la paciente una cintura (aunque no la hubiese tenido nunca)! Si esto si existe, podria darme el nombre... he buscado por internet bajo el nombre de corsetplastia y no me aparece nada diferente a un tt regular! Agradeceria mucho su aporte porque tengo una amiga que se va a realizar este tt con esta nueva tecnica y pues la verdad es que no se si en realidad exista! Gracias!

Answer:

no se debe cortar el musculo porque es el musculo cual contiene el estomago y los intestinos adentro del abdomen. La piel de la espalda no se puede corectar can halar le piel del estomago. La cintura depende mucho de la cantidad de grasa que tiene el paciante adentro del abdomen, debajo delos musculos. No creo que lo que deseas es posible. JG 1.12.09

Question:

Is it better to only have the skin cut and tightened for a tummy tuck instead having the muscles tighened with the sutures because its seems like everyone on this site has problems with the muscles. I really want to have a tummy tuck but getting very scared by reading the emails. I have some loose skin and strech marks a the doctor I`m planning on having do the procedure said I need a full tuck with a scar that will be from hip to hip, which I`m not worried about the scar its just the internal problems. Please give me your suggestion.

Answer:

well, in most cases the muscles should be tightened, remember whe people post on websites, you rarely hear about the good experiences and hear mostly the bad so it gives people a false sense of the problems happening. The vast majorityy of people do fine with the muscles being tightened. Best of luck. JG 1.9.09

Question:

Hi DrG. i was just informed by my ps the reason my sutures loose on my tt was due to two golf balls fibroids pressing right lower side plus scar tissues. recomended that i should wait for revision and deal with my gyn problems first. any facts on this, or just something for to say.

Answer:

well I agree that the gyne issue should be dealt with first before any tummy tuck touch up, but fibroids would have no effect on the looseness of the sutures, neither causing it or preventing them from staying tight, that is due to other issues. JG 12.18.08

Question:

DrG.we have spoken before, 9 months into tt, with lower loose muscle sutures, still in pain, getting worse as time goes by. waiting for the year (march 2009) for a revise tt. have tried others ps and always sent back to my original dr which i do not trust anymore. what chances of same problem happening again and will recovery time be same or any more painful than first time. it`s a must to do revision due to pain, but i regrets what i have done to my body. thank u so much f time. god bless u.

Answer:

recovery is about the same and there is always a chance it can happen again, the tighter they pull the greater the chance of it recurring. All the best. JG 12.10.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had an abdominoplasty about 3 1/2 years ago. Some time ago, I began noticing a foul smell coming from my navel. The surgery left me with no feeling, still, in the area around my navel, and the navel itself is so tightly sewn that i can barely get a q-tip in there to try to clean myself, nothing happens when i do. what do you suggest??? Thank you.. SM

Answer:

might be worth trying to revise the belly button and opening it a little more so it can be cleaned better and avoid the foul smell which is likely the skin oils getting trapped. JG 12.7.08

Question:

Hola Dr. Garcia, Hace 15 dias me hicieron un mini-tommy y estoy sorprendida que la inflamacion si me ha bajado a los costados de la cintura; sin embargo, del ombligo hacia abajo tengo una barriga como de 3 meses de embarazada!!! esto es normal? he visto fotos en internet de post operation de este tiempo y nadie tiene esa panzita todavia? favor digame si es normal y en cuanto tiempo bajara ese tamaño? gracias

Answer:

bueno, puede ser normal, la cantidad de inflammacion y desrame de sangre aveces es grande, se mejora, pero puede tomar unas semanas. Las fotos que se ven en el internet son depues de meses casi siempre. JG 12.5.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia - I had a Full TT and Breast reduction approximately 4 years ago. Immediately after surgery my surgeon mentioned an area he was concerned about healing. As it turned out the area turned black and they began debriding the wound. I went to a wound care specialist after a nurse at work suggested I have a second opinion. It took about 5 months for the wound to heal. My question now is when I sit for a long period I have terrible numbness in my stomach and it feels like everything is being sucked into the indenture where the wound was. (I have had numbness in my left leg ever since the surgery). I also experience painful stomach cramps that almost feel like my stomach is doing somersaults. Could all of this be caused by scar tissue buildup from the wound? Is there something that could be done to relief the discomfort? I am not sure if I would have the same problem with healing as I had before; however, I am not a diabetic and do not smoke so we are not sure why this happened to begin with. I do know I have had knee replacement surgery since this surgery and developed scar tissue very quickly. Just not sure if anything can be done or not.

Answer:

the scar tissue from the delayed healing will affect the skin and the tissue attached to the muscle but will not cause the leg pain nor the stomach summersaults, that is likely something else. In time, as the tissues soften, it migth be possible to cut the scar tissue out and remove it with an incision in the tummy tuck location, but the skin needs to be loose to do it with good results. All I can suggest at this point is stretching and massage to see what happens. All the best. JG 12.4.08

Question:

Had a tummy tuck almost 2 years ago. I am a 41 YO female and gave birth to triplets 4 years ago (but I am also in shape and only gained 60 lbs). I weigh 113 lbs, before and after tummy tuck. But, I now see loose skin when I sit and it is only on one side (the side that stretched more because it carried two babies on this side). Is there anything I can do when skin looses elasticity and becomes fatty looking and hangs without getting another tummy tuck? anything else that may help? Does my PS need to remove more skin on that side? My PS said something about smart lipo, but will this help? My PS also said he took enough skin off, but sure doesn`t seem like it. Should I get another opinion by another PS in my area? Thanks for your time, KGO

Answer:

I think SmartLipo would not help,it actually might make it worse but I do think more skin removal might be a good idea and yield the better result. If there is no loose skin when you stand and only when you sit, that is an elasticity thing and removing skin might help but the scar will stretch and widen with time. JG 11.21.08

Question:

how much weight can one gain or lose and keep tummy tuck results?

Answer:

I would keep it under 10 lbs at the most. JG 11.10.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia: I had a TT without muscle repair 1 year ago. The middle of my abdomen from the rib cage down is still quite numb. My ps could not tell me why that would be after this long of a time. Can I expect it to get better yet or after this much time do you think it will stay the same? I also had some necrosis along the scar line. If I had some scar revision done would the chances of necrosis be greater since it happened the first time even though I wouldn`t expect the tension to be as great. I have never smoked, not diabetic, or overweight. I never expected this to happen. I believe the skin was just pulled to tight with to much tension. I am not happy with the scar line or the numbness. Sometime after a long day the abdomen just seems to hurt yet. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Answer:

it is because the nerves that give that area sensation were cut, that happens, not everyone regains the sensation to the abdomen after that surgery. I think you might get a little better over the next 6 months but likley not much. The chances of necrosis are no higher than they were the first time, wish I had more to offer. JG 11.7.08

Question:

Dr. garcia tt for 8 months now, i wrote to you a couple of times, and the last time you told me that maybe my problems could be loose muscles sutures, and i agreed with you. i explained this to my ps and after lying to me a couples of times, finally she also agree that lms could be the case. i am suffering so much with pain. now, she wants to go back and do tt all over again. i just don`t trust her anymore, i don`t have the money to go to another ps. can you tell me why lms happen, can it happen again. is it my body rejecting, what purpose to do again, dr garcia i was happy at beginning, now i regret all. i ask because i did everything as i was told recovery wise. also, ps tell me there is no other way for her to know what happened unless she opens up again. is this true,ct scan only shows a deep space does it make sense. thank you so much for your time.

Answer:

not rejecting, but sutures do break, I know trust is important but it might take more surgery and she might be the most affordable option for you at this time I am afraid. CAT scan will not tell much. JG 11.6.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thankyou for your helpful advice on questions i have put forth. I did ask you about the best type of treatments for loose skin after weight loss, and also have an awful tummy scar that was a vertical incision. I have been bothered with this for many years, but i am too chicken to undergo surgery! It is only for the fact that my previous husband died after bypass surgery almost 8 years ago, and i have 3 beautiful children that still need me. I know it is only vanity, but would love to have my tummy repaired, yet i read where many women have all sorts of problems after surgery, and all kinds of awful stories. Is it possible to get this repair done with a pudendal block, or is a general anaesthesia the only way?

Answer:

A pudendal block would not be enough, even a spinal would be difficult due to potential breathing problems during the surgery. All the best. JG 11.4.08

Question:

It is great a Dr. like you will take the time to answer questions. I logged in to see if anyone had similar problems and I found 2. I also had a tummy tuck surgery and my upper abdominal muscle sutures tore leaving a lump on my right side. Dr suggest lipo or redo surgery. He strongly believes lipo should minimize the lump and resolve the problem. Its easier for him, but I`m afraid it is not going to solve the internal problem. I also feel discomfort in that area. What is your opinion? if you had the choice which would you prefer or choose?

Answer:

if it was flat right after the surgery and got puffy after the sutures broke, then liposuction will nto fix it I am afraid and it will take more surgery with more sutures being placed. Best of luck. JG 11.3.08

Question:

Iam 42yr old female,I am currently menstruating but there is something moving in my stomach,I never skipped one month what could be the problem

Answer:

I think you need to see your gynecologist for a work up. JG 11.3.08

Question:

Thanks for answering my quest. You have no idea how much hope you have given me tonight. I stayed home because this stomach thing bothers me at the end of the day and I really couldnt stand walking with my daughter..door to door tonight in addition to not liking the idea of halloween. I cant believe you responded this quickly. wow...thanks ... so it is possible to remove sutures? I believe my surgeon is good and he came highly recommended. I just think my body is rejecting the sutures. I worry that the pulling the muscles together will now after sutures are removed..expand them more that before tt. like rubber bands. Whatever the case I want to feel better.. thanks for your help. This website really helps.

Answer:

yes, the sutures can be removed after exposing the area. Best of luck. JG 11.1.08

Question:

Hi Dr. I have sent you a few a questions ih the past you might remember. I had full TT a yr and half ago. One of my sutures broke and doc repaired by doing a 5 centimeter incision by my belly button. We chose that to avoid the recovery time of opening up again. He found a hematoma the size of a gulf ball.. he removed and repaired. I think he addes stitches but I am not convinced he was able to remove all the scar or old sutures. My muscles hurt and he went in again and cut the top of one and said the rest would come undone.. ok nothing has helped. He now wrote a letter to my insurance and there is a mass (maybe scar tissue) and the irritation is still terrible. My ins approve surgery. He is planning to go in the loong way and remove all sutures and clean out scar tissue. what do you think? is is possible to remove all the sutures? will my stomack stick out more than it did? It was fine before but I had a lot of extra skin that is gone. I should have only done the skin thing and not the muscle repair but too late now. Any advise suggestion etc.. I have suffered way to long ... but I am scared that removing them will be worse. HELP

Answer:

yes, I remember, it is possible to remove the scar tissue and the sutures but it is also likely the protruberance of the intra-abdominal contents will return if they protruded before. If the muscles did not pooch before though they should not pooch after the sutures are taken out. Best of luck. JG 10.31.08

Question:

I have a stinky fluid that leaks from my naval that gums up in my naval, and I shower everyday and I can`t seem to stop it. What is this fluid, it is constant and I try to keep it dry every time I use the restroom. I`m constantly cleaning it.

Answer:

if you had a suture placed there long ago it might be an infected suture that needs to be removed. JG 10.29.08

Question:

I have a stinky fluid that leaks from my naval that gums up in my naval, and I shower everyday and I can`t seem to stop it. What is this fluid, it is constant and I try to keep it dry every time I use the restroom. I`m constantly cleaning it.

Answer:

not sure, if you had surgery and sutures there it might be an infected suture that needs to be removed. JG 10.29.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a full tt 2yrs. ago and soon after i had my surgery i noticed that my on my right side of my upper stomach area it was a bit lumpy. the doctor told me that because i had three huge pregnancies and i was small/petite to begin with that my muscle was about 5 1/2 inches wide open and everytime he tried to put it together the facia tissue would keep ripping. he said that the bottom part of my abdomen is tighter and flater because of this. now my question is, is it normal to still feel pain. i can`t stand for too long because then my upper stomach area starts to hurt something similiar to how it was after i had the surgery. it feels like something is tearing inside. i can`t even do push-ups because i can`t extend my body without feeling a burning and stinging sensation in my stomach area and after standing for too long, my stomach starts to protrude-it even hurts to the touch. have you ever seen a case like mine and what should i do? Thanks Jes

Answer:

it is not uncommon in some small numebr of cases to have pain from scar tissue this far out. I do not think the having trouble standing up should still be there though. All I can suggest is stretching slowly to try to get the tissues to loosen up, not much more I have to offer I am afraid. JG 10.25.08

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia! I would like to know my options for correcting an indentation of my scar 9 months post full abdplsty. The indent is supra pubic midline and has seemed to form a keloid.

Answer:

could be surgically revised, could be treated with fat injections to lift the tissues up, hard to say without seeing you. JG 10.15.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia...I had a lipo to hips and flanks and a full tt with muscle repair done 2 months ago. Afterward, I started with biweekly massages and have continued getting weekly massages as they have really seemed to help with my healing. I have had one area that is to my right side of my lower stomach that is the only area that is still visibly swollen. However, if I wrap the area or after my massage, the swelling seems to go down a little (although never completely flat). Today, during my massage, I had a very bad stabbing pain in this area on my right side. I let my masseuse work the area and she said that she felt something pop and then seemed to disapate. The pain subsided for the most part, but it still hurts like a blister popped or something. This is happening deep underneath my incision. I`m wondering if I could have torn something or have some sort of seroma? Should I call and make an appointment with you (you did my surgery and I`m not scheduled to come in until mid Nov)? Or is this something i should wait and see? Should I wrap myself at this point or not? (I`ve been using a bandage around this area because the compression garment doesn`t pull tight enough since it`s just one particular spot). Please let me know. Thank you!

Answer:

could be a small seroma cavity that burst, but that is good as it mihgth help speed the resolution of the seroma. Swelling in the lower abdomen can take months as gravity will pull the fluid there and hold it above the incision and that can take months to fully resolve. I think seeing you might be a good idea though. JG 10.13.08

Question:

hi, i wonder if you could advise me, i am post mini TT of 1 year after 2 c - sections, 1 only weigh 8 1/2 stone and have done for a long long time, my height is 5 ft 4 inches, so i am not overweight by any means. After the c sections i had an overhang over the scar area and what can only be described an indentation in the scar area, it felt as if my scar was adjoined to my muscle underneath as it would not move over the scar area and pinced in deeply also. After an appointment with a reputable surgeon in Belfast, Northern Ireland i was advised that scar revision would not be enough to solve the problem and that a mini TT would be my best option, so full of faith I proceded with the operation. I am now 1 yr down the line and the same problem that had me do this operation in the first place is still there, if i pull down on the skin beneath the scar it does not move + the scar its-self is indented in ( the overhang how-ever is not as evident until i pull in my stomach or bend even slightly ). The PS seemed bewildered by this and proceeded to tell me that he had placed a layer of fat inbetween the muscle + outer layer of skin to avoid this happening + that this had never happened to him before, he then took some photographs to show some other surgeons for second opinions, but said there would be nothing he could do until i was post surgery by 1 year. i have an appointment with him in 2 weeks and could use some advise as to what to say to him, could you please give me your expert opinion as i feel slightly intimidated by him ( not to mention foolish for paying such a hugh ammount of money for something that has not been resolved. i thank you in advance :)

Answer:

well I have seen that happen in the best of hands, the more tissue is placed between the skin and the muslce the less it tends to happen,but nothing is 100%, maybe this time since a smaller operation would be needed it might not scar in as much, I wish you the best. JG 10.13.08

Question:

Hi--thanks for the answer previously!! One more thing. My doc is torn 50/50 on using `binder`s post tummy tuck. My sister has gone 10 days without one and done well. Now though, there are some reddened, warm areas on the side of her tummy (the size of a hand) and there seems to be more swelling or fluid over her tummy in the sides and middle. Should I push to use a binder now? Have I lost valuable time? Can a binder now still help the tissues to adhere properly?

Answer:

I think it still might help some, yes. JG 10.13.08

Question:

My sister just had a FTT about 10 days ago. She has been great following dr`s orders---rest, no pulling/housework and taking it easy for a week. I told her about your website. She is concerned because she still cannot stand straight, she is bent over at probably 30-40 degrees. She is afraid to stand too straight right now. Is she doing the right thing to stay bent over? Also, there are some splotchy reddish areas over her tummy? Any reason to panic? Also, one area of her tummy was red yesterday and she said it felt slightly warm. What are the best things to do or not do to ensure the best recovery?

Answer:

it is not uncommon to not be able to stand straight as the muscles can be tight and the incision, I would not worry about that for the first 4-6 weeks. Splotchy red areas are not uncommon either. I think what you are describing is all within normal and I would not worry, just see her doctor for a check up in a week or so. Best of luck. JG 11.12.08

Question:

I had breast augmentation (420cc`s) both sides, a tummy tuck and lipo to my flanks and hips exactly 2 months ago (I was told that about 2 liters of fat was taken and 13 x 35 of skin). I weighed myself this morning to find that I am exactly the same weight I was before the surgery. However, I am down 1-2 sizes in clothing, they fit better, etc. I can`t get over the scale not budging... Can this be swelling still keeping my weight up? Should I still wear the compression garment? Please let me know if this is normal/common? Help!

Answer:

well, skin weighs very little and fat weighs very little too, that is why it floats, so one should not expect a weight loss, those surgeries are done for contouring, so it is common. Also remember, the implants alone weigh about 2.2 pounds together. JG 10.11.08

Question:

DR. GARCIA what would be the process to repair loose muscle from tt. i don`t like the idea of general anesthesia as i have suffered hair falling and i cannot afford another surgery now, since my ps think that i have to be responsible financially, and what would happened if i wait too long to take care of this problem. i would like to wait at least a year from my surgery which is in march 2009. thank you, god bless you

Answer:

it essentially is a repeat tummy tuck to gain access to those muscles, doubt it could be done without general anesthesia. Best of luck. JG 10.7.08

Question:

Dr. garcia, god bless you. i read your coumn once a wk, maybe looking for answer to my problem, being ps does not want help. im not sure is is still swelling after 7 months or something else. no swelling in morning, but right side is more protude t left. as day goes by, belly looks like im five months pregnant, though is was fluid, but not, no other problems, can it be scar tissue or loose muscle. very unconfortable thr day, worse at night. was not like this first 2 months of surgery. getting worse as time goes by.

Answer:

of those it sounds like loose muscle. The sutures might have torn and allowed it to get worse. JG 10.3.08

Question:

What is the average length of time for a tummy tuck scar and breast augmentation scars to fade from red to white? What can i do to help this process along?

Answer:

one year for the fading and ScarGuard and Mederma, along with a YAG laser will help it along. JG 10.2.08

Question:

thanks for your guidance. for the record if i lived in nevada (anywhere in nevada) i would have come in to see you.

Answer:

you are very kind, thank you. JG 9.26.08

Question:

thank you for your help with my poochie upper stomach. do you think it is possible for exercise alone to correct the pooch?? i really dont want to do anything extreme. i`ll tell my mom hi. you did her eyes lids and a mini face lift and she not only looks amazing but she has been shinning ever since she came to you!!!

Answer:

sorry, but not likely. Exercise will not pull the muscles together, it will just make them stronger. All the best. JG 9.26.08

Question:

Good day Dr. Garcia I had a Tummy tuck on 8/22/08 and it was a full tt. i always had a small waistline but due to 3 kids a had a pouch on my stomach. i thought i was going to have a flat stomach after the surgery but my stomach is still pouchy and soft. i went to talk to my surgeon he said that he will fix my dog ears to to the tt and he will have to do some lipo. i paid $10,000 for my tt and know he requesting 2,000 for anesticialogist to correct his mistake. do I have to pay for his mistakes? please inform me if this is true. thanks in advance

Answer:

well, I am not sure I would call it a mistake as such, some of the result that you see now is likely still swelling, but in some cases, there is a limit to what can be done and also in terms of the end result. Agrressive liposuction cannot be done at the same time as a full tummy tuck for fear of injury to the blood vessels needed for the skin to heal properly. In some cases a two stage procedure is needed for an optimal result. I have fouund that in most cases the surgeon can tell that to start off with, and I tell the patients that doing it in two stages is better and tell them that a one stage procedure can be done but the results will be limited. Without having seen you before and feeling the tissues, I do not want to play Monday Morning Quarterback and say what could or could not have been done. I think a frank discussion with him as to what you wanted before the surgery in terms of a result and what he felt he could deliver is warranted. Best of luck with all of it. JG 9.25.08

Question:

I got a tummy tuck and breast aug. done 6 weeks ago and i have had alot of drainage from my tummy tuck not only that i noticed that i have 2 thumb tack sized holes on the my scar from the tummy tuck as well as right under my right breast....Is this normal? There literally holes like you can see in. I dont know weather to cover them up so they dont get more infected or let them dry. Please help me my doc. is out of town

Answer:

well, not normal, it can happen with the tummy tuck on occasion but should not happen with the breast augmentation. I think getting started on some antibiotics is crucial in the meantime. Also, your surgeon, even if out of town, should have another surgeon covering and watching his patients for complications. If he does not, I would not go back to that surgeon as that is a very irresponsible act to not have someone watching over things when you go out of town. That is a breach of the standard of care and essentially malpractice. JG 9.17.08

Question:

Dr. garcia thank you again, i read this forum to find answer to my problem and i can see that most female with tummy tuck suffered the same issue as myself. the pouch and or swelling between the incision and navel. With me is more protrude to the right side, lately it moves to the middle, and my whole midsection becomes swell up and tender, the only way i feel better is wearing a tight garment, my doctor cannot give me a straight answer, just that it takes time, but im 6 months on tt. what can i do. by the way ny navel stop closing and my stich fall off by itself. thanks. so, in reference to my question, it`s this normal with tt.

Answer:

the swelling should not be moving, if it is it might be able to be removed with an aspiation using a small needle, best of luck. JG 9.12.08

Question:

Dr. garcia you one of few honest dc. thanks. tell info as it is.

Answer:

thank you for the kind words. JG 9.10.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a FTT two months ago. While playing with my kids, I suddenly stretched my hands over my head as a result a small sore appeared on the incision. The sore/blister popped and I have a small hole on the incision. The hole is about the size of tip of a pen. What is your opinion on this? Is this something that I just leave alone and let heal?

Answer:

it should hela on its own in time, clean it twice daily with half strength peroxide and apply neopsorin and keep a bandaid on it for now. I would also call your surgeon too. JG 9.10.08

Question:

I recently had surgery of the abdominal for sterilisation reversal although unsucessful. A few days after leakage as in fluid and faeces came from my wound area. I was admitted for emergency surgery for drainage/debridement of the area and discharged following a week with a 12 inch width open wound and 9cm depth. This was dressed at home daily by nurses etc until healing itself. However it has left me with an unsightly scar which to be honest does not bother me as much as the overhang which is more evident and the fact that I now also dont have a symetrical stomach as I was cut unequal during surgery. I am experiencing sweat etc gathering in the crease which is causing discomfort etc. I am slightly overweight, do you think a surgeon would perform a tummy tuck and would it be beneficial to my problem? Thanks

Answer:

well, it could be done but it will not be an easy tummy tuck due to the scar tissue that has developed as the wound closed after the infection. If a minimal surgery is done to only remove the overhang it might be safer but will not be a real tummy tuck. JG 9.10.08

Question:

Puedo tener un Seroma? Dr Gonzalez, en marzon del 2007 me hicieron un tummy tuck en colombia, los tuvos de dranaje se salieron antes del tiempo previsto, asiq ue la Doctora tuvo que sacarme liquido de la parte superior del abdomen insertando una jeringa. despues de dos semanas tuve que volver a Miami donde vivo, un amigo medico inserto una jeringa pero ya no habia mas liquido. desde ese momento empezo a crecer una bola en ete sitio. Ayer estuve en el hospital pues esto me ha generado dolor y al hacerme un ultra sonido y varias radiografias me diagnosticaron un upper abdominal Seroma de 3* 0.8 * 6 . La unica explicacion que me dieron fuera que esto es un tumor benigno y que dobo ir a donde mi cirujano plastico. Mi pregunta es, puede ser esto ralmente un Seroma? si es asi puede ser drenado o debe ser sacado por cirujia. Para mi es imposible vovler a Colombia en este momento, asiq ue debo realizarme cualquier tratamiento aca enn USa. Este tratamiento puede ser cubierto por mi seguro? Gracias por su ayuda.

Answer:

si, puede ser una seroma qual no se ha podido absorber. Probablemente necesita ciurgia pare scarlo todo. No creo que se puede aspirar y no creo que el seguro se lo va a cubrir. Buena suerte. JG 8.31.08

Question:

hola docotro garcia, fui operada hace 3 meses del estomago y busto, un busto se capsulo y ahora tengo dolor arriba del hombligo y siento como una bola arriba del hombligo y me arrde que puede ser

Answer:

debe de ir a ver su cirujano. JG 8.30.08

Question:

I had a tummy tuck done four years ago. My belly button is leaking a yellowish smelly drain and my stomach is not flat. I have a scar and my stomach is lumpy. What can I tell my plastic surgeon to do?

Answer:

well it has been quite some time now, I think showing him what is going and and then asking what can be done would be the best thing I believe, might have an infected suture at the belly button that could be removed and allow that issue to resolve at least . JG 8.25.08

Question:

Thank you so much! I will ask about the infected suture but what can he do about the lumpiness in the abdominal area. He did suggest to re-open and cut the area to remove the skin under it.

Answer:

hard to say without seeing you in person, might be able to be smoothed out with liposuction though. JG 8.25.08

Question:

What is your opinion regarding a tummy tuck with mesh grafting being used? Had a consult with a CA plastic surgeon and he regularly uses this procedure. I had never heard of it before seeing him. Is this common or unnecessary? Pros vs cons, if any? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Answer:

I cannot remember when I needed to use it unless in the case of a massive hernia, the mesh can become infected and if not needed is something that can or should be avoided. JG 8.23.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck 20 months ago and i still feel a hard lump about 2 inches from my belly button above the incision. It feels like a small square bar of soap. This area is also noticably more puffy than the other side of my abdomen. My surgeon said it is nothing to worry about. I am going to have liposuction in that area in 3 weeks. Do you think I should have this checked out first? Thank you so much for all your help.

Answer:

most likely scar tissue and a little indurated fat, the liposuction will most likely correct the firm area, all the best. JG 8.21.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia i had a tt back on March 17 of this year in the dominican republic. I am very happy with my surgery, but as time goes by my belly botton gets smaller and smaller. a small bean does not fix anymore. I hear this is not good. I also found out a stitch is still inside it and im in the process of going to see my Dr to get it remove. Do i have t worry about it or not. luisa

Answer:

I do not think you need to worry about the stitch, but as to the belly button closing off, you might need surgery to re-open it. JG 8.14.08

Question:

Thank you Dr. Garcia for answering my questions-but-how long does it usually take fat necrosis to melt or liquify? I had my tummy tuck 4 months ago and the necrosis is hard as a rock.

Answer:

sometimes a year or more if it is a large area. JG 8.7.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia-Another question on fat necrosis-how do I know if I have fat necrosis? What should it look and feel like?

Answer:

no way to know 100%, it is a matter of clinical history, fat necrosis will usually feel firm until the fat liquifies and then it will feel like fluid or oil. JG 8.7.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia-Thank you for answering my question on fat necrosis-but you mentioned shots-what kind of shots can I get to soften the fat necrosis?

Answer:

dilute kenalog or 5FU is what I would typically use. JG 8.7.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia-I had a tt March 2008. 2 weeks later I developed a hard ball of fat necrosis on my right side right above the incision. it is hard and sometimes it hurts. How can I get rid of it? Mu doctor says it should get soft within a year and then he will remove it. I do not want any more surgery. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make it get soft and fade away?

Answer:

injections might help it soften up, or maybe some liposuction if it is just old liquified fat now. JG 8.6.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia-2nd question-I have had problems with my bellybutton closing correctly after my tt done in March 2008. Mu doctor says it is a false close. He just did a revision on it 3 weeks ago and now he says my body is rejecting the stiches. Why does the belly button not close right and what happens when the body rejects the internal stiches?

Answer:

I have never heard of sutures rejecting, they can become infected and then come out prematurely though, hard for me to tell what is going on. JG 8.6.08

Question:

I have had a TT and lipo to my flanks on July 14, 2008. Everything is good I think, except I have developed a seroma? My PS is on holidays and refered me to one of his partners. The doctor drained my seroma once and got about 4oz`s. This is a week ago. The fluid looked like coffee? She said I might need it drained again, and I do. Will this fluid dissolve on it`s own eventually or do I have to keep getting it drained? I`m leaving for holidays in a week and I`m worried about this? Are these seromas serious? Have I distrubed something inside that I shouldn`t have? Help?

Answer:

I think it best to remove the fluid if it reaccumulates in order to get the skin to re-adhere to the normal location. The problem is not serious though, I believe you should follw their suggestions and get it removed as often as needed. JG 8.4.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck 7 months ago, and i still have somthing going on in my tummy, dont know what is going on, because my stomach is not completely flat. I have an appointment to meet another surgeon for a second opinion, and revision. Now my question is, have you ever perfomed revisions ? Are they safe and common ? I feel like i might have some scar tissue or a seroma that never got drained , not sure. But please advise on this, i just want my stomach to feel normal. Thank you.

Answer:

I have performed revisions, they are more common when large tummy tucks are done with lots of skin being removed, as to what is going on, I hope the second opinion can tell you that as an in person consultation is usually required. Best of luck. JG 7.22.08

Question:

i have a question about scars. I had a FTT and then 4 months later a butt lift. Both scars are about equal now, i am about 10 weeks post butt lift and about 6 months from FTT. Is the redness actually underneath the skin? i have been massaging with silicone oil and using 3m paper tape. Wehn i push on/massage the scar, it turns white. Makes me think only time will make it fade? No topical scar creams will do anything? why does massage speed up healing? it is nice and flat finally but both are still red/dark pink

Answer:

the redness is within the scar, it is the blood vessels that are prominent due to the scar tissue being thin and as it thickens the redness fades or decreases, pushing on it makes it look less red as it temporarilly closes off the blood vessels. Massage will flatten scars but not fade the redness, time is your best friend, and maybe a series of IPL or YAG lases to settle the vessels down. I have not found topical creams or tapes to help except for flattening them out. JG 7.9.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, how are you? I just had a question, it might sound silly, but i had a tummy tuck 7 months ago, and i expected my tummy to be pretty flat, but its not, now my question is, after you have a tummy tuck, and you work out really hard, can you still get a flat stomach with exercise, or does the tummy tuck interfear with your results ? Because i feel like there is still some fat in my stomach, can that be removed with smart lipo or is the best thing just to exercise? Please advise, thank you so much for all your help.

Answer:

well, it not being flat could be from the fat below the muscles, called visceral fat, for that to go flat you need to lose that fat, tightening the muscle with exercise and not losing that fat will not make it any flatter I am afraid. If you are not flat due to the muscles being loose but no fat in the belly, then working out will help, correct. Liposuction can remove fat below the skin but not that fat inside of the abdomen I am friad. That is diet controlled. JG 7.8.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I have a lot of excess elbow skin, Ive actually had excess elbow skin since the age of 9 but it has obviously now become much worse. My upper arms are OK but i would like the excess skin removed i dont mind if there is a scar as it would definately look better than loose skin.Are there any surgeons that would do such an operation and if so how much approx does it cost?

Answer:

I am afraid the scars from removing skin in that area will leave very unsightly scars that will be difficult to hide and will not be thin good quality scars. JG 7.6.08

Question:

If you do a tummy tuck, are you doing the area near female genital as well. or is that more for a job for a gynicolojist.

Answer:

the mons, or the area where the pubic hair is, is actually treated with most tummy tucks, anything lower than that, the non-hair-bearing areas are not treated during a tummy tuck but can be treated seperately by a gynecologist or in some cases by the plastic surgeon. JG 7.2.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia; Hola.Cuando el cirujano plastico hace tummy tuck/lipo, en la area abdominal ustedes aspiran la grasa con la canula de la liposuccion o solo estiran el pellejo y cortan el exceso de piel? Porque yo me hize la tummy/lipo pero noto que tengo 5 meses y tengo un poco de grasa. Mi segunda pregunta es si me queda un poco de abultamiento del estomago despues del year, Me podria hacer la lipo y entonces quedare completamente plana?

Answer:

no se puede aspirar la grasa debajo dela piel ques se levanta. Se tiene que hacer antes o despues. Se se hace la liposucion despues, si es una cantidad pequena, la piel luce bien, si es mucho se puede quedar con piel flacida. JG 6.11.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia Yo estuve una abdominoplastia y liposuccion en noviembre 26 del 2007. Hace 6 meses. De size 10 estoy en size 6. Pero el problema es que me sigo sintiendo la piel como acalambrada en el area encima del ombligo e inflamada. Esta Hinchason dura para siempre o deberia quitarse? Yo conozco dos amigas que una lleva 2 years y la otra 3 y se siquen inflamando. Esto me da un poco de miedo. Tambien me doy cuenta que al hacer ejercicio en la thread mill o elliptical me inflamo mas. Usted cree que no debo hacer ejercicio. Mi cirugia fue en el Ecuador y el doctor me dijo que usara la faja hasta los tres meses. Pero Yo me la pongo por el dia porque sino me siento como si la piel no fuera firme y me siento como rara sin la faja. Siento como si la piel se me fuera abrir si hago alguna furza sin la faja. Por favor ayudeme digame que deberia o no hacer y si deberia preocuparme o no. Mi idea es que yo iba a tener un estomago completamente plano ya para este tiempo (sin inflamacion). Y las experiencias de mis amigas que tienen 2 y 3 years me tienen atemorizada.Fui a un medico aqui en Estados Unidos y me dijo que no tenia fluidos. Gracias Luz

Answer:

se quita con tiempo, pero despasio. La inflamcion despues de ejercicio es normal y mejora con tiempo.JG 6.10.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck 6 months ago, and the left side of my stomach is bigger than my right side. My stomach is lop sided. I have been told it can be scar tissue or swelling? Is scar tissue after tummy tuck pretty normal? Does that happen a lot ? When i feel my stomach it is hard and when i feel the upper left side of my stomach, and push down, it feels like i could kind of feel a muscle, but im not sure ? Could this still be swelling? And if it is scar tissue and i get it removed, will my stomach than be flat, or will the scar tissue still come back? Thank you Dr. Garcia.

Answer:

scar tissue happnes after all surgery but usually it is fairly even unless something has happend to make it uneven, like a pseudobursa from a post operative fluid accumaulation. I doubt it is swelling at this point, and the scar tissue might be removed if excessive but some degree of new scar tissue will form though. JG 5.30.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i wanted to know if scar tissue after a tummy tuck , would hurt? Would`nt i feel pain? Also i had liposcution 5 months ago, and i could still see a little bit of faded bruising on my side only. Will this completely go away? Im afraid it is going to stay like that. Thank you Dr. Garcia

Answer:

it can hurt occasionally, all depends how attached it is to nerves and the underlying muscles. The bruising should go away, but it can take a long time in certain individuals. JG 5.22.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, thanks for answering all my questions. This has helped me so much. In regards to my tummy tuck. If i do have scar tissue, should i get it removed? Or should i just wait? Will it obsorb on its own? I had my TT 5 months ago. What would be your best suggestion? And if i do get scar tissue removed, is it prone to come back? And lastly how does the surgery to remove scar tissue work, and is it a long recovery? All your answers are greatlly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:

I would wait the full year and see how it feels, scar tissue can be remvoed but new scar tissue can form. Scar tissue will never totally go away. The removal of the scar tissue will depend greatly on where it is, in some cases it is almost like doing the tummy tuck all over again. JG 5.22.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck 5 1/2 months ago, and i still have hard swelling .I have talked to people that say it can take up to a full year for the swelling to go down. From your experience , would you agree? How could i tell if it is swelling or scar tissue.? How could i tell the difference? In addition, if i do have scar tissue, and it is removed, is there chances that it would come back? Thank you Dr. Garcia.

Answer:

in some cases, where the amount of work was extensive, yes, one year can be the time period. Scar tissue also forms and also will go down in terms of getting softer. As to telling the difference, if it is hard, it is likely scar tissue and if soft most likely swelling. If it moves around or comes and goes it is swelling and if it is in the same place all the time it is scar tissue. JG 5.21.08

Question:

Hello, I hada tummy tuck 2 years ago. My belly button still looks like a Red upsidedown horse shoe. Cortisone shots there have helped it be softer but can my belly button be redone to look normal? :(

Answer:

ypu might be able to improve the redness with either a YAG laser or a VBeam laser. JG 5.21.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Hace 4 semanas me hicieron una abdominoplastia, a las dos semanas me salio una bola como la mitad de una bola de golf, entre el ombligo y el costado izquierto (como una pulgada arriba de la inccision) y con mucho dolor que se exparce hacia arriba rumbo a las costillas, siento como que me quema por dentro, fui a ver a mi medico y me dijo que no sabia que era, pero que tomara penicilina en caso de que fuera fluido y que no me fuera a infectar, ya termine con las pastillas pero el dolor sigue ahi, la bola(que por cierto estaba muy dura y luego se puso como moreton) ya bajo en un 80% pero el dolor sigue, usted cree que pude ser una hernia, o no me debo de preocupar? Pues hoy volvi a ver al Dr. y me dice que le de tiempo, necesitare un ultra-sonido? Gracias Doctor, pues no se que hacer.

Answer:

ne se tiene que preocupar, fue un desrame de sangre que con el tiempo se mejora, el dolor es porque la inflamacion le halla alos nervios, todo se mejora con tiempo y un poco de calor, una tuallas con agua caliente para que la sangre se desuelva. JG 5.19.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, so if i do have something called a pseudobursa that has formed around the fluid,and it can still be aspirated but there might be a sac of scar tissue that might need to be cut out to get it totally flat. Where do i get cut ? How does that procedure work? To get the sac of scar tissue out. Can you explain. Thank you so much Dr. Garcia.

Answer:

an incision needs to be made to cut the pseuodbursa out, sometimes it is made in the smae incision you already have. JG 5.18.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck and Lipo 5 months ago, and i have a concern. I have already asked you about. However, i have further questions. I am so confused, i still have hard swelling on the upper left of my stomach, and right above my pubic area , that looks like a little popped out pooch. I am getting very unpatient. When seeing my PS, he said to just wear a very tight garmet, and message the area. However, i have been doing that for a week now, and i see nothing different. And i think wearing such a tight garment, is cutting my circulation, because now my feet are swelling. Now , my question is , do you think i can get aspirated with a needle , even if its hard? What could it be? But when i stand and walk around the left side of my stomach feels like there is somthing there? It feels like something is kinda popping out. What could it be? What do you advise i do? Thank you so much.

Answer:

if it is fluid accumulated there, it can still be aspirated even now. If something called a pseudobursa has formed around the fluid, it can still be aspirated but there might be a sac of scar tissue that might need to be cut out to get it totally flat. Massage might help the fluid but I do not think the girdle will do much at this point in time. JG 5.17.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I am scheduled for a TT this Friday. I had a cold that started last week which I am just getting over. Is it safe for me to still go through with the surgery?

Answer:

I think it is likely OK to proceed, best of luck. JG 5.13.08

Question:

How long before a scar from a butt lift(Brazillian thong incision) to flatten out, especially the part that dips down to the crack? what do you think about the adhesive silicone strips to treat scars? also, Scar Guard, the brush on silicone treatment, does it work? it is recommended by PS s. I usually scar well, no keloids, but this one is prety aised in spots, i am 10 days post op. thanks for your time.

Answer:

it can take months and in some case it might never flatten out. I do not think the adhesive strips do much but I do think Mederma is a good product but to reduce the redness only. JG 5.10.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck 5 months ago, and i recently went to follow up with my PS, because of swelling. I only have swelling on my left side, and it is very hard. Is that normal? How should swelling feel? And long could it take for it to completely go down? Please advise, Thank you .

Answer:

not normal, but it can happen, usually is is scar tissue from fluid that was slow to absorb. It might take a full year for all to soften up. In some cases if there is still fluid, it cna be removed with a needle to flatten the area too. JG 5.9.08

Question:

Hi Dr! I have asked you several questions in the past regarding a rev. abd. scar that needs revised as well as a L. breast crease that needs redefined due to the pulling from the rev. abd. I am scheduled to see my ps at the end of the month. He is planning on addressing these issues with another surgery in the fall. If I still have any hesitations afrer my appt. with him. how do I find the names of the best ps that would redo a rev. abd scar, redefine a breast crease etc. What types of ps would be considered the expert in these procedures---breast reconstructive surgeons? (the ones who deal with post-breast cancer pts) or massive weight loss patients (where upper body lifts are performed more commonly? Although I trust my ps, I need to make sure that I have one of the best who is experienced in `clean-ups` of a rev. abd. I have come to learn that a rev. abd is a uncommon procedure. I am guessing that going to another ps in my area may not be effective as they may not be very experienced with the rev. abd procedrue, nor the clean-up needed. At what point do I start making consultations with other ps in the North Carolina area? Is it smarter to stick with the original ps who did the procedure? At what point to I start researching rev. abd experts all over the nation? I really need to have peace of mind. How do I access this info?

Answer:

I do not think there is an expert but I think seeing someone who does alot of breast surgery and tummy tucks is important, some surgeons do mostly faces. Surgeons that do reconstruction after massive weight losss would also be good choices. JG 5.6.08

Question:

I am 6 months post op from my tummy tuck. Of course when I stand my stomach is flat as a board. When I sit down my stomach bludges out. I have noticed this in the bath tub or when I bend down to pick up my child. Is this normal?

Answer:

it is normal, due to the amount of fat inside of your abdomnem most likely, that is not treated with a tummy tuck. JG 5.4.08

Question:

wondering if youcan answer my question below about butt lift? i noticed you stopped answering at mine. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer:

sorry, for the delay, I am out of town at a medical convention and have limited time at present. JG 5.4.08

Question:

WHAT IS YOUR TOTAL COST FOR A MINI TUMMY TUCK?

Answer:

I would need to see you in person to give you an accurate quote. JG 5.3.08

Question:

I asked yesterday about a tummy tuck with an epidural instead of GA, I guess my question is would you do it with an epidural? My friend had her breat lift through you and she`s ecstatic with the results and highly recommends you.

Answer:

that is really more up to the anesthesiologist, we can ask them, some are very comfortable with that technique, but not all of them. I am willing to do it with that anesthesia though. JG 5.1.08

Question:

I am 28 years old and would like to have a tummy tuck, I had twins 9 years ago and am not happy with my tummy now. I am very nervous to be put under, can this surgery be performes with just aa local or an epidural maybe? Also what is the average cost for this surgery?

Answer:

some docotrs will do it under an epidural, prices vary widely so you need to decide on a surgeon to get a fee. JG 5.1.08

Question:

I am 39 had FTT 8/07. My scars are brown and pink with hardness in center of incision. I had scar revision 6wks ago, due to dog ear on ends and widening of scar in center.Is there a laser to lighten the dark/pink scars? I know I will have a white scar. i am OK with that. Also, at times it looks like I have a pooch or bloated in lower abdomen. I am considering IPL or Varilite laser. What are your thoughts? Thanks

Answer:

I usually use a YAG laser for that problem, it takes a series of treatments, I do not think the Varilite or IPL will be enough. JG 4.29.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck 5 months ago in Tijuana. And this week i went for a follow up appointment with my Surgeon, do to having hard swelling on the left side of my stomach, and right underneath my belly button. I still have a pooch and it feels hard. The Dr. said it could be one of two things, either i have torn my muscles, or it is swelling. He said he had a patient who took 7 months before all the swelling went away completely. He has advised me to message the area twice a day for 20 minutes, each time, and wear a tighter compression garmet. He says there is no way of telling if i have torn muscles unless he goes in and does the surgery again. Is that true? I dont want to have a tummy tuck revision if i dont have to.Can the swelling take that long ? Should i just give it more time? How long should i wait before considering a revised tummy tummy? I also had lipo , can it be because of that i am taking longer to heal? If i do have torn muscle , is it dangerous? And if i leave it with the torn muscle, will my stomach feel soft again, or stay hard ?Please advise, i am worried and just want to make sure i do the right thing. Thank you Dr. Garcia , i appreciate it.

Answer:

swelling can take a long time, I doubt you would have torn the muscles though, if that were the case the pain would be unbearable, you migth have a hematoma though and that might need to be aspirated with a needle to reduce the swelling and fluid that has accumulated. I think what they have suggested should show some improvement in a month if that is what it is. JG 4.29.08

Question:

Regarding the round, totally flat scar. You stated that you would need to examine me. Have you ever heard of such a thing happening? I am in Florida, so I was also curious if you had any advice on what type of qualifications I should look for in a surgeon to fix this.

Answer:

I have heard and seen it, it can happen. JG 4.28.08

Question:

Dr. G, I had a full TT with MR done in March 2007. My belly button did not end up right. It is a round, totally flat scar. It was repaired by the original PS using a purse string technique. This did not work. It only made it a little smaller round, totally flat scar. The PS said he shortened the stock as much as possible and there is nothing else that can be done. I am a petite person at 5`2 105 lbs. Before the TT, I had no fat except belly bulge from pregnancy. Post TT, I have no fat at all. My stomach is hard as a rock. There is not fat under the muscle or between the muscle and skin. Can my belly button be repaired somehow? I am devastated. If it can, what type of surgeon should I be looking for?

Answer:

hard for me to tell what if anything could be done wihtout examining you, sorry. JG 4.27.08

Question:

Dr.Garcia, I had a tummy tuck april 2007, My wound opened up towards the middle, they said due to tension and poor wound healing . It was revised in Nov 2007.I have asian skin , and prone to Kelloids. MY belly button had to be revised twice. It still looked raised. I am now getting steroid shots on it every month.MY doctor had now relocated and I am being followed up by his partner. MY belly button still does not look good. What do you recommend to improve it. I heard you could probably tattoo over it. How soon can you do it. Or should I try laser first?Also I have been putting kelo cote on my scars for a couple months . I am not sure it is working. thank you so much

Answer:

in most cases cutting it out again will result in the same keloid. Tattoo over it will not help it either, but it will have a different color. The tatoo can be done at any time. I am not impressed with the Kelokote either. JG 4.21.08

Question:

Hi dr. Garcia, been awhile. Have had a FTT with MR, fab results, next is my butt lift in a week and a half. I forgot to ask my PS at my preop if the butt lift is done one cheek at a time? I know the incision goes along the lower back and will connect with my TT incision. He knows i am a fanatic about scars being exactly where i want and EVEN, but if each side is done separately, is that possible to be even, since i may not be symetrical back there? he said he will take about a 3 inch section out and sew together, no drains, all internal stitches and clear tape over that with a lipo type garmet on when i wake up. I am only 114 lbs, so he siad too thin to bother with drains, i had 2 for my FTT with MR and hardly drained at all, never more than 15 ccs in 24 hrs so he knows i wont need them this time. sound right to u? Main question is about butt chheks separately or together? Thanks so much! JR

Answer:

they are done together and I will tell you that even if the scars are marked very carefully, due to gravity, the scars on your buttocks lift will likely be similar but not perfectly symmetrical. As to the drains, it all depends on how much undermining is done, if it is minimal, like possibly in your case, they might not be needed. Best of luck. JG 4.19.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia: I`m wondering if you recommend any type of silicone sheets for scar treatment. I have an abdominoplasty scar but more concerned about the scarring from some necrosis to the skin. I used a sheet from my Psurg. for the past two months and I`m not sure I`m seeing much results. I have seen several different types on line but they seem much more expensive. One is called rejuveness. Do you recommend these at all?

Answer:

I do not use them as I have found they offer little advantage unless firm constant pressure is applied at the same time and that is really hard to do on most surgical wounds not on the arms or legs. JG 4.17.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: I had a modified tummy tuck 6 weeks ago with oblique muscle repair. My scar looks pretty good already. Very fine and not that red. I was wondering at what point can I start using the silicone strip on it. I have been keeping the micropore tape on it but was wondering if I should change to the silicone strip at this time. And how does the silicone work differently from the micropore tape. Thanks in advance.

Answer:

you can start now if you wish. I think they work about as well. JG 4.14.08

Question:

please accept my apology on not being clear on previous tt question. am due for cirf.lipo in june due to the fat shifting fron 11 months out tt.a roll has developed below bra when sit;as was told lipo should have been done first to thin out underneath to be able to pull more skin. again so sorry for the previous confusing email. i appreciate the thoughts you give. thank you again DR, Garcia....terry

Answer:

no problem, I just wanted to make sure I could answer your question. Firstly, fat does not shift, it gets bigger or smaller, but it does not move. If you gained weight after the surgery, since some areas were removed, you will gain fat in the fat cells that remain, so some areas might get bigger. In many cases,I agree that doing liposuction first yields a better result as it thins the skin and gives a better contour. It might lead to more skin tightening, but the main reason to do it is for better contour, less thick skin. JG 4.10.08

Question:

thoughts on circumf.lipo?ter in pa.post tt i yr ago.donut roll below bra due to no lipo prior to tt.this is to be done in june.told only need ten days off. is lipo this advanced.is it rx just like a lap.chole?this ps has exper.in cal,with wt loss,srgy,&burns came back to pa thanks alot for your in put...very satisfied with this one. due to previous ps. approach not so great or wouldnt need this... lipo for the donut roll above umbilicus.. thoughts?

Answer:

your question is difficult to understand, I do perform circumferential liposuction in some isolated cases, but it cannot be done on all cases. JG 4.10.08

Question:

Who do you recommend in Tampa, FL for a full tummy tuck and breast lift with augmentation (gummy bear implants are preferred). Could you please give me a estimated dollar cost for these procedures done in a combined surgery. Thank you for your website, it is a treasury of information!

Answer:

gummy bear implants are still not availble. Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best. JG 4.8.08 http://www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.php.

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck with lipo to my lower back and sides on march 15th. I wore a drain for 7 days & about 7 days ago my stomach has gotten so swollen, parts of it are very hard mostly the center & above my new belly button. Is this normal & when does the swelling start to go down? also, where the lipo was done it feels very hard too like a ball! should I massage the area? I was told to wear the tape on my incisions for as long as I can, is that okay as well? Im feeling a little dissapointed because my stomache is flat but raised if that makes any sense I dont feel normal.

Answer:

it is not uncommon and it can take 4-6 weeks for a lot of that swelling to resolve, you might need to get some fluid drianed in that area with a needle. Tape on the incisions is OK and massage is a must. JG 4.8.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I emailed you back in January regarding a very large seroma that formed on my abdomen after a laproscopy hysterectomy. It was from my breast bone to my pelvic floor and wrapped around my waist. The intial drain was inserted 1/11/08 and was finally removed 3/5/08. Now that it has been removed a have a semi-hard lump under my breast bone that protrudes only when I lay down flat on my back. It does protrude when I`m standing and looking in the mirrow (side view) Also, the drain was placed right beside my belly button. It seemed like it should of been placed lower so that it would of drained better. I also have a really soft area right below my belly button. Is it likely that each of those will get better in the months to come? Could the semi-hard lump be scar tissue and the soft spot under my bellybutton in my lower abdomen be a small collection of fluid left over? Is there anything that I can do to relieve either of these? Natural treatments?

Answer:

most likely they will get better with more time, yes. The semi hard one is either scar tisssue or a pseudobursa from where the fluid used to be. Hopefully the lower spot is just fluid and not a hernia as the hernia will not fix itself. No natural treatments I can suggest though, just time. JG 4.8.08

Question:

I am 4 1/2 months past a modified tummy tuck. (no muscle repair) My upper abdomen is still very tight and seems to feel worse (tighter) as the day goes on. Also I still do not have much sensation straight down the middle of the abdomen. How much longer should I anticpate this going on before it gets better? I also had a few open areas above the scar line which have healed over but left quite a red scar. I`ve been using a silicone sheet since February but it doesn`t seem to be getting any better. Any other suggestions? I`m not scheduled to return to my PS until the end of summer. Thank you.

Answer:

it might take a full year to get to the end result in terms of sensation. Might consider a YAG laser for the red areas. JG 4.6.08

Question:

Today my PS injected cortisone into my belly button and tummy tuck scars to reduce the inflamed look they have had for 1.5 years. How effective will the shots be and how many visits for injections does it usually take for the inflamation to go and stay down? I had these shots about a year ago, but just one visit and it didn`t seem to do much. Also, I recently started using your eye cream I love it but it does sting a little, is that normal? How long does it take to notice reduced lines and dryness below the eye? Thank you so much! :)

Answer:

it will be a series of shots, but in many cases it does help, even after this much time. Usually if it is kenalog it is done every 4-6 weeks. One shot will not do the trick. As to the eye cream, that can happen in sensitive skin, but it gets better with time. You will likely see inprovements in 4-8 weeks, some people see it sooner if their skin is really dehydrated and damaged. JG 4.3.08

Question:

I have to have a capsulotomy, nipple revision and a abdominal scar revision this fall. My PS says it will take about 2 hrs. How long should I wait to undergo a laproscopically assisted hysterectomy? THere will be 3-4 small incisions on my abdomen (one being the umbilicus). Also, I have had a mini tummy tuck in 05/06 and a touch up tummy tuck in 01/07. Are there contraindication to performing laproscopic surgery through my abdomen this fall? Circulatory risks? Nerve damage? Improper healing?ucau . toas fsca

Answer:

I would give it at least 2-4 weeks after the plastic surgery if you can. No contraindications or unsual risks. JG 4.3.08

Question:

I wrote recently about a rev. abd. that has pulled the crease under my breasts down and caused a flattening effect and loss of some of the creases of both breasts. I have plenty of loose skin in the abdomen (it has relaxed a lot since my rev. abd in jan 2007). My PS does not want to redo the rev. abd. because he feels the same cycle will happen: pull loose skin up; create tension; scar thickening and tension will pull breasts creases down. I agree. I don`t want this happening again. But, he would like to `recreate` the breast creases by gently taking the loose skin under both breasts and `tacking` it up about 1/2-1 inch and redefine my breasts creases. Questions: won`t it just drop again and further tug on my breasts? (although my skin is much looser this time, he will be careful to not create any more tension). Can this create a weired looking crease that may look strange? Is it worth doing it? I don`t like looking at my breasts straight on naked because you can see that both creases have lost a lot of definition. But, I don`t know if I am ready to possibly create any more problems................In a bra, they look great because the underwire gives the crease it`s definition back

Answer:

well, the less tissue he lifts the less chance of the problem recurring. Might be worth to try to hide the scars a bit and creating a fold, but not to correct the loose upper abdominal skin. JG 4.3.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia: I just sent you a personal email. Please see the email.

Answer:

will do

Question:

I am 48 and have had two previous abdominal surgeries for colon cancer. I have a vertical incision since 2001, and a horizontal incision from a liver resection in 2002. Although I developed a large hernia in the midline incision, I have been colon cancer free. In October 2007, I had a bilateral mastectomy (for DCIS) and immediate reconstruction (DIEP); the plastic surgeon repaired the hernia with a large piece of mesh and finished the abdomen off with an abdominoplasty. I had some seroma formation and some incisional healing problems. One month after the procedure (after several seroma aspirations), I developed an abscess. The abscess drained through the already open part of the incision, but had trouble healing. The surgeon opened up the area and allowed it to heal from the inside out; it took at least 8 weeks to completely close. Since then, the incision above my pubic area looks like a roller coaster; also, I develop a considerable amount of swelling (bloating) after eating anything, or even standing for most of the day. The swelling seems to be a bit less if I wear compression underwear. I bulge in a tire-like fashion above the incision, and also feel a bulge right over my pubic bone. I am concerned these are hernias forming along the horizontal incision. I think it is too far out from the initial surgery to just be post-op healing. I am certainly hesitant to have more surgery but am convinced this problem needs to be fixed, as the swelling really gets uncomfortable. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Would wearing a compression garment help at this point? (none was recommended after surgery). Thanks

Answer:

sounds like recurrent hernias in the incision from the previous surgeries, I think attempt at repair will be a high risk issue too. JG 3.24.08

Question:

I just had a tummy tuck with liposculpture my lower part of the abdomen near the pubic hair line where the incision is located is hard as a rock how long will this be if my surgery was a month ago? also my back still hurts from the lipo in my back the doctor says is because he removed alot of fat ? how long will the swelling and pain last? Also how soon can I start aerobics?

Answer:

it can take another 4-6 weeks for that area to soften in some cases. Pain should be better in the same amount of time. We let our patients start aerobics after one month. JG 3.24.08

Question:

How long can you wait to ask a PS for a revision. I had a full TT 1.5 years ago and the longer I wait, thinking it just needs to heal more to look better the more I think I need a revision. The scars are all lumpy and crooked. My belly button is off center about 1/2 inch. I still have fat on my hips that could have and should have been lipo`d when all the other was lipo`d. Thank you Dr. Garcia

Answer:

I think more than 1 1/2 years is too long. JG 3.22.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: I was wondering if you can explain a few things to me. I had a modified tummy tuck two weeks ago.Now my pubic hair is raised some. I had a perfect triangle of hair since I had laser hair removal. Now, it looks long and skinny. Does that mean he pulled the skin up instead of down?Secondly, I had excess fluid which felt like a waterbed, so yesterday, he drained some out with a needle. Since then, I have a divet in the middle in one area and still fullness in the other areas. Will this dimple go away? And, my stomack is not flat yet. I am a thin person 5`3 and 103 lbs. so I did not have much fat, but mostly some loose skin from a pregnancy.I paid the price of a full tummy tuck, but did not get that. Will I still get as good a result, and how long will it take for me to see this fullness disappear from the lower parts of the abdomen? His report saus An extended pfannenstiel incision was performed and the plane ofdissection taken lateral to the umbilicus bilaterally. The umbilicus was notamputated. Hemostasis was securedand the wound thoroughly irrigated in routine fashion. A transverse plication was then performed using an interrupted#1Ti-Cron suture. The redundant lower abdominal pannus was amputated, and the subscarpel fat resected along the line of resection and in the midline. Is that saying that he tightened the oblique muscles since he said that the vertical muscle was good and did not need tightening. Can you explain to me what was done? and will this dimple clear up, and why is it there? Thanks in advance.

Answer:

it is likely that they pulled both ways, the upper skin was pulled down and the pubic area, when sutured to the newly downwardly pulled skin rose higer once it healed due to tension. The dimple should go away but you might have other small areas of fluid too that might need to be drianed, hard for me to tell without examining you in person. It sounds like they tightened the muscle in a horizontal fashion, somewhat unusual, rather than the normal vertical orientation. The dimple is there because there is likely swollen tissues around it and as the tissues heal and soften it should get better. If they did not move the belly button then you had a limited or mini tummy tuck, not a full one, that is where the belly button is cut and the hole fo the belly button and the skin above the belly button is pulled downward. JG 3.20.08

Question:

Why wouldnt the PS use the original bellybuton when performing a TT? If performing a repeat TT because muscle came undone could it still be used then? Thank you so much.

Answer:

it can stil be maintianed unless an umbilical float procedure was done where the stalk of the belly button had been transected before. JG 3.20.08

Question:

I had gastric bypass surgery and need to have the skin removed. I still have 40 pounds to lose before I have this done, but my question is about how much will the plastic surgery cost to remove the skin from my tummy and thighs? I know that insurance will not cover it and I need to start saving because I have worse body image now than when I weighed 368 pounds!!!

Answer:

I think you need to pick your surgeon and then get the fee quotes from them as they will vary greatly,but figure about $18,000 to $20,000 in some cases. JG 3.20.08

Question:

Is there an ab procedure where the skin is pulled up instead of down. When I pull up, seems like I would just need a tuck on either side,it makes a huge difference. Anything like that? Anchoring the skin seems like it would be a problem. thank you

Answer:

yes, a reverse tummy tuck cna be done, but it can leave visible scars on the ribcage. JG 3.8.08

Question:

I wrote you earlier about my reversed abdominoplasty concern about whether I should have a Rev. abd. redo or mini TT redo etc. I saw my ps yesterday and he strongly feels that the best situation is for him to `revise ` the rev. abd scar and leave it alone. He feels that trying to tighten the skin even more, or trying to anchor it up into the fascia using permanent sutures may only create more problems (thick scars, further scar migration etc). I am at peace with this decision. Could you give me your best recommendations for how to `best` heal a revised scar in the rev. abd position? Please keep in mind that the first time he did NOT have me wear any garment or binder or support after. He felt it was not needed. Since then my `scar` has lowered 1-2 inches. In terms of binders/compression/silicone sheeting, cream etc. I really want to know how to make this as pretty a scar as possible. Thanks a bunch!

Answer:

I am not a believer in silicone sheets and I do not think the binder will do much besides reduce swelling. For the scar about all I can suggest is Mederma or Scarguard after the sutures are out. Best of luck. JG 3.6.08

Question:

Hi, Had a full TT with muscle repair and lipo of flanks 6 weeks ago. Wore the binder steady for 4 weeks. I only took it off to shower. Then I went to buy a body shaper to wear constantly for the following two weeks/ per doctors orders. I bought 5 different ones and none were comfortable, mostly due to the seams. I noticed my lower abdomen was a little swollen after 1 week of these crappy garments. I then went and purchased the most awesome comfortable bodyshaper with no seams. It definitley has compression but I wouldn`t say too much compression. It feels like I am wearing nothing but I noticed the following after wearing it for about 8 hrs when I would sit back or lay down. It feels like fluid trickling under your skin. This fluid runs from my lower abdomen over my hips and into my back and legs. This feels kinda neet, fluid sometimes seems to be cold. This has continued for 5 days now. Is this my bodies way of absorbing extra fluid? It doesnt seem like a seroma, I only say that cause I think a seroma would remain at the surgical site. HElP P.S. I feel fine, scar has closed up completely. I can walk straight and my muscles are good, only get a little stiff if I sit for too long.

Answer:

it might be the fluid or it might be the small nerves of the tissues starting to come back alive, nothing I would worry about and should go away in time. JG 3.6.08

Question:

My ps told me that when he performs my upper body lift, he will use `permanent` sutures into my tissue and deeper layers to hold everything up. Do the permanent sutures literally stay in there forever? Are they more effective than the dissolvable kind? He said that in order for the upper abd. skin to hold, I need them. How does that all work? Do you agree? What are the possible complications?

Answer:

the stitches do stay there forever but the tissues can tear through and the sutures remain in the location where they were placed but the tissues can sag. I think they can at times be a better choice, but one should not believe that using a permanent suture will yield a permanent result of support. The possible complications from permanent sutures is that a granulomna can form and then they can,at times, need to be cut out, where dissolving sutures form granulomas less often and tend to dissolve over time and go away. JG 3.4.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: I was wondering what the difference is between a full tummy tuck versus a modified tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck.My surgeonm says he would do a modified and tighten the oblique muscles. because my vertical muscles feel like they are already real close together. Also, if I was to do a reverse tummy tuck instead, is it as much work, and are there any muscles to tighten in the upper part like on the ribs, or would he be removing only skin?What should be the price difference between the full tummy tuck and the reverse? Thanks i advance.

Answer:

cannot give you price differences as they vary from surgeon to surgeon. Muscles can be repaired durig a reverse tummy tuck if needed, but generally the reverse tummy tuck is a reverse mini tummy tuck as the belly button is not moved. Which one you need is dependant on where the skin is in excess and what the muscles are like. JG 3.3.08

Question:

Hi Dr. thanks for your answer. I will give it time.. I am the peson that had the gulf size thing removed. I was reading your ans. to other people. what is intra- abdominal fat? Thanks again. I will give it 3 months before worrying about this again. Gracias...

Answer:

all the best. JG 3.3.08

Question:

Thank you for your complete honesty regarding my first entry. I just have a couple more questions before I make this tough decision.One thing I did not stress the first time was that I am fairly confident that I do still have some loose skin. My abdominal area does not look like the tight post tt pictures that I have seen. I actually have a `hooded` looked to my umbilicus. The best way to describe my tummy is that it looks like a regular tummy that has not had any surgery--a fairly soft look. When I take my hands, grab my skin just under my breats and lift up, I can easily grab 2-3 inches freely. When I do that, my `hooded` umbilicus disappears and looks nice,flat and tight. SO....I do think there is some free loose skin. I probably have loose skin because after my 1st rev. abd, (at the time of surgery I was only 105 pounds,)I have gained 15 lbs. and I am now at my `normal` weight of 120 lbs. So, the skin has probably stretched and pulled due to the weight gain. Since my goals are threefold: (1) bring the scar back up into the breast crease as much as possible (2) revise the scar so it can heal into a fine, thin line and (3) remove the loose skin that still remains around my umbilical area and upper abd. area----- how do I need to approach this? What about the possibility of having him redo the mini tt at the lower pubic area to further tighten the skin and umbilicus and have him just revise the rev. abd. scar without pulling or tugging more skin at the upper abd. area? Cost is not an issue--we are willing to see any plastic surgeon and travel anywhere to get the best results. We just finally want to `get this right` Thanks for your patience with all my questions-----after your response I am going to make a final decision and move forward--- Thanks-

Answer:

I think neither option will fulfil all of your three wishes. If you do a regular tummy tuck again, the upper incision will move down and not be hidden, if you repeat the reverse tummy tuck, the scar might be able to stay hidden but I am afraid it will never be a thin line. I think in your scenario, the lesser of the two evils would be to repeat the reverse tummy tuck and accept the permanent scars. I a afraid in your case there is no great option, there will be a serious compromise. JG 3.3.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Here we go again. I had full TT last March. One of my sutures broke somehouse causing a hemotoma. It trapped some blood in my body and hardened. My Surgeon repaired it 3 months ago. He removed the hardened blood which was the size of a gulf ball and repaired the stitch. He said I would be fine. I have been careful like you would not believe. However the recovery has been slow. I feel a residue of the lump or maybe scar tisue deep inside. and it feels so tight there. I am swollen..somedays more than others. My muscles feel lumpy ...like . Lumpy and irritated. I think the muscle repair was done too tight. Do yo think it will get better. I am so worn from the whole thing. I know the last surgery was only three months ago but I ran out of patient. ... I am destined to be miserable? Do you think this will improve. By the way my ins did pay for repair surgery.. all of it. So should I be consulting with another surgeon or waiting a little longer. Estoy desesperada y deprimida.. le juro que no sabe como me arrepiento de haber echo esto. Gracias.

Answer:

give it time, it takes longer to heal from the second one than the first, all too soon to do anything else. JG 3.1.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia--- Your information came up during my struggle to find information concerning `reverse abdominoplasty`.....I will give you a quick medical history. I am a physician in Concord, NC. I consider myself to be healthy and in shape (5 ft. 6 and 120 lbs, very active and good dietary/exercise habilts) I had a breast augmentation and mini-abdominoplasty (same surgery) in May 2006 with a board-certified plastic surgeon in Charlotte that I respect and trust. He called it a `mini` abdominoplasty (not a full tummy tuck)because he left a small scar--although he still managed to tighten all of my muscles and remove a lot of skin. Unfortunately after the mini-abdominoplasty both the surgeon and I agreed that there was a lot of skin above the umbilicus that still remained. He suggested a `reverse abdominoplasty`. It seemed like a simple solution to remove the extra skin and we could position the scar within my breast crease. I agreed that this would be a good option for me since the main problem was extra skin above the umbilicus only. I had the reverse abdominoplasty in Jan 2007. Initially, the scar was hidden right within my breast crease (he did a great job shaping the scar to match the natural crease of my breasts). It was a thin, small scar that looked hopeful. I even refrained from all exercise for 3-4 months to allow the tissue/fascia and scar heal. However, within about 4-6 months after the surgery, I noticed that I noticed that the scar began to `drop` to a lower position. Today, it now sits at least 1-2 inches lower than it was originally. I can no longer wear a bikini top because the scar is in full view. This has been emotional for me because I used to `live` in my bathing suit in summer. The scar also widened in thickness quite a lot (3-4 cm) in the lateral portions and the central portion of the scar is fairly raised and rough looking. I discussed this with my surgeon. He graciously offered a `redo` this upcoming April 2008. His plan is to use `permanent sutures` this time (the first time he used the dissolvable kind)suturing the fascia/tissue to the rib cage underneath. He is hoping that this will `hold` the new scar in place high up into the breast crease. What are your thoughts? I don` think I have enough skin left to have a complete TT redo. Plus, I now have this upper reverse abd. scar that needs to be revised anyway. It sounds like you are familiar with this procedure and I would like your professional opinion. What would your best suggestions be for this situation in terms of the surgery? The care for the scars/sutures afterwards in terms of activity/brace/binders/scar treatments? I am really concerned about this procedure because I had no idea initially that there was a risk that this scar could drop so much and be visible. I really don`t want to have to go through this procedure/healing process again just to see the scar `drop` one more time. It has been an emotional journey. My goal is to have the scar `raised` back up to within the crease and stay there permanently. DR -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo! Search. DeleteReplyForwardMove... Previous | Next | Back to Messages Save Message Text | Full Headers

Answer:

well, I think permanentt sutures will help some but will likely not totally avoid the recurrance of the problem I am afraid. The sutures might hold but they can tear through the tissues and then essentially there is nothing to support the tissues together and hold then to the ribs. The reality is that the tissue will be pulled downward and in time the scar will migrate, especially when pulled tightly. In your case, since it is a redo, the skin is likely already tight and further tension will likely cause more downward pull and also a greater chance of thicker scars. The longer you wait and allow the skin to get looser the better. It is a well known issue with reverse tummy tucks and I do perform them on a limited number of patients, especially ones after massive weight loss where the scars are less of a concern. Those scars from the reverse tummy tuck are almost impossible to hide in any kind of bathing suit short of a tube top. Wish I had more to offer. JG 2.28.08

Question:

i had a baby 2 yrs ago and I am really unhappy with my abdomen above my belly button. I didnt get any stretch marks but my skin looks stretched to me. I had lipo on my tummy but that didnt seem to do anything, i also work out a lot. i dont have any skin to pull down for a traditional tummy tuck. Do you do the upper tummy tuck? How long is the recovery on an upper tummy tuck? Is an upper about the same as a lower, @$5-6000? Also is the scar between your breasts or right below? THANK YOU!

Answer:

I have done them but the scar over the breast bone can be hard to hide in bathing suits or certain clothing. Recovery is the same as for a traditional tummy tuck, two weeks of no activity and then two weeks of light activity. Price is about the same as a regular tummy tuck. The scar is below the breast and also across the breast bone. JG 2.27.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I am writing from the UK, I had a full Tummy Tuck & Lipo procedre done last October, my tummy and abdomen are still protuding the amount varies from day to day, is this normal??? or do I need amymore work done in this area. Regards Carolynn

Answer:

not common, sounds like you might need something done, but it can also be some intra-abdominal fat that might not be able to be improved without weight loss, hard for me to tell long distance. JG 2.25.08

Question:

I am 61 and have a large complicated ventral hernia.. I have had previous mesh repair in 91 and it held until I had a hysterectomy in 2000 and it was not replaced in that operation and the running sutures broke. I have lived with it for 8 years. It is at the point now of being unsightly and I am asking Should I have it repaired at this point with no real problem in case a future problem develops and I cannot do it... What are the risks....

Answer:

well, if it is large, it will not get incarcerated so the issues are mroe of appearance and back pain, I will say that it might be difficult to fix after this much time too. JG 2.25.08

Question:

I just found out from my ps that my muscle repair came undone. I get a football lump when i try to sit up. He will do it again, but i am curious if it failed once will it be more likely to fail again? I have no idea why it happened or when it happened. I am pretty happy with my results. My upper abs protrude, but I had thought this was due to weight, which I do carry in upper abs. What factors should I take into consideration when considering whether to redo the TT? Yes, I need to lose about 20 more pounds.

Answer:

I think losing the weight first will place less tension on the muscle repair and might be better and hold better too. JG 2.12.08

Question:

I had 5 c-sections,one pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, a hysterectomy, and then later also had ventral hernia surgery that was repaired with mesh three years ago. I presently have major pouching of my entire abdomen and absolutely no muscle tone. I consulted a plastic surgeon and was told that my rectus abdomis muscles needed to be pulled back together but that the surgeon could not perform the surgery because I had a mesh patch across the muscles and it would be too dangerous to have to peal back the mesh to connect the muscles together properly. Is my case hopeless? Will I have to live with a belly that looks like I am about 5 months pregnant forever? I also have excess skin from the twin pregnancy. Is there anything thing I can do to look better? I am not overweight. I just have a pouch.

Answer:

I think the risks of doing a muscle repositionng is very high and there is also a high probability that the ventral hernia repair would fail because of it. JG 2.11.08

Question:

Hello, I had a tummy tuck 14 months ago. I have developed a very hard lump above my pubic area incision. It feels like a small bar of soap. I felt this shortly after tummy tuck. My doctor drained area with a needle for about 4 weeks. I am concerned because it seems to be getting larger and harder and the area next to my belly button is slightly swollen. What could this be? Thank You.

Answer:

sounds like something called a psuedobursa that forms like a large cyst where fluid collections are and it can form some hard tissues, in some cases it has to be removed to get the hard tissues out. JG 2.11.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I just e-mailed you about the tummy tuck question. If the muscles are only held by the sutures, dont they disolve? Are people able to return to their normal excersizing activities like lifting heavy weights and doing abdomen crunches without the sutures tearing? And what is this thing that could happen with the belly button? Thanks for your prompt response :)

Answer:

most times the sutures that are used are permanent, non-dissolving sutures. After about 6 weeks we let our patients go back to working out, including their abdominals, actually the sutures bring the muscles into better alignment and they work better. I am sorry but I get lots of questions and I do not remember what we had discussed about the belly button, can you repeat the question.Thanks. JG 2.11.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am considering a tummy tuck. I have had two children, one is ten years old, and one is only a year old. My question is when you sew the abdomen muscles together, do they grow back together? Or is it only held by the stiches? Also how long before I could hold my daughter who weighs 23 lbs?

Answer:

it is only held by the sutures, I think you could lift her after about 2 weeks. JG 2.10.08

Question:

just wanted to thank you for the answers as i didn think of the scar tissue stretching. nurses let their mind wander...so lipo ist then 6 months later tt so the lipoed skin has time to settle? again much thanks for the awesome website t

Answer:

yes, that will thin the skin and allow the contour after the tummy tuck to be better, thanks for visiting. JG 2.8.08

Question:

hi again!also my upper abd skin is hangin down from in this so called shift that i am not pleased about.this is 2n pr to lower quest,have you had pts have shin hang down 9 months post tt with no weight gain?how common is 2n tt after 1st due to shifting? and should lipo be done 1st,on upper abds then wait till skinclms down?then redo 2nd tt? thnk you ter

Answer:

it can happen if not enough skin was removed at the first surgery, sounds like you are going to need a touch up all the way around. If the amount of fat is large, I suggest the liposuction first and then followed by the tummy tuck revision 3-6 months later. JG 2.8.08

Question:

is it normal to feel a pulling sensation at5pm postion 9 months after tt?can a hernia dev this long after?am seeking 2nd opinion.,fat has shifted down,ps states doesnt know how this happened..ter in pa.just pulled a blue stitch out of bb,kept wondering why qtip had caught on something.do folks have compaint 9 mos after due to natural settling?,am healthy,would abd sono show stitch not right at the 5pm area?am frustrated.. thank ou so much

Answer:

most likely the scar tissue on the muscle just stretching, it does not mean you have a hernia. I do not think the fat has shifted but likley there is some swelling in the fat underneath the skin of the lower abdomen that might be helped with soem liposuctin, Best of luck, JG 2.8.08

Question:

I am a petite woman whom had both upper and lower belly fat after having one child. I had a tummy tuck just a little over a year ago and the loose upper skin is still apparent. I don`t know what to do. My Docter have tried differnt no surgical techniques and still no change. Most of the loose skin is right above the naval, can an umbilicoplsty be done to help this?

Answer:

I think an umbilicoplasty will have limited improvement and you likely need more skin removed with the tummy tuck being done over again. JG 2.4.08

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, Thank you for answering my question about my seroma that my doctor didn`t drain completely. I went back to the doctor (he is a intraventanalist radiologist) yesterday. I asked him again about aspirating the fluid and expressed my frustration and confusing as to why he won`t drain it off completely. He originally planned to just inject some fluid into the cavity to see how big it was. My question prompted him to do a quick ultra-sound. After looking at that he told me that the cavity is empty but it was still large (not thick just in diameter) and because I am still producing 20cc of liquid every 24 hours, I need to leave the drain in or the cavity will fill back up. My question is: Can the cavity be empty? How does he know? Did the ultra-sound show that it was empty? Or is he just telling me this to shut me up? Do I need a new doctor?

Answer:

he can see the cavity with the ultrasound in order to tell if there is any fluid in it. I think with your history though it might be a wise option to inject something to close it off if it continues to drain like that. JG 1.31.08

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I had a tummy tuck 10 years ago and developed a large sermona. My ps inserted a drain and manually drained it in his office 2X per week. Recently I had a laproscopy hysterectomy and developed another even larger seroma. 20 x16 cm, this one was hard and I ran fever. My obgyn kept telling me that they had to blow extra gas in me because of the scar tissue from my tummy tuck and because my tummy would not distend because it was in pretty good shape. He said it took him 45 minutes just to get into my tummy so the procedure went from an hour procedure to a 2 hour procedure. My obgyn kept tellin me to go home and put a heating pad on my growing tummy. Even though I was running fever. After 4 days of fever and a belly that was growing larger and larger, he prescribed an antibiotic. All it did was lower the fever from 101-102 to the 100`s. Tummy still growing larger. Finally I got him to call my old PS. He advised to get me in for a cat scan, I was admitted within 30 minutes of the cat scan with an abcessed seroma. Here is my question. The radioligist on call drained 235 cc out of the cavity. He did not drain it completely. My ob/gyn asked why he did not and he said that is what the drain is for. Why did he not drain it completely? Now he has me coming in weekly for a cat scan to see how big it is? Last week it was clogged and started to fill back up. He changed the drain from a 10 to a 12 and irrigated with 30 cc of liquid. When he pulled it back out he said he drawed out 31 cc? When I asked him why he didn`t go ahead and get the additional fluid out, he said that is what the drain for. Why won`t he drain it out to relieve the pressure and the soreness? I am misearable and I don`t understand why he can`t use an ultrasound guided aspiration to relieve my symptoms. Your thoughts are really appreciated!!!

Answer:

I really do not understand why they did not drain all of the fluid out in the setting you describe, that does nto make any sense to me to be honest. Ultrasound guided aspiration, at this point, especially since they know it is above the muscles is certainly safe and should be adequate for what you need to have done, sorry to hear about all the problems. JG 1.29.08

Question:

I had a torsoplasty two years ago and I was told that I had 8 inches (wide)of skin removed 360 around. Now, my lower abs are really flat, I have no waist,the measurement under my bust is 35 inches, so is the measurement of my waist, so are my hips. This makes it really difficult to buy clothes...but the real problem is in my upper abs. They bulge, especially after just drinking water let alone after dinner. Very uncomfortable, besides the weird shape I was left with. Is there something I can do to rid myself of this upper abd bulging? No more surgery, lipo, just too risky. Is it fat resettling, my colon? was it deep abdominal fat which has been redistributed? I had no post op complications. HELP

Answer:

very difficult for me to say without seeing you in person, but anything that could potentially make you look better will likely involve more surgery. I think intra-abdominal fat is certainly a contributor to the issue and futher weight loss might help some issues and might make others worse I am afraid. JG 1.27.08

Question:

I recently asked you about the naval leakage and you stated that a suture was infected and needed to be corected. Can this be done without surgery? Thank you

Answer:

nope, but it is minor surgery, under local anesthesia. JG 1.13.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I am the smallish one who was considering a lower body lift, but instead have separated my surgeries, having the FTT with MR almost 2 weeks ago(tomorrow). And the finishing touch will be the butt lift in the spring. Love my FTT results so far, btw, couldnt imagine being able to be pulled so tight, with just the tiniest lowest, vertical scar way down in my pubic area, along with super low horizontal incision! My question is, at his stage(2 weeks post) Is it really necessary to wear the binder 24/7? I slept without it last night(still in recliner) and feel i am more comfortable without it. I will wear it if necessary for better result. I feel i am still hard and slightly swollen(drains have been out since day8). I have no external stitches, and incision seems healed. When is it ok to start some sort of scar management? Also, is there a point when i should force myself to stand straight, or just let it happen? My only pain/discomfort is my very upper ab muscles, they feel super tight and burn if i try to stand too straight. Also, for the butt lift in the spring, it is out patient(i spent the night for FTT) and takes about 2 hrs, have been told by several PS s that it is a relatively simple surgery/recovery, compared to the FTT with MR. very little, if any, uplifting of skin, maybe no drains(i can only hope), simpley cutting a 3-4 inch strip from across lower back, and sewing edgetogether, leaving a string thong shaped scar, connecting with my existing FTT scar. no mention of garmet. Does this description sound realistic to you? I am trying to convince my husband and kids to go away for that weekend(surgery is on Friday before Mem day, May 23) since it is a big weekend here in Indy(500 mile race). My surgery would be in the a.m. they would fly out in after noon. I would have full time help for the whole weekend. What is you opinion of this plan? DH not too keen on it. Sorry this is so long but if you could be sure to anwer all my questions, i would appreciate it. I know how busy you are. Thanks so much! JR

Answer:

after two weeks we like at least 8 hours per day of the compression garment. I think it is OK to start scar management creams now. I would wait until you are more comfortable to stand up stright, let it come on its own. We do the same care for the buttocks lift and also use compression garments and drains just like the tummy tuck. I think as long as you have full time help when your family leaves I think it is OK. Best of luck. JG 1.13.08

Question:

I had a tummy tuck in 07. Since then, my naval, (which had to be reconstructed), at times, leaks a terrible smelling fluid. I frequently must clean it so the smell wont be as bad. why is this happening and what can I do about it?

Answer:

sounds like you have an infected suture that needs to be removed to get rid of the problem. JG 1.12.08

Question:

Is it safe to have a baby after a tummy tuck, because I here it is dangerous. Is this because the scar can tare?

Answer:

the muscles can tear, not the skin, and then the tummy tuck will have to be redone. JG 1.11.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a TT May 2006 and subsequently developed a large seroma and fat necrosis along the incision line. The wound was reopened and debrided and the seroma drained, and the wound was closed....cut to the chase here... my belly was aspirated several times for 160+ ml. Everything healed, except the divet left by the debridement. May 2007 we tried a fat graft to no avail, but also, it seems as though the skin where the seroma was will not shrink up...it is loose and flabbier on the left vs. the right. Do you have any suggestion as to how to help that skin shrinkage along...it is driving me CRAZY! Maybe laser, photolaser, heat...please help? Thank you, RB

Answer:

I think it is hard to tell without seeing you in person but if the skin is flabby it might just need to be cut out to smooth it all out. JG 1.10.08

Question:

there is pinkish looking flesh/skinish showing now and feeling of twitching and some minor burning, does this mean there is beginning of blood flow and will start to close? (necrosis hole)

Answer:

all good signs. JG 1.8.08

Question:

in regards to the necrosis, what is a VAC....?? AND HOW IS IT USED, AND DOES THE PS HAVE TO PRECRIVE IT.

Answer:

it is a vacuum machine that is applied to the wound to remove the fluids and pull the edges together, you walk around attached to a small box until it closes. It has to be prescibed by the doctor. JG 1.8.08

Question:

well, would any other plastic surgeon want to treat the necrosis (3 inch deep, after tummy tuck remember). went back to this ps because he is the one that performed the surgery. question #1 do you not feel packing hole with honey will work? question #2 after 3 1/2 weeks should it have started to close up? what is your opinion, please help me. There is no sign of infection and black skin completely peeled off

Answer:

well, the honest truth is that not many surgeons like to take over failed cases from any other surgeon but there are some out there that will do it to help you out. I absolutely do not feel that packing the wound with honey will help in any way, especially if there is no infection. As to when it will start to close, once there is pink granulation tissue present, it will start to close. Using a VAC system will help greatly as will hyperbaric oxygen treatments if the tissues are still lacking good blood flow. JG 1.7.08

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I have written you twice and I will brief you on my situation to refresh your memory. I had a circumferential body lift on Sept. 10, 2007. I had wound dihisence at 3 weeks post op. and a large seroma drained for nearly a month while I used a wound vac and then packing to get it to close. You suggested surgery to close it and my surgeon took your advice. He opened about a third of the incision and removed a psuedobursae. I am now 9 weeks post op my second surgery and a few days ago I noticed that the area where my incision opened before, on my back, rebounded like a water bed. 25 ml. of serous fluid was aspirated and then 5 days later 20 ml. of serous fluid was aspirated. My surgeon seems to be frustrated now and that really scares me. He said it is possible that I will need another surgery to remove a psuedobursae and he also discussed the possibility of using tetracycline to sclerose the pocket. I know I risk tissue necrosis with the sclerosing agent and I know that I am at risk for infection with repeated aspirations. I am also suffering with generalized joint pain and breast tenderness intermittently but my surgeon does not think it is related to this seroma. Please tell me what you think I should do at this point. If I do have another surgery do you think it feasable to do a CT scan to see just what is going on before I have a surgery? Do you think that a 20 ml. accumulation of fluid over 5 days is a small enough amount that I should just wait and see if it will resolve on it`s own. I want to believe that my body will take care of it. Please guide me Dr. Garcia. Thank you for all the advice that you give to us.

Answer:

I think the risks of repeated aspiration is small so I would go with that first, and tetracycline should not cause any necrosis of the skin, all the best. JG 1.7.08

Question:

remember the 3 inch deep necrosis, well, its been 3 weeks (tummy tuck) and the hole is still deep without any sign of filling in, but no infection (thank god). My ps recommended I stay at the clinic for 4 days and they are packing the hole with honey and saline....how does this sound to you...Should it not have started filling in from the inside out by almost a month? what is your opinion of this and the honey?

Answer:

I would go somewhere else, there are many more legitimate options than honey. JG 1.6.08

Question:

I forgot... since my TT in March of 07.. I have not been able to work out. I have felt better while laying down and have put on weight. I want to feel normal.

Answer:

I think you need to bring all these things up with your surgeon as it is not normal. JG 1.2.08

Question:

Hi,I wrote before about my prob. I had TT in March of 07. I had a bulge. I saw my doc who stated I should wait to see if resolved on its on. It didnt. I had surgery again last month. My Plastic Surgeon state a suture had broken which cause a hematoma that dried up leaving a gulf size dry blod clot . That made me miserable. My doc made a 3 inch incision on my upper stomach area. He removed the clot and fixed stich. I am drained and depressed. I am worried that the suture will break again. I feel traumatized as I suffered so much during the last 8 months. I am careful..way careful. Do these break easily. I dont even want to bend down or sleep on my side.. I am scared. any info.

Answer:

they are not common, and I think that if you are careful you will likely heal well without any further problems. All the best. JG 1.2.08

Question:

Hi, I had a tummy tuck in March 07. I`am finally back in the gym and want to know whether it is safe to do excersizes on the upper and lower stomach (crunches). Is this harmful to the tightning of the muscles after the tummy tuck? Also, is it normal for the upper stomach to protrude slightly more than the lower stomach?. Lastly, After having surgical injections performed on keloids on the skin; how long does it take to see long keloid scars up and down the abdomin improve? Procedure was done in the hospital on December 5, 07. Thank you.

Answer:

yes, OK to work the abdominals at this point. It is not harmful and at times the upper area of the abdomen can pooch out a bit more as the lower abdominal muscles can be tightened more easily than the uppers. Keloid injections take a series of injections and you should see some improvement after 2-3 sessions. All the best. JG 1.1.08

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia: I am 4 1/2 wks post tt. I`ve been using bacitracin and gauze on 3 small areas of necrosis near the incision line. Is it safe to continue using the bacitracin or could I develop a sensitivity to it? Is there anything else I can do? It seems to be filling in slowly. My husband feels It will never fill in and I will be left with holes since there is no skin there. I realize there will be scars but should this heal over? Also what would keep this from happening again in this area if once this is healed some follow up was done on the scars?

Answer:

it is generaly safe, if it starts to cause a problem you will develop a little rash, but that is rare. It will eventually close, albeit slowly. The skin pulls in from the edges and will look like a falrly straight line in time. The human body is amazing, just give it time. Once it heals the skin that closes is nearly as strong as the non-necrotic areas. Hang in there, it will get better. JG 1.1.08

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I have a hernia that needs repair, and I want to know if it`s possible (and safe) to perform a hernia repair AND a tummy tuck (with lipo) at the same time?

Answer:

yes, not uncommon to do them together when needed. JG 12.29.07

Question:

thank you so very much for your prompt replies and taking the time to care for the confused, afraid and frustrated . HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND GOD BLESS !

Answer:

you are very welcome and the best to you for the New Year! JG 12.26.07

Question:

so even if the 2 inch deep necrosed hole is packed with gauze, the gauze will not interfere with healing process, I mean it will not be in the way of the skin growing back, it is hard for me to see how the gauze will not prevent the skin from growing by being the way? what is the purpose of the gauze being packed in the hole for healing purposes? What do you recommend to apply on the gauze before putting it in the hole (gauze does not prevent the hole to breath/to be able to heal?)

Answer:

no, actually the gauze will absorb excess fluid and when removed it will bring with it any devitilaized tissue that needs to be removed in order for the wound to close. As days go by the amount of gauze you will be able to pack into the wound will be progressively less and less, the tissues will grow a uniform pink and become more and more superficial. We recommend soaking the gauze in sterile saline that the doctor can get for you. They should have done that. The gauze should be removed dry though in order to allow the devitilized tissues to stay attached to it and be removed. JG 12.27.07

Question:

dr. garcia as far as the necrosis right after tummy tuck, leaving a deept almost 3 inch deep hole...what is the best way to treat it for a safe and quick recovery, what is your recomendation to aboid infection and more complications?

Answer:

the quickest way to get it to close is to use something called a Wound Vac which your doctor can order for you, not all insurance companies cover it, it is burdensome to use as you are attached to a vacuum device all the time except when they clean the wound. Most young healthy people with wounds that do not drain much are OK to treat with wound dressing changes at least twice daily though. As long as the wound is open and draining an infection is difficult to develop. JG 12.26.07

Question:

I previously asked about a pregnant looking lower stomach after a tummy tuck and your Answer: might be that the muscle repair of the muscles down on the lower part did not hold and the sutures broke, allowing it to make you look like that. JG 12.26.07 My next question: If the muscle needs to be tighten again will this be a major surgery or can it be done without the full incision ? What exactly will need to be done to repair this?

Answer:

the length of the incision might be able to be limited but it will not be a small incision overall. The skin needs to be lifted from the incision to the belly button, the muscle and fascia tightened with sutures and then the skin reclosed again, so it is almost a partial tummy tuck again. JG 12.26.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 1 year ago and a touch up to the tummy 5 weeks ago when I also had the lower lift for the tights and butt. (just for an external issue to tighten a small amount of skin bulge on the tummy) I still have a pregnant looking lower stomach. Sometimes,frst thing in the morning it does not appear as pregnant looking. Could there be something else going on that could be causing this? It is discouraging especially after a tummy tuck. My grandmother at 90 looked like she was pregnant with this basketball shapped tummy. Hereditary? I will talk to my doctor also in about two more weeks but kinda wondering if this could be something else causing this that you have encountered before. My lower lift is fabulous and I just want a flat tummy. I noticed I can suck in my stomach quite a bit and make it flatter by doing this. Is this normal after a tummy tuck to still be able to do this? Thanks for any light you can give me on this.

Answer:

might be that the muscle repair of the muscles down on the lower part did not hold and the sutures broke, allowing it to make you look like that. JG 12.26.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck with muscle tightening two months ago. I am pleased except for a concern about a kidney shaped swelling about the circumference of a deck of cards at the bottom of my rib cage and 3 or 4 inches above my new belly button. A couple of weeks after the surgery, my plastic surgeon aspirated the area. He removed some dark colored blood, indicating that I had a hematoma. He suggested that I could have popped a stitch (or stitches) or that a blood clot might have broken loose. The area is now softer and it doesn`t bother me (looks or feel). I have two questions: (1)If the swelling is merely caused by remaining blood that my body has not dissolved, is this a problem (and will my body take care of it in time)? (2)If the swelling is caused by muscle tear, will it be necessary for me to have more surgery, or can I just leave things as they are? Thank you so much for your time. I have read all you have written here on abdominoplasty. You and your site are impressive!

Answer:

not a problem, long term for the area. I do not thik it will require more surgery either. I would just leave it alone. Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. JG 12.25.07

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I`m having a hysterectomy done in a few days, would it be wise to get a plastic surgeon to do a tummy tuck and liposculpture while at it? How long would I have to wait to have a tummy tuck if I decide to wait? Thank you for all your answers...I wish you a Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year!!!

Answer:

I would avoid it due to increased potential problems, like blood clots in the legs, Merry Christmas! JG 12.22.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia spray tans are safe after my tummy tuck correct? SD

Answer:

yes, they are safe. JG 12.22.07

Question:

Hello. I am 4 weeks post op from my tummy tuck. I would like to lose 7 pounds when I am feeling up to working out and dieting. Will this effect my tummy tuck in anyway? SD

Answer:

I think if you lose more than ten pounds the skin might be a little looser than desired, less than that will likely not cause any difference. JG 12.21.07

Question:

My daughters ps stated that she will be discharged tuesday the 18th, she stayed at the surgical center since last thursday when the tummy tuck was performermed (remember necrosis problems). well nothing was done these 4 days that she was there except for the nitro cream. the necrosis area, dead skin looks like a pyramid in the middle of her incision and another piece the size of a penny around her belly button, above the pyramid dead skin. he is sending her home with instructions only to come back in one week to see if they have to cut again! this sounds ridiculous to me since I fell because too much was cutt off there were blook flow problems. this does not sound right to me and my daughter is DEVASTATED AND SCARED...SURGERY was performed by Dr. Buenrostro in Tijuana. Please educate us on this we are sooo worried an she is depressed, confused and very scared!

Answer:

I think they should likely have the surgeon look at the wound everyday or at least every other day to make sure it is healing and not getting infected, wish I had more to offer. JG 12.16.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia! Thank you so much for providing such an informative website. I am 1 1/2 weeks post-op for a FTT with muscle repair. I am concerned that I may have ripped my internal stitiches. Last night I was experiencing a great deal of discomfort as I felt very bloated and kept experiencing piercing, periodic pain that felt like I had gas and it was exploding in my stomach. This morning I awoke withouth the tightness in my abdomen that I had been feeling and although there is still a little discomfort when I cough or laugh, it is nothing like it was in the previous days since the surgery. I am also able to walk relatively upright and have been for the past few days. How can I tell if I have ripped my internal abdominal stitches or am I overreacting and this is about the time that the soreness from the tightening should be subsiding? I would think that I would feel some soreness in my abdominal muscles if I had indeed ripped them, but I don`t. I`m not sure what I should be expecting here if I have ripped them. Can you give me an idea?

Answer:

you are right, ripping the stitches casues a great degree of pain, more likely is that you had some muscle spasms in the muscles because of the sutures and the spasms have gotten better. JG 12.16.07

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia: I had a ftt (no muscle repair) about 2 1/2 wks ago. I wrote last wk about a small amount of fluid in the upper right side yet. Went to ps last wk and he didn`t feel it was enough to stick a needle into me. Still have the same amount and see him again this coming wk on Thursday. Would you suggest just having it removed or is there a risk for more problems? Can it just resolve by itself? I don`t see how the skin will reattach there if there is still fluid. Second, I`m not sure I`m clear on what necrosis would look like. I have some purpleish areas around the scar, but when you push on it the color comes back. I also have one small purple area near the bb that does not change color when pushed on. I also have two areas on the incision with dark scabs, anyways I think they are just scabs. Could all of this be the result of going to tight? My ps did state that he had to go right up to between the breast area to stretch it far enough which I assume was so that I didn`t have a vertical scar from the old bb. One tender stitch also. Would warm or cold compresses help with any of this? I don`t want to seem neurotic when I go back to my ps as I always have alot of questions for him. Sorry for all the questions but this all makes me a little nervous. Thank you.

Answer:

it can resolve on its own but if you can feel it and see it I feel it is worth aspirating it to let the skin heal flatter. I think the purple areas you have are not necrosis, just some limited bruising that should get better on its own in time. When the undermining is more aggressive, like they did for you, there is more tension and those small areas can arise. At this point I suggest warm for the tender stitchs. All the best. JG 12.14.07

Question:

so are there good chances of the nitro helping the blood flow to come back in that 1 1/2 inch purple area or is the sking mostlikely going to die ? anything else that can be done?

Answer:

the nitropaste does not bring blood into an area, it allows it to drain out of an area. The purple area, in the worst case scenario, will scab up and eventually fall off, and then depending on the size of the hole, it can close on its own or be cleaned up and sutured closed. JG 12.14.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck over 3 weeks ago. Please recommend scar products for healing and fading. I have heard of silicone sheets and mederma. What is your suggestion? Thanks

Answer:

I like Mederma or ScarGuard, I think the effects from silicone sheeting are small to none. JG 12.14.07

Question:

Hope you are doing great! my daughter underwent tummy tuck yesterday a.m. Well, today, there are signs of necrosis , about 2 inches on scar site, looks like a purplish bruise. Can you please explain why this happens, what needs to be done and what could happen. Also, her ps recommended she stays until tuesday, instead of saturday and is charging her for the extra stay, is she responsible for having to stay more days due to this problem???

Answer:

it is usually due to loss of bloof supply or too much tension, it still might survive though with some care, don`t jump the gun just yet. As to being responsible for charges, that poicy varies frm surgeon to surgeon. Best of luck. JG 12.14.07

Question:

Sorry, I meant MIA instead of general anesthesia.

Answer:

I figured. JG 12.13.07

Question:

What are your feelings about using MIA for tummy tuck instead of MIA? I want a tummy tuck but really don`t want general anesthesia.

Answer:

well, what happens if you are in the middle of it and the pain is unbearable with the MIA, are you going to have the surgeon stop half way through? JG 12.13.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia. I am having a abdominal hysterectomy in February. What are the chances to get a tummy tuck at the same time?

Answer:

I personally do not like to do them together due to higher risk of complications. JG 12.12.07

Question:

What are the dangers of an inner thigh lift as compared to other plastic surgeries. THANKS!

Answer:

well the biggest things are the downward migration of the scar that makes it visible in a bathing suit and the potential for the scars to not be thin but thicker scars instead. JG 12.11.07

Question:

My question is on tummy tucks. I do not care much to repair the muscles in my stomach as I do workout quite a bit however I had my daughter at 18 and my pregnancy made me a blimp. Needless to say I have a lot of stretchmarks that I just cant live with anymore. Is there a procedure that can be done by cutting out the front area of skin and then reconnecting it (by moving my belly buttone) without the full muscle repair? I just want the skin to be fixed by taking off the stretchmarks...nothing more. And if so what is it that can be done and what would something like that cost? Thanks a bunch

Answer:

sure, the muscle does not have to be fixed during a regular tummy tuck, you can opt out of that. JG 12.11.07

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia: 8 mos ago I had a mini tt (my decision, not the Dr`s) with some lower muscle repair. Everything went real well, scar healed great, very smooth, PS was very nice and I had no problems except that the mini did not give me the results I was looking for. I had several stretch marks above the bb, some excess skin and a stretched out bb. I decide to go back for a moderate tt which was skin only (no muscle repair) but to include the skin above the belly button. I am 1 wk post op. I did go to a different PS as the first time I went to the one where I work while off for a different surgery and no one I work with new about it. For confidentiality reasons only I decided to go somewhere other than where I work. I am fully confident with the new PS also. The only question I have is that this scar is a little longer but also there is some pleating as you get closer to the middle. Much more bruising this time also. The PS said he needs to do the pleating so that as the skin stretches back out it will all smooth out nicer and I shouldn`t end up with dog ears on either end of the scar. He says I need to wait at least 4 months for results with that. That is my concern. Right now it`s not looking so good and I realize it`s only been a week but what are your thoughts on that. The first scar never looked like this even at the beginning. Also could he have stretched it to much. He stated he needed to lift the skin to right under the breasts in order to get the stretch marks below the belly button and not to have a vertical scar. Quite tender in that area yet. I also get this constant stinging pain on the left side. I am only 5ft 3in and 120 lbs. so there wasn`t alot of excess skin above the bb just the wrinkled stretch marks. I am wearing my support garment 24/7 which the PS says I need to do for six weeks. I have another Post op visit next week and will discuss with the PS but just wondering your views.

Answer:

well, all normal in terms of the bruising, in terms of the pleating, it does tend to flatten over time and you see that when there is an attempt to keep the incision as short as possible, so I would agree, give it some time and let it all heal before deciding on anything more. Best of luck. JG 12.7.07

Question:

What are the risk, of a diabetic person who is going to do a tummy tuck?

Answer:

higher risk of infection and the wound not holding together and splititng open, but I have to say, if the diabetes is well controlled that should not happen, best of luck. JG 12.6.07

Question:

What type of butt implants do you use?

Answer:

at present I am not doing buttocks implants as I do not like the feel of the ones available here in the US. JG 12.5.07

Question:

I had a seroma after a tummy tuck day 12 which my doctor drained. He wants to see me in another two days to drain me if it happens again. It is happening again. The procedure was not painful as I am still numb in the area but what am I doing wrong? When does this condition subside?

Answer:

it needs to be aspirated so the skin can re-adhere, it is likely going to have to be done a few times, the more fluid there is the more times it will need to be repeated, wearing a compression garment and limiting activity will help, best of luck. JG 12.5.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 11 days ago and now have discovered that I have itchy skin mostly where the incision is. Is it ok to use vaseline around and on the incision?

Answer:

I would use topical Benadryl cream but not on the incision. JG 12.2.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I wrote to you this past winter of 2007 concerning skin necrosis after my tummy tuck - I am the woman that loves riding horses. I have been meaning to write and tell you that I used the KCI vacuum wound pump for about 2 months - what a pain in the butt - however, it worked just great! The hole is barely even noticable since the skin grew back and it is nice and pink and not obvious. However, the main reason I am writing is to thank you so very, very much for your advice and your words of encouragement. I was so discouraged - practically on the crazy side! - and you were kind enough to take time out of your very busy life to write to me several times answering my concerns. You were just wonderful and so very many times I have thought of you with a very warm heart - so, it`s about time that I let you know that. So, again, many, many thanks for your kindness and your encouragement and your time. If I ever get my rural NYS butt to your part of the country, I am going to look you up. You take care, stay in good health, and take time out to play - okay? Mary Dixon

Answer:

Mary, I am so glad things worked out, the VAC system is a pain, but it does help, I appreciate your kinds words and wish you a healthy holiday season, be well and thanks for getting back here and giving me the progress report. JG 12.1.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 10 days ago. When do most patients stand upright? Should I attempt to stand upright or just let it happending naturally?

Answer:

stand straight when the tension on the wound allows you do to do so. JG 11.30.07

Question:

What exactly is a mini-tummy tuck? thx

Answer:

a tummy tuck where only the skin below the belly button is tightened, there is no movement of the belly button and wlll likely not tighten any skin above the belly button, nor will it tighten the muscles above the BB. JG 11.28.07

Question:

I had a minnie tummy tuck a month ago and had the scar injected with Fibroquel. I had good results as of now but I feel like the side that I was draining from the scar is raised there. I was wondering if I should have it injected with something again. I know that in the USA fibroquel is not available but is it ok to get a steroid injection or is it too soon. Was it to soon in your opinion to even get the fibroquel? Also I heard about having a laser run over the scar to lighten it is that something I can do now or should I wait, and until when would you suggest. I had my surgery done out of the country and I feel like they move a little faster with procedures and I just want the opinion of a surgeon in the USA. Thank you.

Answer:

I think a steroid injection is likely OK to do, lasers can also fade the scars too. I have never used the Fibroquel so I am not sure about the timing, I think the results and studies are still lacking on its effectiveness for scars. JG 11.27.07

Question:

I am interested in getting a Tummy Tuck and Bladder Suspension surgery. Is it uncommon for these procedures to be done together? How do I find doctors that will work together to have both procedures done at the same time?

Answer:

It is not common, but not unheard of to do them together. I think you need to interveiw a specialist in each field of gynecology and plastic surgery and then have them speak together. JG 11.26.07

Question:

I am three months pregnant. I have two children both born by elective c-section within 15 months of each other. The youngest being four years ago. I have had an inch gap between my ab muscles ever since and a protruding lower belly which seems to get bigger as the day goes on. In June I will have another C-section. Is it possible to have a full tummy tuck at the same time in order to avoid a fourth surgery? Has this ever been done?

Answer:

well, it can be done but there is a little more risk due to the longer surgery. JG 11.23.07

Question:

For a FTT, if i wanted a little frontal thigh lifting, would i need to ask for that to be done at the same time, or does it occur anyway, because of FTT? I am getting a butt lift 3 months later, which i was told would lift the backs of thighs just a bit, and sides of thighs substantially so am hoping for a bit of front lifting with the FTT. Also, i am concerned about shape/healing of belly button. Do you believe in inserting anything in bb to make sure it doesnt heal as a slit, like a foam ear plug or marble? If so, at what point should this be done? Are external bb stiches removeable and internal disolvable? If removable, when do they come out, and when do horizontal come out? Thanks!

Answer:

it is an additional surgery and you will need to speak to the surgeon about doing them at the same time, it can be a lot of surgery and will prolong the recovery quite a bit. A marble will help the belly button stay open, yes. As to the sutures used, it varies by surgeon preference. Removable sutures are usually taken out at one week. JG 11.23.07

Question:

i would like to know how much it will cost to have a tummy tuck, also i am getting married in vegas in september and is it possible to have the surgery and enjoy my holiday also? thank you

Answer:

I do not think it is safe to enjoy your holiday after a tummy tuck here, the fees will vary depending on time but it runs about $8200, all inclusive. JG 11.20.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thank you for your advise that a second surgery and drain may be needed to close my wound after circumferential body lift. My surgeon agreed when I suggested it. He said I had a pseudobursa and he ended up removing it from over 1/2 of my incision. Now my question is, how likely is it that this thing is going to return? I have a tiny raised area just past the second incision and it is not getting any larger and fluid could not be aspirated from it. I had a JP drain in for 6 days and was having 30 cc/day from it when it was removed The second incision looks good otherwise. My second question is, if there is still some of the psuedobursa remaining is it possible that it will not cause any problems? Thank You again.

Answer:

it is possible but it usually does not happen, all the best. JG 11.18.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck a few months ago, and after about 5-6 weeks, there was a hole that opened up in the incision with some drainage. I was seeing the associates of my surgeon daily that week, and was told that I had a sterile abcess . When it was my surgeon`s turn to be in the office and I saw him, he cut a 1 opening and found a half-dissolved suture, which he removed. He packed the opening and it took about 8 weeks to completely close. During that time period, lumps developed along the incision line, larger at the center, graduating out to smaller at my hips. They seemed to be at regular intervals, so when I was told that I was reacting to my sutures, that seemed logical. My discomfort was increasing daily, and my surgeon finally said he would see me monthly, but I reached a point of desperation and went elsewhere. Another surgeon opened up the incision, and said he found an old seroma and lots of scar tissue, which he excised. He said that the problem I`d had was from the drains being removed to soon (at 50 cc/day) and that he doesn`t remove them until they get down to 20 cc. I don`t understand the development of the lumps with regard to a seroma, and wonder if I was having a suture reaction also, or if lumpiness is common on a pseudobursa. Some of the central lumps were quarter-size, but at my hip, they were about the size of a pea. My second issue is that when my belly button was moved, it was off center by about a centimeter. Now that I`ve had the revisional surgery, it`s off even more. I wouldn`t care about having a scar next to it, if it was centered. Can it be moved without opening the abdominal incision yet again? Thanks for your help!

Answer:

it is likely you had a little of both, but the cyst wall of the seroma can feel hard too like a lump. As to shifting the belly button, that would only require incisions around the belly button, the lower incision likely would not need to be opened. JG 11.16.07

Question:

Hi Dr. what advise do you offer patients thinking about cosmetic surgery. With what happened to Kanye West mom?

Answer:

I think they need to discuss things with their physician, make sure they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and make sure they perform their surgeries in an accredited surgery center, they can call the state and county medical board and find out if the doctor is in good standing. As to Kanye West`s mother, the autopsy is today but it could have been many things, irregular heart beat, pulmonary embolism, too many thing unknown so far I am afraid. JG 11.13.07

Question:

Hi, You answered my question about my tummy tuck I had 2/2006, could you tell me is there a certain doctor that should do the injection? I really don`t want to go back to the PS.

Answer:

I think it best to see another plastic surgeon. JG 11.13.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia You recently answered my question about the many surgeries and a tummy tuck. With my past surgeries would you consider working on a person as myself with my previous surgeries? I have endure 14 surgeries in all and am in great belief that cosmetic surgery could be no worse. Maybe a tummy-tuck, breast lift and lipo in hips.

Answer:

previous non-cosmetic surgeries will not necesarily preclude further surgery. Please send me pictures and a history of the surgeries along with your concerns to drgarcia@lvcosmeticsurgery.com for my review. JG 11.12.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 2/2006, I still have alot of stinging feeling in my upper abdomen, feels like someone has stabbed me from the inside out, it just burns so much. I still have alot trouble wearing anything around my stomach that is not elastic or very loose. I thought this should have passed a year ago.Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

sounds like some scar tissue wrapped around some nerves, may want to see if an injection of local anesthesia into that spot will help, and if it does it can be injected with alcohol to kill the nerve but then it will be numb. JG 11.12.07

Question:

I am nine weeks post op from a tummy tuck with no lipo, as I had no fat. I had two drains in for almost 2 weeks. Now I have a pseudo bursa and have had to have my abdomen drained each week for 7 weeks. Dr. said fluid usually stops in 3-4 weeks, but I am still building. Had 12 ounces taken the first time and 1 plus ounce taken the last time. Can you shed any light on why I am having this problem or is there something I should or could do to rectify this problem? Also will it cause any future problems?

Answer:

until the pocket of the pseudobursa sticks down there will be fluid, it sometimes takes aspirations done more frequently than once per week to get it to stick down faster. JG 11.12.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am the one that asked about the tummy tuck with the previous stomach surgeries. I forgot to add that I am a 43 year old, African American Female. Thank You

Answer:

makes no change to the suggestion. JG 11.12.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I have had several surgeries which are to include; (2) small bowel obstructures, (1) ovarian cyst removal, (1) ovary removed after cyst was removed, (1) scar tissure removed from stomach, (1) complete hysterectomy and (1) C-section. My question is this, I have tried and tried to reduce the big bulge in my stomach. Would I be a good candidate for a tummy tuck or a mini-tuck? My other surgeries were necessary but I would like to have an elective surgery and this would be it. Any information you could give me would be gratly apreciated. If anyone else has gone through anything similar, please do not hesitate to post for me.

Answer:

if it is the muscles that has split apart they can be repaired with a tummy tuck, but likely not a mini as the repair will likely need to be done from breast bone all the way to your pubic bone. JG 11.12.07

Question:

Hi Dr. you just answered my question earlier today. You said if it is not fat the muscles would have to be readressed does that mean the TT would have to be re-done? If so is it harder on the PS to redo? I think you have said before if you hold your stomach in, and loss inches it is fat is that so?

Answer:

essentially yes I am afriad. It is a little harder for the surgeon to do but not that much. As to holding your stomach in, yes, that is correct. JG 11.10.07

Question:

Hi, Dr. Garcia luv your website. I had a TT 5/07 w/Muscle repair. My upper/Mid Abd still looks distended. My PS told me from the start he could not do aggresive lipo w/the TT that I would later need a touch up. But never told me I would still look distended. Last time I saw him he told me I dont need a touch up I need Aggresive lipo.Does that sound right? Or do you think he just didnt tighten my muscles enough? If I suck in by stomach I am flat which those were the results I was looking for.

Answer:

hard to say without examining you to tell what is causing the bulge, if it is fat, then liposuction is the answer, if it is because the muscles there are not as tight as the lower ones, a common problem, then the muscles need to be readressed. JG 11.10.07

Question:

Hi Dr. I had tt 8 months ago. The scar healed beautifully. Still get a little swelling when I walk a lot. My concern is, it seems like near the second suture, above my belly button, there is a indentation and a lump or scar tissue deep under the skin. I feel that area and it feels really hard or tight. I had a ct done and they said I had a seroma. It just feels like it pulls and the knot bothers. What can that be and how can it be repaired? When I pull my muscle in or bend over it feels like it interfers and bothers? Could it a broken suture? or scar tissue around the suture? Thanks for any help.

Answer:

well it could be cut out and restitched but it might develop scar tissue again, hard to really say without feeling it I am afraid. JG 11.7.07

Question:

Hi, Dr. I asked about garments and lower muscle repair for a FTT, you didnt answer the part about which you prefer doing first, FTT or butt lift, and why?

Answer:

I do the part that bothers the patient the most, they decide, I have no preference. JG 11.6.07

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I am the one who was scheduled for a butt lift, then 3 months later, FTT. well, i decided to do them in reverse order, since all my paperwork kept having me down for the FTT forst(Dec31). I called and talked to the patient coordinator and asked which she thought made more sense to do first. She said its up to me since the PS wanted to do both together, he doesnt have a prefereence as to which comes first. I know from having had a MTT with MR that a FTT with MR(upper only, i assume) will hurt just as much. I am assuming he will extend the incision as far as he can towards the back, knowing that the butt lift incision will meet up with it. couple questions, do you think he will need to mess with the lower ab muscles at all, since they were done 6 yrs ago with MTT? and which do you prefer doing first, front or butt, and why? also, what type garmet will i wake up in,typically, for a FTT? all i had the whole time for recovery for MTT was an ab binder.

Answer:

hard to say whether the lower muscles need to be tightened without examining you. I usually use a garment similar to the one used for liposuction for those preocedures. JG 11.6.07

Question:

I was diagnosed after 4 children with diastasis recti. I have had back pain for several years and when I do some core strengthen exercises I experience pain to the point I`m off my back for a period of time again. I have had physical therapy many times and I`m wondering if repairing my stomach muscles via tummy tuck would provide relief from back pain.

Answer:

it might but I cannot guarantee it. JG 11.6.07

Question:

I had a full Tummy tuck 6 months ago but the upper part of my ab muscle still sticks out like it was not tightend. The Doctor I went to said I would need to have the procedure done again. I will not be going back to him because now I know he is only a D.O. Can this be corrected with being fully cut open again?? Thank you

Answer:

I am afraid it will need to be all opened again to gain access to the muscles in that areas which likely were not tightened enough, sorry. JG 11.5.07

Question:

I had a full Tummy tuck 6 months ago but the upper part of my ab muscle still sticks out like it was not tightend. The Doctor I went to said I would need to have the procedure done again. I will not be going back to him because now I know he is only a D.O. Can this be corrected without being fully cut open again?? Thank you

Answer:

will need to be all opened again, sorry. JG 11.5.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, My age; 47. Great skin, latino woman. I had a FTT w/MR, 11 yrs ago. Great results. Four years ago, I had Tumenscent lipo. Two years later, I had Vaser Lipo on my upper abs. My problem; My upper abs were great, and smooth before Vaser. Now they are lumpy and uneven. I should have left them alone. What are some possible corrections? Is a reverse tummy tuck good for that? I am wanting a Breast lift also, therefore wonder if a reverse TT can possible address this during that same time? or ... fat grafting? which is better? Thank you so very much!!

Answer:

I think fat grafting after that much surgery will be unreliable, I think some undermining of the skin and further skin removal would help but a reverse tummy tuck will leave a scar that crosses underneath the breast bone between the breast and will not heal as thin as the tummy tuck scar. JG 11.1.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am 5 ft, 100lbs and had twins (6.8 lbs each) four years ago. I had a FTT in Dec 07. I also had an umbillical hernia repair. I am in great shape and can even see my stomach muscles when I contract my abs, but my belly button looks puffy (almost outy-like ). My PS states that he has to repair the hernia again, this time using a mesh. Also, when I stand the top half of my belly button feels hard and the area around my belly button looks bloated. What questions should I ask to insure that I get a belly button that looks as close to my old one as possible? Thanks in advance for your response.

Answer:

I am sure that is what they are going to try but with a hernia it might not be possible now due to scar tissue. JG 10.30.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a circumferential body lift and am almost 7 weeks post op. At about 4 weeks post op I had an area break open on my incision line in the back and began draining large amounts of serous fluid. It was left open to drain for about 4 days and then air pockets formed in the front of my incision line. You could actually hear the air making sounds under the tissue when you pushed. My surgeon did try to aspirate the area in the front but no sermoma was there. I then had a wound vac for a few days and the air left the front. After the wound vac was removed I packed the open area in the back with about 2 feet of 1/4 inch nugauze for 2 days. The area in the back has tunneling and undermining. After 2 days my surgeon wanted to see how it would do to leave packing out and keep it compressed with my garment. The air pockets in the front returned. Is it possible that the tunnel from the open wound in the back continues on around to the front and is allowing air to enter? Am I in danger of my tissues not adhering back down at my incision line? Please give me your thoughts on this situation. Thank You.

Answer:

I am almost certian there is a communication from the back to the front, not unusual. I think the tissues will eventually readhere but it will take along time I fear. Might need a re-operation and drains put back in to get it to close though. JG 10.26.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck 9 months ago I still have some drainage in my belly button right side at and am felling a nogle on the right side of my tummy also my pcp adv that it may be a stich or a canal that developed and may continue to drain. Since I had the procedure out of country have not consulted my surgeon but am going to see a surgeon here in the states. What could be wrong and maybe an option on correcting if needed? My pcp took a culture but states that a surgeon may give me some options whether it be to go in and clean it out I am assuming stitches is this an option or what would be suggested?? I am a little worried at this point.

Answer:

most likely an infected suture or sinus and it will need to be cored out and closed, not a major thing. JG 10.25.07

Question:

I am about 3 months post FTT, I have started working out again at the gym but have been able to find no answers as to how cut I can get my tummy now. Doc, will I have a V? or even defintion after this surgery?

Answer:

no way I can tell that without seeing you, sorry. JG 10.25.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck and liposuction in the four flanks 8 weeks ago. The doctor said I am doing great. Said I don`t have to wear the girdle anymore. But is it better to wear the girdle? I forgot to ask how long it takes for the swelling to go down. I love the new look cause I don`t have the flabby skin on the lower tummy anymore. He did a great job. I found your site and thought I would ask you. I kept filling up with fluid in the beginning so had to have the drain on for awhile. Then had to have the saltwater put in to see if that would stop the fluid build up and that worked but now it is hard there but he said that will go soft. Thanks for making this site. Tina

Answer:

it will take a few months for the rest of the swelling to go down, if you feel more comfortable with the girdle it is OK to use it but you do not have to. The tissues will get soft in time too. Best of luck. JG 10.23.07

Question:

Hi Dr, i am getting a butt lift(no fat transfers) end of Dec and then a FTT 3 months later. Will i be able to stand the first incomplete scar since it will stop probably around the hipbone area until it is finished by the FTT? If it is dog eared, i am assuming it can be fixed during FTT? Will the butt lift address the sides of upper thighs in a good way? The PS said he can only do what he can reach since i will be on my tummy whole time. Also, i like the volume i have in my butt now, lots of muscle and a nice shelf from years of squats. Just have droopy /saggy skin over it now. Will my butt be flat after a lift? I heard from one person who wasnt happy with hers because it was flat after. I have heard of transferring a butt flap to the lower back/upper butt. Do you know what that is ? If som pls explain. I have the option of staying overnite after surgery. Would you recommend this? I have had a MTT with MR, didnt stay, would have liked to but i hear the pain is minumul with a butt lift.

Answer:

I almost always do my lower body lift in stages and yes the dog ears will be removed during the second surgery. I think you will get some thigh lifting from the buttocks lift and then some more from the tummy tuck. If you have good muscle tone and shape now the skin elevation will not flatten it, that occurs in people with poor muscle tone with overly tightened skin. JG 10.23.07

Question:

Good afternoon, I want to know if a tummy tuck in a good idea for my situation. When I was a small child, I had an apendectimy(?)and after that had two additional surgeries due to infections. So I have a horizontal scar which is fairly small and thin, but the scar from the infections is long and thick. I have 3 children now, a big buldge on one side of the scar and I do have frequent pain. My doctor has diagnosed this as abdominal adhesions. I want to know if it is possible for me to have a tummy tuck or will this not be a good thing for my?

Answer:

well abdominal adhesions are inside of the abdomen and are not helped with a tummy tuck, but the tethered skin and depressed scar can be helped with a tummy tuck. JG 10.22.07

Question:

I was sent home from my TT SX w/out a compression garment. I was told it was due to concerns about blood flow issues. The issues were treated during my 2 day stay at the hospital w/ nitroglycerin paste. MY concern is the swelling I am experiencing as I also had inner thigh lipo. My question is - is this a normal way to treat blood flow issues and do I need to worry about my recovery being hindered without using a garment? I expect to recieve one at my 1 wk followup.

Answer:

it is a normal way to treat poor blood flow and it migth take longer for the swelling to resolve but the survival of the skin is more imporatnt than the time for recovery. One week without the garment should not make a big difference though. JG 10.21.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 4 monthes ago. I went to get checked by my plastic surgeon a week ago i had 6 big bulges in my stomache she said i was fine to come back in 3 monthes. I had to much pressure in my stomache i went to a surgeon, he told me i had a huge ventral hernia, is this possible to a tummy tuck or lipo? Crystal

Answer:

if the tightening of the muscles during the tummy tuck gets loose or if it was never tightened it can feel like a ventral herna, might want to see the plastic surgeon again and tell them what the other surgeon thinks is going on. JG 10.20.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck and breast reduction 5 weeks ago, the doctor said I could take the binder off but every time I do I feel like my stomach swells and I feel a tingling so I put it right back on. Is this normal? I really want to take it off but don`t want to hurt myself either. Also when is it safe to go braless at night after the breast reduction?

Answer:

all normal, it can take another few weeks to get better. I think it is OK to go braless at night now. JG 10.17.07

Question:

I also wanted to know if you can build muscle to take up the space where loose skin is instead of having surgery? Also is their anything you can do to help the stitches come out, they are causing some soreness. Also is their a place online to look up using Tretinoin for scars from surgery, I had a circumferential tummy tuck done 11 wks ago. Thanks!

Answer:

it might be possible to build up the muscles, whether it will make a difference depends greatly on how much muscle can be built up. I personally do not think Retin-A does much for scars. JG 10.17.07

Question:

I had a circumferential tummy tuck 11 wks ago, and muscle repair, and I still can`t do stomach exercises and it still hurts to sneeze is this normal? Also my incision is still sore on both sides, do you think the stitches are trying to come out? Also I wanted to know, can you build muscle to fill out loose skin? Thanks!

Answer:

not usual but not unheard of either. I think the muscles are just tight and there is some scar tissue which is stiff. Start by stretching and in a few weeks move to the exercises. JG 10.16.07

Question:

Have you heard of the combituck, an alternative to the traditional tummy tuck? How is this different from the traditional tuck? Would you recommend it?

Answer:

lots of hype for a procedure that plastic surgeons have been doing for years, the amount of skin removal is less than in many tradtional tummy tucks and it never tigthens the muscle so I think it might be OK in a small percentage of cases but not for most people. It is basically a liposuction with a minimal skin removal so it is nowhere near a traditional tummy tuck. JG 10.15.07

Question:

Hi Dr. This is a follow up question re: indentation from FTT. You weren`t supportive of lipodisolve, and remarked it was interesting that there was an indentation. Any recommendation as to what I might be able to do to address. My PS isn`t offering alternatives.

Answer:

well since lipodissolve is for dissolving fat, if you believe it, that is why I thought using it would not help as it would potentially cause a further depression. It might be improved with fat injections to plump up the area where the indentation is. JG 10.14.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia I want to have a tummy tuck and breast lift done how much time off do I need to take from work. I have an adminstrative job, very, very little light lifting and walking around the office and alot of computer work? And can I have both procedures done at the same time? And just a ball park figure (I know you need to see me) but average about how much for each/both? Thank you. I love your web site!

Answer:

time off work is about two weeks and a rough estimate of the fees would be around $16,000, all inclusive with an overnight stay at the hospital. JG 10.12.07

Question:

I am a 37 year old mother of three. I am considering three sureries. I only want to be under once. Can I have three procdures done at once. Being under anastisia is the scary part for me. I want a breast augmentatoin (lift if needed), abdominoplasty, and labiaplasty.

Answer:

It would be a long surgery but I think those an be done together. JG 10.11.07

Question:

I had my tummy tuck with liposuction to flanks on Thursday, (10/04). I feel as though, pain wise, I could stand up straight, but my muscles feel as though the doctor pulled them too tight. Is this normal and will they eventually loosen to the point where they feel normal again?

Answer:

all normal and they will relax in time. JG 10.8.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia: I am about 5`10 and 130 lbs .. so I am not overweight. However, my stomach really was sticking out with alot of fat on it and some loose skin from 3 kids. I had a tummy tuck about 4 months ago. What I am concerned about is that after the surgery (about 6 weeks), my stomach was much flatter but lately it is not at all .. I have not gained any weight whatsoever. My stomach looks almost like I had nothing done. I have loose skin again and fat sticking out! What could cause this? Also, at the same time I had a facelift and it look perfect but a few weeks after surgery (most of the swelling is gone) I have loose skin again! This is all very distrubing! I am 52 and in perfect health. What can be causing this? Thanks much

Answer:

well, hard to say, I will say that some skin relaxation can occur after surgery, might just need a small touch up but I would wait at least 6 months if not more before that. JG 10.7.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Your website rocks! I had a FTT 1 1/2 yrs ago. I have an indentation the size of a quarter, directly above my stitches (which have slight puckering in that area) and approximately 3 inches below my belly button. It`s been there since the surgery. My PS proposes addressing with advanced lipodissolve. Would appreciate your opinion. I was wondering what other alternatives I might have, eg fat injection. Thanks in advance for your advise!

Answer:

well, first thanks for the kind words, as to lipodissolve, although I am not a believer, I find it really interesting that you have a depression and if, and again I repeat if, the lipodissolve were to work, I think that would cause more of a depression, so I cannot agree. JG 10.7.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, hace algunos años me hice la lipectomia, pero mi ombligo quedo muy feo, y hace como 8 meses me abrieron por encima del vello pubico y el Dr. dijo que ahora si hiba a quedar bien mi ombligo, pero quedo peor y del ombligo hacia abajo mi estomago esta casi plano, pero hacia arriba me quedo una paza muy grande hasta el busto, y me duele alrededor del ombligo, el Dr, dice que es porque tubo que poner un hilo de la facia al ombligo para sumirlo, y yo quisiera ver si soy candidata para hacerme de nuevo una lipectomia a ver si me hacen un ombligo mas bonito y se me quita el dolor. Gracias

Answer:

tendrias que hacer un tummy tuck y remover piel para mejorarlo. JG 10.4.07

Question:

I had a FTT in 12/05... I have lost 18lbs since the surgery, so my stomach is not tight any longer but I have a lump above my belly button the is long and hard. I thought it was a hernia because it hurts, and can feel it sitting up, coughing etc but when I lay down, I do not feel the lump. I do not live by my plastic surgeon (I moved 8 hours away, so I have consulted with another plastic surgeon, general surgeon. Anyway one plastic surgeon said it was a encapsulation, another plastic surgeon said it was a pseudo bursa and the general surgeon said that it was a ventral hernia. I did a CT with and without contrast and it did not show anything. What is the differnce between an encapsulation and a pseudo bursa? Thank you in advance, Nicole

Answer:

a hernia would actually be less palpable when lying down. The encapsulation and pseudobursa are pretty much the same thing, sounds like a ventral hernia to me, as they likely tightened the muscles to where the tissues allowed but now with the weigth loss the muscles are not as tight as they could be. JG 10.2.07

Question:

this was about my belly button question. i weigh 115 lbs and am 5`6, in top shape, my body snaps right back after pregnancy so i never had any loose skin, before during or after my pregnancy the stitch job he did just left a canyon like dent above the button and noone thus far will touch it, is there hope? can fillers pop out the dent temporarilly? idk if it is used in the stomache area. thanks shelly!

Answer:

could consider fillers or fat injections. JG 10.2.07

Question:

Is it safe to cover a tummy tuck scar with a tatoo? If so, how long should I wait before having the tatoo done?

Answer:

yes, I would wait about three months for the scar to soften so the pigment will take better. JG 9.27.07

Question:

I would like to have a full tummy tuck I had to children at an early age and it has left me with stretch marks and baggy skin... But what i need to know is if my type one diabetes will stop doctors from wanting to operate on me ????

Answer:

if the diabetes is well controlled they can still do it. JG 9.25.07

Question:

Hi

Answer:

well other medical issues need to be worked out, but it can likely be done, the pannus is cut off, but it is not a tummy tuck, the skin is not lifted and tightened and the muscles are not tightened either, it is merely a cut across the pannus and a closure. It would be done as an outpatient with possibly one night stay and an extended care facility. Risks are that the wound would not heal due to poor blood flow, infection in the wound and blood clots in the legs. JG 9.22.07

Question:

I had a circumferential tummy tuck 7 wks ago and I asked you about torn muscles and you said there would be a bulge. I do have a bulge in the middle of my stomach, but how do I know if it`s swelling or torn muscles,and are torn muscles painful, because I have no pain except to sneeze. I also had muscle repair, and should it still hurt to sneeze and sleep on my incision. Also how long should I wait to use Tretinoin on my scars, and about how long should it take to see results?

Answer:

if it is torn muslces it will get larger when you try to tighten the muscles. Muscle repair can hurt for a number of months. I would wait 4-6 weeks for the Retin-A, all the best. JG 9.21.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, you performed a ba on me in 99 and I have since had two c-sections, my last 4 weeks ago, and will not be having any more. How long should I wait before I approach you for breast/abdominal repair surgery?

Answer:

I would wait until your weight normalizes and your breast swelling goes down, somewhere between 3-6 months usually. All the best with the new baby! JG 9.19.07

Question:

of 7989 total threads shelly05 | Users | Log out Search: Return to the Forum IndexBoard view Mix view Belly Button PS..I Know It`s Unusual But..My story NE Help? (General Facial Surgery) posted by shelly05, -- Tuesday, 09/18/07, 03:22 AM ok i was here about a year ago and i know i shared my plight with a body piercing incident i had, but it was a long while ago, so let me briefly fill you in and see if anyone knowof anyone who can help with this. ok my piercing got pulled out somehow during my sleep. we are going back nearly 3 yrs now. i was wearing a heavy piece, which i hate myself for now, but didn`t think then, so it likely migrated out more then ripping, cause i didn`t feel a thing and stayed asleep. when i woke it was simply on the bed and i was in shock. ok, so i went to a plastic surgeon cause the emergency room would not touch it. they recommended me to a PS. here in ny. well i got pregnant right before my procedure, and he couldn`t do it, so i waited until after and went back. almost $2k later for 2 minutes of his stitch time, i was bandaged, and let go and my belly button is 1,000 times worse then it ever was. i have talked to people who have had rips there and were able to repierce, and it looked great except for a minimul scar, which could be covered by a new ring, and wasn`t bad, BUT in my case, the guy said he was putting a few stitches in vertically when he in fact did the exact opposite. a red ugly scar is NOT my problem now, the problem is the area is all caved in, it looks like there is no fat above my navel, so noone will pierce it to cover it, cause it wouldn`t hold they say, and i can see why, but i have tried to contact the office about this surgery, and they have not been helpful in having me come in and look at me, and i went to a PS for my tear throughs and showed him my button, and he said he couldn`t and wouldn`t touch it, it would only make it worse, whatever he would do, and that really upset me, cause i THOUGHT someone could fix this. if they can re-create belly buttons, and even sculpt penises for women, and the opposite for men, how can they not figure this one out? it`s very sad for me, cause i have so many other appearance woes, that my stomache was my #1 asset and i loved having the belly ring, and i loved wearing bikinis and crop tops, and now iam covering it up cause it looks weird and freaky but i sooo want it fixed. the original surgeon had told me, i`d have a small vertical hair line scar but that is not the case, (he went horizontal),and he said i`d be able to re-pierce but that is also not the case. what would you do, and does anyone know of anyone that could possible help me with a belly button job. i don`t know if they could inject fillers in there or what would need doing, but there has to be a way if they can do a face transplant. i was so much better off had i left it alone then got the surgery originally any help would be awesome. i live in ny. many thanks, i know this is sort of our in left feild. this does affect my mood daily to, as well as skin and tear throughs, and it`s something i just had to ask. sorry so long..shell

Answer:

well it might have been aggravated due to the pregnancy effects on your skin, if there is loose skin now then removing it would leave a longer scar, if there is a small hernia, it could be fixed, sounds like you need to just find a different surgeon for an in person consultation. JG 9.17.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 14 months ago and before the surgery I could always feel the definition in my lower and upper abs. I could see and feel the definition in the upper portion but the lower still feels and looks like one big bulge. How long will it take before I can see or at least feel the definition down there? It still feels like it`s swollen. I`m a personal trainer so I know how to work the lower abs as well as keep a healthy diet. Also, what can I do to reduce smile lines or their appearance, I need a quick fix, I`m getting married in 3 weeks! :P Thanks for your help and have a great day. :)

Answer:

it should be better by now. Not much that can be done and look better in three weeks though. JG 9.16.07

Question:

I had a full TT in May of 2007. Everything seems great except I have an area just above my scar on the left side that indents, like there is tissue missing there, it is more noticable when sitting. Is this normal? I did have a seroma for about 4 weeks after the surgery could this have caused it? Is there anything to correct the appearance. Thanks

Answer:

might be correctable with a little fat injection. JG 9.16.07

Question:

Hi Dr. I had abdominoplasty done in Oct.2005 but shortly after that my muscles in my stomach seperated again. So in Oct 2006 I had surgery done again to thighten them. Now I went back to my Dr. and he tells me there seperated again. The surgery has to be done again but this time he said he`s going to use a mesh and the mesh he`s going to use is from a cow. Is this safe.

Answer:

I think it is safe but do not expect a flat abdomen with the mesh, it will still bulge. JG 9.16.07

Question:

I am 8 mo. s/p ftt with chronic severe abdominal wall pain. CT reveals abdominal hernia but I also feel lower left quadrant incisional hernia from repaired colostomy site after colectomy takedown (diverticulitis.) In morning, abdomen is flat and comfortable, becomes painful in minutes after arising and protrudes to appearance of 7mo pregnant daily. I feel a large diastesis rectus but pain is most severe around umbilicus initially then extends to transverse abdominus pattern. I have removed random prolene sutures from previous colectomy & MRSA debridement surgeries. I had no pain or muscle weakness prior to abdominoplasty and now am disabled with the pain during the daily rapid expansion. I wear double abdominal supports trying to make it through my day seeing my own patients. I swim and use treadmill one hour daily; am unable to contract abdominus rectus for sitting up unless I physically retract with my hands myself during the movement (like getting out of bathtub or sports car.) I have had PT for 2 months with TENS units to no avail. I`ve even tried acupuncture, although I don`t believe in it. It also didn`t work. Diagnostically, would ultrasonography or MRI be useful? I think this is related to sutures not holding around umbilicus and fascia after my old history of MRSA fascitis but I think this could be repaired. A general surgeon suggested Kenalog with Marcaine but the problem is too generalized. I take 2400mg of Ibuprofen daily without relief and experience cylical gastritis so I must find another option. I`m desperate to find a way to manage this mechanical complication. Thanks.

Answer:

I am sorry but I really do not have much more that I can offer to correct the problem, I am sorry. JG 9.16.07

Question:

I just read someones question below about women in their 40s in bathing suits looking good every where else but have saggy dimpply butts. I wonder if she saw me on the beach? I had to chuckle. Your answer was to prevent this, work on toning the glutes to give the butt lift/shape but that most women dont do that. I am 48 and work my glutes with a trainer 4x a week, still have a saggy butt. You siad the only alternative is a butt/thigh lift. I am scheduled for a butt lift end of the year, but what is the difference, if any, between a plain butt lift, and a butt/thigh lift? I am hoping my surgery will help my back/outer thigh area, as my PS said it should, without any additional scars, besides the one at lower back.

Answer:

essentially very similar but if the thighs need lifting too the dissection and time required is greater but the scars are the same. JG 9.4.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had abdominalplasty about 4 weeks ago. I am healing beautifully and the incision is mostly closed. However, there is an area on one side that has come apart and to the size of about 1/2 inch. It is appears to be barely healing and has a white coating on the inside. My doctor said that I probably popped a stitch. He said I have two options - 1) let it heal and do a scar revision if necessary later or 2) he will clean it out and restitch it, but there is a slight chance of infection. I am inclined to let it heal, but I wonder if I allow him to stitch it with it heal faster? My doctor said the area should close is 2-3 weeks, but it has been one week and it appears to be barley healing. Thanks for reading this and your advice is appreciated. I completely trust my doctor, and he seems unconcerned.

Answer:

I would let it heal on its own, the healing at the begining is slow but it speeds up. JG 9.1.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia. It has been 6 weeks since I had a full tt hip to hip with lipo to flanks. Cut is healing great. I feel great except I have hard somewhat painful lumps on both sides of hips that dont seem to go down. I have seen plastic surgeon about this and he says it is from the lipo and its bruising and not to worry. However, I am because it is painful and my hips look very weird and swollen with a small waist. Can you please tell me what you think about this and what should I do? I am still wearing a girdle on and off whenever my stomach starts to feel swollen.

Answer:

most likely swelling or sutures underneath the skin that can take a couple of months to dissolve and soften, all normal though. JG 8.29.07

Question:

what is a weekend tummy tuck? I have good stomache muscles and am thin but have alot of loose skin.

Answer:

just a mini-tummy tuck with less being done, you might be a candidate but I cannot say for sure whether you will back to normal in a weekend, I kind of doubt it. JG 8.29.07

Question:

Hello Again! Thank you for your recent reply to my question regarding my pseudo bursa after a tummy tuck in June 2006 . I just read another question regarding a very similar situation from a TT in Feb. 2006 and would like to about the inections mentioned that could be used used to soften the bursa, and who can give them to me. Also, as I stated earlier, it has gotten smaller, and is much less uncomfortable.Therefore, my next question is; over more time, can this type of thing go totally or almost totally away? It has been 14 months now. Thank you so much for your help and sharing your knowledge with us all! DK

Answer:

well, it will not go away but it can soften and become more pliable and at times be not bad enough to require surgery, the injections are of either kenalog or 5FU, I use the 5FU. Worth a try before surgery and it should not affect the surgery if you decide to do it in the future. JG 8.28.07

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia. First, thank you for what you do on this site. I had a tt in Feb `06 and just some others on this forum developed the seroma above my belly button, which was tapped about 5 times having less fluid developing each time. However, I developed pseudoburso as well. Would lipo of the area even be a possibility, or is an additional surgery my only option? I have heard they can inject a type of tissue dissolving agent to help soften the capsule. However that was not from a M.D. If my only option is to scrape out the capsule, what are the possibilities of it developing again? And is there any way to decrease my chances of it happening again? Thank you so much for your time. C

Answer:

liposuction is usually not enough to remove the sac of the pseudobursa I am afriad, it nees to be cut out, so more surgery if it is causing problems, injections can soften it and are certainly warranted before more surgery. The bad part is that it can happen agian, although not commonly, best of luck. JG 8.25.07

Question:

Hello, I had a full tummy tuck June 2006. Within days of the surgery I had developed a large seroma a few inches above my belly button right below the ribcage which has since turned into a pseudo bursa. It was aspirated a few times in the beginning,but persisted. Then we did an ultrasound in Dec. 06 to measure it and see where to go from there as it was painful, uncomfortable and very visable. Around Feb. 2007 we decided to go ahead with an ultrasound guided aspiration,and put in a drain... but when we went to do the procedure, there was no fluid, just the sack, which now measures about 6 x 4 across and is about 2+ cm thick. It is still uncomfortable,and visable, but not as bad in the beginning. It is hard to stretch, and I am always aware of it by the feel and sight of it. My PS has recomended to redo the TT (minus the tightening of the abdominal muscles) and peel away this sack. He said most likely we would have to cut the whole pubic incision again( which has healed beautifully) in order to get all the way up to the area where the sack thing is. My question is, do you think we could just try to lipo it out? It is not fat but cant some sort of lipo scrape most of it out or something? I really dont want to re open the entire incision and have all the skin puled away and go through all that again. Or how about removing it by going in through an area from near the sack and me just dealing with a scar. My PS does not want me to have an unsightly scar, but I dont want to redo the whole TT procedure. Thanks for your opinion! DK

Answer:

it needs to be surgically excised I am afriad. I think a scar closer to the bursa is possible but will likely not heal as well as the lower scar due to the tension on the upper abdominal skin. I must say that I agree with your surgeon, I think a scar near your ribcage would heal wider than desired and be almost impossible to hide in certain cloting. JG 8.22.07

Question:

hi, I had a full tt 5 months ago. My belly button scar is dark red and looks like a smiley face. Will this ever go away? My Doc says cortisone shots will help. It is such a tell tale sign of my tummy tuck. Got any suggestions? Your help much appreciated!!!! Lisa

Answer:

I think cortisone shots will help soften scar tissue but I am not sure it will do much for the redness, the cause of the redness needs to be determined and then treated, if it is just wound healing lasers might help, if it is an irritation from a retained suture it needs to be removed. Best of luck. JG 8.22.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, How long after a full tummy tuck may abdominal exercise resume and is it true that there would be no benefit or improvement to the abdomin after a tummy tuck because the muscles are tightened during the procedure??

Answer:

there is always a benefit to building strong abdominals and we let patients start it after 4-6 weeks. JG 8.22.07

Question:

Dr, what is your opinion on the stop smoking aid, Chantix and isit safe to take right up until surgery? I am scheduled for lbl late december. The docs office who prescribed it said it usually does its thing within first month or 2, 3 months would be unusual for it not to have worked. Do you agree, it works? I really want to stop smoking before surgery. I am about a 3/4 to pack a day.

Answer:

I think it does help many people but I think the patient should be off of it for 2-4 weeks before the surgery. Some people take as long as three months to quit. JG 8.21.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia I am 3 weeks post op from a full tummy tuck. My incision on the right side has split open. Will my ps have to stitch me back up or glue my incision back together? Should I be worried about a infection?

Answer:

I think if it is open the risk of abcess is low and wound dressing will need to be done though to avoid an infection. Most likely the best thting to do is to let it heal on its own and then do a scar revision if needed. JG 8.21.07

Question:

I am 47 years old and had FTT with lipo to flanks almost 5 weeks ago in Prague, Czech Republic. At 6 days PO I noticed the beginning of a seroma. I live in UK and went to see my GP at 13 days but he did not think it necessary to aspirate. I saw a cosmetic surgeon here in the UK at 17 days by which time the seroma sat above almost the whole length of my scar. The surgeon tried to aspirate but could draw no fluid - he told me the seroma was loculating or organising and explained that this means the fluid was becoming like jelly and cannot now be aspirated. He says I just have to wait, be patient and that it might take 6, or even 12 months to be absorbed. Should I be satisfied with this? I take serrapeptase - will this help? My abdomen feels uncomfortable, often a sensation of spasm, especially when I move after being still. At nearly 5 weeks PO I cannot stand for more than 15 minutes without needing to sit and rest - is this normal or is it related to the seroma? I cannot work at the moment but am due to go back at 6 weeks, though the prospect fill me with horror - I cannot imagine being able to survive a day at work and worry about whether, by doing more than I feel comfortable with, I am delaying my recovery and my chances of a flat tummy at the end of all this. Lots of questions I know. Sorry. I trying not to get depressed about everything and am hoping you`ll tell me there is nothing for me to worry about.

Answer:

not sure if the serrapase will help, I think some massage and warm packs and then a repeat try to aspirate it is best. Your activity level at this point should be much better than that too but can be limited form the seroma fullness. JG 8.20.07

Question:

I have a question concerning an infection that just sprang up at 9 1/2 weeks out. I had a full TT with vaser to flanks/lovehandles on June 7th. I was completely healed and looking good until last Sat. I noticed some blood spots on panties. Seemed weird since incision had been closed and not spotted for 2 weeks. As weekend went on the blood spots became more. By Tuesday There was alot of drainage and pubic area was swollen and tender to touch. Went to see PS. Took a culture and put me on Keflex and I`ll see him again on Thurs. My question to you is....Why would an infection pop up 9 1/2 weeks out. Could it be necrosis? Staph infection? I`m very worried. Could I have caught an infection from pool? Did wearing my binder in the evening an at night cause too much pressure?

Answer:

can happen from an infected suture below the skin, not common but not uncommon, sounds like they are doing what I would, just see what happens, usually the antibiotics take care of it. JG 8.15.07

Question:

Is an overnight stay usually required for lbl on normal sized person(no GP surgery). I was told 4 1/2 hr surgery. does that sound right?

Answer:

in many cases patients do stay overnight. JG 8.12.07

Question:

im having a panniculectomy on 08-17-07 without abdominoplasty. im afraid of how i will look after procedure.will i look deform? what should i expect? please email me back ASAP. THANK YOU

Answer:

it will remove the saggy skin and in cases where that is pereformed the reason the tummy tuck is not done is because the change would be small due to intrabdominal fat or due to perioperative risks. JG 8.11.07

Question:

I had a mini tummy tuck w/lipo 6/26. I really should have had a full. Now I have a bulge in my lower abdomen that comes out. It was there since right after the surgery but went down significantly. It is hard and does not seem to be going down. Does that go down or do I need another surgery.

Answer:

sounds like more surgery. JG 8.10.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcis had a full tt dec. 3 2005. no drains. hurt from the start told scar tissue. stayed in bed 80%of time only time didn`t hurt. a few months ago some sutures pulled out. the pain much worse.couldn,t tell when bowels were going to move just whole ab get really hard. been a long hard road in my 60`s need help with hard things that hurt some bunch up and create a ball. no test shows. is there a hospital that will diagnois me? my ab is streached to large weight same.know someone can help me? can the tummy tuck be took out (the part that is left and cleaned out?) thank you very much for your answer. thanks for providing this site it really helps to know we are not alone thanks aganin Linda

Answer:

I do not know of any hospital that can help, it sounds like maybe the sutures tore through the fascia on the muscle and it has caused the pain, not much that cna be done though if that is the case. Wish I had more. JG 8.9.07

Question:

i just wrote you about the springs.I need to tell you i have been in pain 20 mo. my stomach has gotten so big as if 7mo pregnant.i am 63 years old in pain all time in bed most of time please any hospital will find out what is wrong? as i stated sutures pulled out on bottom about 4mo ago pain much worse can feel large hard ball hard to eat the balls feel like same substance as springs am cut from pelvis nearly to spine filled with these hard long things with circles on the ends. i really need help. can`t lay for pain in cuts starts burning and hurting down legs. any place in usa i can go. im sorry for repeating myself i just forgot to say how large my abdomem has got as far as skin will streach the sides have split contents spring like are falling into hips hurts try to sit. body building scar tissue around them the kind like rolled up tape measure everywhere hard things in the middle of them hurting so bad.please email me or call me please help me. sincerely Linda Edgeworth jledge@bellsouth.net

Answer:

I wish I could tell you more but I really do not have much advice on how to proceed from here, sorry. JG 8.9.07

Question:

I wrote you about tt some kind of long springs have fallen some left in original place just under ribs. the ones that have fallen have round rough ends feels like cutting me. others have cut down nearly to hip bones others have formed balls of them not exposed until day after MRI so much pain what kind of Dr. can help me. any hospital in us that will find what is wrong with me? can you call or write where i can go? thank you Linda Edgeworth 3120 rome rd.s.w. Plainville,Ga 30733 706-625-2236

Answer:

I am sorry but I really do not have much I can suggest in terms of trying to figure out what is going on in your case. JG 8.9.07

Question:

have you ever done a reverse abdominoplasty? if so, how does the scar running across the sternum heal?

Answer:

yes and that scar on the sternum is a little thicker than the lower abdominal scar and can be seen in many low cut dresses and in all bathing suits, the amount of skin that can be removed is also not as much as the lower approach. JG 8.7.07

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I had a ftt 7 months ago with lipo to inner thighs, saddle bags and flanks. My ps did not use drains. PS had to drain fluid weekly with a needle due to fluid buildup. I had 2 holes above pubic area that had to be stuffed with gauze daily. They drained a greenish puss with a foul odor. My ps just kept telling me they would heal. He said I did not have any infection. 8 weeks after surgery I developed blisters on my vagina and inner thighs which my gyno cultured and came back MRSA. Was on 4 different antibiotics before infectious disease dr. cleared up with nasal cream. Holes eventually healed. My ps said MRSA had nothing to do with my surgery. My internal dr. and gyno said MRSA was very likely caused by my surgery. My question is: I am considering a breast reduction and more lipo under the breast area. My ps said this surgery would be much easier. Do you think he was honest in regards to the MRSA and do you think I would have a liklihood of developing MRSA again with breast reduction? Aside from the struggle with recovery I am thrilled with my results. Thank You.

Answer:

I think the MSRA could be attributed to the tummy tuck with the open wounds that needed to be allowed to close on their own and that needs to be considered. Might need aggressive antibiotics for the next go round. JG 8.3.07

Question:

what are your recomendentations on time to quit smoking before/after a FTT? Do drs ever test you somehow before surgery to make sure you have quit?

Answer:

at least one month before and after. There are tests to see if you have been smoking, they check for a break down product of nicotine. JG 8.3.07

Question:

How common is it for a scar from a thigh lift to fall because of gravity and time?

Answer:

actually very common. JG 7.31.07

Question:

Thank you for providing such an informational website. I have explored the archives and found some info on narrowing a waist. I have addictional questions for you. What is the average space between the ribs and hip bone for most women? Mine is about 3 and I think that might be too small to narrow my waist at all. My waist gained 2 after childbirth. Also, when I suck in my abs, my waist stays the same (little or much intra-ab fat??). I have an athletic build - 5`6 /135lbs. I have narrow hips and no waist. I`m just wondering what kinda chance I`ll have of getting a smaller waist w/ a TT.

Answer:

I really do not have a reference number for that distanc as it varies greatly, the taller one is the longer the distance. I think in your case that number is small, I agree. If the waist stays the same when you suck your stomach in then there is intra-abdominal fat and tightening the muscles will likely not narrow your waist. If that is what you were considering the tummy tuck for I do not think it is a wise idea. JG 7.16.07

Question:

Thanks for such a timely answer to my question. You said If the waist stays the same when you suck your stomach in then there is intra-abdominal fat and tightening the muscles will likely not narrow your waist. The width of my waist stays the same. I am able to `suck` it in, though, as there is a bit of a pooch there and the side view will change. Any luck for me? (I also have an UGLY BB and have a few stretch marks & loose skin to deal w/ so the narrowing would be a plus)

Answer:

well the tummy tuck might fix the pooch and the belly button but I doubt your waistline will change. JG 7.16.07

Question:

What do you think about mentor implant for the butt?

Answer:

I am not aware of Mentor making implants for buttocks augmentation. JG 7.13.07

Question:

What type of implants do you use for butt implant?

Answer:

I am not performimg buttocks implants as the implants available in the US I feel are too hard. JG 7.13.07

Question:

How safe is butt implant and what`s the worst could happen?

Answer:

worst thing that can happen is they get infected and need to be removed, there are relatively safe. JG 7.11.07

Question:

Two questions for you: 1st - is it possible to have diastis without having a large ridge-perhaps just s-t-r-e-t-c-e-d out? My waist was 2 wider after having my first child, when my other measurements were the same. I have done the test and can feel a separation about 2 fingers wide and 3 or 4 fingers long above my BB, but nothing below. Secondly - if it is only stretched out or no diastis, can the waist be narrowed in a TT anyway? And by how much?

Answer:

yes, the ridge is not always there. The waist can be narrowwed by tightening the diastasis as long as the abdominal contents will not limit it. JG 7.11.07

Question:

My wife recently underwent a full tt, it left a fair bit of stretch marks from groin to navel. I was wondering if there had been any surgical developments that can get rid of stretch marks. Also, I recently heard of a new proceedure where a tummy tuck can be done without leaving any scarring, as the procedure is carried out pulling the loose skin together into the belly button. Is this something you have heard about.

Answer:

the belly buttom tummy tuck is a minimal improvement and not applicable for most patients. I am afraid as to the stretch marks that science has not yet come up with a good option, sorry. JG 7.6.07

Question:

Would psuedobursa show up on a CT scan with IV/Oral contrast? Does it cause discomfort?

Answer:

not with oral contrast and it would only show up if it was full of fluid. JG 7.6.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia I had a full tummy tuck in June of last year and every since then I have a foul smell and drainage from my naval every single day also when i awake in the morning my stomach is flat as a board and as the day wears on it becomes puffy and sticks out and it gets really hard and tightens up my doc says he can`t find anything wrong and gave me some antibiotics for the drainage and it cleared it up for about 4 days and it came right back I am confused and don`t know what to think or do. I really hope you can solve this problem for me do i need to consult another doc as to my doc says he can`t find anything wrong.

Answer:

sounds like you likely have a retained stitich that is infected and until it is removed it will all continue. JG 7.5.07

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia: PostOp TT 12/05- lump above belly button was thought to be a ventral hernia now after the general surgeon & plastic surgeon has communicated they are thinking that it is not a ventral hernia but an encapsulation. I thought that encapsulation was the same thing as scar tissue, right? The CT scan did not show scar tissue in the area around the navel only at the incision above my pubic line. Is that possible to have any encapsulation above your navel and is it the same as scar tissue? Does it cause discomfort? How can it be corrected? Thanks! Nicole

Answer:

that is more likely a pocket of old fluid that has absorbed and left a pocket of scar tissue, called a pseudobursa. Might need to be cut out I am afraid. JG 7.5.07

Question:

How much do you charge to do a full tummy tuck and fat transfer to the butt?

Answer:

I would not do them together, tummy tucks are about $8200. JG 7.2.07

Question:

How long does a butt implant last and how often do you have to replcae them?

Answer:

they should be a one time thing. JG 7.2.07

Question:

I`m having a tummy tuck and fat transfer to the butt, done the same time. What is the best way to sleep? What would happen if I sleep on my back?

Answer:

I would not do them at the same time as the pressure of sleeping on your back might affect the fat injections. JG 7.2.07

Question:

Had mini tt with tightening of lower abs 3 mos ago. All went well. Very satisfied with results on outside but wish had done ftt because of slight contour and stretch marks above bb which wrinkle a little-it`s the wrinkling that I don`t like-was hoping to just have that fixed with umbilicoplasty but ps doesn`t think I would be satisfied with results. Not sure I would want to try surgery again as things went so well the first time but how long do you suggest waiting before having any additional or repeat surgery. PS I amazed at all the problems people are having as I had no problems what so ever. Just a little tender yet at times.

Answer:

I would give it at least 60-12 months and see, glad all is going well. JG 6.30.07

Question:

HEY DOC.THANKS FOR ANSWERING ME BACK SO QUICKLY.YOUR ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.I SAW MY PS TODAY (6-28-07 AND HE SAID THAT THE SPOT I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT WAS ANOTHER INFECTED AREA.IT WAS A SMALL AREA SO HE TOOK A NEEDLE TO IT AND BUSTED THE SKIN OPEN AND LET SOME OF THE INFECTION OUT.HE THEN CLEANED IT AND GAVE ME ANTIBOTICS (KEFLEX).I HOPE THESE ANTIBOTICS HELP THIS TIME BECAUSE IT DIDN`T PHASE IT THE LAST TIME.I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS SPOT CAME ON ME.I CLEAN THE AREA TWO TO THREE TIMES DAILY.COULD THIS BE A STAPH INFECTION AND IF SO HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR IT TO GET BETTER? HE TOOK A CULTURE OF IT THE TIME BEFORE AND HE SAID IT WAS JUST A SKIN INFECTION.I DO NOT BELIEVE HIM,BUT I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING.IF IT TRULY IS A SKIN INFECTION THEN I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW I GOT IT.I THINK HE OWES ME THAT MUCH.WELL NO MATTER WHAT I JUST WANT TO GET BETTER.DO YOU THIMK ANY MORE PLACES WILL OPEN UP ON ME AGAIN? DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT I CAN DO TO GET BETTER? IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN PUT ON THESE PLACES TO GET THEM TO HEAL FASTER, AND PROTECT THEM FROM ANYMORE INFECTION.YOU HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.I JUST SO TIRED OF BEING SICK.I FOUGHT WITH THIS FOR 4MONTHS NOW AND I AM SICK OF IT.PLEASE HELPL.THANKS VANESSA

Answer:

no way to tell how long it will take, sorry. Once the area is opened up it is much easier for it to heal and get rid of the infection. I wish there were things you could do to help but there isn`t. JG 6.28.07

Question:

I thank you for your recent response regarding a cyst removal and possible reoccurance following hernia repair. I do have one further question: If left alone, will a pseudobursa continue to grow and can it become a health risk? Or will it become more a nuisance and fixing it be merely for cosmetic reasons? I appreciate your help.

Answer:

no health risk but it can stay there a long time, usually will not go away on its own if it is of any significant size. JG 6.28.07

Question:

HEY DOC. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU,BUT I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION. AS YOU KNOW I STILL HAVE TWO SMALL INDENTIONS ON MY STOMACH FROM WHERE THE HOLES WERE THAT HAS INFECTION STILL LYING ON THEM,BUT MY CONCERN IS THAT I HAVE ANOTHER SMALL SPOT ABOVE WHERE THE FIRST HOLE WAS AND IT IS KIND OF PURPLE AND LOOKS LIKE IT IS GETTING A LITTLE RED AROUND IT.I AM STARTING TO WORRY AND I DON`T KNOW WHAT TO DO.COULD THIS BE ANOTHER INFECTION OR NECROTIC SKIN STARTING TO FORM? THE SPOT IS NOT VERY BIG BUT I AM WORRIED.SHOULD I GO TO THE BEACH OR WOULD IT BE BEST TO STAY HOME? SHOULD I CALL MY DOCTOR AND LET HIM KNOW.I ASKED HIM ABOUT IT THE LAST VISIT THAT I HAD AND HE SAID THAT IT WAS NOTHING THAT MY SKIN WAS JUST VERY THIN IN THAT AREA DUE TO THE SURGERY AND COMPLICATIONS THAT I HAVE HAD.ANY SUGGESTIONS? COULD THIS BE A STAPH INFECTION AND IF SO WHAT KIND OF ANTIBOTICS WOULD BE GOOD FOR THIS?REMEMBER HE HAD ME ON KEFLEX BUT IT DID NOT HELP.YOUR HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.THANKS VANESSA

Answer:

I think you need to see him to make sure it is nto a new area of skin that is going to break open. JG 6.28.07

Question:

In January, I had a triple hernia repair - 2 inguinal and one incisional across previous c section scar. The doctor repaired the hernias and removed excess skin before closing the incision. I had a lot of fluid removed during the following weeks and the area above the incision became hard. I was told to massage it to break up the scar tissue (which I did) but the incision area appeared to be caving in and the area above it pouched out. It was determined that I had developed a cyst which I ended up having to have surgically removed in May - it ended up being a very large cyst and I was hospitalized with drains in for two days - went home with the drains in for one week until they were leaking and no longer working properly. I had more fluid removed and now (at 5 weeks post op) am developing the same signs (hardening of the area above the incision line and pouching) This area becomes hard with any activity and feels like a bruise. I also have stabbing pains, but understand that is part of the recovery process. My physician once again tells me to massage the area, but I am fearful that another cyst is forming. I don`t want to go through this again. I am a 50 year old thin female who is in good health. I have not received the ok to go back to working out, but have tried to swim, but can`t straighten out enough to do laps. I am very frustrated.

Answer:

sounds like you need to see a plastic surgeon and have the pseudobursa removed again and the drians replaced with possibly some quilting sutures to close the pocket down. JG 6.27.07

Question:

had ftt 3.14.07 with muscle repair; had drains removed in 8 days and a few aspirations after in office;now have severe abdominal distention mostly mid-line and mostly above bb and cannot straighten up; 2 wks ago ultrasound showed hematoma w/fat;but now my abdomen is larger and experiencing tear-like intermittent shooting pain when trying to straighten out and/or move body in any direction;caught a chill and abdomen went into spasm and i couldnt walk w/o holding belly;i think muscles became unstitched with scar tissue forming and causing the distention and in turn stretching the skin beyond comfortability; my g.i. md sending me for ct scan today; doesn`t like what he sees; would an MRI be better? or what tests can best determine if stitches came out of muscles? and what tests would be best to determine if there is surgical hernia? ps wants to see me in 6wks and advised maybe some lipo then; i have a gut feeling this is not the answer; im very concerned and dont want to 6 more wks b4 doing anything--goin to Mexico in 3 wks(7.22) and am afraid to travel that something might be wrong or go wrong while away; any dangers here? should i go to another ps for 2nd opin? gen`l surgeon for 2nd op? I know i asked a lot of questions, hope you can help.

Answer:

CT scan or MRI are about the same for what is wrong, I am afraid you will need surgery and a drain to fix the problem. As to determining if the stitches broke, you would need the scan done both in the relaxed and then in the bearing down position, no easy to do. I think you should get it fixed sooner rather than later, and liposuction might remove the hemtoma but will not fix the muslces if the sutures broke I have to say. JG 6.27.07

Question:

HELLO DR. HOPE ALL IS WELL. ITS BEEN SOME TIME SINCE IVE RETURNED WITH ANY QUESTIONS WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE IT MEANS ALL IS GOING GOOD. WELL MY CONCERN IS THAT LATELY IF BEEN FEELING SOME STABBING PAINS ON ONE PARTICULAR SPOT JUST BELOW MY RIB CAGE. AT ONE POINT IS WOKE ME UP AT THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. IT JUST LASTED FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES. SO FAR IT HAS HAPPENED A COUPLE OF TIMES. ITS NOT CONSTANT JUST COMES AND GOES. ALSO AROUND MY SCAR IT FEELS LIKE ELECTRICITY SPARKS. IT HAS BEEN 3 MONTHS SINCE MY TUMMY TUCK. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME. GOD BLESS. VIVIAN

Answer:

most likley a litle scar tissue that with time and stretching will get less and less. JG 6.24.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck done 3 weeks ago. My doctor recommended dermawave treatment to help with the healing process, I went this past wednesday for the treatment and after that I`ve been feeling more swollen more like bloated, is this normal? Also when I wake up in the morning my tummy is fully flat but throughtout the day it gets swollen or bloated again, is this also normal?? please advise

Answer:

sorry but it is normal. JG 6.15.07

Question:

tt18mo ago hurt since closed 13ct pulled out intense pain ER two days later. went ps did op said too long not my op if in pain in mind. went to two ps in Atlanta they both said pulled out hate to put through again might pull out. I feel sticking and stomach stays in spasm. had adhesion bands grow around hips made deep cuts now filling with scar tissue and hard objects i think clips or something that didn`t dissolve. hurts down legs move knots releaves some knots are all across my hips.went to dr. last week felt said scar tissue in round shapes offerd no help. my ab feel full of soft wire like objects try to push to side to stop spasm last only minuits.I need help said must find surgeon that is gen/plastic surgeon to repair.I`m 63 non smoker non drinker and have to lay down or in pain all time. please help me if you can or foward to help anywhere. please tell me what to do where can i go please. they tried to give me vitamin shot pumped up shot in scar tissue. hips have sink in places where they put shots. feels like skin is seperating and loose and small hard objects is causing it. can furnish references as to mental stability this is really happening. thank you Linda Edgeworth Plainville Ga 706-625-2236

Answer:

sound slike you do need a repaet surgery. Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best. JG 6.15.07 http://www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.php.

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I will be getting my tummy tuck next Monday. The Pre-op appointment nurse stated that I soak in a tub with 1 cup bleach before the surgery. Is this normal? Have you ever heard of this one? It is not supposed to hurt me, but sounds crazy and I am a bit concerned. -k

Answer:

it is done to clean the skin, you can use bacteriacidal soap instead. JG 2.2.8.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 2 years ago. The surgeon is a friend, she did a great job. However it is still very tight, and very numb. The feeling has not improved at all. Is this normal? There is a place probably 3 inches wide from my incision to above my navel that has absolutely no feeling. It looks great, but sometimes the tightness and numbness bothers me. When I exercise I can tell that there is a feeling, but I can`t tell that its sore. Will this change with time???

Answer:

I think if it has not gotten better by now it will stay that way. JG 2.27.07

Question:

What is a subcutaneous pseudobursa? Can you explain it to me in layman terms? And how does this problem occur? Is it anything that I did? Because there is no way this surgeon is going to take the blame. Or is it some thing that just occurs and it is no ones fault.

Answer:

it is a sac that forms around a fluid accumulation and looks like a joint capsule around a joint, in most cases for it to go flat it needs to be surgically removed, it is the result of the fluid reaccumulation and the body trying to wall it off. JG 2.26.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a tt 1.5 months ago and I`ve developed a small hard lump in my pubis area. What could this be and what should I do?

Answer:

most likely some scar tisssue that in time will get softer, massage and a little heat should help. JG 2.25.07

Question:

I had a tummy tuck done over a month ago. My stomach is a mess. I developed a hemmatoma and now I have to go for a cat scan because I have a hard lump in my stomach with a severe extending stomach. I looked ten times better before the surgury. I am responsible for all this financial burden of tests and blood work because my ins. will not cover it. Is it his responsibility to repair the damaged he caused. H e says its because I smoke. I smoke about 3 cigarettes a month if I am lucky, because I get extreme nausea and cant smoke when Im like that. I really need your help.

Answer:

smoking does not cause hematomas and as to the lump, it most likely is a pseudobursa which formed around the area where the hematoma was and needs to be cut out. It is a complication from the surgery, and in most cases the surgeon will do it for little to no surgical fee in my experience. JG 2.25.07

Question:

I had a full tt with hernia surgery 8 wks ago. I have a hard, oval, tennis ball-sized swelling in the middle, but right below my incision. My ps says it`s lymphatic swelling and I should massage it. It feels uncomfortable when I do this. It hasn`t gotten bigger in a month, but it hasn`t gone down either. Could this be permanent? What`s your advice to get the swelling to go down comfortably? Thanks

Answer:

might be scar tissue too, it might take months to go away, I think warm packs and massage are a must at this point. JG 2.21.07

Question:

Thanks Dr. G, My next question is should my ps drain the fluid from under my lower stomach area from the abdominoplasty, it has been since June 06 and the fluid has not gone away even after the lipo in Dec. My ps keeps looking at it but has not addressed what options there are to get rid of it. I will try to excercise for the puffiness under the bra line.

Answer:

if there is fluid that can be removed with a needle it should be done to allow the skin to re-adhere. JG 2.21.07

Question:

Hi again Dr Garcia. I think I need to reformulate my question. When I said I had lipo, I meant I had it on my sides not on my tummy. In my tummy I only had the tt. So when I am in front of the mirror my waist looks nice since is narrower from the lipo but when i turn and look at myself sideways I am as wide as I was before just not wrinkled. It is seven weeks already and I am very worried. I was hoping for a so longed flat tummy.

Answer:

if you had fat inside your abdomen, below the muscle, something they can tell before surgery, then expecting to have a flatter stomach would have never worked. JG 2.21.07

Question:

For a full TT, if the patient was coming in from out of town, how long should I plan to stay in LV and do you have recommended lodging? Also, what kind of follow-up is needed and do I need a PS back home to consult for the follow-ups? Thanks for your time on this great site.

Answer:

we can assit you with the lodging and I think 10-12 days would be minimum, a plastic surgeon back home might be needed for ideal care so you would need to establish that relationship first, especially if I do not know them personally. JG 2.20.07

Question:

Hi Dr., I am undergoing a tummy tuck procedure in the next month. many of the questions submitted on your site are complaints from patients about their procedures. I was wondering whether their complications are because their surgeon did not perform the surgery correctly. Are your patients pleased with their procedures and how often do they have complications? I`am hoping and praying for no problems

Answer:

in the vast majority of cases the patients are happy with their surgery. JG 2.20.07

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia. I had a full tt and lipo together Jan 2. Now, seven weeks post op, my scar is pretty normal and my belly button looks good, however, when I look at myself in the mirror I am narrower in my sides but I would say it almost looks the same as before when I`m sideways, except that I don`t have any lines cutting my belly and my belly button is not wrinkled. I steel wear my same clothes, it just feets a little different. When I pull my stomach in, the part under my breast tucks in fine, but under the belly button does not get tucked in. I`m thinking that maybe that lower part might be a little swollen but it seems to me that it is not going to get flat completely. I was about 10-15 lbs over my ideal weight when I had surgery, but its not like I was obese, so my expectations were actually higher. Do you think is too early to think that way or should I talk to my ps about a redo?

Answer:

way too early, also realize that if you had liposuction and the tunmmy tuck, since tissues were removed, you should weigh less now than before. Also, the 10-15 pounds of overweight and the end result will depend greatly on where the fat was, if it is mostly intra-abdominal, then the tummy tuck will not provide a smaller waist, just a removal of skin, so there are anatomic variances that will affect the end result. JG 2.20.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Is it ok to do multiple procedures along with the tummy tuck? I have a Mid Facelift, upper eye lift, breast aug. and Tummy Tuck and minor nose surgery scheduled March 5th. I am 39 and in excellent physical health. Would you say this is too much? How long before you think I would recover from so much? Thanks for any advice... --k

Answer:

I think that is quite a bit, I personally like to limit my surgical procedures to 5 hours or less, so you may want to speak with your doctor. If you did all of that I think a month at least for recovery. JG 2.20.07

Question:

what does fever and redness mean? when does swelling finally go away after a tummy tuck?

Answer:

could mean an infection, it can take 6 months or more for all of the swelling to go away. JG 2.20.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had abdominoplasty in July 06, in Dec I had to have lipo for some fat pcokets. I see my ps ever 6 weeks and I am not happy with the results. My close do fit better, however I have noticed and my ps stated during my recent visit that I am still swollen right under my bra line as well as fluid in the lower ab area. My ps stated that it normally takes 3 months for great results, apparently that has not happened with me. Am I at fault with this since I have not dieted or exercised. I have not gained weight, however I have not started a exercise routine yet. Woud that speed up these great results everyone talks about. When I hold my muscles in the visual is great however otherwise I still have a very wide waist area.

Answer:

well what you are desscribing can be due to swelling below the skin in terms of the lower and upper abdoemn but the fact that your waist is still wide is due to fat inside of your abdomen under the muscles that cannot be removed with surgery, but diet alone. Staying at the same weight is good but after the surgeries you have had you should have lost weight since tissue was removed. I think once cleared by your surgeon you need to get back on a diet and exercise program to make sure you get rid of the fat you have gained since at this point after a tummy tuck and liposuction you should weigh less. JG 2.19.07

Question:

Hello I had a full tummy tuck on Jan 9th 2007. I have since then had drainage from the insision and right above my Pubic area hasn`t healed it`s about 1/2 opened and draining. I had also cleaned my belly button with a Q-tip and that started draining a bunch for a couple of hours it has since stopped. My lower abs are really sore still and right under my belly button is red (pink) and is really hard hard like a hard ball. Is that all normal? The doctor perscribed me antibiotics which i finished i`m just curious if this is all normal? do i have fluid still??

Answer:

well, not normal but it can happen, I think you need to stay in close contact with your surgeon to make sure an infection is not getting worse. It might take weeks for that draining to stop and the wounds to close. JG 2.19.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I will be having a vertical abdominalplasty (lower abdomen up to the breast bone) performed in March. My doctor suggest this procedure on bariactric patients because of the excessive fat on the upper abdomen. Based on several friends in the past that only received the hip to hip procedure, they had a fat roll that remained on their upper abdomen. Is it possible my Dr. may be right on his findings? What do you think? I frequent this site and find your answers to questions very helpful. Thank you for being their for us.

Answer:

I do many vertical abdominoplasties, but if there is enough skin there is mostly a vertical incision and a small horizontal one too. Glad you like the site and thanks for visiting. JG 2.12.07

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck on 11/01/06, more than a year ago. I am totally not happy. When I bend over, my stomach moves up, when I stand up, it moves down, My doctor told me that I would have a slight bulge just below and in the center of my rib cage. My mons are drooping down, my waistline is 8 1/2 larger that it was before (not at all a slight bulge) I had the tummy tuck and I cannot wear slacks or skirts because they fall down and I have to pull them up every few steps I take. My entire stomach cavity is very tender and sore, my stomach, or whatever it is just moves around depending on how I move. The plastic surgeon told me that the results from the TT are not good because I have a short torso. He did not mention this to me prior to the TT. In the city where I live, it seems that other plastic surgeons aer willing to do any corrective surgery. After I complained to him, he sent me a certified letter stating that I had 30 days to locate another doctor and that he was terminating the patient/doctor relationship because ours was not good. what are my alternatives? that you.

Answer:

All I can suggest is seeing if someone else is willing to take care of you, if not someone in your area, then someone nearby, sorry to hear about the problems with the doctors. JG 2.11.07

Question:

I have just asked a question but Imade a mistake, I meant to say the plastic surgeons in the city I live in will NOT do corrective surgery on a TT performed by another surgeon Thank you

Answer:

may need to go to a nearby city I am afraid. JG 2.11.07

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full TT two months ago and I still have swelling on the lower left side of my abdomin. At least that is what my Doctor said it is the last time I saw him a month ago. The left lower side is very swollan until its hanging over the line that was made during the operation. I have internal burning now and again and soreness just on the left side. The right side is perfect. I was told the swelling will go down but it appears to be getting worse. when I first had the surgery I was sleeping on my left side which I thought was the problem but is not because I stopped a month ago. When I am undressed I look deformed and I still wear a full body girdle. Would this be the problem? Should I be alarmed and call my doctor? Is this normal? Will the swelling go down?

Answer:

I think it can take time but it might have some fluid that your doctor can suck out, might want to go back and see what they say.JG 2.11.07

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a tummy tuck about 8 weeks ago and every thing looks great except my belly button. It is more like a slit instead of round like a navel should be. I read some where on the internet to put a marble in it. I have not tried it. What do you think. Thanks for the help.

Answer:

well the marble will keep it open but whether it will work depends on how the cut was made. If it was round after the surgery and became a slit the marble might help, if it was a slit to begin with I do not think it will help and you may need a little revision of the belly button. JG 2.10.07

Question:

I had a tt two wks ago, last wk I developed a hard buldge midway between my breast and navel w/some bruising, the area looked like it was swollen. I went to my PS, and he thought it might be possibly a torn stich. That same wk, I had a trouble clearing my throat and coughing due to a sl cold. And that was possibly the reason. Because I have taken good care of my self. My PS says the swelling will go down in time. This wk, the swelling is going down, but still sl swollen, the hard area is still sore. I want to know when the swelling is gone, will my upper abd look flat. He said there are many stiches in that area. I dont care if I dont have a six pack protruding, but at least want it to look right.

Answer:

should get pretty flat in that area if he put in a number of stitches, yes. It will take some time though. JG 11.29.30

Question:

I am 1 week post tt. I love my results and everthing seems to be coming along. Minimal or no pain, just a little swelling from where my ps removed one of the drains and I`ve been putting ice on this area to assist w/reducing the swelling. Only issue is that the sutures on my right side popped at the corner (hip area) and the my ps said she cannot resuture, and applied more steri tape. Will my scar heal unevenly with this open gap on the scar? I also have drainage through the steri tape...is this normal? Is ice the right remedy for swelling? Thank you in advance. Your web site has been very informative.

Answer:

some drainage is expected and the area where the sutures popped will close and should heal well, if not it can always be revised down the road. Ice is good. Thanks for visiting. JG 11.29.30

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, For people who have tummy tucks or any kind of lift...is there anyway to maintain the elasticity of the newly tightened skin, other than not gaining weight? Because, for people who don`t have lose skin, all they have to do is workout and weightrain and they don`t lose that elasticity...any hope in the same results for post-op patients? Thank you!

Answer:

unfortunately, no, it is genetically predetermined and affected by what has occured before. Working out and weight training does absolutley nothing for skin elasticity. JG 11.26.06

Question:

I had a FTT on 11/15. On 11/22 I had one drain taken out. I still have one drain in. I have cleaned the tubing by squeezing the gross stuff out into the bulb. However, today it doesn`t seem like my drain is really filling. Instead the fluid is coming out around the drain (out of the hole where the drain is inserted). Is this ok or should I call my doctor ASAP? I`m not scheduled for another appointment until 12/4 (to get my second drain out). I live 5 hours from the doctor so I don`t want to make an unecessary trip. Thanks for your help.

Answer:

I think call the doctor and you should see them on Monday or Tuesday, no emergency, the drain is most likely clogged and the fluid is coming out around the tubing. I would not wait for the 4th. JG 11.26.06

Question:

Hello, I had a full tummy tuck on 6-5-2006. I have 2 questions.I still have some lower abdoman swelling that gets worse as the day goes on.I used to wear a size 8-9 and now I have to buy an 11-13! When should I expect this to subside? Second and more important ...from the day of surgery I had extreme pain in the upper center abdomen right below the ribcage and moderate pain for about 3 months after the TT with abnormal swelling. The Dr. removed brownish fluid from there 3 or 4 times. The constant pain finally went away, but it is still swollen and hard , and is about 6 wide by 3-4 in diameter. It hurts there when I exert myself or stretch, and gets harder as the day goes on.My Dr. said it will go away, and he is not so worried since it has greatly reduced in size in the past 2 months and the constant pain is gone. What do you think this is? ANd what should I do about it? Thank You!!! Debbie

Answer:

swelling can take up to 12 months to go away. The pain in the upper abdomen may be from the a small cyst like pocket where the fluid was and it needs to soften and be able to stretch more, all not uncommon. JG 11.24.06

Question:

Sorry - i forgot to add to my question below about reverse TT - other questions on your page have stated that reverve TT may not last long - can you give your view? should permanent lifting sutures be insisted on to make sure the scar stays wihtin the mammary folds?

Answer:

well, it is true in the sense that the scar can migarte downward and make the scar more visible. The permanent sutures do not mean the results and the location of the incision will be permanent. JG 11.19.06

Question:

HI I came across your site after searcheing endlessly for information about reverse abdominoplasty. I like in the UK, i had a FTT and MR over a year ago. I`m left with HUGE upper ab rolls and a large `ken doll` (large protruding mons) it seems like my body has `dropped` !! After the TT by navel was perfect tear shapped, now it is `hooded`. My PS has offered a reverse TT to help the upper abs roll problem and also offered to take a `rectangle slice` from my pubic area to flatten my `ken doll` I do believe that he has done a fiar job (i had huge overhang (7 children) and my lower tummy is brilliant. Please Dr Garcia, could you give me some information about reverse TT. I`ve been told the scar will be under my breasts in the fold, and will cross the midline in an upward motion. Could you tell me whether i`m likely to be flatter in the upper abs after the Reverse TT and also if the pubic area `slice removal` will work. Many many thanks

Answer:

the pie slice is a good option for the mons, and I have done the reverse tummy lifts but the scars are not hairline, certaily not as thin as the lower abdominal scar, and in cases where there is a large amount of skin the incisions will wrap around toward the sides of the chest. JG 11.19.06

Question:

Hi. I had a FTT, and liposuction of my entire abdomen, and flanks 4 weeks ago. Am I okay to stop wearing my brace/binder now? I dislike it.

Answer:

I let my patients stop after 4 weeks. JG 11.17.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 10 months ago, and i haven`t lost weight. I weighted 142 when i had the tt and haven`t lost why? If they took all that skin away? I still have a lose skin. What can i do to make my skin hard. I didn`t get the muscle repair. thanks

Answer:

tummy tucks are not done for weight loss, the amount of skin that is cut off in most cases weighs less than 5 pounds. There are no exercises or creams or treatments that will tighten skin, you might need more skin cut off. JG 11.16.06

Question:

HI, DOCTOR GARCIA. MY NAME IS RAQUEL. I HAD A TUMMY TUCK 7 MONTHS AGO. MY STOMACH LOOKED GREAT, UNTIL LAST WEEK. MY RIBS WERE VERY PRONOUNCED BEFORE THE SURGERY DUE TO 3 PREGNANCIES, AFTER THE TUMMY TUCK, THEY LOOKED GOOD,MEANING NOT THAT PRONOUNCED ANYMORE, UNTIL LAST WEEK. NOW MY RIBS LOOK POPPED OUT AGAIN, AND I HAVE A SWELLING IN THE MIDDLE UPPER SECTION OF MY RIBS. MAYBE MY SUTURES COULDNT HOLD MY RIBS ANYMORE, OR DO A HAVE FLUID IN UPPER MIDDLE SECTION?? IS THIS NORMAL? NOW THAT MY RIBS ARE POPPING OUT AGAIN, IS THERE ANYTHING THE SURGEON COULD DO OR THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN WITH TIME, DUE TO MY LARGE RIBCAGE?? THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!! RAQUEL

Answer:

unusual this far out, hard to tell what has happened without examining you before and now in order to tell. Ribcages are nearly impossible to change in shape. JG 11.16.06

Question:

fantastic site and most helpful,i`m a 31 m and had a full tummy tuck 2 weeks ago,i;m concerned i have a build up of fuild just above my scar,which stetches from hip to hip like a ring is this normal? thanks phil

Answer:

can happen, not unusual and at times needs to be drained with a needle a few times. JG 11.14.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia. I am post op 11 months from having a FTT. My scar is actually beautiful however, my left side is flat and my right side looks like an egg and feels like a hard lump on the right side. I still have swelling and still have to wear my garments at night, if I do not the swelling gets totally unbearable. I thought that the most I would have to wear these garments would be 6 months. Also, I am still numb which I expected but I still can not exercise. When I do exercise (which is lightly) I get a tingling sensation (like when your foot goes to sleep)and it feels like the muscle on the right side is burning. I do not think this is normal. I have lost weight since my FTT. I am down to 158 which I was 178 but my stomach looks bigger... it that possible? I have thought about a revision but I am afraid of things getting worse. Can you maybe explain what could be going on? Thank you in advance. Great website.

Answer:

well the swelling should be going down by now and you stomach being bigger I can only guess is due to the swelling, it is hard for me to tell much without examining you and seeing what is going on with your tissues. The best I can say is to go back and see you surgeon and see what they say. All the best. JG 11.14.06

Question:

I have a consult WEDS. with a plastic surgeon. I really just want a mini tummy tuck with belly button repair but I am afraid that he will say my stomach is too severe but a ftt does not fit into my lifestyle and I am not wanting to wear a bikini or anything I just do not want to look pregnant in my clothes anymore. Also I am all for local anethesia instead of general do you think he will let me choose?

Answer:

well he might suggest what he believes is best and I cannot tell if he will compromise on how he does it. JG 11.14.06

Question:

Dr.G. I just turned 50, I look much younger thanks to a chin and mini lift you did for me 10 years ago. You are the best there is. Now I want to do a eye lift and lower bag removal, tummy tuck, breast lift, thigh lift and lipo on my buttocks. Now the question is, can you do them all at the same time and if so how long would the recovery time be? I live in LA and have to schedule the time off to come out there etc. Also approx. cost if I did them all at once. Oh do you have a location out here? If not you should! Thanks!

Answer:

I think that is more than you should do at one tiem. Maybe the eyelids, tummy tuck and buttock lipo, then the thigh lift, followed by the breast lift. I do not have a location out there, sorry. I might be able to give you a price estimate if you email me some pictures to drgarcia@lvcosmeticsurgery. com so I can estimate the time, thanks for remembering us. JG 11.14.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a full tt about six months ago in California. There seems to be still a lot of fat and cellulite on my upper abdomen and also the vertical scar is very bothersome as I cannot wear a bikini. Do you think the hip to hip scar can be reopened and more skin be pulled down so I have the flat stomach that I had expected. I know it takes time to heal but the fat seems to be getting worse and I work out faithfully. thank you

Answer:

Hard to say without examining you nad seeing how, much skin looseness has developed, but it migth be possible. JG 11.13.06

Question:

Wow! How do you keep up with the sheer volume of questions on this site? Amazing! Kudos to you. To my real question. I am 3 weeks post op from a FTT. I am still very swollen. I have heard of products on the market that purportedly help flush potentially harmful fluids out of your body after surgery. Is there any merit to these garments, or are they simply a way to make money? Is there anything I can do to get the swelling down quicker so that I may see the flat tummy I am so looking forward to? And lastly, what would happen if I were to stop wearing my binder now, and just switch to a control top panty? I feel as though the binder may be causing the swelling to be worse, and to be quite honest, very tired of it. Much praise to you and your staff. Thank you!

Answer:

I guess I keep up by typing fast. I think the prodcuts you mention are really a waste of time, it is a matter of patience and time,nothing will speed it up except massage. I think going to a control top panty girdle at this time will not make a big difference and may well be enough. Thanks for visiting and hang in there. JG 11.9.06

Question:

hello I had the open gastric bypass about 5 yrs ago and a full tummy tuck with the hip to hip incision and the up and down incision about 4 yrs ago and i am doing really good keeping it off.But I recently found out I am pregnant not planned, and now I am worried about my stomach and the baby. could you give me any advice or help on this matter. thank you

Answer:

I think you will be able to carry the pregnancy without a problem to you or the baby but the tummy tuck will need to be done again I am afraid. JG 11.8.06

Question:

THANK YOU for answering my previous question I posted a few days ago. However, I do have another question. I had my FTT (with muscle tightening and only a hip to hip incision) on 10/18/06 and came home from the hospital on 10/21/06. For the first 3 nights, I slept in my recliner as this was more comfortable for me. Then, I started sleeping in my bed. I have noticed that some of the questions asked on this site are regarding the reason why we have to sleep on our backs for 2-4 weeks after the TT. Could you please tell me why we have to sleep on our backs for this time period? I have NOT been sleeping on my back as my surgeon did not tell me that I should. I have been sleeping on my right side. Today, I noticed that when I bend over, the skin above my belly button hangs down with the exception of a strip of skin down my midline. When I bend over, it looks like two small breasts above my belly button. My right side (which I have been sleeping on) does not hang down quite as much as my left side. Is this hanging caused from not sleeping on my back for the past 2 weeks and folding my skin together at the midline (hence the skin on both sides of midline not adhering to the abdominal wall)? If so, is it to late to start sleeping on my back for the next several weeks to correct this problem and to get the skin to adhere to my abdominal wall on both sides of my midline? I have also been wearing a tight fitting extra firm support girdle 24/7 religiously with the exception of showering and wound care. I have been through so much, and just want everything to come out nice and tight and flat. I just hope it`s not too late for me. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Answer:

sleeping on one`s side just makes the swelling shift and I think that is what is occuring, the skin needs to reattach and it all will do so in time. I do not think you are doing any harm though, it is mostly a comfort thin to sleep on your back to avoid laying on the incisions. I think a little massage and shifting to both sides if you are going to sleep on your side in order to balance things out is a good idea. Not too late, just hang in there. JG 11.4.06

Question:

I am a 30 year old female who is s/p FTT 2.5 weeks ago with a new belly button. I have only the hip to hip incision (like a smiley face). My question is this: The area above my navel still looks saggy (I can pinch it). When I lie down, it disappears. It does look better than pre tummy tuck, but I wanted to know what could cause this and will it go away to the point of where this area will be nice and flat? I have a tight girdle that goes from just under the breast to just above the knees that I wear religiously 24/7 with the exception of dressing changes and showering. I am nervous that my upper abdomen will stay this way and will not smooth out and become flat. I would appreciate any advise that you can give. THANKS

Answer:

it might be due to the swelling so I would give it time, in most cases it tightens up some more. I think the girdle is a good idea too. JG 11.3.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, can you please help me? my stomach muscles are still VERY tight 4 months post operation, is this normal? I want my stomach to be flat but it seems the muscles are siezed up. how long does it take for them to relax?

Answer:

everyone is a little different, I would suggest starting with some stretching exercises, just mildy to get them used to it and then progressing as time goes on. JG 10.30.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, Thank you for this website. I am a 55 y.o. female. In August of 2005 I had a FTT with lipo. For months, my PS kept telling I was still swollen. I didn`t think so, but I figured he was the doctor. Finally he said maybe he didn`t get enough fat out and he did some lipo free of charge in September 2006. My abdomen is still protruding. I look much better than I did before the surgery but I am still not happy. I am not flat like my friends are post op. I lost 40 pounds before the surgery. I went from 200 to 160, and I have not gained any weight at all since the surgery. What do you think? Do you think he just did not get enough fat out, or do you think he did not repair the fascia? Please give me your opinion as much as you can without seeing me. Thanks so much.

Answer:

might have had some limitations on the muscle due to intrabdominal fat either too much to tighten the muscles or not tightened enough, hard to say without seeing and examining you. JG 10.30.06

Question:

Hello Doctor Garcia. I`m a 36 year old mother of 2 girls who were both delivered via c-section. I had a full TT on Sep 12th. I am DELIGHTED with the results thus far but have noticed lately that at the days end, my tummy is puffy and swollen. Between the TT and exercise, I have lost 34 pounds and at least 6 inches in my waist and could not be happier with the results. I have had minimal swelling thus far and have really only noticed this new swelling in the last week or so. Is this just a normal part of the healing process and is there anything i can do to minimize this end of the day puffiness?

Answer:

all normal from the increase in activity and will all stop and go away in time, glad all has gone so well. JG 10.29.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia I had a tummy tuck on oct 13, 2006 and just had my drains removed on October 26,2006. (very painful)where does the rest of the fluid go once the drains are removed and can this cause an infection? How long does it take to stand up straight? I have the self disoving stitches; When is it appropriate to have sex? How long does it take for the swelling to go down and how long does the numbness to go away? I am experencing sharp needles pains which the ps said that is a sign of the sensation coming back but how long do I have to wait. Thank you sooo much for taking the time to answer my questions. You are truly a blessing. Atlanta

Answer:

rare to cause an infection and your body absorbs the fluid that used to come out of the drains. You should be able to stand straight 3-6 weeks after surgery. Swelling will take months and as to sex our recommendation is waiting 4 weeks. Numbness may take up to one year. JG 10.28.06

Question:

Hello Again :-) I forgot to ask a few more questions and thanks again for taking time to answer my questions. After a tummy tuck why do you have to wear your binder for 4 to 6 weeks and what happens if you do not. After the drains are removed how long does it take for the holes to close and the soreness to go away? I am currently using perxiode and neoporin as well as gauze and paper tape to cover it. Why does my stomach feel like it very tight at times especially when I have to use the restroom? How do you know if you have blood clot? After my surgery i did start walking around and i am continuing to move about. Just concerned. May many blessing contiune to come your way as you are a blessing to others. Atanta

Answer:

we use the binder for 4 weeks to help the skin shrink and for support. Drain holes close in a few days. Your stomach is tight because of the sutures placed in the muslces. Blood clots typically cause pain and swelling in the calf muscle. JG 10.28.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I want start off by letting the women who are worried about swelling and not fitting their jeans, you have to give it time. I was the same way. I had a ftt done 7 months ago and every month my abdomen began to look better. My stomach is still strinking and I just bought a whole new wardrobe. Patience is definietly a virtual hang in there. My question to you doctor is, how long should I wait to pierce my belly button?

Answer:

I think after 3-6 months is OK, so go for it and thanks for sharing your experience. JG 10.28.06

Question:

I had an abdominoplasty last October. I still have excess skin on my love handles and buttocks. Can you do a buttock lift that includes the flanks? If you are able, please also include a cost estimate of the procedure. Thank you for your help. Ryan Huber

Answer:

yes, a buttock lift will improve those areas. Hard to give a totally accurate fee quote as it depends on time required but I would say somewhere in the $8200 range. JG 10.27.06

Question:

I had a TT 8 weeks ago. My question is, how do you know if you still have swelling on the lower half of the stomach. I have a lower pouch which is soft when i sit. Is this still swelling, and if not will the pouch go done?

Answer:

it sure sounds like swelling and it can take up to 6 months to go away in some cases. JG 10.23.06

Question:

I had a TT 8 weeks ago, n now I have developed hyperpigmentation around my scar. I currently apply coco butter to the area 4 times a day, what do you suggest?

Answer:

hydroquinone cream might help, it is a prescription though, need to get it from your doctor. JG 10.22.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia. I have alot of excess skin from 2 pregnancies. I am considering a tummy tuck to remove this mound I have let. It just feels heavy and hangs there. However, lately, I have been feeling a pain in my left side. The pain actually feels like a tear of some kind in the skin (internal). When I stand up, it feels like a tearing pain and only feels better when I hold my stomach up. I have been trying to find something on the internet that perhaps I can correlate the symptoms, but have found nothing. Do you have suggestions of what I can look up? If it persists and gets worse, I will go to the Dr. but wanted to research it first. Thank you.

Answer:

might just be the excess skin pulling on the underlying nerves causing pain. If it is then the tummy tuck wil help. JG 10.22.06

Question:

Hi again, I posted a question in another section, but I have another. I am interested in getting a tummy tuck/liposuction as well as lipo on my hips, inner and outer thighs. I work as a Police Officer. I am wondering how long to anticipate the recovery to be able to go back to full duty wearing my complete uniform. Also, I keep reading about alot of swelling alot of people experience, am I going to have a problem with my uniform fitting post op? Thanx.

Answer:

well full activity is not suggested for 4 weeks after that much surgery, light duty maybe after 2 weeks. We have a person wearing a special girdle after surgery and by two weeks you should be smaller than when you started. JG 10.22.06

Question:

hi dr garcia , i`m 47 yrs old f , i`m going tt & mr on nov 20 , i`m wondering what do u think of someone wieghing 280 lbs at 5`8 getting this done .i had 6 kids and my belly is big and even when i loss wieght my belly is still there ,

Answer:

Well, hard to say without seeing you but I think the results are not going to be very dramatic in terms of narrowing your waist with those dimensions but it should remove the skin that might be hanging and causing irritation in your private parts. JG 10.20.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia...I am two weeks post-op from a full tummy tuck....question..my BB is oozing a clear fluid and it seems to have a little teach right below it....I can see some white skin and I am African American....is this normal? I am cleaning it daily with peroxide, but I am unsure of what it come be. Also, right above my pubic hair my incision didn`t close properly it seems open, my PS said it was fine..to wash it gently and apply neosporin..thoughts? Additionally, this may be a crazy question, but how long will I have to sleep on my back?

Answer:

it is just some areas of slow healing that eventually will close with the treatments you are doing. As to sleeping on your back, just for 2-4 weeks or so. JG 10.20.06

Question:

Hi, I had a full TT with Lipo on back 16 days ago and still have jp drains in, is it possible to feel those move? I`ve been experiencing a sort of grinding type, seems like somethings moving feeling in my lower abdomen for about 1 week when going up stairs or straining for BM, I`m worried about possible hernia at incision or lower pelvic region? What do you make of it? No lumps or anything else unusual going on.

Answer:

it is possible for you to feel the drains moving around. Nothing to worry about most likely. JG 10.18.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia. I had a FTT 3 weeks ago. I am concerned about the scar. It is starting to hyperpigment. Grrr. I have problems with pigmenting after injury. Would it be OK to put hydroquinone 4% along the scar line to avoid too much pigment from forming. Thanks! Have a great day.

Answer:

yes, OK to do so, or use ScarGurad. JG 10.18.06

Question:

I had a TT on June 7, by the 14th, I had already started running a very high fever. I was prescribed antibiotics. On the 17th, blood and puss started running out by my drain tubes. On the 23rd, the doctor removed my drain tubes. I had beed complaining to the dr. that I was in extreme pain and couldn`t stand up without hurting. All he would do is prescribe me more pain pills and has yet to even take my temperature. On the 30th, I went to the E.R. because my left side was swollen so bad and so sensitive, they done a swab test but wouldn`t touch me (their exact words)and sent me to my dr. He told me everything was fine. July 6th, I went to my regular physician, the E.R. tests were sent to his office and showed staph infection, he gave me antibiotics. The same day I went back to my dr. and he said all was fine and gave me more pain pills. on the 7th, I side busted open ( a 4 inch by 3 1/2 inch hole). On the 11th, I went back to the dr. and he removed the stitches form my b.b. and done a swab on the hole in my side only after I showed him the antibiotics me regular physcian prescribed me and after he argued saying the tests were wrong. On the 13th, the dr. called saying the test results were in and it showed staph infection and gave me another prescription. I finally got all the pain gone and thought I was getting better. Until last week I started hurting again, I went to my physicain again (10-16-06) and he said I am infected again, saying now it is fat necrosis. After all these months, and all the pain, I now wish I would have never had this procedure done. Any advise on what I shouls do now? Please help. I am also trying to find another plasticd surgeon because he sure hasnt impressed me much . thanks!!

Answer:

sounds like another surgeon is a good idea. You will most likely need some wound exploration and debridement of all dead tissue so the infection can be controlled. Best of luck. JG 10.17.06

Question:

I had a TT 8 weeks ago. I had thought that it had removed a ;lot of stretch marks that I had. I just had my Post op pictures taken and notice that I still had lots of them. My question is can the strtch marks occur from the skin being pulled tight, and then loosing up? It seems that that are rising up from the TT scar,

Answer:

very unusual for them to form from the surgery, more likely is that they were not able to be seen as easily due to the swelling making them look like they were gone and now that the swelling is down you can see them on the skin that was not able to be removed. JG 10.16.06

Question:

Hello Dr. I had a extended TT 4 weeks ago and I feel great, however I have developed a soft/fatty lump about 1 in. above my Belly Button, what can it be? Should I be concerned?

Answer:

most likely a little fluid that in time will go away, nothing to worry about. JG 10.15.06

Question:

Yes, the man upstairs will ABSOLUTELY see you as a generous man to give of your time this way. Thanks for your reply. I guess I`ve really got a problem then, my WHOLE abdomen itches from my navel down to my scar almost 2 years post-op. I can scratch and scratch with no sense of relieving the itch. I will try the cream but additional surgery is out of the question due to expense. I am also the one scheduled for the Alloderm graft and facelift. God Bless you Dr. G!

Answer:

keep me posted, hang in there. JG 10.14.06

Question:

What is the recovery time of a tummy tuck and what does the procedure actually entail?

Answer:

2-4 weeks down time and it involves removing the excess skin from the front of the abdomen and tightening any loose muscles if they need it. JG 10.13.06

Question:

Is velasmooth treatment effective? Could you explain to me, what it exactly treats?

Answer:

I think is is effective for the treatment of cellulite, but it is not permanent. JG 10.13.06

Question:

First may I say that you will earn your rewards in heaven. How giving of you to help women such as myself in giving the advice you do. God bless you. Next, I too have a question. Almost 2 years ago I had a full tummy tuck. I love my results I just have obsessive itching. An itch that won`t resolve since the skin is somewhat numb yet the underlying tissues are what itch. Will it resolve? Ever?

Answer:

well, I hope the Man upstairs is listening, I can always use a little help. As to the second point, the itching you describe is uncommon, it might be due to some small nerves being caught in scar tissues. Assuming nothing you have taken orally has helped, if you could isolate it to a small area it might be able to be injected with a steroid or local anesthesia to see if it will get better. Itching is very common for the fist year or so, but this is past the norm. Repeat surgery might help, in terms of releasing the scar tissue, but it also might do absolutley nothing or make it worse. I would start with trying some Capsacin topical cream, available OTC at pharmacies and see if that helps over time. All the best. JG 10.12.06

Question:

I would like to thank you, you have been so helpful. Also, I have a severe problem with my love handles. I have had lipo on them 6 years ago and find that they are bigger than ever. What can I do other than lipo?

Answer:

may just need more aggressive liposuction, cutting them out can leave long scars. JG 10.12.06

Question:

What doctor in NYC would you recommend for the velasmooth treatment? Thank you again.

Answer:

Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best. JG 10.12.06 www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.

Question:

I have had only one kid and my stomach is horrible. I feel so insecure due to it and it affects my personal life severely. I have indents, stretch marks and excess skin. Is there anything you could recommend other than a tummy tuck? Will exercise help me, creams or anything other than a tummy tuck? Also, if a tummy tuck is my only resort, will I be able to have more kids after the fact? Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

Answer:

A tummy tuck is the best option but it will be all torn if you get pregnant again and the tummy tuck will have to be repeated. JG 10.12.06

Question:

Since after a tummy tuck there is lots of swelling and fluid for months afterwards, what happens to the skin when the fluid is gone and the swelling goes down...it seems like there would be loose skin where the fluid was taking up space.

Answer:

it usually shrinks pretty well. JG 10.12.06

Question:

why does it tAKE SO LONG FOR THE LOWER PART OF YOU STOMACH AFTER A tt TO GO DOWN?

Answer:

please see adjacent answer

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, my question is my stomach is still swollen, I am 8 weeks post op from a TT. The lower area is still swollen and sticks out. I did not have this problem prior, will it go away and if yes how long? Secondly, how long does it take to get the sensation back in your stomach after a tummy tuck? Thanks

Answer:

please see adjacent answer. JG 10.11.06

Question:

I am 6 weeks post op from a ftummy tuck. The majority of my stomach is flat except for the lower part. I am insecure because I a pouch. It looks really funny. Im not sure if the muscle is still swollen. When I sit down, it looks really bad. Is this normal? If yes, how long does it take for the swelling to go down on the lower part of the stomach. The swelling is in the supra pebic region, as well as above it.

Answer:

all normal, it talks a long time, at times months, for that area to get flat, hang in there a little longer. JG 10.6.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia First I would like to say what a great site you have. I had a full tummy tuck and a breast aug. I am very happy with my breast but however not so with my tummy tuck. My belly is very flat now and I have 94% less sketch marks which is very good. It will be a week tomorrow since I had these done. I peaked at my belly today because (I have not seen it, I see my doctor tomarrow to have my drains out hopefully)I was so sick when I saw my belly button. I have a ton of stitches around my belly button and my belly button looks like a wrinkle and it is very fluffy around. I always had a cute BB and now I am depressed of ever having this done. Looks like my Belly button is closing. My mother in law had a TT and said hers were inside the BB and she only had two. I got tape on my tummy tuck incision and as well on my breast. I find my belly button horrible. Are all those stitches suppose to be around my belly button?? Why would my doctor do that and why does my belly button look like its closing?? Please reply. I will ask my doctor but I felt I should ask another just in case he might just say its normal. Thank you in advanced, Jessica

Answer:

thnaks for the kind words. The stitches are not uncommon and they will be out soon so it will not look that way for long, they are there to keep the skin edges together to let it heal well. Sometimes the stitchs below the skin do not oppose the skin edges well enough on their own.If it looks lik$e it is closing your doctor may suggest placing something in the belly button to keep it open until it is done healing. He/she can tell you when they see you. Best of luck. JG 10.5.06

Question:

I had a tt and hernia repair and diastasis recti repair just over 9 weeks ago and developed seroma. (I am extremely happy with the results of the abdominoplasty) I`ve been going in regularly to have it drawn off, the first time was 270 cc, 4 days later another 250 cc`s and then less each additional time. I`ve probably had fluid drawn off 8 times now. He removed about 75 cc`s two weeks ago and I still am having a build up. Another cosmetic surgeon was extremely concerned that this has lasted for more than 2 months and thinks there might be a possible bursa issue. My insurance only covers for complications within the first 3 months. Is this something that sounds odd to you that it`s lasted this long and should I be running back to my dr to get him to remove a bursa before my 3 month mark is up? Also, my mons pubis was very swollen but is still rather large and jiggly, should I ask for a repair of that if they end up having to reopen me?

Answer:

well a bursa most times will close off in time, I think more frequent aspirations to allow the bursa to close is best, but if you are coming up on a time frame of needing it covered, then it might be wise to go ahead. Understand that although it might sound very easy to go in and remove a bursa, one needs to understand that there are many causes for a seronma to form and removing the bursa can cause bleeding and lymphatic drainiage too that will cause a repeat bursa that may need aspirations again. It is easy to criticize another and suggest other options but I will tell you, removing a bursa is not guarantee that the bursa and seroma will not continue, and thre are the added risks of a repeat anesthetic. As to the mons, that might be able to be tightened at the same time but it depends greatly on the quality of the tissues, those with poor quality skin and tissue with contributing medical problems may not heal as well as others. I think you should be frank with the surgeon, him/her them your concerns, but it is usually not as easy as the second opinion doctor has suggested. Best of luck. JG 10.5.06

Question:

Hey Doc! Do all PS all use external sutures around the navel? It seems the internal stitching makes a much nicer scar. Thanks :)

Answer:

no, it depends on how the skin edges oppose at the end of surgery, skin sutures when placed are meant to align the skin edges better and when needed will lead to a better scar than when they are needed and not used. JG 10.4.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck with repair of the rectus muscles and then reinforced with aloderm about 3 1/2 months ago. I am just now experiencing a sharp pain just below my sternum to the left of the repair incision. My doctor told me I tore the fascia but did not have any hernation due to the aloderm. Is this normal and should it heal on it`s own?

Answer:

well, it is unusual to use alloderm for rectus repair, I think you might have pulled the rectus or torn some of the sutures, and I do agree that herniation is rare but if you tore part of the muslce it will take weeks for it to heal and the pain to go away. JG 10.4.06

Question:

your site is the greatest of all. thank you in advance. If you dont place anything in your navel aftre a tt, will it close all the way? Or will it look like an inny ? I had a tt 6 weeks ago and my hole seem to be closing more and more each day. Thanks again.

Answer:

no, that is rarely done. If it is closing I think you need to see your surgeon. Thanks for visiting. JG 10.4.06

Question:

I had A belt lipectomy and butt lift with skin and fat grafs 1 week ago. I am still draning a lot and kinda scared. Also right down the middle of my stomach there are stretch marks that i never noticed before. I have always had stretch marks on my belly but these are really big and white. I am wondering if thats just swelling? The operation took 8 1/2 hours.. More than i expected because the doctor and I werent sure if he was going to fix my backside. He ended up doing that. I am just wondering becaue my surgery was so extensive is it okay to be draning DARK red from on of the 4 drains? I am actually standing up straight walking very well up and down stairs.. So other wise i am in good shape.. Also can i use Vitimin E capsules opened up on my arms Like i always have or can that cause a problem? Answer:

Answer:

all normal for what you had done, I would use a lotion with Vitamin E rather then opening the capsule to avoid getting plugged pores. JG 10.2.06

Question:

Your website and e messeger played such a big role in my tt operation. I was prepared because of these writings.Thank you so much. Anyways, I had a tt done 5 weeks ago in the islands, I had no problems I was walking straight by the 2nd day, no pain, no complications, just swelling which I know is normal but 1 day ago I noticed a bump inside my navel,I was placing a marbel there in order to keep it from closing, today I realize the bump is softwhen you touch it, it looks like puss or something is in it. I am very nervous because,I dont know what this can be. I also look very swollen like before the tt, but early in the morning I am flat. You really cant notice it when I am dressed. Please help me; Im going crazy overthis.

Answer:

warm packs and massage, might be a small superficial infection, if it pops open and drains just keep it clean with peroxide and neosporin, they usually close on their own, not an unusual problem. Best of luck. JG 9.30.06

Question:

I`m a little concerned about the time line post op for being active again. I noticed ALOT of ladies asking questions about post op popping stitches etc, and problems being active 4-8 weeks post op, and I was told I could go back to the gym to lift, 1 week post op as long as I had support (back rest, machine based lifting). Keep in mind that I am a trainer/ fitness instructor. I am currently 6 weeks post op. My PS said after 3 days I was upright and walking better than most, and at day 5 when he took out stitches and drain tubes by 1 week I could go back to gym. He also said by week 3 I could do whatever I want as long as I feel good and feels okay to do. My question is this normal and can I be doing any damage? My endurance based training IS heavier than most women (Horizontal leg press - 150lbs 40 reps,, 170lbs 18 reps) I have had some fluid drained from my upper rectus region, and the fluid has come back again, but my PS said it is not harmful fluid and my body would eventually absorb it. I am not feeling pain. Am I okay to continue?

Answer:

Well, every patient is different, I allow full weight lifting without limitations after 4 weeks. JG 9.30.06

Question:

how can you tell if some of your sutures can apart from a full tummy tuck?

Answer:

you can at times feel a depression between your rectus muscle in the center or a bulge when you strain your abdomen while lying down. JG 9.27.06.

Question:

I am 4 weeks post op from TT. Below my belly button is still really hard and the bottom half sticks out like a pouch. Is this normal

Answer:

all normal but will take a number of weeks to soften and shrink. JG 9.27.06

Question:

Hi Dr. I had a TT & Breast lift w/ 400 cc silicone implant done in early June. It seems like i am heavier after my surgery. Does your metabolism change from having these procedures? Is it now going to be easier to gain weight in the stomach...or will any weight gain (5-9 pounds) just show up more since this surgery? My stomach area and lower areas seem to be gaining alot of weight! Is my body somehow accepting fat in my stomach area to make up for what was removed? i had twins 3 yrs ago and gained 70 pounds. i lost all but about 10ish of those pounds way before the surgery. My sister said she can`t seem to lose weight a yr after her TT surgery too. I`m really scared! is this normal? thanks so much for your reply

Answer:

well the implants alone weigh almost two pounds, and the inactivity for a while afterwards does tend to allow you to gain some weight but most of it should come off once you get back to your normal routine. Your metabolism does not change after the surgery. JG 9.27.06

Question:

I`ve seen a few people ask about popping the internal stitches from a ftt. Working in a gym, I`m always lifting weight or moving machines around. At times I push and/or pull up to 250lbs at once. I am 10wks PO myself so I am concerned of course. My PS said I could lift as much as I wanted and that the stitches won`t come apart. Does exercise without restrictions include this kind of weight lifting? (I am a woman 113lbs) Yes...I already know this is bad for my back lol. What percentage of ftt stitches do come apart? Am I at a higher risk or is that really determined by my PS`s work? Thanks for your help :)

Answer:

by 6 weeks they are pretty strong and if you are already doing it without problems I think you can continue. It is affected by both the surgeon, the choice of sutures placed and also the quality of your tissues. JG 9.26.06

Question:

I am 2 1/2 weeks post FTT. My upper abdomen is swollen and hard. I went to the dr because I was concerned. He told me that I tore some of the sutures, and the only way to fix it was surgery. Is surgery the only option?

Answer:

I am afraid so, sorry. JG 9.26.06

Question:

I thank you so much for answering my question. I am 4 weeks post-op - my surgeon said that my scar is pulled and raised becouse it is inflamed - he is going to give me cortisone shots. is that going to solv the problem...if that doesn`t hoe long should i wait to ask for scar revision...

Answer:

I think it is a good place to start. JG 9.26.06

Question:

I am 4weeks op op from a tummy tuck and ba can I start walking or riding an exercise bike or is it to soon.

Answer:

we personally let them begin at 4 weeks if all is OK. JG 9.25.06

Question:

I have never seen a better internet site and so much insites and support to people that have done cosmetic surgery. Thank you ..I had a tummy tuck four weeks ago. My scar is not a strait and the the skinen is pulled so tight that there is a small puffines above it, do the stomak does not look flat with a scar..i am using the topical silicon cream and the scar looks better .My only concern is about puuled scar line - i had a few of my friends with a same procedure, they were all swallen, but their scar did not look so pulled and tight...any suggestions...also i would like to ask you if the abdominal definitions is posibile with lots of abb work after this surgery..thank you for all the honest answers on this web site.

Answer:

the pulled issue should get better in time as the skin relaxes, that can happen if the skin was aggressively pulled and a lot of skin removed. It is common for swelling to reside right above the scar, I suggest massaging it to the sides to let that fluid go over and around that scar. As to abdominal muscle definition, it needs two things, thin subcutaneous fat, which might be and might not be possible after your tummy tuck, since I have not seen you, along with aggressive muscle development, but if you have both of those, then yes. Thanks for visiting too. JG 9.21.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia I had a tummy tuck 4 weeks ago and a ba my questions is how long will it take for the swelling to go down above and below my scar. My stomach is flat except for the part below my stomach. It fells really hard. Will it soften. Secondly, my PS is going to open the suture on one of my breast to lower my implant. Is this normal? I had old implants removed and the new ones look smaller. My PS said that my implant size is 375 and he filled the implant to 425. I am not happy with the size of the implant. I am thinking about going up to about 500 to 550cc will this be a noticeable difference.

Answer:

it might take a few months to go down. The swelling makes it feel hard but it will all get better in time. As to relaesing the implant, it is not common but not rare either, it is needed at times. I think going from a 425 to a 550 should be a noticeable difference. JG 9.19.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Its been about 7 weeks since I have had my tummy tuck. Every time I ask anybody at my plastic surgeon office about any concerns, i get the same ansewr which is that everyting is normal. Most of the time, I have this hardness around and above my belly button area and sometimes a little pain and bloatiness that i have to rub on the area. It also sticks out, sometimes it looks as if I`m pregnant. The lower part of my abdominal is flat, but now it looks opposite from before i had my tummy tuck, it`s the upper part that is sticking out now. Do you think this will go away? Should I bring this to my surgeons attention? What signs should I be aware of? Do you think I am going to need more work done? Crystal B

Answer:

it should go away, hard for me to say without examining you but I do think you need to bring it up with your surgeon. There is a possiblity for you to need a little more work, more muscle tightening on the upper abdomen. JG 9.19.06

Question:

I'm 4 weeks post op from ftt and am still quite swollen. My major concern is that I still have my original belly button, despite having a ftt. Is this possible? From everything I've read, a new belly button is necessary when performing a ftt. I have a scar from hip to hip but there is still some loose skin above the belly button and my stomach dips in at the centre below the belly button just like it did before the surgery. My surgeon assures me he performed ftt plus m/r but I can't understand why he didn't take more skin out - he only removed a section about 2 inches long. The whole reason I had the tt was because I hadn't the hanging skin when I bent forward. It looks like it's still there but now it's filled with fluid. Is it possible my surgeon didn't do a ftt after all??? I'm really disappointed as I can't imagine how the skin will contract back in after so much swelling. I looked better before!!! SP. Australia.

Answer:

I think it is due to swelling at this point, and without examining you it is hard to tell you about the belly button but a new one is not always created with a full tummy tuck, at times it is just moved. JG 5.7.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck and muscle repair 6 months ago. Is it normal to still have a red ring around the belly button, as well as a thick red scar across the abdomen? How long does it take to lighten up completely? I've had a stressful time since the surgery. I lost my mother 1 month after surgery, and 2 months ago was diagnosed with breast cancer, for which I'm now receiving 61/2 weeks of radiation therapy. Would this make it heal slower? Is it normal - and will the color eventually fade? The red ring around the belly button is noticeable, although otherwise it looks well shaped, and the belly is flat. Thank You for this site. :-)

Answer:

not uncommon, patients vary greatly in how they heal and at what speed. It might take a full year to get the end result in terms of the scar fading. The radiation should not affect the healing to any great extent and I am sorry for your loss. JG 5.4.06

Question:

I HAD A TUMMY TUCK 4 WEEKS AGO, MY SCAR FEELS SOFT AND IT LOOKS LIKE IS HEALING VERY WELL. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IM FEELING A ROUND LUMP UNDER THE SKIN RIGHT ON TOP OF THE VAGINA AREA SCAR. IS THIS NORMAL, ALL AROUND THE SCAR IT FEELS FLAT EXCEPT IN THE MIDDLE. THAT SMALL LUMP.RK. THANK YOU.

Answer:

normal and should flatten out in time. JG 5.4.06

Question:

I had a FTT 10 months ago and still not flat. I still feel some numb at the belly. Is this normal or do I need a Lipo done to have my tummy flat? Please advice. Thanks.

Answer:

may need a little liposuction done. JG 5.3.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 12 weeks ago and am VERY swollen especially in my upper abs. They are puffy 24/7 and when I bend forward my upper and lower abs meet together like two separate large rolls. They are nowhere near being flat. Am I being impatient or is something amiss here? Also can exercise make swelling worse? I am not allowed to do direct abdominal exercises, but I do workout 5-6 times per week now. HELP! Thank you.

Answer:

well, swelling should be going down by now. I suggest seeing your doctor to see if you have any fluid that can be aspirated. JG 5.2.06

Question:

I have small amounts of stubbon tummy & lovehandle fat. I also have a flat bum. Would fat transferal frm tum to bum be possible? How precise can such bum sculpting be?

Answer:

it is possible but long term results show it might not survive forever. JG 4.30.06

Question:

Thank You, Dr. Garcia for your fast response, last week I asked you about the infection I had developed after 4 weeks I had had the tummy tuck. This week I was seen by an infection diease doctor and a dermatologist the dermatologist didnt believe I had a cellulitis infection so he prescribed Betomethasone oitement which immediately started working and the redness is almost gone and the infectionist stated it doesnt seem theres any more infection so I dont believe we need to research anything but if theres no more infection why am I still very swollen above my incision it loks like a have a small ball inside. Is it going to go away or not I wasnt like this before the surgery. I am back to my routine with exercise but i dont see improvement . SF

Answer:

the swelling is common even without the redness and is normal and will go away but it takes time. It might take a few months though, hang in there. JG 4.30.06

Question:

drg: I asked you previously about my pelvic area still swollen/protruding after 6mos ftt - you mentioned check w/PS re MR may not have held up - what is the correction procedure for this thanks so much. vj

Answer:

it would need the muscle being tightened again, so it an be called a diastasis repair. JG 4.28.06

Question:

I had a FTT 8 weeks ago but 4 weeks after surgery I develop an infection(fever and chills)under my scar(rednessa)my surgeon and primary Dr says its a cellulite infection . I been in an antibiotic for 4 weeks and the redness is not gone . I no longer have a fever or chills but the redness doesnt seems to go . I am still very swollen . my Drs say the infection might take upto 2 months to go away . I would like to know if you had had cases like this or if its common. Thanks SF

Answer:

it is not common, but can happen, and it sometimes is hard to treat because the fat underneath the skin may not be getting enough blood flow to deliver the antibiotics to cure the infection. Hang in there and give it some more time. JG 4.22.06

Question:

Dr.Garcia How bad is the scaring after a FTT? Thank You.

Answer:

it depends on how tight the closure is done and how much skin is removed and if you smoke or have diabetes, they typically are not hairline scars but can look pretty good. JG 4.22.06

Question:

i had a mini tt 3.5 weeks ago, my stomach when i laugh gets a really tight feeling and almost pulsates. Can you do any harm to the stitches inside by laughing?

Answer:

no, it is just the muscles getting used to things, it will all get better in time. JG 4.22.06

Question:

I had a tummy tucks about two weeks ago and it seems as if my stomach is getting puffy. Is that normal?

Answer:

yes, it can be swelling or a fluid accumulating below the skin, you should go back and see your doctor though. JG 4.22.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck about two weeks ago and my drains were just taken out but I think it was too soon. What can happen if the drains are taken out too soon?

Answer:

you can develop an accumulation of fluid below the skin. JG 4.22.06

Question:

I have a hiatal hernia with no current symptoms. My GI doc said a ftt/mr shouldn't be a problem. My ps didn't seem to be concerned. I am very worried that the acid reflux may return with a vengence. I was advised NOT to have surgery for the HERNIA as it often results in other problems. Have you had patients with a hiatal hernia. If so, any complications? What is your opinion - would you do the ftt/mr surgery on a patient with no acid reflux symptoms? Thanks so much!

Answer:

well, the tighter the muscles are tightened, the greater the chance of the hiatal hernia symptoms coming back. It is just a pressure thing I am afraid. JG 4.22.06

Question:

I am almost 4 weeks post op from a mini tt, I have returned back to work this week, I am on my feet for practically 8 hours, I notice at night my stomach muscles seem to throb and feel very tight. Is it bad that i am on my feet this long? I do try to sit when i can for short periods. I had alot of muscle repair and notice my muscles just feel really tight out of the blue and then it stops, once and a while I also get sharp twinges and a burning feeling. Is this all just normal healing stuff? How long does this all take until it stops and I feel normal again? Also I play softball is it a good idea for me to take this season off or will I be okay to play? Thank you for all your advice, this sight is great!!!!

Answer:

no,nothing bad but what you are felling is normal, a small girdle at work might help. All of that is normal and wil go away in time but it might take a few months. Softball may be tried in 2 more weeks but you will not be 100% I am afraid. Just stretch before the games. Best of luck. JG 4.22.06

Question:

What can i do if i need m/R after tummy tuck?

Answer:

it can be fixed but the incisions will not necessarilly be the entire length of the tummy tuck ones. JG 4.21.06

Question:

Hi Doc. Is it possible to develop defined 6 pak abs after having a tummy tuck? All after pics of post tummy tuck patients are just flat tummies with no definition. Thanks.

Answer:

yes, but you need to have little subcutaneous fat and very well developed muscles. JG 4.19.06

Question:

I have had 2 csections and my abdomen hangs down and is lopsided. I am considering a tt,but am concerned about the risk of general anesthesia. Last year during general anesthesia, my optic nerve was damaged and I lost vision in one eye. Most likely due to low bp and ischemia. I know I have an increased risk of this happening again. I was wondering if tt can be done under sedation and local? thanks, jsw 4/19/06

Answer:

it would be tough to get the muscle tight but maybe a spinal or epidural could be used. JG 4.19.06

Question:

My skin is loose after my tummy tuck. Why?

Answer:

skin stretched out from swelling and it should tighten up in time. JG 4.19.06

Question:

Hi Doc. At 8 weeks post FTT op, I continue to swell as the day progresses and remain swollen till following morning. I suspect it will go on for at least several more weeks. I've been supplementing with bromelain (1200mg/day). Is there any point at this time to continue with the bromo? Should I just let nature take its course and forget the bromo?

Answer:

I think at this point the bromelain can be stopped and I don't think it will do much any longer. Go ahead and stop it. JG 4.18.06

Question:

Hi Doc, thanks for all your help in the past. I am 10 weeks post-op TT and was wondering if I should still be wearing a garment overnight to help w/swelling. I'm so puffy most of the day and it's really annoying. I stopped wearing the garment permanently a few weeks ago but I'm wondering if I stopped too soon. Also can you recommend a good scar product? I've been using silicone strips for 6 weeks with absolutely no change. Thanks, you're the best! 4/18

Answer:

I like ScarGurad for the scars and you may benefit from a small girdle during the day to help with the swelling. Hang in there. JG 4.18.06

Question:

Hi Doc. I start my 8th wk post FTT, today. Been working out everyday (cardio and weight training) however not as heavy and hard as pre surgery. At the end of this wk I should be training as before. Is there anything I can do to pull or tear those permanent stitches, like weighted reverse crunches, weighted pull ups, rock climbing, heavy squats (at 2-4 reps max range)?

Answer:

just use common sense, if it hurts, back off. JG 4.18.06

Question:

From what I understand, in the extended abdominoplasty the scar extends around the flanks onto the lower back. Will it be possible to have a modified version of this proceudre in which the belly button is not repositioned, but the loose skin on the flanks (my biggest problem area) can still be addressed? thanks

Answer:

yes, more of a buttock lift. JG 4.16.06

Question:

It it normal to get swollen after 2 months of tummy tuck?

Answer:

it can happen depending on the type of activity. JG 4.16.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia. I have gone from about 260 lbs to 180 and I am 5'8. This has had an enormous effect on my body and I am considering and arm lift, tummy tuck, breast lift/augmentation and liposuction on my thighs. Will these need to be divided iinto different surgeries or can they all be done at once? If so, how would you divide them? Also, I am only 25 and do not know if I want children, will that effect being able to have a tummy tuck? Also I am still 20 lbs above my goal weight, should I wait until I reach that weight? Thanks.

Answer:

I strongly suggest they be divided into at least two and maybe three. I would do the liposuction and arm lift, then the breast lift, and then the tummy tuck and augmentation. Children in the future will affect the breast lift and the tummy tuck both. I suggesting being within 10 pounds of your goal weight. Best of luck and congratulations on the weight loss. JG 4.15.06

Question:

dear drG: I had a tt/mr 6 months ago and the pelvic area still seems large as if it is swollen - is this normal and should I do anything about it.vj

Answer:

I suggets seeing the surgeon and seeing if the muscle repair has held up. JG 4.14.06

Question:

At 2 months of a tummy tuck do thing i am still swollen?

Answer:

yes, still some swelling. JG 4.14.06

Question:

How long will it take for me to stand stright up after a full tummy tuck. It has only been three days and I am moving around and standing a little straighter than day 1.

Answer:

next few days should get better. JG 4.14.06

Question:

When someone get a tummy tuck do they also need to get m/r? and why?

Answer:

only if the muscle is loose. JG 4.12.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 8 weeks ago. how long to i have to wear a tight gartment?

Answer:

we usually stop ours after 4-6 weeks. JG 4.12.06

Question:

It's been six months since I had my tummy tuck. I have not been happy with my reuslts. Well it turns out that it was not that I was still swollen from my adboben. I have lost some weight. In my hip area I have skin creases, which I thought were dog ears. Well now I have to go through the procedure again. My PS is recommending that I only get some lipo done on abdomen and cut an extra 2 inches on hips to pull down the skin as well as some more lipo. I still have one side of my hips with a love handle. Do you suggest that this is the best way to get rid of this or fix my problem? Or do you think that doing the whole full tummy tuck again would be the best. I need a second opinion? I am very concerned, I didn't expect for this out come! thank you sj

Answer:

Hard to say without seeing you but if there is loose skin, it will not be tightened by just liposuction I am afriad. You may need cutting surgery but not as extensive as the tummy tuck was. JG 4.12.06

Question:

I am 9 weeks post tummy tuck. Over the weeks my belly button has become redder. It wasn't really red at all post-op, but within a few weeks it was and now it's not going away. Is this normal for redness to appear where there was none before? It's basically on the perimeter of the BB, not inside. How long can this last? I finally can wear a two piece bathing suit and I don't want a big ol' red belly button! Thanks for your time. 4-12-06

Answer:

may want to see the surgeon, it can be all normal as the sutures under the skin dissolve. JG 4.12.06

Question:

Hi Doc. I've started my 7th week post FTT W/Lipo. Have been working out for 3 weeks (moderate cardio & weights). I'd like to start training hard & heavy like I did pre op but I get nervous when training abs, squats, or doing pull ups because it still feels like I'm going to hurt something in there. I feel pulling and pinching in there after working out and by the end of the night I'm swollen. Thanks for any advice.

Answer:

start slowly and advance as you feel more comfortable, it should be OK to proceed slowly. JG 4.11.06

Question:

RE: previous question. I ask this question becuase most of tummy tucks that I have seen have involoved an incision from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock or shorter, and I was just wondering if it is common to make a larger incision than this without making the surgery a lot more invasive.

Answer:

The length of your incision is dependent on the amount of skin redundancy on the front. Making the incision longer in a horizontal aspect will not cause the flanks to tighten. JG 4.10.06

Question:

What are the risks of performing a tt at the same time an abdominal hysterectomy is performed? Is this a procedure commonly performed?

Answer:

higher infection rate, higher risk of slow return of bowel function, higher amount of abdominal swelling due to the intra-abdominal portion, and higher risk of blood clots in leg. I do not recommend it being done together. JG 4.10.06

Question:

I am 57 yrs old, petite, good health, non smoker. Considering ftt/mr. What type of results have your older patients experienced? Does it take longer to recover? More complications?

Answer:

It all depends on your general health, but it might take a little longer than on a younger person, yes. Complications are about the same. JG 4.10.06

Question:

I want a ftt with mr, but am frightened of the feeling of suffocation due to the tight mr. Is this a problem for any patients? How long does it last?

Answer:

I have not seen it be a problem but you can always ask them not to tighten the muscles,although that will compromise the end result. JG 4.10.06

Question:

I have heard that numbness around the center of tummy can be permanent with a ftt/mr. Have you had patients experience this? How long does is usually take for feeling to return? Does it return to the belly button area? Thank you!

Answer:

It can happen and yes some of the patients I have done the surgery on have had it happen. It might be permanent. And it can happen to the belly button too. JG 4.10.06

Question:

Is it ok to have a body warp 3mo after a FTT.

Answer:

Yes. JG 4.10.06

Question:

Dr Garcia I had a FTT 3mo ago Iam still swollen is this normel. Can I get in the tanning bed .How long will it take for me to get well all the way. The lower part of my stomach is swollen. Thank you so very much

Answer:

Should be significantly down by now, but not totally down. All of it should be gone in 6 months. Maybe you should see your doctor. JG 4.9.06

Question:

I am 8 1/2 weeks post tummy tuck. I have recently gotten back into exercise but my PS told me no abdominal workouts until I am 100% back to normal. I still have significant upper ab swelling and I can't imagine going that long without doing ANY kind of ab work. I know each PS has their own way of doing things but if there are that many opinions they can't all be right or wrong! Her general exericse motto post-op is, if it hurts, don't do it which I agree with. She told me pre-op that she could tell I worked out, but I want to SEE my results now, not just know they're hiding! What do you tell your patients? Do I really need to wait until I am completely healed??? Thanks for your time!

Answer:

I let them start working out, with the if it hurts stop adage, after 4-6 weeks. Best of luck. JG 4.9.06

Question:

HI DR GARCIA. IAM 5,3 AND 136 LBS I HAVE STRECHTMARK FROM MY PREGNANCIES, AND I LEARNED ABOUT MINI TT ??? PLEASE EXPLEIN ME WHATS THIS AND IF THE SAME TAME OF RECUPERATION AND LESS EXPENSIVE??? THANK YOU MV

Answer:

mini tummy tuck is where the skin of the lower abdomen, below the belly button is pulled down and tightened, it may not remove all of your stretch marks, depending on where on your abdomen they are. JG 4.9.06

Question:

Would you hesitate to do a ftt/mr on a patient with asymptomatic hiatal hernia? Had sharp pains across diagram 2 months ago, now gone with Protonix med. Otherwise very healthy, at ideal weight, non smoker, need lot of UPPER AB mr work. Thanks!

Answer:

as long as the symptoms of the hernia are controlled with medication, no, but the symptoms may get worse after the muscle tightening. JG 4.9.06

Question:

Hi Dr. thanks for taking the time to answers everyones questions. I had a full tummy tuck and breast lift/augmentation 4 weeks and 2 days ago.I cant stand up straight and my back is killing me.. My husband took 6 weeks off work to help me with our 2 babies and to take care of me. I have taken it so easy that my scar looks great but I want to try and straiten up. Is it possible that I am having problems because my breasts are much larger and the weight is pulling me down? I am 5'7 140 pounds.. I just started very light walking but I get tired fast.. Do you have any suggestions on how I can stretch out??? Thanks for your time. L.T 4/8/06

Answer:

All I can suggest is to slowly try to stretch, it will not hurt anything at this point, just go slow. JG 4.9.06

Question:

I am pretty flat in lower abs (had lipo about 10 yrs ago). My upper abs & muscles protrude so I have a roll in that area only. My ps said he does not like reverse abdominoplasty because it's going against gravity & doesn't last that long. Would the ftt/mr address my upper ab roll? Thank you for our response.

Answer:

it should if done aggressively. JG 4.9.06

Question:

I was wondering if vitamin E is a good thing to take to help in the healing time after a mini tummy tuck? Will this benefit me at all, if not is there any vitamins that you would reccommend? Right now I am taking a multi vitamin as well as vitamin C. Thanks.

Answer:

I think Vit E is a good general supplement. JG 4.9.06

Question:

How can I protect my tummy tuck scar and belly button while I tan? I'd like to have a few tanning sessions for an even tan. I'm 7 weeks post op & I'm going on vacation in a few weeks. I'll be sporting a bikini, something I haven't done in over 20 years!

Answer:

sunblock is an option. JG 4.9.06

Question:

Almost 7 weeks post FTT. Started running again and weight training. I get swollen after working out and feel pulling, twinging, and even some cramping throughout the day. The pulling and tugging is all over, never in the same spots. When I wake up in the morning, tummy is pretty much flat, but as soon as I start stretching the discomfort begins anew. Any suggestions?

Answer:

All will be better in time, all normal healing. JG 4.8.06

Question:

I have read on your site that 4 -6 weeks after a mini-tummy tuck it's OK to do abdominal exercises (as I was told also). On an episode of Dr. 90210, I was surprised to hear the Dr. told a girl who had a tummy tuck that she shouldn't do crunches for 6 MONTHS...with what kind of TT surgery is it OK to resume ab exercises after weeks and what kind of TT surgery requires months of no ab exercises? I am a thin person who had lipectomy, correction of diastasis recti, and excision of loose skin. No problems I can detect, but I did go back to the gym full out after 5 or 6 weeks, and was wondering if this could cause long term damage?? Thank you.

Answer:

every doctor has their own routine but doing abdominal exercises keeps muscle tone and avoids atrophy of the muscle so we like to return the patient to that activity when they are feeling OK. JG 4.8.06

Question:

Great website. I had a full tummy tuck with abdominal repair a little over a year ago. I lift weights and do ab work 2-3 times per week and cardio 2-3 times a weeks. My weight is about 5-8lbs less than when I had the surgery. Lately, my stomach has been protruding a lot and I have been having twinges below the belly button. Do you think I have ripped the stitches of the abdominal repair or do you think this is a hernia. Should I see my PS? RD 4/7/06

Answer:

I think you should se your surgeon, could be a breaking of the sutures more than likely. JG 4.8.06

Question:

dr garcia - PLEASE help! I had a FTT appr 13 months ago. Ive been experiencing alot of swelling still and my doctor says i just have dominant muscles. It was completely flat initially, but that night after surgery, i got very sick and threw up all night, is it possible i tore stiches in my muscles or something is in my abdomen? I can not even do a single sit up without experiencing pain in my abdomen. What could be wrong? Thank you so much for your time and opinion. Lisa

Answer:

it is possible that the sutures in the muscle were torn when you threw up, yes. May need to be repaired. JG 4.6.06

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I'm from England and very impressed with your website. I had a full tummy tuck on 5 December 2005 and have healed exceptionally well with hardly any swelling or discomfort at all, really pleased with my results. I went to have my navel pierced this week and was told to wait at least eight months after surgery. My surgeon told me three months only. How long would you advise your patients to wait following surgery? Thank you.

Answer:

usually we say 6 months, all the best with the new jewelry. JG 4.6.06

Question:

I was just diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and would like to have a ftt with muscle repair. Can the hernia be repaired at the same time? Have you done this? If not, will the tt cause problems with the hernia later? Thanks so much for your response.

Answer:

I would not suggest it as it raises the risks and time of surgery, you should fix the hernia first. If the hiatal hernia is not repaired, then when the muscles of the abdoemn are tightened, the hernia can be worse. JG 4.4.06

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, Iam in the procees of losing weight. I've already lost 26 lbs. within 7 wks. and still losing. My question is having c-sections and being 52yrs old, Iam I too old to have a tummy tuck?

Answer:

no, I have done patients much older than you. JG 4.4.06

Question:

I was just wondering how common it is to have a third, vertical scar from the old belly button hole after a tummy tuck. I am told I don't have enough loose skin to prevent this.

Answer:

not uncommon if there is not enough skin on the upper abdomen. JG 4.4.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia. I am 8 weeks post full TT with muscle repair. I saw my PS today b/c of what I thought might be excessive upper ab swelling. When I sit my abs protrude out over the top of my pants. It's not like handfuls of skin or rolls like pre-op, but still a concern for me. She told me that when she lifts the skin up she doesn't lift it too far because otherwise the waist will look thick when she's done. I tried really hard to grasp this concept but failed! Since I am just 8 weeks we both know that it's too early to definitively decide it's one thing or another. But she seemed to think most of her patients by this point weren't complaining of swelling of this nature (either that or they just don't tell her!) She did say that by six months it should subside enough to determine if it's truly swelling or not, but she said a redo of the MR might be a possibility in the future. Have you EVER redone someone's MR??? She told me way back that I had quite a bit of MR in my upper abs, but we both noted today that the upper abs are soft and the lower are much harder. She said lipo is not an option b/c I don't have enough fat. I'm pretty average/thin to begin with, I'm 5'6 and about 142 lbs. Do you have ANY thoughts on this? Sorry if the info is limited, I'm having a hard time remembering everything! Thanks for your time. 4-3-06

Answer:

I have done muscle tightening on a redo basis, yes. The muscles are very difficult to tighten up near the ribs due to being limited by the ribcage, so it just may take time and if not a little more suturing of the muscles hopefully will take care of the problem. I will say that it is excessive tightening of the muscles that can widen the waist in individuals that have intrabdominal fat, but not the skin. All the best. JG 4.3.06

Question:

I heard about abdominal etching. is this just another word for tummy tuck? Does it work for everyone no matter what weight? I am a male 38yrs 205lbs. PS

Answer:

it is a technique employed at times during liposuction in order to make a person who has minimal subcutaneous fat and thick abdominal muscles easier to show their abdominal muscles. It works only in thin individuals. JG 4.3.06

Question:

I just had a mini tt 6 days ago. I am still pretty sore, but am walking around the best I can, Still not walking straight up. How long does that usually take? Also my belly button looks really weird. It doesn't look round. I had alot of stretch marks so my belly button was positioned a little lower than before, but it looks like it is in the middle of stretch marks and is long and you cant really see my belly button. It looks like a mess. I can't really explain it. I know I have alot of swelling still, will my belly button look more normal when swelling goes down?

Answer:

it all depends on your pain threshold and how much muscle work they did. When the belly button is not moved but only pulled it can be distorted some. May get better when the skin relaxes a bit. JG 4.3.06

Question:

At 6 weeks post op from FTT w/Lipo of flanks, is there any continued benefit from massage, and if there is, how many times/day and for how long?

Answer:

not much, just tincture of time for now. JG 4.2.06

Question:

had ftt w/lipo of flanks. haven't lost any inches. Still swollen 5 weeks post op. Will i see any changes in measurements?

Answer:

may take another few weeks to show through. JG 3.31.06

Question:

Doc, I had a FTT w/ Lipo of flanks 5 1/2 weeks ago, but my measurements remain the same. How could this be? I also had a visible 4-pack, but now the abs are just flat, no muscles show. I'm a triathelete and try to keep body fat at 18% or less. What gives?

Answer:

just due to the swelling and it will take time for the skin to re-attach to show your abs, give it some time. JG 3.31.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 6weeks ago. i am still swollen. do you think i can take water pills to reduce the swollen?

Answer:

will not work that way. JG 3.28.06

Question:

Hi, i had a tt 6 weeks a ago, and i am not flat,am I swollen?

Answer:

yes, still swollen. JG 3.27.06

Question:

Dr Garcia, I had a FTT 11weeks ago I still have swelling and my bb is still swollen in side will this go away. I still wear my binder at night and girdle during the day. I am still sore on both sides of my bb.it also hurts a little to sneeze. My bb has not gone a the way back in will it. Thank you so very much.

Answer:

not unusual, if nothing changes by 6 months you may benefit from a little touch up. JG 3.26.06

Question:

dear drG. I wrote prev about lipo/tt of 7 months ago. the area below my bb and pubic area are still not flat,you mentioned I might need add lipo - do u think I might also need additional skin removal? if so, what will those scars be like, and also would you do corrective surgery?

Answer:

it all depends on how much fat is taken out but many times no further skin needs to be removed. The scars should be where the present scars are already. I do perform corrective surgery when needed, yes. JG 3.26.06

Question:

Hi. i lost 140lbs and recently had a FTT. i stil have a lot of loose skin that causes there to be verticle crease on my stomach. i can still grab a lot of skin. i read somewhere that alot of massive weight loss patients need a procedure where you have to be cut vertically as well as hortizontally. Im wondering if my doctor just didnt do a good job, or if i needed this other cross type incision. i dont know the clinical name so its hard to research and find pictures of other patients. i am so depressed. i feel like i didnt even have a tummy tuck. i bend over and stuff just hangs. why me??

Answer:

Massive weight loss patients are high risks pateints and their skin does not respond as well as other people and many times a second procedure to corect skin excess is common. I would give it at least 6 months and then proceed wth a revision. JG 3.25.06

Question:

I was wondering if having my period will affect anything durring a mini tt? I am bloated right now and am scheduled to have my surgery next week, I am due to have my period anytime,will it effect anything? Also this web site is great. I have learned quite a bit about my up coming sergery from this site alone. At the same time it is making me a little nervous about all the swelling, the leaking etc, etc...I hope everything will be o.k. I'm 5'2 118LBS, I'm not overweight just looking to remove stretchmarks and tighten my lower abs. They split after having my children and exercise wont help. My doctor recommended the mini TT. I am a little nervous as it gets closer. Are chances pretty low that I will have complications? Or is that hard to say?Thank you for answering my questions. 3/24/06

Answer:

Many doctors prefer not to do surgery when on the menstrual flow for fear that there will be more than normal bleeding but it has not been well documented and I do proceed when women are on their flow. Complication rates are low but it is nice to know these things happen so you don't worry to much afterwards. Good luck. JG 3.25.06

Question:

Hi,Dr. Garcia... I had a TT on 12-14-05. [After loosing 182 lbs. from Gastric Bypass.] I was cut at the Bikini line as well as upward. I just told my PS that I feel uneven. My left side looks great. [except a slight buldge toward the top] My rt side feels & looks alittle droopy. I also have about 3-4 inches of extra skin under my breast, at the top of my incision. That area of the incision is very tender. My PS said sometimes with Gastric Bypass patients with major weight loss, a reverse Abdominoplasty is needed. I have faith in my Dr. but am reading that this surgery is not done too often. Will you please give me your input? After all this, one more scare doesn't concern me. Do you find it common with G/Bypass? THANK YOU, SB 3/24/06

Answer:

The reverse tummy tuck usually is only done if the traditional one offers no benefit. In your case, as is common in gastric bypass patients, a re-do at least partially of what you have had done is very common, and what you may need is just a little more pulling on the surgery that has already been done, but you should wait at least 6-12 months after the original surgery to see how the skin shrinks and swelling balances out. All the best. JG 3.25.06

Question:

Why are there days that i am more swollen, i am 5 week op of a tummy tuck?

Answer:

activity, what you ate,salt consumption, if you lifted or strained, many reasons,really. JG 3.22.06

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia, I'm currently 8 weeks post op from my tummy tuck, rec'd 01/19/06. However, I did not receive any drains. When I asked my PS, he stated he has a way working around needing to insert drains. Well, within my 7 day check up my PS had to aspirate fluid and dark black/red blood was removed. He anticipated me having to be aspirated several more times but no additional fluid came out. My concern is swelling. I wear my binder during the day,a body girdle in the evening and bedtime. I swell when I try to do light excerises or doing nothing at all. My swelling is within my thighs, hips and tail bone. When I put on my jeans I have these saddle bags hanging over my jeans. Plus, at various times my lower stomach will get big and hard for no reason. Almost like a contraction. Then other times, above my belly button it gets sore and I can feel something sharp like the stitches or staples. I have had 3 MLD therapy sessions within the past month but haven't really seen rave results yet. The therapist did said my lymph nodes were definitely clogged. Plus, I've been constipated for the last month now. Could I have a deep hemotoma or is this all normal? Could I be feeling staples or stitches? Could my post op swelling issues be the result of not having drains inserted in the first place? I'm currently 5'5 at 124 lbs and my PS said he didn't do any lip because I didn't have any fat to remove during my tummy tuck. My PS is great and doesn't seen to concerned. Therefore, your opinion and any advise is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. MG 03.22.06

Answer:

It appears more likely that you are having an old hematoma or recurrent seroma causing the swelling and the pain. If it continues this far out you may need a small surgical procedure to place a drain in the area. It could have happened even if a drain had been placed and then it could develop after the drain is removed. JG 3.21.06

Question:

Dr Garcia...Thank you for your time. I am considering having a TT. I had 3 C-sections in 3 years. Is the TT just like a C-section? or it is more dangerous amd more painful? Is it safe for me to have a TT after 3 C-sections? Is the anestesia the same? what is the difference between a C-section and TT besides that one is for beauty and the other to deliver a baby? thank you.

Answer:

It is similar, in certain ways easier and in certain ways a little more. Pain is similar to a little less. The previous C-sections will not affect the tummy tuck. Anesthesia is similar. The C-section does not remove skin and does not tighten the muscle underneath. JG 3.21.06

Question:

I'm considering a tummy tuck with lipo of the flanks, which extend somewhat to my back. However, I'm worried that once the suregon takes out the fat from my flanks, the skin in that area will sag. Will the tummy tuck help to minimise any sag at my sides? Thanks

Answer:

fat removal if done properly in the flanks does pretty well and does not leave loose skin typically. the tummy tuck will really not do much to tighten that skin though. JG 3.21.06

Question:

Hi Dr.Garcia, I have stretch marks that go about 2inches above my belly button, what surgery would be best? And would it help if I lost as much weight as possible before surgery to loosen the skin up as much as possible? Thank you AH

Answer:

there is no surgery that removes stretch marks alone, if the skin with the stretch marks is removed with a tummy tuck, then the only stretch marks that would remain are the ones in the skin that was not cut off. Weight loss before a tummy tuck would yield more skin that could be cut off so I would suggets that. JG 3.21.06

Question:

i had a tummy tuck 5 weeks ago, and i am not flat. Why?

Answer:

swelling most likely at this point. JG 3.21.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Does a full tt always involve getting a new belly button? Thank you! 3.21.06

Answer:

it always involves moving the old hole, yes. JG 3.21.06

Question:

I would like to get a tummy tuck can you refer me to a plastic surgeon in Eugene, OR?

Answer:

Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best. JG 3.20.06 www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon

Question:

Is it ok to get lipo of the flanks at the same time as a Tummy Tuck. Why is it that few doctors won't do this but most of them will?

Answer:

I do it routinely. JG 3.20.06

Question:

Hello I am 38 yrs. old and 16 days postop of a ftt. I am a non-smoker and have never been a smoker and to my knowledge am not diabetic, however I have developed necrosis and have a whole and discoloration to my incision. I am very freak out about it and my PS gave me some cream to put over it with guaze and anitibiotics. He says it should heal on it's own. But I am so confused because I am not a smoker or diabetic so what could have happened to me? I am trying to be patient and let it take it's course but I am also concerned. AG 3-19-06

Answer:

those things can happen to normal people, there is just a higher chance in smokers and in diabetics. It should all heal and the scar can always be revised later. JG 3.20.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a tummy tuck and lipo of the hip and thighs and around the knees, several years ago. During my post-ops I questioned the long thick strips of fluid buildup on the outer thighs and was told it would go away, to this day it has not. I also have lumps of fat at the hip bones. The doctor said he could do a second lipo to remove but I was scared because of how I felt after awakening and a few days later. I did heal with no problems. I was wondering can I now re-do the lipo to get the thick fluid strips from my outter thighs and remove the lumps of fat left previously? Or can these areas be corrected?

Answer:

I do not think it is fluid, but residual fat left there from the first liposuction and should be able to be improved with more liposuction. JG 3.18.06

Question:

I am 5.5 weeks post TT w/MR. My upper/central abdomen is very puffy still, pretty much all day. I have stopped wearing my binder during the day so I am wondering if this is contributing to the puffiness and if I should keep wearing it. The upper abdomen actually protrudes over my pants when I sit. Not a roll exactly, but I don't know if it's skin/fat or swelling. When I view my side profile in the mirror I'm basically concave. What are your thoughts on this? When should I get concerned? Thanks much!!!!! 3/17 (p.s. Happy St. Patrick's Day!) :)

Answer:

mostly just swelling and not uncommon at this point after surgery. Erin go Braugh! JG 3.17.06

Question:

Dr. After 2-1/2 month post a tummy tuck, when i sneeze, cough or strech still hurts (not that much) is this normal? how long more will this go?can i work out now??thank you.excelent web site...

Answer:

yes, just the muscles that were tightened are trying to let loose and they will get used to their new position in time. It might take up to one year for the final result to be felt. I think you can work out at this point in time though. Remember to stretch those muscles.Thanks for the compliment too. JG 3.16.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck january 25th 2005 i got a bad navel infection i also had alot of liposuction and ended up wearing the drainage tube for over 20 days. from that time i have had discomfort around the navel area it hurts and its hard from the navel area to a little below it its like a egg shape area. it swells and it feels like im laying on a ball i can not lay flat and get up on my own or i have to turn to the side when i turn over in bed to my stomach or vise versa it feels like something is haning if i wear tight clothes i swell and it feels like somebody has there hand pulling and squezing my navel area and some times around my waist thank you for any information i had a ct scan they said they couldn't see anything?

Answer:

sounds like a seroma cavity that has created a collapsed cyst and surrouding scarring. May be able to be surgically removed but there are risks of the fluid forming again and the scar tissue which is causing the discomfort may just grow back, tough problem. JG 3.16.06

Question:

fluid retention. how can you solve the problem after 1 month after tummy tuck

Answer:

all depends on what is causing it, it might take an aspiration with a needle though. JG 3.17.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I received a TT and Lipo on 1-16-06. I still have swelling in my lower section and swells more when I have to go to the restroom, is this normal. Also, How long after the surgery can I get my belly button peirced? Thank you for your time. MN

Answer:

I think yoru belly button can be pierced now as to the sewelling, it can happen but is unusual this far out. I suggest you see your surgeon to make sure all is OK. JG 3.17.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Does the reverse abdominoplasty scar differ from the traditional breast reduction scar? If so, how? I have cleavage so my current scar is well hidden, even in bikini tops. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions! 3.14.06

Answer:

yes, it crosses the middle over the breast bone. It will be seen in a bikini. All the best. JG 3.17.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thank you for your answer regarding reverse abdominoplasty. I have already had a breast reduction so my PS and I discussed this option. I had written to you a few weeks ago about fixing lumps and bumps after abdominal liposuction. I am about 7 months out. I have good skin tone and firmness, but a few problem areas. My PS is going to see me again in a few months to re-evaluate and discuss options. Do you like the reverse abdominoplasty? Thank you.

Answer:

the scar may be seen in certain dresses and bathing suits though. JG 3.16.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck and thigh liposuction and lift 2 years ago. From the beginning of my post surgery recuperation, the area between my lower ribs and navel has and does still protrude. Additionally, my pubic mound is now very pronounced to the point that I cannot wear a swimsuit without embarrassment. The whole area looks as if I was just 'scooped out in the mid section. Additionally, the scars from the thigh lift have 'drifted down as they sometimes do , according to the surgeon. I am in desperate need to have this corrected, as I now feel I look worse than I did prior to surgery. I am afraid to go back to the same surgeon for fear that if he attempts to fix the pubic mound, he'll damage nerves that will interfere with sexual enjoyment. Any suggestions you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

The nerves in that area should be OK with a little liposuction there and it sounds like the thigh lift scars will need to be re-cut and advanced higher, like a mini thigh lift. JG 3.16.06

Question:

Hi, Dr. Garcia i had a full tummy tuck, and i have lots of fluid in me, its been a month. It doesn't seem like i had a tummy tuck. What can i do? I am getting depressed. Can i take something like a pill or does it have to drained.

Answer:

I think it might need to geet drained so I would suggest going back to see the surgeon and have them evaluate you. JG 3.16.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Have you ever performed a reverse abdominoplasty? Thank you. 3.13.06

Answer:

yes I have, just need to be aware of the scar placement. JG 3.16.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thank you for your answer regarding reverse abdominoplasty. I have already had a breast reduction so my PS and I discussed this option. I had written to you a few weeks ago about fixing lumps and bumps after abdominal liposuction. I am about 7 months out. I have good skin tone and firmness, but a few problem areas. My PS is going to see me again in a few months to re-evaluate and discuss options. Do you like the reverse abdominoplasty? Thank you.

Answer:

I like it for certain people. It just will leave a scar that at times can be seen in certain dresses with low cleavage and in bathing suits. JG 3.16.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck in may of 2005 and on oct 30 05 i had to get lipo of my flangs both sides. And now there is still fat i am giong for more lipo of my flangs on march 27 is that to soon to soon to have lipo done. What are my risks it has only been like 5 months i am also having lipo of my hips. Thank you Kg 03/07/06

Answer:

no, I think that amount of time is appropriate for the selling to go down and evaluate the residual amount of fat. Best of luck. JG 3.7.06

Question:

Hello Dr.garcia ,I had a full tummy tuck about 6 months ago.On one of my routine checkups,I had a dr's assistant remove stiches from my new belly button & it felt like she accidentally cut one side of it.It looks like it healed pretty good after treating it with peroxide & neosporin,but to this day I still get drainage coming out from it .It's clear liquid,not infected or anything.This can't be normal,I have to wear a band-aid everyday cause i just don't know when I will leak !Could it be that the belly button has not closed all the way ? or could it be from that little cut?they're willing to fix this, but will it leak again ?I am soo confused,scared & frustraded. Please help me get some answers,,, Thank you for taking time to answer my question.

Answer:

Most likely a small infection in one of the sutures way below the skin and not related to what happened superficially. I think you should let them do what they need to do. JG 3.7.06

Question:

i am scheduled for a mini tt in 3 weeks. I enjoy working out and have been doing alot of pilates. Should I continue doing them until the sergery or will it affect my stomach muscles? Iam having the sergery to get rid of most of my stretch marks and to tighten my lower abs. How long after surgery can I get back to working out? 3/7/06

Answer:

yes, up to the surgery date is OK.Starting back up after surgeru wil be 3-4 weeks or so, all depends on how you heal. JG 3.7.06

Question:

I am scheduled for a mini tummy tuck in 3 weeks. I am active and enjoy doing pilates. I'm wondering if I should stop doing pilates that have to do with exercising my stomach muscles until the surgery. Will it affect anything? Or am I o.k? How long after surgery do I have to wait to continue with my workouts?

Answer:

No, I think you need to continue them as you will not be able to do them for a while afterwards and you want your muscles as strong as you can. As to when you can go back, it varies but somewhere between 3-6 weeks. JG 3.6.06

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I am one month post-op TT with muscle repair. Over the past few days my upper ab region (right in the middle) has suddenly become very tight when I try to stand or stretch more. It isn't painful but it feels like a giant section of muscle, not wanting to give. It's sort of unnerving. Is this a normal part of the recovery process? Are the muscles slowly loosening or are they fighting me? Thanks for your help. 3/6

Answer:

all normal as the tissue heals and tightens as the swelling goes down. The muscles are getting used to their new location, it will get better in time. JG 3.6.06

Question:

I'm getting a full tummy tuck with lipo and would like to know if i can pierce my belly button.

Answer:

I would suggest you wait until all is healed. JG 3.6.06

Question:

I had a FTT 12/14/05 and today I feel like the muscles on my left side have been cut. I am having discomfort and sort of burning in the muscle areas and of course swelling. Is that normal for healing or did I maybe do something to the muscle in that area? ND 3/5/06

Answer:

could be some of the sutures in the muscle tore and that is what has caused the pain. JG 3.5.06

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I had a full tt a year ago. I don't like the shape of my belly button( it's unnatural looking), and there is alot of scarring on the outside of it. Could I get it redone, or would the skin around it be too tight to work with. If so how much money does that cost?

Answer:

hard to say without examining you but you would need to have loose skin around it to allow the scar tisssue to be cut out and a new shape formed. Costs will vary from surgeon to surgeon so you would need to be examined by the surgeon you choose to get an accurate fee quote. JG 3.5.06

Question:

After having a FTT does the stitches in your abdominal muscles dissolve? If the do, how does your muscles stay in the new position? Thanks, ND 3/5/06

Answer:

typically the sutures are permanent. JG 3.5.06

Question:

I've asked you previously about my TT that I had 3 1/2 weeks ago. I appreciate your help and have another question. Last night I was lying on the couch, then pulled myself to a sitting position. Within a minute I felt a sharp pain in my upper ab region, about an inch or two below where my rib sticks out. It went away shortly, but is tender to the touch. My PS said it could be muscle strain or a torn stitch, but either way there's nothing that can be done. A torn stitch really freaks me out because I'm afraid if I tear one from sitting up, what will happen when I start to exercise again? Is this really a dangerous thing? How many stitches are in there? Any advice would help, I'm sort of freaked out. Thanks in advance for all of your help, it's very appreciated. 3-3-06

Answer:

As time goes on the tissue heals and they get sronger so those things will not happen as much if ever, in the future with activity. As to the number of stitches, it is many , all depends on the doctor and how loose your muscles were. Not a dangerous thing to occur though. Just be careul in the future and use your arms to help you get up. JG 3.3.06

Question:

I had a TT a few weeks ago and am currently wearing this garment: http://designveronique.com/cgi-bin/ic/dv2/1650.html I have to wear this for one month post-op and then my PS said I could wear anything else afterwards but didn't give me any ideas. I was wondering if you could recommend something that will still give me good enough coverage (esp. upper abs) but a little less like a second skin. I also would prefer something without the shoulder straps as they chafe quite a bit. Thanks!

Answer:

I am sorry but I do not have a manufacturer that makes something like you are aksing for. JG 3.2.06

Question:

HI, DR. GARCIA I HAD A TUMMY TUCK 6 MONTHS AGO NOW. MOST OF THE SWELLING HAS GONE AWAY. BUT I NOTICED THAT WHEN I PICK UP MY THREE OLD SON, THAT THE LOWER PART OF MY STOMACH GETS SWOLLEN. IT ALSO SLIGHLTY HURTS IF I TRY TO MASSAGE IT. I HAVE FEELING NOW. I DON'T FEEL ANY NUMBNESS. WHAT CAN I DO HELP THIS?

Answer:

I think it is just a matter of time, sorry. JG 3.1.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had a mini TT and lipo on my inner/outer thighs and flanks. I know the swelling will continue for a few more months, but I seem to have swelling in my pubic region and slight numbness. Will this take a few months to go away as well? I'm just worried about the way I look in clingy clothes, I think it's noticable. Also, what type of massage would you reccommend for my lipo areas?

Answer:

the pubic region can take a long time to go away I am afraid. As to the massage, just a light Swedish type massage is all. JG 2.28.06

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck three weeks ago w/muscle repair. I have two questions. First, how long do most patients experience swelling? I know it's normal but when is the average amount of time that swelling subsides and you can finally see your new shape? Second, my scar is a handlebar shape and the top portion is going to poke through any pants I'd wear. I have some silicone strips that I will start using ASAP. But what other scar reducing/removal techniques are there in case I need something else? I am not worried about the entire scar, just the top 2 on either side. Thank you! 2-28

Answer:

swelling will take weeks to months, and you new shape will start to be seen after about 6 weeks but final results take much longer. As to the scars, I use ScarGurad or Mederma on them. JG 2.28.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am 52 years old and eight months ago I had a full TT and muscles tightened and a breast lift w/ augmentation after losing 122 pounds. At first my tummy was nice and flat but have experienced swelling especially after doing too much and lifting two grandbabies ages 2 and 3 all day. For the past couple of months my tummy under the BB looks very puffy and rounded and it does not come and go like the swelling does. It looks like my tummy is fat but I have not gained any weight, in fact I have lost several more pounds. Could I still be experiencing swelling after eight months post op? Will the swelling ever completely go away?

Answer:

could be swelling and also could be the sutures in the muscle on the lower abdomen broke, or that with the additional weight loss the muscles now are not as tight. JG 2.28.06

Question:

Dr Garcia hace dos meses me hize el tummy tuck en otro pais, despues de 10 dias de la operacion note que me salio en la parte de arriba del ombligo como una inflamacion como una montañita como de 2 a 3 pulgadas, le pregunte a mi doctor y me dijo que me pusiera como una toalla debajo de la faja para presionar, cuando me la quito queda plano por un rato luego se infla de nuevo. el doctor me dijo que si no bajaba me hiciera mesoterapia. queria saber que opina al respecto y que piensa es lo que tengo, tambien porque lo tenia plano al principio y luego se inflo. y que puedo hacer al respecto.le agradezco mucho su opinion.

Answer:

lo que tienes alli es una coleccion de liquido, no grasa, haci que la mesoterapia no le va a ayudar. Le tienen que aspirar el liquido. JG 2.27.06

Question:

As a pre-teen I under went an abdominal surgery that left me with a 4inch vertical scar above my belly button. I have seen a surgery done where a man had implants inserted under is skin and slowly filled over a period of time in order to stretch it and give him some extra skin to work with. Could a surgery like this or any other aid in maybe relocating my abdominal scar to allow me wear the bikini I have always longed for?

Answer:

It could but it would take an enormous tissue expander in for a very long period of time for that to be possible I am afraid. JG 2.27.06

Question:

I had a full TT on 2/8/06. I have a handlebar shaped scar. The scar section on the lowest point, just above my pubic hair, as well as the verticle BB incision just above it, are very scabbed. I have been applying Neosporin and gauze for the past 2 days but today noticed tiny spots of blood on the gauze. Is this normal and at what point, if any, should I be concerned? Should I buy steri strips and use those, or continue with the gauze and Neosporin? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks. NH 2/24/06

Answer:

normal, would let your doctor know, may want to clean them with a little half strength peroxide. I would just apply Neopsorin and avoid the steristrips as they may keep the wound moist and wet, not something we want right now. JG 2.24.06

Question:

Is it possible to donate my tissues from an abdominoplasty to cancer victims that may otherwise require a transflap? Do you have any info on such a procedure or website I can research this type of thing on? Thanks

Answer:

sorry, won't work, their body will reject it. JG 2.24.06

Question:

Hello, I would like to know if there is anywhere that I could get help with getting a tummy tuck for free. I am a single mother of 3, unemployed and going through severe depression due to my rather large, ugly deformed stomach. I am at times suicidal because of this. People make fun of me all the time, it makes me very upset. I have discussed this with my family doctor who basically says theres nothing he can do about it. I dont have good credit to get medical financing and if I had the money for a tummy tuck, I'd most definetly have to use it to feed my children and pay rent expenses. Im sure I will never have the funds to pay for such a surgery but I cant keep looking like this! Sasha S...

Answer:

I am sorry but I am not aware of any universities doing pro bono cosmetic surgery. JG 2.22.06

Question:

What is the cost range of a tummy tuck?

Answer:

I could quote you fees but that varies greatly form doctor to doctor. I suggest you get a fee quote from the doctor you are considering perform the procedure. I can only quote fees for people that are going to have me do their surgery. If you desire that fee quote, contact us via email at drgarcia@lvcosmeticsurgery.com rather than the message board. Thank you. JG 2.21.06

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 5 months ago. Instead of loosing weight I have gained weight. I have been watching what I eat. I also have started to excercise. I was originally waring a size 7 in pants. I still am wearing a size 7 pants. I have not lost any weight. My pants are more fitted than they were before I had my surgery done. What am I doing wrong. HELP!!! thanks

Answer:

hard to say without seeing you and seeing how much weight you have gained and in what areas, you may want to speak with your doctor. JG 2.21.06

Question:

I heard there is a two for one procedure-meaning tummy tuck and a breast augmentation for the price of 3,000.00. Is this true? I am from Los Angeles and will consider going over to your office regardless. My email is ingridlperez21@hotmail.com Hope to hear from you soon! Gracias! Ingrid Perez 323-898-9914

Answer:

I am not sure where you have gotten that fee quote and am not sure the procedure they may have meant. Maybe in Mexico. JG 2.20.06

Question:

Dr Garcia Ihad a FTT 7 weeksago I still have swelling above the incision sometimes its not as bad I still wear the binder and girdle will this help. My BB still hurts when I snezz. How long should this last. When will all the swelling go away. How long should I wear the binder or girdle and does it have to be tight. Does it take longer for your BB to heal. Thank You so much.

Answer:

Yes, it is normal and massage and the girdle will help. Not unusual for the tenderness at the belly button this soon after the surgery too. It should get better in a month or so. As to the swelling, that may take close to 6 months for it all to go away. We have patients wear the girdle for one month and then they can continue for as long as they feel they need the support. The belly button can take a long time to feel better as the muscles around it are tightened during the tummy tuck. All should get better in time. JG 2.20.06

Question:

Have you ever done a full lower body lift on normal sized pateint who hasnt had substantial weight loss(Gastric by pass surgery) and what are the requirements, if any besides little back side sag and little loose belly skin? Recovery?

Answer:

It can be done if there is enough tissue laxity. If the tissues are tight then the scars are not very thin. Recovery is 3-4 weeks. JG 2.18.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thank you for taking the time to answer so many peoples questions. I know I appreciate reading your repsonses and getting myself educated. I am still in research phase but am going to get a FTT with lipo and a BL very soon. I have loose skin and fat in the pubic area and would like to know, can that be remove w/ lipo and also tightened with the FTT or is that a different surgery? Thank you in advance for your response.

Answer:

Yes, that is usually part of the tummy tuck, we lipo it a little and then lift the skin up. All the best and thanks for visiting. JG 2.18.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am very unhappy with the placement of my belly button after a recent tummy tuck. It is about 1 too high and it is not centered. Is there anything I can have done? KC 2/19/06

Answer:

well, if it is too high, it can be moved lower but you will have a scar where the belly button is now as that hole will have to be closed. JG 2.17.06

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, Hi! About 15 months ago, I had a full tummy tuck with liposuction done. I had complications and developed a blood clot in my lungs. I was hospitalized for a week and was sent home. Since then, everything has been alright and I was put on Coumadin for a year. My Hematologist discovered that I have a genetic tendency to form blood clots quicker than your usual patient due to a gene mutation, but that I am alright to revise any problems as long as I take medication before my surgery. I am only 28 years old and in good condition. I am 5'1 and weigh 110 pounds and exercise frequently. I have had no children but for some reason, I had loose skin in my abdominal region. So I had a tummy tuck. I am very glad that I had the procedure done, but I am unhappy with the results that my surgeon has left me with. Most of the loose skin is gone but there seems to be extra skin still on the sides of my stomach that make me look like I have love handles. Also, the lower part of my abdomen where the incision scar is located, is uneven. It looks full with a depression and a bump in the middle. When I addressed my concerns to my surgeon, he pretty much dismissed them and told me that it was the best he could get it. He said that the bump was my old belly button and there was nothing he could do for me. Since then, I have been very depressed and don't know what to do. I feel like I have traded one abnormality for a few others. On top of that, my new belly button closed up and he has worked on it, but it still looks unacceptable. There is lots of scarring and it just doesn't look normal. Again when I talked to him about it, he just smiled and said it looks great and natural. I can promise you that it does not! I have since then decided to get some second opinions because I do not feel like I should accept these things as my final results. I know not to expect perfection but I have also been told that tummy tuck revisions are not uncommon. I payed a lot of money and went through a lot with this procedure and I don't feel like he did all he could to help me out. So with all that in mind, Do you think that I have reasonable concerns? With what I have told you, Do you believe that there is anything that could be corrected? I do not want to discredit my surgeon. I just want to find someone who is going to help me out and listen. I'm embarrassed by the results I am left with and I still long for the confidence that I expected to gain with this procedure. I appreciate any words of wisdom you can offer me. Thank You! M.T.

Answer:

It sounds like your concerns are reasonable and are ones that not uncommonly have to be revised in some small number of patients. I think a different surgeon would probably be the best option, the original surgeon may be concerned about the clotting problem and may be apprehensive about any touch ups. It might take a surgery to open the belly button , excise a little more skin laterally and then remove some scar tisse from the lumpy area. Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best. JG 2.16.06 www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.

Question:

I had a TT Nov 30, 2005 since then I developed MRSA 3 times and now I have a mass on my lower stomach and my doctor doesn't think she need to do anything more than give my more Zyvox. I'm worried that this infection will never go away, should she be running soem kind of tests on me?

Answer:

well, wound cultures are a good idea to make sure of the bacterial sensitivities I think, as to the mass, I think you need to let everything heal and settle down and then see. If the lump on your abdomen gets bigger or gets red then a CAT scan to evaluate it for an abcess may be required. JG 2.15.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had posted yesterday about lipo and TT. I don't want to rush into surgery that may not be necessary. How long should a person wait after liposuction to see the best results before considering a TT? Thank you so much for providing this forum!

Answer:

3-6 months is what we suggest. Good luck. JG 2.14.06

Question:

I know that you are urged to move around as soon as possible after a tummy tuck. Do you recommend straightening yourself up immediately afterwards even though it is painful to do so? Or will standing up too soon compromise healing? Thanks!

Answer:

no, just walk around, no need to straighten up until you feel you can do so. JG 2.14.06

Question:

In a standard abdominoplasty if the incision is 1 1/2 inches above the pubic line does the muscle tightening stop at the incision line or can you go all the way down to the pubic line?

Answer:

it can be done further down onto the pubic region though that incision. JG 2.14.06

Question:

I had full TT 6 weeks ago can I get in the tanning bed. Do I need to cover the incision. and my bb. Thank You

Answer:

I would avoid the tanning bed until all the bruising is gone and I would cover the incisions for at least the first 6 months. JG 2.13.06

Question:

I had a full TT Jan 5th 2006 I still have a lot swelling cane you put ice packs on the swelling. Also my BB in side has three little white pieces of skin that looks swelling is this ok will it look ok after I heal all the way. Thank you

Answer:

I think at this point ice will not help much, maybe heat a massage may help a little. Hard to give you advice on the belly button though without seeing what is going on, sorry. JG 2.10.06

Question:

Hello Dr, I am a 50yrs old lady and lost 40 ponds by doing sits and working out everyday.I have achieved my goal but my skin on my tummy is very loose and i can grab it.I feel so bad.Is there anything could be done to firm and tone my belly skin??It is not getting better with exercise.please advice.

Answer:

exercise will not tighten skin, you may need to have the skin removed via a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty as it is called. Congrats on the weight loss and dedication though. JG 2.10.06

Question:

This might be a silly question. But i had a full TT last sept. Since then Ive gained about 5 lbs and recently started a diet. My goal is to lose 20 lbs. I saw on one of the posts that the more u lose, the more loose you are. Well..my TT left no stretch marks..etc..or loose skin. Wont exercise STILL help to tighten even tho u had a TT? and wont i be able to develop my abdominal muscles even though i had a FTT? I mean, what i have now isnt 'it', right. I can improve through exercise/?? and possibly not get 'loose' after weight loss. ?? thanks in advance

Answer:

exercise does nothing to tighten skin. You will be able to develop your abdominal muscles, yes, but they will not affect the skin. Any weight loss may help you have less intra-abdominal fat but it will be up to you to keep those muscles tight. JG 2.10.06

Question:

Hi, Dr. Garcia, I had a tummy tuck about 5 montha ago now. my doctor gave the okay to start exercsing, which I have. since I have started my adbs do not seem to be completely flat. I have also been gettting swollen by the end of the night.Am I over doing it? What can I do to help the swolling down? Instead of loosing weight it seems like I'm gaining weight. Please help me! What is going on? thanks sj

Answer:

the swelling is normal when exercise is restarted and will settle down in time. As to the abdomen being totally flat, it will take time for all of it to go down, so give it a little more time and watch your diet. JG 2.10.06

Question:

Dr.Garcia ,thank you for the info on the tummy tuck i had a hystorectomy at 23 and i'm now 57 years old however i have asthma that is the only thing i can think of that would interfere with my tummy tuck .

Answer:

one precaution with asthma is that they may not tighten your muscles as much as possible as that can restrict your breathing, otherwise it should be OK to proceed. JG 2.9.06

Question:

Dr Garcia, so for the circumferential body lift, are you saying it is an easier recovery to do a FTT(skin only) first and have the butt lift at another time? What sort of recovery is a butt/thigh lift? Is the butt/thigh lift harder recovery than FTT because of with FTT you can hunch forwward to protect tummy incisions but what do you do for a back incision, and is the incision at back panty line?

Answer:

yes, it is easier.The recovery from the butt lift is about the same as a tummy tuck, 3-4 weeks. The buttock lift is more difficult due to positioning while sleeping and sitting and the blood flow at times is less robust, leading to poor healing and wounds breaking open. The buttock incision is usually in the bathing suit line, yes. JG 2.9.06

Question:

HI Dr. i had a hystorectomy when i was 23 years old i'm 57 is it safe at this time of my life to still do a tt/ ?i have a large apron it look s terrible >>

Answer:

If you do not have any medical problems that would complicate matters it should be OK to proceed with the tummy tuck. JG 2.9.06

Question:

What exactly is a torsoplasty and does it always hace to be preformed on someone who has lost a bunch of weight. I am guessing it is like a round the world lower body lift. When i pull op on my lower back, my butt and thighs look so much better. Am considering a skin only FTT in the near future, can this lbl be done at same time? what is the recovery? drains? Incisions? I am 5 6 125, never been overweight. 46 y/o.

Answer:

yes it is a circumferential body lift, and can be done on someone who has lost support and tissue and the skin is lax. It all can be done at the smae time but will have some serious healing time and also a long surgery. JG 2.9.06

Question:

Thank you for this website. I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair 3 months ago. I was 5'5 , 125 lbs with little excess skin/fat, but had had 3 kids and weakened ab muscles/fascia. The results were good, initially, with normal swelling (which had been gradually reducing) but an immediately flatter tummy. Last week I started exercising (jogging 20 min. on two separate days). A couple of days later, I went to an hour-long work-out class at my gym ( body sculpting for every muscle group). I tried to go easy on my abs, but still, the overall workout was very exhausting for me. Since then, my tummy looks as big as it did before, and has not gone down (5 days now). Around the same time I started working out was also when I stopped wearing my binder. Thinking that the workouts were making me swell more, I started wearing my binder again, but my size has not gone down. Also, it seems like my flat shape is gone now, replaced by a more round tummy. This is different than the original swelling looked. I did not feel any pain or popping sensations during any of my workouts. What do you think is causing this?

Answer:

most likely some tearing of the scar tissue below the skin and above the muscle. It happens not unfrequently. Time massage and pressure should make it all go away. JG 2.6.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I'm 5 weeks post-op from a full Tummy Tuck, I still have a pouch, My PS suggest I wear the binder very tight an purchase a corset. Do you think this will help, I'm a little disappointed. I expected to be flat by now. He suggested that I come back to see him in two months.

Answer:

it could be swelling, a very common problem. Do as he says and give it some more time. JG 2.3.06

Question:

i had a ftt 0n 12/20 and as of today i am almost 6 weeks. the other day i snezzed really hard and it hurted so bad and now the top part of my abs are sticky out i am scared i messed up my mr is this possible. i normally swell in the upper abs above bb all the time but soon as i laid down and add binder for extra pressure it goes back flat but this time it is not i had binder on and girdle and it is not going down. i dont go to doctor till 2/22 what should i do.

Answer:

you may have torn the sutures in the muscle. Not much to do right now, just see your doc and see what they say. JG 2.2.06

Question:

I have excess skin on my side, in my arms, and on my breasts after a 170lbs weight loss. I am need of an arm lift and breast lift. I also have what some people sometimes refer to as back boobs ... the fat overlaps my bra in the back (near the armpit) and slightly on the side (it appears to only be excess skin, not so much fat); I wear a loose fitting bra so I know that the overlapping is not due to a tight bra . I also will be getting a circumferential achor-cut abdominoplasty. With the combination of the abdominoplasty, breast and arm lift, will the skin on the side and back fat be eliminated?

Answer:

no, that will take a different surgery I am afraid. JG 2.2.06

Question:

I am considering Titan for my abs, still unsure because of lack of info and more importantly, lack of info about good results. IF i do decide to do it, would it affect the underlying tissue if i decide to go with a skin only FTT down the road, as far as the scar tissue that would be under the skin form the Titan machine? I am considering it for mild loose skin in upper belly after MTT 3 yrs ago.

Answer:

It should not affect any of the underlying tissue to any degree and would not preclude any surgery in the future. JG 2.1.06.

Question:

Dr. Garcia, in 1996 I gained 80lbs during pregnancy (5'5 from 103lbs to 183lbs). At 35, I now weigh 135lbs. Do I need to wait until I am certain I will not have more children before I have a TT? Can a TT and tubal ligation be done at the same time.

Answer:

I think you could proceed and many doctors will do the procedures together, best of luck. JG 2.1.06

Question:

Dr Garcia I had a full TT with lipo 1 year ago. as a combination of the TT and losing 25 pounds I have gone from a size 16 to a size 10 but I still have a bulge under the scar line that extends to a fat pubic area. My PS first said he needed to do a bit more lipo to that area (and did) but it did not help. He then said it might be scar tissue to wait a couple of months and come back. I did and he said I needed to lose weight. I am so confused. I am not fat and have very good skin (never had stretch marks even with pregnancy). Is this common after TT and what do I need to do to have it corrected. I still can't tuck in a shirt because of my pouch. Thanks LB

Answer:

It is not uncommon after a tunmmy tuck and may need excision of the tissue rather than just liposuction to alleviate the appearance. The need to correct it is all cosmetic though, no medical need. All the best. JG 1.31.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia I'm 40 years old and I had an abdominalplasty two years ago with great results. What would be the risks of having more children at this point?

Answer:

it might require another tummy tuck after the baby, otherwise no problems. JG 1.29.06

Question:

puede usted hacer varias cirugias juntas tales como buttock/mentiplasty/tummy tuck/breast aumentation

Answer:

si pero no creo que todo eso se debe de hacer junto, seria muy largo. JG 1.25.06

Question:

Thank you for the answer about floating bb. If one does get the floating bb, is there then no vertical scar? Also, when does PS determine what needs to/can be done as far as floater or vertical scar during surgery or is it somethiong they can determine before during consult? My PS only said it could be done (hesitantly) but didnt mention where v scar would be or floater, etc, just that horizontal incision could still be as low or lower than existing MTT scar. What should i ask him specifically next time i go in and if he tells me something is it generally hard for a PS to stick by what they say will happen, since things could change once they get in there?

Answer:

Correct, no vertical scar with the floater. Usually the surgeon should be able to tell before the surgery. I think you need to ask him the questions you have presented here and wait for an answer to them. JG 1.25.06

Question:

hi i had ftt on 12/20 and i developed a seroma had it drained twice but my doctor says he really dont like doing it more than once cause he dont want to cause an infection . my concern is it look like it might be starting back but is real small what can i do besides wearing a tight girdle to keep it from coming back. and what causes the fluid to build back up once its been drained.

Answer:

The fluid comes from the small vessels that were cut to do the surgery and they all heal back. If the fluid is small, just let it absorb on its own, if it is a good amount, I suggest draining it as the skin cannot shrink if it is too swollen. JG 1.25.06

Question:

Dr Garcia, can you explain the pros and cons of a floater bb and what happens to the umbical stalk when covered with skin? doesnt that look weird, a little bump under the skin? why would someone get a floater instead of fashioning new one at stalk? Also, why would 2 people who appear to have same amount of skin(very little) have their vertical scar in such different locations, like one just under new bb and other one all the way in panty line? All this stuff worries me about FTT(no MR), i am tentatively scheduled for one but all this research is giving me second thoughts. Had a mini 3 yrs ago, dont like upper ab skin, PS said he could do it but now i am not so sure. Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH knowledge???

Answer:

in a float, the stalk is totally cut so the blood supply to the belly button is from the surrounding skin and nowhere else. They do a float if the amount that the belly button needs to be moved is small, and to leave the natural bb floating looks more natural than fashioning a new one. Where the vertical line ends up depends on skin elasticity as well as the amount of skin removed and also how high up the lower incision is made. There is no such thing as too much knowledge, just to much confusion. JG 1.25.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, have you ever preformed a reverse abdominoplasty? Was in in conjuction to a BL? Is it possible to have a good result with the incision not going across the sternum, just under each breast extending towards back? I was told by my PS that the incision needed to go across the sternum to be an effective lift/result and i think i asked you once and you said same thing, i thought. just saw pics of gal who had it and her incisions(s) didnt go across sternum but she had a BL with it, the big kind with incisins running from nipple to crease. Thanks you for your time.

Answer:

I have but not in combination with a breast lift. I think if the incision does not go across the sternum the results are compromised and not as good since the loosest skin is in the middle and that is where you are trying to avoid having the scar. JG 1.24.06.

Question:

Dr Garcia, how long for new bb and vertical scar from FTT to heal? Am scheduled for a ski n only FTT for early April, hoping to be bikini ready bu mid July. Also, if bb isnt opened much due to swelling, have you any tips on having it heal opened, like cotton ball taped in there, marble, soft ear plug? (after all scabs are gone, of course) I have seen some really weird almost closed looking bb s after FTT, want to make sure that doesnt happen to me.

Answer:

about 4-6 weeks and they should look pretty good. You can use any of those suggetsions to keep the belly button open. JG 1.24.06

Question:

Hi Dr.G!! I had Br. Augm. + what was supposed to be a FTT. In the Op Rm. my Dr. decided I didn't need the FTT, so I got an almost hip to hip scar but didn't move my BB. Now I'm 10 weeks and I have loose skin on the upper Ab. I got a capsulotomy on one Br. and I'm going back to the Op Rm. for implant change... My Dr. says he will pull the extra skin from the Upper Ab (no cost)but maybe I will get the vertical scar (he's not sure). I'm afraid now I don't have enough skin to make the old BB site reach all the way down...I don't want to end up uncomfortably tight! Would a Float be better?? Does it look strange? Why is there no way back with it? Recup time of Float? Thanks a million! I'm very scared! LRM, Feb 23th '06

Answer:

It sounds like the vertical scar is almost a for sure unless the lower incision is fairly high on your abdoemn. This would have happened though if they had done the full tummy tuck the first go round. A float is possible but the belly button may end up too low and will not be able to be moved up again. Re Coup time is the same with a float or a belly button relocation. Best of luck. JG 1.23.06

Question:

Thanks again for your replies. I had on and off swelling after a mini tt, it seemed like after menustration it would be swollen until I wore tight garment. You mentioned that I could have intra abdominal swelling from the uterus. What causes this? Is this bad? Can it be corrected? Thanks again-rachel

Answer:

it is not bad and it may be difficult to correct as it is a normal occurance. JG 1.23.06

Question:

What is the most common complication of a FTT(skin only) if there is not alot of skin to work with? If necrocis is going to happen, where is it likely to show up? And when? How is it fixed/treated? How common is poor healing with tummy tucks? If i have had a successfully healed MTT, are my chances of having good healing results while going to the full good, or is it the luck of the draw? Every surgery i have had i have healed very well.

Answer:

If necrosis happens it is usually early. As to complications, it is usually a thick scar. If necrosis happens it needs to be allowed to heal on its own and then the scar can be revised at a later date. Complications are not common though. If you had good results before, you should have good ones again. JG 1.22.06

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia. :) I had a full tummy tuck three weeks ago and my belly button is presently flush with my skin. The doctor cookie cuttered my old stretched out belly button and stitched it lower on my abdomnen. I understand it will eventually sink but I am wondering how long this can take. Thank you for your time and have a great day! jd 1-21-06

Answer:

It might take a number of months, maybe 6. JG 1.212.06

Question:

When getting a FTT, skin only if there is not much skin, does there alway have to be a vertical scar or does it depend on how high the horizontal incision is? Is there a way of not having to have a vertical by perhaps pulling up more from pubic area? If so, how freaky does this make the pubic mound and does this settle down in time? If necessary to have a v scar, is it usually just as long as the old bb hole was or can it be longer sometimes? If longer, what is reason for this? Was ready about a gal on the tummy tuck board who had about same amount of skin i have and had FTT skin only and to her horror, has ended up with a v scar inch or 2 below bb and it is 2 and a half inches long! this has me kind of freaked. PS said more than likely i will have a v scar but he didnt go into much more detail than that.

Answer:

if there is not enough skin that is the usual issue. The only way to avoid it is to make the incision higher and then the scar will be seen above your pant line. Usually the vertical line is longer then the original belly button in order to close it as a straight line. If closed correctly it should be flat and straight. JG 1.21.06

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck a year and a half ago. I do a lot of hard core yoga 3 times a week. Two months ago I noticed an oval shaped light red mark two inches from my belly button. I also started to have pain an hour or two after a yoga class. I went to a doctor and they believe I have a hernia. Here are my symptoms:My belly swells by the end of the day. If I do too much it gets irritated and my belly will get a constant dull pain. The area it affects are around my belly button and about three inches under my belly button. Does this sound like a hernia or could I have torn something? Is it common to get a hernia after having a tummy tuck? ML 1-19-06

Answer:

most likely a small hernia. Hernias can happen with or without the tummy tuck. JG 1.20.06

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck three weeks ago. I'm not completely flat, I still have that pouch. Why is this?

Answer:

normal postoperative swelling most likely. JG 1.17.06

Question:

With a low bikini like TT the muscles are ordinarily tightened the whole way up the stomach stopping at the area between the ribcage. My question is if the incision is put higher about 2 inches away from the pubic area will the muscles lower than the incision be left untightened?

Answer:

yes. JG 1.16.06

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck 8 weeks ago and since then have had quite bad indigestion and have been able to eat only small amounts of food ( which is NOT a bad thing!). I was wondering if this is caused by the abdominal muscles being tightned and the g/i tract feeling it too? I think I have a small hiatus hernia also. Many thanks for your time and endless patience.

Answer:

yes, but it will get better. Tightening the muscles during the tummy tuck can also aggravate the hiatal hernia. JG 1.16.06

Question:

Are anchoring sutures the entire length of the scar standard abdominoplasty procedure?

Answer:

no, I don't think so. JG 1.16.06

Question:

DR. Garcia I had a mini tummy tuck and lipo 6 weeks ago. The lowe ab seems improved but the upper seems worse. Is this normal? One thing that concerns me now is that the area just above the incision, like an inch and 1/2 along the incision, is very hard. I asked, and although they said without looking at it that is normal, I am wondering how long will this last and if it is in fact normal since I haven't really read anything like that in most cases and web sites that I am now looking for answers. Please tell me your opinion. What could this hardening of the skin is, and if there could still be swollen present mainly in the upper ab or is it going to remain like that. Thanks a million. Patricia

Answer:

the firmness may last a few months and as to the upper, maybe you needed a full tummy tuck instead. Hard to say without examining you, sorry. JG 1.16.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I would like to have a full tummy tuck, face lift and lipo to upper leg/lower buttock done at the same time since I only have 2 weeks vacation each year. Is that possible to do that combination at the same time? Would that much done at one time jepordize anything? Thanks KL 1.15.06

Answer:

I think that would be a very long surgery and would suggest you divide them up. JG 1.15.06

Question:

I realize that there is a fine line when doing tummy tucks between taking too much skin and maybe not taking enough and also possibly being too aggressive and tightening things too much using too much tension. What would be the the problems that may result from too much tension when closing the incision up?

Answer:

if there is too much tension then the incision may open up or it may lead to a thick wide scar. JG 1.15.06

Question:

Do you recommend doing small amounts of lipo with a tummy tuck procedure or is it always best to do lipo first. I'm talking about 50-100cc's?

Answer:

If it is that small of an amount it can be done at the same time. JG 1.15.06

Question:

Dr Garcia, with a FTT with no muscle repair, does it address side skin, if so, is there an obvious demarkation, for lack of better word, where the lifting stopped? if that makes sense. To get side skin, does the incision have to go beyond hipbones(towards back) or can it still be hip to hip? Also, does it affect the surgery to have had a MTT in the past, with MR?

Answer:

The incison should be carried out laterally as far as the skin is in excess. Limiting the incision can leave excess skin. A previous mini tummy tuck should not have any negative effects. JG 1.15.06

Question:

With a standard Tummy Tuck incision going hip to hip.. does the incision have to be more on top of the hip bone?

Answer:

it can be placed lower at times. JG 1.15.06

Question:

Is it standard Tummy Tuck procedure to place suture's into the facia to anchor the incision? Is this normally done the whole length of the incision or just in the middle?

Answer:

I usually do anchoring sutures the entire length of the scar. JG 1.15.06

Question:

If there are stretch marks that can't be removed in the lower abdomen and the incision goes across them ... will they heal poorly due to the thin skin ?

Answer:

yes. JG 1.15.06

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: You are wonderful. Recently, you answered a question about a post mini tuck procedure. I had scar tissue and you suggested kenalog shots. They worked thanks. Two more questions. I am a dark skinned african american female and the area of injection has a dark spot. IT's been over four months, is there anything that can lighten this spot? Also, directly after my mini tuck, I had extreme soreness in my upper back thigh below my buttocks. It was painful for about a month and then it left. However, in the process of massaging scar tissue, in my lower abdomen, I noticed the next morning that my right thigh below the buttock had this same sore uncomfortable feeling. Periodically, I notice this soreness, what do you think that is? Directly after the surgery, it was to the point that sitting on the toilet hurt tremendously. IS that nerve damage or something of the sort from the abdominoplasty? Thanks again. Rachel

Answer:

Maybe Retin-A mixed with hydroquinone. I think the soreness is muscles that are tight and out of balance. Not nerve damage I believe. All my best. JG 1.14.06

Question:

what is the difference between a level 1 and a level 2 skin only FTT? I had a mini 3 yrs ago and now want a skin only full to address loose upper ab skin. I only have about an inch i can grab but PS says i am considered a level 2 and that surgery will be 3 hours? seems like a long time for skin only. His fee, 3850, reasonable? and the time of 3 hrs? your opinion please. thanks!

Answer:

time seems a little long but not by much, fee if for surgery only seems about average, as to the level 1 versus 2, that is something he uses, it is not referred to commonly in terms of levels. He may use it in terms of keeping his fees for differnt complexities straight. JG 1.12.06

Question:

I am having a US Transvaginal becuase of my abdominal bloating and the chance that there may be a cyst on my left ovary. Unlike the reg sonogram will this show my bladder and other organs? Since these other organs may be the reason for my bloating.

Answer:

nope, only the organs in your pelvis. JG 1.10.06

Question:

What is a floating belly button and why would it be done during FTT?

Answer:

it is when the belly button stalk is cut and just pulled down connected to the normal skin, it is done when there is not a long distance to move it but it also prevents it from being maintained in a higher or normal position in the future and will move the belly button to a lower position. JG 1.8.06

Question:

I have had a FTT recently and would like to lose a little weight ( approx 10lbs). Do you think this will affect the results of surgery: how much weight( approximately) could an overweight patient lose before it affects the results and necessitates a further TT due to excess skin etc., Thank you v.much 1/8/05

Answer:

I think 10 pounds should have little efect, but much more then that may leave you a little looser. The more you lose, the looser you will be. JG 1.8.06

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, It has been 4 months sice my full tummy tuck/hernia procedure. I have recently started going to the gym and using the elliptical machine, weights for my inner thigh and arms. I notice that when I do these excercises I feel it in my tummy and I am worried that a stitch will come loose. Is this something I should be woried about and how soon can I do sit ups. My upper abdomen is a little swollen?

Answer:

I think you are healed well enough that you should not worry. You can start the sit ups now. Yes, most likely the upper abdomen is still a little swollen and may get a little worse for a while when you start exercising but it will go down in time. JG 1.5.06

Question:

What are the risks of necrosis with a skin only FTT on a slender person with not much excess skin, needing a small vertical where old bb was, i am a smoker, less than pack a day for 50 yrs, really need motivation to quit. Does quitting 3 months before surgery for good help lessen the risks? If necrosis is going to happen, is it usually in the area of old bb hole or if T incision, there? Why would it happen in non smokers? Does being around second hand smoke increase risks(bars on weekends)? thank you for your time!

Answer:

yes, quiting before does help improve the risk of necrosis. If it is going to happen it happens in the skin between the old belly button and the lower incision. It can happen in non-smokers if there is excessive tension or injury to the blood vesssels that is not recognized. Second hand smoke has little effect. JG 1.4.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had an abdominalplasty 8 months ago and I am still having problems with tightness and bulging. Can you tell me why this would still be happening? I really think I am sewn to tight. Have you seen patients with this problem? I would like your honest opinion. Also I get really tight for reason throughout the day. dew 4Jan06

Answer:

well, although the sutures that tightened your muscle can be cut and removed but then you may bulge more as the muscle will not be as tight then. I have seen pateints that have a sensation of feeling tight for up to a year, but that is part of what they wanted with the tummy tuck, is a tighter abdomen and it at times cannto look tight without feeling tight. JG 1.4.06

Question:

If you go 36hours and dont smoke will you be ok to have a tummy tuck. Thanks

Answer:

no, ideally you should have not smoked for one month before and one month after. JG 1.3.06

Question:

Dr. Garcia, what are the signs/symptoms one would have if they had an adominalplasty, and the muscle was sewn to tight? Also how would it be corrected? WDW 02Jan06

Answer:

It can be corrected by cutting the stitiches, it would feel tight but it normally does feel tight for a few months but eventually does feel looser. JG 1.3.06

Question:

I have had 2 children. My youngest is 18 months old. My eldest is 7 yrs. I am 36 with good health and weigh 117 pounds. I have saggy skin as a result of both births and developed a umbilical hernia during my second pregnancy. I have had 2 hernia repairs both unsuccessful. My question is: I heard I would be a good candidate to get a MTT as it would help repair the separated fascia and also having recurrent hernias..is this a myth? Toronto 1/3/06

Answer:

no, it might be a good option for what ails you. JG 1.3.06

Question:

I am having a tummy tuck on Jan 5th 2006 but I have not quit smoking, but I have cut back from 1pack a day to about 4 a day If I dont smoke any more for the next 2 days will I be ok.I need to know what you think. Thanks so much Kaye

Answer:

The risks of poor healing are still fairly significant. JG 1.2.06

Question:

Hi, I am 6wks post-op full TT and I am keen to return to the gym. When would you suggest gentle cardio and then very light weights? Also, when would you suppose I could be back doing 3 times a week sessions ( 40 mins cardio and moderate weights)?Thank you Dr.Garcia and a Happy New Year. Jane 1/2/06

Answer:

I think after 6 weeks you are OK to do so. Full activity in another one to two weeks I feel. JG 1.2.06

Question:

How easy is it to get a natural looking belly button after a full tummy tuck? If the patient starts out with an inny , will it remain that way after surgery? Thank you. CT

Answer:

It should remain an inny afterwards, yes. JG 1.2.06

Question:

When is the best period of time to quit smoking before a FTT for optimal healing and lowereing the risk of necrosis? I hear smoking is the number one reason necrosis happen in TTs. Is this your opinion? Is the most crucial time before or after surgery?

Answer:

One month. One month before and one month after. I think smoking is a big influence but it also depends on the amount of tension placed on the closure of the wound, how traumatic the discection is, how extensive it is, if there are any signs of diabetes, thickness of the flap, many other things you see. JG 12.31.05

Question:

Dr, Garcia, I am considering a FTT, skin only. Had a mini 3 years ago and have issues with grabbable upper ab skin. Would a FTT address the skin that runs from hip bone to ribcage, if the incision goes from hip bone to hip bone?

Answer:

Yes, I think it would. JG 12.30.05

Question:

The procedure I had was called modified abdominoplasty - my own original navel is still there but was moved down a little - it included correction of diastasis recti, liposuction, then skin stretched down and excess trimmed. In classification terms, is this kind of procedure a full, partial, or mini TT? Thanks. CS

Answer:

closer to a mini but it all depends what they did with the belly button, at times they float it down and you need to know that in case you have another one done in the future. In a float, the belly button is detached from the stalk and left attached to the skin so it cannot be moved reliabely in the future. JG 12.28.05

Question:

Dear Doc, I have a lot of stretch marks below my belly button. However, the skin in my abdomen is not loose but it does contain too much subcutaneous fat. I have heard that a tummy tuck can remove the majority of my stretch marks. I am also considering liposuction on my abdomen. Here's my question: Can a tummy tuck only be done if the skin is loose? Thank you so much. Best wishes for the new year.

Answer:

A tummy tuck may and may not be able to remove most of the stretch marks. It all depends on how much loose skin you have and where the marks are. If they are above the belly button, they will not be removed, just moved downward. If the skin is not loose it may not be worth doing the tummy tuck. Liposuction may actuially make the stretch marks look worse if the skin gets looser after the fat is removed too. JG 12.27.05

Question:

dear dr.g. I had a tt 2months ago w/lipo hips, thighs. the scars are from hip to hip w/bunching at the corners. dr says adjustments at a year he will do - what will that entail and what to do about scars? Will I also be able to do additional lipo at that time as it seems the back area may need some work., Also, my pelvic area seems to be swollen constantly, is this normal? should I be doing something to relieve this?

Answer:

That will entail opening the areas where it is bunched up, removing a little more skin and the re-stitiching the skin, not unusual and a lot of it may shrink in the mean time making it a smaller procedure. Liposuction can be doen at the same time, yes. Swelling in the pubic region can last for a while after a tummy tuck. JG 12.27.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, Thank you for having this website – it is very helpful and informative. One question I am not clear on is the following: I read repeatedly that if one has loose skin above the belly button, a mini TT will not correct that. Would you say this is true even in the case of a thin person whose only problem is this area – and if so, why? And what would you think the solution would be for a thin person with above-the-belly-button loose skin? The full TT resulting in a scar from hip to hip? Thank you. CS

Answer:

unfortunately yes becasue a mini-tummy tuck only tightens the skin below the belly button. For the skin above the belly button to be tightened, the dissection of the skin must go above it and that means the belly button will need to be repositioned and that makes it a full tummy tuck, no longer a mini. The old belly button site at times leaves a vertical scar on the lower abdomen where the old site is moved down lower. In terms of the length of the scar, some mini tummy tucks can end up with a scar from hip to hip if there is loose skin all the way out to the side, it is not the length of the scar that makes it a mini, it is how far up towards your ribs the tissue is lifted and tightenend. JG 12.26.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia: My 23-year old daughter had gastric by-pass surgery last November. This was her last resort after learning that she had polycystic ovarian syndrome and there was no other alternative. She weighed 376 pounds at the time. She now weighs 200 pounds, needs to lose about 30 more, and presently has approximately 30 lbs. of skin that needs to be removed. Her insurance carrier, which assured her that they would cover the skin removal surgery earlier has changed their policy and no longer will cover this surgery. Financially, the cost of the surgery is way our of her reach and even further beyond what I can afford, since I am on Social Security Disability. Do you know of any foundations, plastic surgeons or anyone else that could help her obtain this surgery? Maybe a teaching facility? Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so very much. Mary Denley. mdenley@bellsouth.net

Answer:

I am sorry but I do not know of anyone that does that work pro bono. All my best. JG 12.22.05

Question:

What is the best scar remedy for TT scar?

Answer:

ScarGurad or Mederma. JG 12.21.05

Question:

Dr, Garcia, I had a tummy tuck and removal of my apron i look better, however, i have a protrusion on fat or skin on the right side and flat on the other. I work out and do cardio, im in good shape. I would like to get lipo done if it will help the situation. It kinda looks like a roll on 1 side. what is the aveg. cost to do UAL? I do not think I will use the Surgeon I had the tummy tuck with. Ann

Answer:

I would need to have a consultation in person for me to determine the fee as it depends on the time involved. JG 12.16.05

Question:

Hi, I am 3wks post-op full tt and doing great except for a seroma. I have had drainage twice now, quite large amounts each time. Is there any way this could have been prevented, did I do anything wrong? At what stage does a surgeon take alternative action? Will the seroma formation affect the ultimate result of the tt? One last question...!when do you recommend starting driving after surgery, my surgeon ( in the UK) is saying 6 wks. Thank you so much for your time.J12/16/05

Answer:

Usually aspirations are what is done, repeat surgery with drain placement can be done but I would wait at least 6 weeks to decide. It is not uncommon for it to happen and does not mean you did anything wrong, it is from the lifting of the tissues form the muscles below. The seromas as long as they are aspirated should not affect the final results. We allow driving after 3-4 weeks, all depends on how the patient is doing. JG 12.16.05

Question:

dear dr.g. 3 questions 1.It is 7wks tt. I have a horizontal incision along w/a short vertical under bb. where the 2 incisions meet in the middle forming a T has been oozing. I went tothe Ps 3wks ago and he said to put peroxide on it. It is still oozing and the scab has fallen off and seems to keep trying to reform but doesn't. the area is white and seems to have string like coming from it. What to do? 2. do you suggest putting anything on the incisions both horiz/vertical to help in healing and scaring?i.e.,mederma? - 3. at what point should someone start ab/crunch exercises. thanks much, j.

Answer:

As to the oozing area I think you need to see the surgeon to see if any ointment or debridement needs to be done of the area. As to the normal healing areas I like Mederma and Scarguard both. I think you should not do any abdominal exercises until the wound has healed. JG 12.12.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia I had an abdominalplasty(FTT)7 months ago. The problem I'm having is swelling in the upper abdomin with tightness, and also the feeling of being pinched in the upper /lower abs. I was told the pinching feeling is my nerves trying to get back to normal, it really is uncomfortable. Are these symtoms normal. Also it feels like the pain/pinching runs up/down the incisional line were the muscles were sewn. WDW 4Dec2005

Answer:

Those symptoms are normal and should all go away in time. It most likely is from the stitches in the muscle to tighen them. JG 12.5.05

Question:

I would like to know the difference from a mini tummy tuck and the half tummy tuck I would liks to know the price from you for both sergeries

Answer:

never heard of half tummy tuck. Probably the same as a mini tummy tuck. JG 12.4.05

Question:

HELLO, I WOULD LIKE INFO ON RECOVERY TIME FROM A TUMMY TUCK AND LIPO TO THE HIPS,THIGHS AND BUTTOCKS? CAN YOU GIVE ME A COST ESTIMATE AND RECOVERY TIME. THANK YOU

Answer:

Recovery time is 2 weeks light activity and one month before full activity. As to the price, I think you need to consult with the doctor you choose as prices vary from surgeon to surgeon and an in person exam is good to have to estimate the amount of time required as that affects the price. JG 12.4.05

Question:

I'm considering having a tummy tuck or liposuction, and a breast lift and possible reduction. I'm 31 with 3 kids and about 144lbs but I have backaches b/c of my breasts and my stomach has a lot of flab that I can't seem to exercise off. What are your suggestions and when can I get a consultation and is it free? Karen,Las Vegas, Hurricane Katrina Victim

Answer:

My nurses can see you for a consultation free of charge and they can usually get you in pretty soon. Welcome to Las Vegas and hope to see you soon. JG 12.01.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, Breast lift with breast implants on 11-11-2005. I have healed great except since the first day I noticed a small swollen area right about my belly button shaped like a football. It is about two inches by three inches wide. I still have one drain in and it should be removed on tomorrow. My question is will this area get larger once the tube is removed? I will begin wearing binder after tomorrow, will this bring the swelling down? I am swollen all over but am most concerned with this area, because when pressure applied it is very uncomfortable.

Answer:

The binder will help and it probably will not get any bigger after the drain comes out tomorrow. It may have some fluid that they can aspirate out with a small needle. JG 11.30.05

Question:

I had tt October 14 of '05. I had drain tubes in for approximately a week. After a week of removal of the drain tubes, I had a collection of seroma that developed. I've had it aspirated four times with nearly every time of approximately 75 cc's. The PS put a drain tube back in for a week absent any antibiotics and then I developed a severe infection from the drain tube. The drain tube backed up creating the seroma to fill to about 100 cc's. The place on my abdomen where the seroma and tube was inserted has now become hard as if severe scar tissue has now set in. Seroma is still collecting only now becoming bigger as the days continue on. I am scheduled to be injected with a tetrocycline mixture to help break up the scar tissue. Does this method tend to correct the problem without having to be re-opened for the bursa sac to be closed? I was not overweight when I underwent the surgery. The tt was just the result of two c-sections. I am healthy and was expecting good results and a faster recovery. It seems now that I'm experiencing more problems and more out-of-pocket expenses. Any professional second opinions would be greatly appreciated. I also had a breast reduction, lift and implants at the same time with the tt. The breasts are great and have had no problems whatsoever. I am just trying to avoid additional surgery to correct the problem. I have total feeling back in my abdomen, which the doc says is highly unusual in such a short period of time.

Answer:

It sounds like you may need to be opened up if this does not work. JG 11.29.05

Question:

Hello Doc thank you for your time and your website. It is wonderful. I had a TT Nov. the 14th and I have read comments about massages but I do not know what you mean by that. Also I read about a week to stand straight after surgery and I still can not stand straight or feel comfortable sleeping in my bed. Thankyou for your help. Sherrie 11-27-05

Answer:

At times some doctors pull the skin very tight and that can make it harder to stand up straight, as to the massages you need to clear them with your doctor first but they are simple Swedish type massages to help the fluid absorb more quickly. JG 11.27.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck a year and a half ago... At about six months po I noticed a small lump at my belly button site. I was told by both my PS and a couple of other doctors that it was a small hernia.. and that I shouldn't worry about it. Two months ago... my swelling and hardness got bigger and extended about two inches above my belly button. I went in for hernia surgery but there was no hernia to repair. The doctor told me that other then some fascia seperating.. he didn't see anything wrong. Could this be that my tummy tuck failed? I did gain about 20 pounds in this past 1.5 years, could the weight gain cause this? I am miserable and no one seems to know what this is. CT scan was normal . My belly feels like I did when I was about 9 months pregnant and I constantly wear a girdle just so I can move without too much discomfort. I am at my wits end!! Do you have any suggestions? I am not even sure where to go at this point. Thanks in advance. Rachel

Answer:

The weight gain can cause the fascia too spread apart and look like a hernia. I think your best bet is to lose the weight and see if that helps relieve the pressure. JG 11.27.05

Question:

how can you tell if you hav developed a bursa ? I am 4 months post ftt and the abdominal area above my umbilicus is huge and has intermittent swelling

Answer:

hard to say from the outside, sometimes an ultrasound can see the sac. JG 11.27.05

Question:

Dr, Garcia, i was reading about the poor gal with the ugly upside down T scar from a FTT. Is this really a possibility??? I was told if the old bb hole isnt cut off(which would probably be my case) it is just a small, nice healing vertical incision. I am considering going to a full from a mini. This scar issue really freaks me out. I generally scar really well.

Answer:

It is possibly but should not happen and can be improved with scar revision. It all depends on how much tension is on the wound. JG 11.26.05

Question:

I had a full TT in april of this year. It was only supposed to me a mini but awoke to a full. I nval looks disformed. Doc keeps saying it will go it.. it is still the same after 8 months. I did not have enough skin to remove where old navel was so I have a upside down T scar and the line going up is really thick and nasty looking. Lip is uneven and very noticeable. You can see fat pockets under skin and nice and flat in center but sides are real bad. I keep getting it takes a year wait but I have not seen any after pic like mine. I am only 5'2 120lbs. I looked better before surg now I look disfigured. What should I do? I don't want him touching me again but I don't have to money to have it fixed.

Answer:

You may need to have the scar revised but I would wait the full year. JG 11.26.05

Question:

How likely is it that upper abs muscles would need repair when going from a MTT with MR to a fullTT? What are the benefits of doing upper MR? I am hoping for skin only FTT. Can the PS tell just by looking pre-op? I have had 4 pregnancies.

Answer:

if it was not required before it should not be required now. If the muscles of the upper abdomen are loose then the area will look tighter and flatter if they are repaired. If you lay down and then raise your chest up just a little and then feel the midline of the abdomen you can tell if the muscles are split. JG 11.23.05

Question:

Dear Dr Garcia, I am considering a tummy tuck in the near future. I am a male with a very hairy abdomen. Would this affect my surgery for better or worse in any way? Thanks

Answer:

No effect either way. JG 11.22.05

Question:

Dr Garcia, you say healing is a little longer to go from a mini TT to a full skin only TT. why is that? Is it the incision that takes longer or because of the uplifting the skin? My mini TT(2 yrs ago) was painfull with MR for about a full 5 days. I would think skin only would be a quicker recovery.

Answer:

Because the amount of tissue that is lifted is more extensive so more swelling. If the skin only is tightened and the muscle does not need to be tightened again the pain is not bad. JG 11.21.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, i am having a consult soon to go from a MTT to a full. I can grab over an inch of upper belly skin now, am wondering how low my old bb hole will be and does this scar heal well? Will it be really thin and small? Also, are there drains for skin only FTT and how many and for how long? I only had 1 with mini for 5 days. Do they usually do lipo under the belly skin when it is lifted, if necessary?

Answer:

whatever the excess skin is above the belly button, that is approximately how much the old belly button hole will move. Drains are in for about 5-10 days and healing is a little longer than before. Conservative liposuction may be done, but not always. JG 11.21.05

Question:

I have a question for the doctor. My friend thinks you can have a c-section and a tummy tuck at the same time!!! She actually says it's true because she saw it on tv! I disagree with her and was wondering if that is possible or not. Thank you

Answer:

It is possible but not typically recommended as there is a higher infection rate and harder to gauge how much skin to remove as it is so stretched out. I do not recommend it. JG 11.16.05

Question:

I hear about dog ears at the incision sites of tt what should i be looking for I am 4weeks po tksj

Answer:

it looks like a small area of tissue that is folded up ,looks like a lump or a folded dog's ear, but they tend to flatten in time so 4 weeks is too soon to worry. JG 11.15.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck on 10-31-05 in Houston, TX, I accidentally rolled over the drainage pump and removed the stitch that held the tube in place and it came out five days after the surgery. My doctor has had to use a needle to drain the fluid. He has done this twice. I am wearing a super tight belt/girdle but I still feel fluid. Do you think that I will be OK?

Answer:

I think he may need to needle you a few times but it should all be fine in the long run. JG 11.15.05

Question:

Dear Dr. G., I have a couple of questions. I am wondering if I would be a candidate for a TT mini or full. I have several factors to consider. Dues to an electral shock in childhood I have a vertical scar from sternum to belly button also I am on an ace inhibitor. I would like to have a full as I have had 2 large children and my skin and muscles never bounced back. I would like to say that I need to loose weight 5'3 and 150#, but every time I do I come back right to this weight. I have been a single home bound for quite some time with caring for a grandmother with alzheimers full time and raising daughter with disabilities, but I do work out about an hour a day. Daughter just moved into adult assisted living apartments and grandmother is to a point a home is seriously being considered. I think it is time to find out if I may reinvent myself, then I will find out if I can afford it :). Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. V.M 11/10/05

Answer:

ACE inhibitor is not a problem, nor the upper abdominal scar. A full tummy tuck is needed whan there is loose skin above the belly button. I invite you to come in and see one of our patient consultants and they can give you some options. JG 11.11.05

Question:

When going from a MTT w/ MR to a FTT, is it always necessary to do MR in upper abs? i have no bulge of fat there, actually good muscle definition, just loose skin. Had 4 children. Is it something the PS determines ahead of time at consult or during surgery when he gets in there? I know the pain of MR from TT is what is so painful,had lowers done w/MTT. I am considering a b/l with implants at same time(2nd redo). what would pain be like if staying below muscle, going with smaller implant with lift and TT with and without mr and possible lipo of fronts of thighs(just had outers hips/flanks/bananaroll 2 months ago.) Have consult on Dec8 but any ball park price you could give me? I live in Indianapolis. Sorry so many questions.

Answer:

no, it is not always needed. It is usually determined at the time of surgery if seen and felt. If you are leaving the implants in the same location that pain should not be too bad.I could quote you fees but that varies greatly form doctor to doctor. I suggest you get a fee quote from the doctor you are considering perform the procedure. I can only quote fees for people that are going to have me do their surgery. If you desire that fee quote, contact us via email at drgarcia@lvcosmeticsurgery.com rather than the message board. Thank you. JG 11.09.05

Question:

I have asked about this before, the reverse abdominoplasty. I was told by one PS that the incision would run under breasts across bottem of sternum. Someone on the tummy tuck site said her PS said it could be done with 2 incisions, one under each breast. I am considering yet another breast redo and possible lift and if incisions to lift upper belly can be done just under each breat with a decent result( i can only grab less than an inch) i would have it done at the same time. Hubby wont allow me to have scar running across my chest. I had a MTT few yrs ago, dont like upper belly skin, belly button droops and could stand to be more open Thank you.

Answer:

I think since the desire for the most tightening is in the center, if there is no incision there, it will limit your ability to achieve the desired look. You may be better off converting into a full tummy tuck. JG 11.08.05

Question:

Hello Dr.G. I just had a midfacelift and full tt/mr w/lipo of hips, flanks thank God I am feeling well, standing straight no drains. I was wondering how long before i am able to exercise. I've been walking more each day pacing myself but wonder when should i start working on my abs. I realize itwill probably be awhile but will the muscles start to weaken again? also when will I be able to sun, swim and although I haven't seen this asked yet, resume sex w/husband. tks

Answer:

I would say four weeks. The muscles will weaken in that time but they will come back with exercise when you can do it again. Sun and swim after 4-6 weeks, same for intercourse with that much being done. JG 11.07.05

Question:

If i go from a MTT to a full, and dont have enough extra skin to cut off old belly button, approximately where would it be and do they sew it up nice and thin where it heals almost invisibly? I scar very well, flat and fades to white pretty quickly. Thant you! Also, how do they fashion the new bb and how long for that to heal?

Answer:

It will be between the belly button and the incision, the more loose skin you have above the belly button to begin with, the lower on your abdomen closer to the lower incision it will be. It heals well but will be visible if some looks carefully. The new belly button shape is up to you and the surgeon and it takes a few weeks to heal. JG 11.07.05

Question:

Would Titan help slightly loose skin above belly button as far as tightening it after 3 sessions a month apart? I had a MTT 2 yrs ago, upper belly skin is not as tight as i would like. Also, can one go from a MTT to a FTT keeping the scar really low like i have or would not a whole lot of skin mean incision needs to be higher. I am aware of the hip to hip with a full. What happens to old belley button hole if it doesnt get cut of because of not enough skin, do the sew if up and you have a scar where it was? if so, does it fade well?

Answer:

I seriously doubt it. The conversion from mini to full tummy tuck can be done leaving the incision in the same location but you may end up having a vertcal incision where the belly button hole got moved down. That scar will fade as well in time. JG 11.04.05

Question:

I wrote the following and you'll find your reply as well. I do have one question about this? If he did that and it helped would I have to continue that for relief or would time heal either situation and that would just be a temporary? Also, I am wanting to have lipo on my inner and outer thigh area and feel that I would have loose flabby sink especially on the inner thigh where the skin is so thin. Would you recommend a minor tuck in the inner thigh area and if so where would you do it. At the crease in the groin area or mid inner thigh area? I had a full tummy tuck 8 weeks ago and I have a stabbing/burning pain on my lower left scar area that feels like something is stabbing me. I do not have a low tolerance to pain and don't image things. I feel great other than unless I am wearing tight slacks I hurt. I can place my hand on that area and hold it in for relief or simply sit and it helps considerably. Could there be a problem that won't heal itself in time. I am being told to let mother nature takes its course but is hard to believe it will get better being that it is so isolated to that one spot and really burns. lying flat I feel great. standing for any length of time hurts. The wrap does help. Answer: It could be some scar tissue that needs to soften, most likely, or a small nerve caught in scar tissue. You can have your surgeon inject a little local anesthesia into the area to see if that helps. JG 10.28.05

Answer:

If the shot helps then it could potentially but cut out or the nerve being buried in tissue to alleviate the pain. Repeated shots of local anesthetic are not the way to go. As to the loose skin after lipo, it is possible. Usually the inner thigh tuck is done with a grin crease incision but it depends on how the skin sags, at times we place it vertically. JG 11.03.05

Question:

In 2002 I had a FTT with M/R. My PS at the time stated that she left a little roundness in my lower abdomen so that it may look natural. I have since moved to another state. In 2004 I had lipo done to that same area together with my upper abs because I was not pleased with the little bulge. It seemed to have been flat right after the lipo, but now the bulge is back and I'm even more dissatisfied. I recently visited my PS who did the lipo and he states that although it doesn't look bad and only if I wanted to, he would suggest doing a MTT because the bulge is not from fat, it is from loose skin. Do you think that I will have better results coming from a FTT to a MTT? Also, I do want to note that my abs still seem to swell by afternoon and down more in the am but not much. I did mention this to my PS as well. Thanks MJ

Answer:

A times after a full tummy tuck, a revision is needed and that usually is just a mini tummy tuck type of thing. JG 11.01.05

Question:

Thanks for your earlier answer regardimg tummy tucks. Does a mini tuck also pull laterally AND downward, or just downward?

Answer:

a little laterally but mostly downward. JG 10.31.05

Question:

I have vertical stretch marks on either side of my belly. When I pull the skin along the vertical axis, the stretch marks become thinner but much deeper, which makes them look worse. On the other hand, when I pull the skin horzontally, perpendicular to the direction of the strtech marks, they look a lot better. Given this information, do you think that my stretch marks would look better or worse after a traditional tummy tuck? Thanks

Answer:

well, a tummy tuck pulls both laterally and downward so it is hard to say, most likely they will look about the same. JG 10.31.05

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia, I had a tummy tuck, with correction of a diastasis and liposuction 4 years ago. Just under the xiphoid I have a knot of scar tissue and the placement of my belly button is just off to the left. The scar is just above my pubic region and when I sit I have jowels that hang over ht escar area. Is there anything that can correct this. It looks fine as long as I lay on my back or stand but if I move it looks wierd.

Answer:

I am afraid the only thing to correct it is more surgery. JG 10.28.05

Question:

I had a full tummy tuck 8 weeks ago and I have a stabbing/burning pain on my lower left scar area that feels like something is stabbing me. I do not have a low tolerance to pain and don't image things. I feel great other than unless I am wearing tight slacks I hurt. I can place my hand on that area and hold it in for relief or simply sit and it helps considerably. Could there be a problem that won't heal itself in time. I am being told to let mother nature takes its course but is hard to believe it will get better being that it is so isolated to that one spot and really burns. lying flat I feel great. standing for any length of time hurts. The wrap does help.

Answer:

It could be some scar tissue that needs to soften, most likely, or a small nerve caught in scar tissue. You can have your surgeon inject a little local anesthesia into the area to see if that helps. JG 10.28.05

Question:

Could the incision of a tummy tuck be placed in such a way so that it is masked by the hair in the pubic region?

Answer:

It would be very difficult as it would man that a very small amount of skin was taken and that is very rare. JG 10.23.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a total body lift, abdominoplasty, and my underarms cut and lifted plus liposuction. During the surgery a total of 18 lbs of tissue/fat was removed. I didn't eat anything while I was in the hospital because I felt so bad. When I got home I weighed my self and I am 2 pounds HEAVIER than the day before I had surgery. I have a lot of edema around my ankles, legs, flank, abdominal area but it's been 2 weeks and I'm still caring around all this fluid and my heart rate is 100 at rest when normally it is about 64. Im really not getting any healp from the Dr that originally did this prodedure, he just tells me to wait, but it seems like this weight/fluid that is accumulating is never going away. Alot of bruising is present and hard lumps.

Answer:

You should be wearing some garments to manage the swelling and also we recommend massages to help with the swelling. If you had that all at one time that is fairly extreme and will take a long time to get better I am afraid. JG 10.21.05

Question:

I have a full TT in October, 2004. I healed great anf the results are wonderful. But I do have one problem. After my surgery I did go back for dog ear revision and also the shape of my belly button was a little odd. The result of the dog ears are fine, but where my Dr. tried to fix my belly button, he was hopeing that the cuts would roll down into my bell button crater. Well a year later and this didn't happen as a matter of fact my belly button now looks almost flat, very little of a crater shape. My skin is very very tight to my stomach muscles. I went to him to see about getting a Umbilicoplasty to reshape it. He said that because my skin is so tight, This can't be done. He is thinking about trying to make a small cut at the bottom and try to pull the top inward and sew to shut, to make is more of a crater, but he said that the previous scars will not roll inward, becasue of my tight skin. I suggested to him to inject fat around my belly button to loosen the skin up so it can roll inward. Do you aggree that I could not have a Umbilicoplasty because of my tight skin? Have you ever heard of injection fat in that area? I need to get some direction what to do. Thanks

Answer:

I agree with the surgeon because of the tight skin. I don't think fat injections will work but you can talk to him about placing a tissue expander that will stretch the skin over a few months. JG 10.19.05

Question:

Hello. I had lipo while having a full tummy tuck and breast lift. This was done about two months ago. My left lower side of my stomach is bigger and sticking out more than my flat right side. The plastic surgeon said he could go back in and do lipo again on the left side. He did not say when this could be done. My question is, do you think I will have to pay again and will the healing time be so long again?

Answer:

The healing time wil be less, but I cannot tell you if he is going to make you pay again, you will need to ask him. JG 10.18.05

Question:

Dr Garcia, you explained to me the reverse abdominoplasty but that i could actually go from a MTT to a full and get a better result, more lasting. could you please explain to me more about the small vertical scar i would have from this? I have very little skin left and am skeptical of going to a full safely, without putting too much pressure on the new incision. Where would this vertical scar be located, why, and how big? Thanks.

Answer:

A full tummy tuck is possible after the mini but it might leave you with a small vertical incision between the lower scar and the belly button, it is the old belly button hole that has moved. The scar certainly will be easier to hide. JG 10.18.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia: I had a full tummy tuck and lipo on 9/7/2005. My tummy tuck incision has not closed up still. I have a two-inch hole in the middle of the incision and it oozes out brown fluids. I had dissolvable stitches. Is this normal and when should this close up? I want to swim laps, but my plastic surgeon won't let me until it closes completely, which seems it won't! I am putting on silver sulfadiazine cream in the morning and ziox ointment in the evening. Nothing is working. Should I get a second opinion? thanks

Answer:

It is not normal but can happen,. It may takes a few months to close. You should not swim in a pool until it is closed. You may need to get the wound surgically cleaned out too, best to go back to the original surgeon I feel. JG 10.18.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia mi nonmbre amanda Lee en diciembre del 2005 me realize un tummy tuck completo y liposuccion de la cintura,mi peso 140 lbs y mido 5'7 el problema es que me la realize en mexico y el cirujano que me atendio se cambio de ciudad y no lo encuentro despues de 4 meses de endermologie y mucho dolor el resultado sigue siendo el mismo no baje ni medidas ni se quito la bolsa debajo de mi abdomen,en su lugar solo aparece una horrible cicatriz,me gustaria consultarlo y saber si se pueden repetir los 2 procedimientos de nuevo o solo la liposuccion?hay alguna tecnica de anestesia local? espero su respuesta gracias mil.

Answer:

puede llamar al (702)87-0058 y ellos le pueden dar una cita. No creo que seria posible con anestesia local. JG 10.17.05

Question:

ive just had a tummy tuck and have been advised by friends to use bromelin to reduce the swelling... could u advise me correctly on this matter

Answer:

I feel it is a good idea. JG 10.17.05

Question:

Hi, I'm considering a tummy tuck in the future and was wondering whether a cut from hip to hip will also tighten the skin on the sides of my torso as well as on my stomach. Thanks

Answer:

It will only tighten the skin on the front of your abdomen. JG 10.16.05

Question:

Hi, it's me again. The TT that ended up high. Thanks so much for all of your answers. I guess I still don't understand why out of hundreds of TT's this surgeon does he chose to put a high incision on me to avoid healing problems, (if that is the only reason why an incision is placed high) His cosmetic consultant says to me, All of his other TT's have low incisions so why would he place yours high? (She believes his contracting and migrating up theory) I wouldn't expect anything different. It's her job to back him up. Anyway........what makes the blood supply better and wound healing better when the incision is higher? Why don't low C-section incisions have wound healing problems? I just don't get it. I want so badly to understand this all. Wouldn't a doctor realize that when the incision is placed so high it leaves an unnatural indentation and causes a bulge above the incision and a more unfavorable position than if it was a lower abdominal incision.......not too mention the scar being visible. If he felt that the incision had to be place higher wouldn't he just come out and say......you might not be a good candidate for this surgery because your incision will be highly visible?? I think I may try lipo to smooth things out but I don't know how much loose skin will remain to lower the incision. I am only 110lbs and there is just not that much fat there (except on the sides and going towards my back )but the incision is indented in so much that it is noticeably odd in a one piece bathing suit or any form fitting clothes. As much as I've tried to give this surgeon another chance at making things better I just can't seem to trust him again. Do you think I should ask him for a refund to have another surgeon do the revisions or should I give him a chance to make things better? I'm afraid if I ask him for a refund it will just make him mad and he will decide not to refund my money and also not to do the revisions. I guess I should look at it like the damage is done. I can't change the placement of the incision much now. Would there be that much of a diffence in skill and technique when it comes down to lipo and fixing dog ears or is that pretty cut and dry???? I'm sorry that I ramble on so much. Thank you for your opinions. I wish that I could consult with you ......your credentials seem extraordinary and you seem like a real honest straight shooter telling things like they are. Thanks.

Answer:

Well, he may do it all the time, or he possibly just made the marking on you wrong before the surgery started. I would have assumed that his nurse would agree with his statements too. The blood vessels that heal the edges of the wound come from blood vessels that start near the rib cage, the longer the distance from the rib cage to the edge of skin the potentially the less the blood supply. I agree with your comments and asking him to help you with the fees form another surgeon I am afraid will fall on deaf ears. I probably would not have him do the revisions anyway. I think the additional surgery is pretty straightforward. JG 10.15.05

Question:

Hello, After my 4th pregnancy,my stomach muscles seem to pouch out ALOT.(never did before) Crunches make my stomach look worse.I look pregnant afterwards. Its right in the middle,from right above my belly button, all the way down. Is it possible just to get my muscles tightened,without having a mini TT? I can get the fat off myself.(Ive done it before) Thank you! D.T. 8-14-05

Answer:

it is but there will stil be scars on the lower abdomen and a small one in your belly button to achieve this. JG 10.14.05

Question:

Dr.Garcia,can you tell me about reverse abdominoplasty? I had a MTT a few years ago, have since never liked my upper ab skin, a little loose. My PS suggested pulling skin up with incision going across chest, under breast creases(have implants, crease incision but it is not actually in crease, about1/2 inch above) He says he would use internat stitches, leaving a very thin scar going across chest between breasts. I scar very well, fades quickly. I am thinking about getting my implats replaced someday with smaller silicon, They are 550 saline unders now. could these 2 surgeries be easily combined? PS says iit would be skin only reverse TT, no relocating of belly button. Scar running across chest concerns me. Please let me know your opinion on this. Or, is it possible to go from a mini TT to a full? Relocating belly button makes me nervous, have heard of messed up bb s.

Answer:

the surgeries can be combined and I do perform them but the scar over the bottom of the sternum is not a thin scar and will need to be hidden or covered with make up.A full TT can be done after a mini tummy tuck but it could leave you with a small vertical scar where the old belly button hole is moved downwards. JG 10.14.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I am 51 (almost 52) years old and am having a full tummy tuck and lipo on my hips and upper thighs on November 1st (after 5 pregnancies, a hysterectomy, and gall bladder removal). I am also a 35 year (one pack a day) smoker. I have been told to stop smoking and quite frankly, am having a hard time with it, but realize I must do it. I am working on it. Will it help to at least cut back on the cigarettes (say to 4 or 5 a day) instead of the usual 20 a day? I am scheduled for an EKG , Blood Test (complete profile and CBC), as well as a physical with a doctor next week. Am I too old for this procedure? I stand 5'3 and weigh about 120 pounds and my BMI is good, except for the lower stomach, which is flabby and extends out. I am looking forward to the results, but am a little nervous, too. I imagine this is normal. Thank You so much and I look forward to a reply. I've been searching the internet and am so happy to find this site. dj

Answer:

Any decrease will help you heal better from the tummy tuck, especialy the lower middle of the scar. I do nto think you are too old for the surgery if you are otherwise healthy. I wish you the best. JG 10.13.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a TT 1 year ago and ended up with a very high scar. I consulted with 2 doctors initially. One said I may need a vertical incision in order to keep the horizontal low and the other said that he's never had to do the vertical incision and that he would try to keep it low so that I could wear low rise pants. I went with the one that said he'd keep it low enough for low rise pants. I am far from wearing those. When I asked him why it was so high and indented in he said my tissues were contracting and that the scar had migrated upwards. He said he's never seen this happen but that is the way I healed. He told me to massage it and stretch and it should come down. He told me he cut me low and drew a low line just above the pubic area (like the incision that is shown on brochures), on a picture I brought in to his office a month after surgery. I told him it was high from the day I came home from surgery but he insists he cut me low and it migrated up. He wants to revise it for me and bring the sides in the front more in line with the bottom section which is lower and acceptable but still a good inch -1 1/2 inch above the pubic area. I don't know why the incision is up so high in the front straight down from my oblique's lie a birds wingspan instead of a smiley face incision. It is frustrating when you can't get what I believe to be an honest answer. Anyway he wants me to be happy and wants to redo the whole incision, (except the very center part where the belly button was moved down. He said in his opinion that section is fine and that he'd like to use that as an anchor so that is doesn't migrate up more) cutting out the scar tissue and moving it downwards more in line with the center. I can live with the height of the middle section but it is by far the widest part of the scar and is indented in which gives it that butt cheek look if you know what I mean. I've got to believe that if he leaves that section I am still not going to have a smooth appearance. What is your take on all this?????? I am struggling with making a decision on where to go from here. I did get a second opinion from another surgeon who thought she could move the lower portion down an inch but wasn't sure how much she could lower the sides. She also suggested maybe lipo suction above and below the incision and on the flank area to smooth things out if I could live with the height of the scar and just wanted the overhang on the sides and bulginess above the incision taken care of. I realize it's hard for you to comment on something you haven't seen but any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks!

Answer:

the end result of where the scar is due to surgical planning and is due to where he made the incision, not due to unequal skin contraction. I agree with your assesment of the incision too. Lipo will thin the tissues out too. I think it wil be very hard to move the scar down until you have a lot of excess skin that can be moved. Sorry. JG 10.13.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had an abdominoplasty almost 7 weeks ago and two days ago I discovered a lump a size of a pea near my navel. I have been trying to research the possibility of what it might be and I think it might be an umbilical necrosis. It is somewhat hard and pointy and it also brings sharp pain in that area which sometimes is also felt in my abdomin. Do I really need to worry or does it go away on its own. I appreciate your time. L

Answer:

most likely it is the end of the suture they used to tightent the muscles and in time should be less of a problem. JG 10.12.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am 5'8 and weigh 120. I am slim, but after 2 big babies my tummy bulges, mostly below the belly button. My OB told me that the pregnancies streched my abdominal muscles considerably. My PS is suggesting a mini Tummy Tuck since there is not much loose skin above the belly button. My question is will the PS be able to tighten the lower abdominal muscles or will only loose skin and muscle fascia be improved during a mini TT. Thank you CG 10/7/05

Answer:

The muscles can be tightened in the mini tummy tuck, yes. JG 10.7.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: Thanks again for all your wisdom. YOu helped me tremendously. I am the person who had a mini tt, then a fat extraction, then finally removal of scar tissue. Later there was scar tissue and with your suggestion, I had kenalog shots which softeneded the scar tisuue and gave me the look I was finally looking for. New question, I am a 37year old, african american, nonsmoker, no drinking, no drugs,very healthy, however the area looks like old skin. It's flat but it's not a pretty stomach. Prior to any surgeries it was fat but youthful. My body is very youthful. Why is this so, and can anything be done about it? Finally, before the wonderful kenalog shots I had a small bubble right above the pubic area above the incision, that would remind me of a fluid buildup. My plastic surgeon said it wasn't fluid. WHen I wear a tight garment, it shrinks and had done so, but I noticed during my menustration cycle, it rose again, and after it flattened back out. Does that sound strange? Do you know what that is? After the first mini tuck, and fat extraction, I had a big seroma, after about three aspiration, it dissipated. Thanks Rachel

Answer:

could be intrabadominal swelling from the uterus. I am sorry but there is not much to offer to improve the quality of abdominal skin I am afraid. JG 10.4.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia - It has been three weeks since my mini tummy tuck and lipo of the thighs. I was ok'd to begin my treadmill, walking only, today. I wanted to know if there is some kind of exercise/stretch/kegals?/tightening with breathing - that I can begin to help strengthen and/or help the healing process along on my abs. Or should I not do anything and avoid the ab area all together? Thank you for your advice.

Answer:

I would hold off for another 1-3 weeks or so, then crunches would be good. JG 10.3.05

Question:

What is the difference between a mini-abdominoplasty and an abdominoplasty? Will a mini make you flat as a board without liposuction? I don't have any loose skin but weak stomach muscles and a basketball buldge below the bellybutton that grows when I eat a good meal. I am 5'4 /145 lb and in fairly good shape, work out 5 days a week, with good skin tone. Thanks KAA 9-29-05

Answer:

a mini abdominoplasy involves moving the belly button whereas a mini is really the lower half only of the full tummy tuck. What the mini will do varies from patient to patient. If you have only loose muscle below the belly button then a mini may be all you need. JG 9.30.05

Question:

Hello I had lipo done on June 3, 2005 and a full tummy tuck on Aug. 3 ( I had healed wonderfully) My problem is that my stitches and two drain tubes were removed after three weeks.Two days later I developed a fever. I had to return to surgery have 350 cc of fluid removed and a tube reinserted. I wore it for two or three weeks and then it was removed. Yesterday I had to go back to the doctor and he removed 5 tubes of fluid from a pocket above my bellybutton. He put me in a band to restrict the fluid in that area. I just removed the band to shower and the pocket appears to have returned.. What am I doing to cause this and do you know of any procedure that might stop the fluid from returning. I teach school and I can not afford to miss this much work. Thank you in advance for your help. I love my doctor I just want to arm myself with as much info as possible. TB 9/27/05

Answer:

well the drain may need to be placed again, he may need to use some fibrin glue made from your own body to help the problem, or inject some sclerosing agents like doxycycline to get the space to collapse. JG 9.28.05

Question:

I want to get a tummy tuck and I would like to know can I get one without losing weight. I am 5'5 and I weigh 204lbs. I like my shape but I dont like the way the weight is centered around my stomach area is it possible to get a tt at this size? If I had to lose weight what would be my target goal.

Answer:

I think the probelm lies where the weight is. If you have a large amount of fat inside your abdomen, around your organs, below the muscle, then a tummy tuck will not look good. That would prevent us from tightening the muscle and your improvement would be limited. I think the best thing is to get to a weight that you think you can maintain long term and then be examined so someone can tell you what the limitations will be in your case. Best of luck. JG 9.26.05

Question:

I would like to know how much you charge for a tummy tuck? and if there are any other charges that I need to know about such as body garment, medication and hospital stay? Due to my credit, I would also want to know if you have any type of payment plane such as prepaid surgery or if you guys can work something out as a payment plane? Please feel free to contact me by phone or email. Thank You Monica

Answer:

I think the best way is to see one of my patient consultants in the office at no charge as they can give you the finance company info we use, they can give you a quote, and also determine whether you need a full or a mini tummy tuck. If it is a full tuck, we include one night stay in the hospital in the fee. They both include all of the garments,lab work, anesthesia, actually everything, except your medications and your massages. JG 9.25.05

Question:

My daughter had implants through her belly button today! I noticed that after she threw up, her stitches tore out of her belly button and I see a little blood and creasing. I also notice in the very center a little yellow tissue. I called the Dr and he said No big deal and not to worry but I am afraid for her to take her first shower if the stitches have fallen out and couldn't she get an infection? Please inform sg

Answer:

I would wait until you see the doctor before showering. In the mean time, just sponge bathe. JG 9.24.05

Question:

Th;ankyou for your answer, and in response to regarding the possible popped suture, or swelling that I may have accidently done to my 1,1/2 month mini-tt., can you tell me if I would need to have it opened & re-sutured from the inside?, and as for the swelling, will it subside on its own if I wear my garments tight?, or will this need to be drained? or, will they both heal themselves over time, provided ofcourse that I am extra carefull not to re-injure the lower part of my abdomen. Lastly, will my stomach be Flat agian like it was? Thanks agian for your answer.:)

Answer:

No, it will just heal on its own. The swelling will go down in time also. No need to wear garments or have it drained. I think in time the flatness will return. JG 9.23.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had a mini-tummy tuck & Lipo to the sides of my abdomen, about 1 1/2 Months ago, yesturday at work I had to help lift 75lbs. of boxes for about 10 mints. later at home I noticed a little tingly pain in the area of the insert to the Lipo, upon checking It looked like my stomach had gotten puffy towards the bottom. Do you think something has come undone?, How much can make the inner stiches in my mid-Abs. come apart? should I contact my Dr. DO you think I may have ripped or torn out the inner stiches? Thanks in Advance for you answer.

Answer:

A suture may have poped or you may just have some swelling. I think the best thing is to see your surgeon and have them check you out. JG 9.22.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia You recently helped me a great deal. I had a lot of scar tissue after a mini tt. After your wonderful suggestion, I received a series of kenalog shots and finally my stomach flattened. Upon reading your website, I heard a patient stating that she had kenalog shots for scar tissue associated with a fat graft overfill. Anyway she stated that after she stopped receiving the kenalog shots, 1/2 of the scar tissue returned. My stomach looks fantastic, will it remain that way? Is her scar tissue return exclusive, or will it possibly happen to me? Finally you suggested that she try 5-fu, what's that? Thanks, Rachel

Answer:

I think your case is totally different and your improvements should remain. 5F-U is a medicine that affects tissue by reducing their reproduction and has been shown to minimize scarring with no chances of atrophy like kenalog has. JG 9.22.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I am 38 and have always had extremely asymmetrical breasts, on the right almost nothing and on the left a B, which is also very loose and droopy and much lower than the right. Does it seem sensible to do implants on both sides under the muscle as well as a lift on the left? The doctor I saw here in Germany recommended this. Also I am very into sports (rowing, swimming, yoga) and wonder if the implants are likely to impair my upper body movement. Thank you so much for your advice - I have really appreciate reading your opinion on so many different cases on this site!

Answer:

I think that is a good idea. The implants should not affect your ability to do sports in the future. Good luck! JG 9.21.05

Question:

DR. GARCIA tengo una bebe de un año y dos meses mi estomago quedo con muchas estrias y con un bajo vientre, ademas tengo los senos muy caidos, que cirugia me reconmendaria primero usted, una abdominoplastia o un levantamiento de senos? tomando en cuenta que dentro de 5 años tendre otro bebe. atte: marlenymadera@hotmail.com

Answer:

recominedo las dos cirujias que mencionas. Si vas a tener otro bebe, yo le diria que esperes. JG 9.21.05

Question:

How does age play into the picture of a full tummy tuck?? I realize the aging process continues and after much research I feel the much of what is done is plastic surgery is very temporal. What are your feelings regarding the benifits to risk ration.

Answer:

All depends on your health and expectations. All plastic surgery is temporary. JG 9.20.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia: You are a wonderful physician and thank you again for sharing your knowledge. A few months ago, I explained that I had a mini tt, with three revisions and was left with scar tissue. You suggested Kenalog shots. I'm happy to report, that thanks to you I told my doctor and he gave me three series of shots. They are now soft and have began to flatten. In addition, there was a small area right below the scar tissue that seem to gather fluid, that has since dissipated. Anyway, it now seems that after one year I have the results I was looking for. God Bless you and thank you very much. Rachel

Answer:

I am glad it all worked out, stay well. JG 9.14.05

Question:

I am considering having an extended abdominoplasty and was wondering what the the usual price range is for this type of procedure. Thanks, CMF 9/14/05

Answer:

The base price is $8150 but in extended tummy tucks it can run a little more depending on how much time it will take beyond the normal. I would need to see you in person to tell the difference. JG 9.14.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I am currently pregnant with my second and last child. I have a scheduled c-section is there any way to have a full tummy tuck while having the c-section? It seems like it would be eaiser to heal from 1 surgery than two. ssm

Answer:

I think the chances of infections after a C-section and tummy tuck together are too high and I do not suggest it. You will need all your strength after the baby and a tummy tuck will lay you up quite a bit. JG 9.13.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thankyou in advance for yur website & assistance! a month ago I had a mini-tummy tuck & Lipol on my inner, outer thighs, low abs, sides & flanks. I sure there is some nerve damage & possible rib brusing on my left side, the pain is very bad, It hurts when I breath, & I notice a few sml. lumps in different areas on my legs. Can you please tell me how long or when will I be completely healed from the nerve damage?, & lumps, and what can I do to help the healing. My lower tummy is a little puffy & not as flat as the rest. Also I'm dying to get back to the gym &lift weights, How long should I wait to lift agian. Thankyou for your Answer

Answer:

I would wait at least one month before getting back to weights in the gym. As to the discomfort, it may take up to 6 months to go away, I would continue massaging the area in the meantime. JG 9.12.05

Question:

dear dr.G: you mentioned in a previous post that you do not see results of tt until 4-6months or longer. What results are you referring to?Is that because of swelling - will we not see a flatter stomach during that time? What about if you have lipo along with it? Thankyou

Answer:

the final results, you will see improvement after a few weeks, but the final result will take months for the swelling to go down and the scars to fade. Your stomach should be flatter in a few weeks. JG 9.7.05

Question:

OOPS! that's my question below. I neglected to say that I am a woman, and have had two children, so my stomach is lax. I have considered a tummy tuck. However, that won't take care of the fat on my back--it's really bat from under my arms down past my waist.

Answer:

A tummy tuck may be required if the skin is loose and the muscles are loose also. JG 9.5.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I had a TT two and half weeks ago and I still can not walk completely upright. My incision appears to be very close to my waist. In other words, I haven't been able to wear a bikini for the last 19 years and it doesn't appear that I will be able to wear a two piece ever. My abdomen feels really tight and from reading the message board provided on your website, I am assuming that my skin will stretch and will that help the incision in going a little south?

Answer:

I think the chances of the incision going south are as good as it going north. The surgeon is who determines where to place the incision. At times the incison is placed up higher to try to eliminate the old umbilical or belly button opening but then the incision can be seen in a bathing suit. The tightness will get better, the scar I am afraid, will end up being visible it sounds like. JG 9.4.05

Question:

Dear Dr.G. I'm contemplating a tt.I'm wondering if you be able to give me a post-op agenda-recoup of a fulltt/mr. what week 1,2, would be like 3,4 etc. what to expect? I know everyone is different but just in general.when are you able to walk, straighten up, drainage comes out when? how many drains? how long does swelling last and if you swellis it that noticeable in clothes? I appreciate this, thank you

Answer:

Should be standing straight in about one week, you need to do no lifting for two weeks and then slowly increase activity so you should be 100% after 4-6 weeks. Drains will be in from 5-10 days usually. The swelling is usually not visible in clothing but your final result will not be seen for 4-6 months or more. JG 9.3.05

Question:

Hi. Can a the following procedures be done in altogether at one time: tummy tuch, thigh lift, arm-chin-back lipsuction? If not, what is the time gap and which procedures may be paired/done first? Thank you.

Answer:

I think the tummy tuck and some liposuction followed three months later by the thigh lift would be a good way to go. JG 8.29.05

Question:

Dear Doctor Garcia I had a full tummy tuck 3 weeks ago, and have had a rough time due to extremely tight skin and muscles. It feels as if my breathing is constricted and I have abdominal pain. To my shock I discovered that the plastic surgeon is currently being sued by more than 71 patients in South Africa. What are symptoms to worry about? I am really concerned. Thank you for your advice E.W.

Answer:

The symptoms you relate are most likely to over aggressive tightening of the muscles and will loosen in time. In the absolute worse case scenario you would need to have the sutures placed into the muscles to tighten them removed, but I doubt you will need that done. JG 8.27.05

Question:

hi i am 21 years old and i had my son when i was 16. before pregnancy i weighed 135 and now even though he is 4 years old i now weigh 200 i would like a tummy tuck but do you think i should loose the weight first cause i want to go down to 150???

Answer:

Always lose the wieght you can before the tummy tuck as it will give you a better result and if you lose the weight afterwards the skin will not be as tight as you want. JG 8.25.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, Thank You so much for making me look ten years younger.I have no more double chin and I am loving it.I have a stubborn,flabby stomach. Exercise isn't helping.I lost weight and am toned. I actually have a six pack when I hold my stomach in. (smile) So I know it's waiting to appear from under all this extra fat.The question is,Can lypo only solve this problem?I heard people talk about moving the navel and all, I do not want anything to extensive.Thank You Glynis

Answer:

Sounds like Lipo would be the way to go. I am glad things have gone as expected for you with the facial surgery. What they have been talking about is part of a tummy tuck that in some individuals may be needed, but that is something we can discuss when I examine your tummy, see you soon! JG 8.25.05

Question:

Dr Garcia Is it possible to get a tt by just eliminating the excess skin?I have good muscle control, just alot of loose skin.

Answer:

yes, that is what we like to do, we can always tighten muscle and remove fat but the less invasive of a procedure we do, the faster one heals. JG 8.25.05

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I had a full abdominoplasty done 2 months ago my incision appears completly healed. Can I resume salon tanning again or should I wait? Are there any precautionary measures I need to take ie. covering up the scar? Thanks ymv

Answer:

I always suggest sunscreen on the incision for 6 months to help speed the color fading. JG 8.24.05

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, Love your website! My surgeon advised me to use silicone sheets to reduce the appearance of an abdominoplasty scar how well will they work in reducing the scar left behind? Neosporin sells silicone sheets for scars and they cost $25.00 for a 14 day supply is it worth purchasing? ymv 8-24-05

Answer:

Thank you for the kind words. In my experience, the silicone sheeting does a little , but not much, and it only works when direct pressure is applied. I think the neosporin product is a waste of money. JG 8.24.05

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia,I had a full tummy tuck done 2 months ago, I recently began moderate exercisng at the gym including sit up's my abdominal muscles now feel sore and i feel some mod pain and swelling to my lower abd. Have I sheared some muscles? Also, since the surgery my pubic area appears swollen and kind of buldes out. Is that normal will it improve in time? Thanks, YMV 08-24-05

Answer:

No, it is just some of the scar tissue from the surgery getting stretched, should not be a problem. The pubic swelling is common and will take a few more months to resolve. JG 8.24.05

Question:

DR. GARCIA, THANKS FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTION. DOES THE PLACEMENT OF THE IMPLANT EITHER SUBMUSCULAR OR ANY, REALLY MAKE A BIG DIFFRENCE IN THE APPEARANCE IN THE WAY THE JOB COMES OUT. WHAT IS THE DIFFRENCES?

Answer:

If placed under the muscle when you are flexing it can flatten your breast out a little, but not when you are relaxed. JG 8.23.05

Question:

Dr. G. I am only 5' weight 115 generally good health, exercise reg. but the problem area is the tummy area.I am contemplating a tt - how can I get an idea of what I would look like. If I hold my stomach in can I assume the excess fat hanging is what will be gone? I did that and I have excess skin not only above and below the bb but the pelvic area has excess skin - also would the tt make my waist smaller. Since I am short and torso is short would I see good results. I love reading your advice, you help make us wiser patients. Unfortunately, I live in NY, wish you were here. vj

Answer:

The tummy tuck could possibly make your waist smaller depending on how much fat you have below the muscle. During a tummy tuck, all of the loose sksin you describe would be removed so that the skin in the standing position will be flat. I am sure you can find a good surgeon there. Best of luck. JG 8.20.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia I am 4'11 and have had 4 C-Sections. I have a really flabby lower stomach that exercise has not been able to do anything for. Do you do any non-evasive procedures to reduce the lower belly fat. I would rather avoid another surgery. If you could give me a few suggestions and prices that would be just fabulous. Thanks very much. TJolley

Answer:

I do not think any non-invasive procedures would be worth it for what bothers you. JG 8.19.05

Question:

Do skinny women who have a baby usually need a tummy tuck? I don't know if you're skinny, that your skin really has to stretch out so that it'll really sag after the baby. Do women usually need a tummy tuck after one child?

Answer:

it all depends on how well the skin shrinks after the pregnancy. No one needs a tummy tuck, it is a matter of the appearance bothering someone and they wanting to improve it. JG 8.18.05

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, I am almost 5 weeks post lipo and tummy tuck but I still havent seen any real difference, is that normal? Also i would like to know if I have to wait more to start the lynphage drainage and if I can use the sauna and toning machines like slendertone. Thanks a lot, Nellie

Answer:

Yes, it can take quite a while to see the difference after the procedures you have had done. I think it is OK to start the lymphatic drainage and sauna/ machines should be OK also. JG 8.17.05

Question:

i am thinking tummy tuck. reading your archives I've been totally scared. I've been reading about swelling, scaring tissues, and other things i've never heard of? I hear you can be back on your feet in 2 months but is that true? Is the swelling long lasting? How dangerous is this? It even sounds more dangerous than a facelift. I also read if you have any active diseases - what types of diseases are they talking about. thanks, vj

Answer:

I think most patients are back to normal in 4-6 weeks usually. There will be some swelling for months but it is not very visible. It is certainly not more dangerous than a facelift. Remember, that patients ask questions here when they have had a problem so you may be getting a slanted opinion. The diseases they are talking about are smoking, lung or kidney disease. JG 8.15.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia: I had a tummy tuck 2 yrs. ago. All went well except I needed a revision on my belly button. When it was finally healed I was left with hyperpigmentation covering my whole belly button. I underwent about 5 IPL laser treatments with my PS to lighten the area. It didn't lighten that much. I then used tri-luma for about 2 months. It lightened a little but it is still dark. My PS prescribed hydroquinine 4% bleaching cream which I have been using 2X a day for about 6 months now. It has gotten a little lighter but not enough as it is still darker than my skin. I have med/to olive skin. Any suggestions that I might try to even this dark area out. I personally feel this happened from the use of the bacitracin after my initial surgery. Thank you for your help. DC

Answer:

Possibly an ND:YAG laser. Best of luck. JG 8.13.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am a 32 year old African-American female who recently lost quite a bit of weight thorough proper diet and exercise. I am in good physical condition and was never very large, but wanted to loose about 20 pounds. Since that time I have developed quite a bit of excess skin and wrinkling in my center abdominal area. The reminder of my stomach looks fine however right in the center area surrounding navel on down to the lower abs has wrinkled skin and excess stretchmarks. What would you recommend as an elective procedure? 8/7/2005 sc

Answer:

I think theonly thing that will reliably improve it would be a tummy tuck with the trade of of a scar on the lower abdomen. JG 8.7.05

Question:

hi my name is Katia im 28 years old and i have been thinking about tummy tuck i had 3 kids and my tummy looks nasty my questeion is i have to lose weith im 5'4 1/2 and im 156 pounds and how much will cost the surgery please email me a katiajaneth@hotmail.com

Answer:

If you lose weight first then the muscles can typically be tightened more. Otherwise, all inclusive with a one day stay at the hospital, anesthesia, operating room costs and all surgical fees is $8150. JG 8.4.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am 36 yrs old thinking about getting a tummy tuck. I have been on a 3 year change in eating habit. I have gone from 235lbs to 190lbs so far (trying to get down to 180lbs) and from pant size 16-18 to 12-14. (My height is 5'6')My tummy is flabby. I've been reading the other question/answers in your site. Alot of women say their tummy is hard. Or is that just when you get lipo? If I got a tummy tuck, will my tummy stay hard?? Does it sound like I am a candidate for the tuck???? TH

Answer:

A well done liposuction will not leave your tummy hard, those are exceptions of the rules.When you have a tummy tuck you get rid of the extra skin and any loose muscles can be tighternd so it will feel firm like a younger abdomen. From what you are saying I think you would probably be a good condidate for a tummy tuck. JG 8.2.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I was a heavy teenager and have lost 80lbs over the course of 3 years. My skin has pretty much conformed to my new body, but I do have extra skin around my stomach-which you cant see when Im clothed. My question is, would it be more sensible for me to get a tummy tuck after I have children, or before? I almost thought the extra skin might help my stomach from stretching so much, since its already there. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Answer:

I think it would be better to wait and have the tummy tuck after the babies are born. JG 8.1.05

Question:

ABOUT HOW MUCH DOES A FULL TUMMY TUCK COST? HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO BE OUT OF WORK? AND HOW MUCH IN ADVANCE SHOULD I HAVE THE CONSULTATION AND MAKE THE APPOINTMENT FOR THE PROCEDURE?

Answer:

The cost will depend on whether it is a mini or a full tummy tuck. We are booked about 4-5 months ahead for surgeries so you should make a consultatiuon when you can. As to time off, it wil be at least two weeks, and then back to full activity in 4 weeks after a mini and 4-6 weeks after a full tummy tuck. JG 7.31.05

Question:

Your website has been extremely helpful....thank you. But I do have two questions. I had a very large baby two months ago and plan on getting a tummy tuck in the next few months...are the risks of the surgery high, and realistically how soon will I be able to carry my children after surgery? Thank you soooo much! 7-28-05 SDTM

Answer:

You will not be able to lift your children for at least 2 weeks and the risks are not exceptionally high. JG 7.28.05

Question:

Hello, Dr. Garcia. I'm a 33-year-old woman with the limb girdle form of Muscular Dystrophy. Due to weak stomach muscles and posture, I have the pregnant belly look. This has bothered me for years, but is making me feel increasingly self-counscious. I'm thin and have a small frame so it's even more obvious. It was briefly mentioned on the MDA website that mesh could be used to hold the stomach in , but it would be a lot to go through. Is this truly something that could be done? If so, any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, J.B.

Answer:

Mesh can be used to tighten the abdominal muscle through a tummy tuck approach. JG 7.24.05

Question:

how much does a tummy tuck generally cost. Do you ever do them pro bono?

Answer:

We do pro bono work out of the country. As to a tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck, all inclusive is $8150. JG 7.12.05

Question:

do insurances ever cover any costs for full tummy tucks

Answer:

No, they do not cover tummy tucks. JG 7.12.05

Question:

my self asteem is very low due to a laperotomy caused from a bowel obstruction. I'm a 45 year old woman in good shape except for this huge belly. I weigh 145 pounds and I'm forced to wear 'old lady clothing to get them around my tummy. I can't really afford the cost of surgery for a tummy tuck, but I desprarately need one. Do you have any progams that would reduce the out of pocket costs of this procedure, or is there a payment plan available.

Answer:

We offer finacing but it does not decrease the fees for surgery. JG 7.12.05

Question:

Is there a way to rid the access on the hip area? Why can it not be tightened the way a tummy tuck is done? Lipo will only make it worse as you indicated.

Answer:

You can cut skin out similar to a tummy tick in that area too. JG 7.11.05

Question:

Hello, I am 24 yrs old and I am a mother of 2 girls. I was fairly little when I got pregnant with my first...however I gain about 56 pounds while pregnant and ended up with a c-section. I only lost about 30pounds after that. When I had my 2cnd I gained only 34, but the fold from the first c-section pulled back up and now I can do nothing to lose wieght in that area!! I have totally changed my life style. I run 1 mile a day on treadmill, I do wieght training 3 times a week and I do crunches galore. I am very interested in a tummy tuck. What is the difference between a mini and a full and what are the indications for both? Is the cost difference significant? I am 5ft 1 inch and 150lbs. I have done pretty well taking weight off since starting to eat right and exercise, I have gone from 174 to 150 in less than 4 months. The inches are coming off everywhere but around what I call my pet I look weird with a shrinking waist and big fold! Also I cannot seem to tone my stomach it is loose and flabby. What do you think? Thankyou in advance

Answer:

The difference is that a mini tummy tuck is done when the belly button does not have to be moved, where the only skin that is loose is below the belly button, if it is loose above the belly button, then it is a full tummy tuck. The cost difference is a couple of thousand dollars. I think you should be down to whatever weight you desire before considering any surgery though. JG 7.11.05

Question:

2 years ago I underwent a tummy tuck, the middle line (the one that extends upward towards the bellybutton) has always been indented and looks almost like a bum, some improvement came with time but not to a satisfying degree. Now that time has passed my belly has become lose again and my surgeon said she could repeat the sugery ( I should have been able to get it flatter than that was her comment ) I am wondering why the first surgery didnt do the trick and why after time it losened again? Lastly, is there any way to get rid of excess skin (lose skin) on the hip areas? I think lipo would only accentuate the appearence since the fat helps to fill some of this out right? 09-July-2005

Answer:

Tissues do loosen with time once the sweling goes down and if there has been additioanl weight loss. As to the depression in the middle, it sometimes requires an aggressive repair of the tissues below the skin to avoid this depression. Liposuction could potentially make the skin looser,you are correct. JG 7.10.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia... I had a tummy tuck along with the abdomen muscles being sewn back together.... I started lifting heavy items 2 weeks after surgery, I was told this can re seperate and tear my muscles apart again...is this possible? I also began excercising after 3 weeks, how would i know if i retore apart ab muscles? KB 7-5-05

Answer:

It is possile but does not happen to all patients, it depends on how much they strain and how good the muscle repair was sewn. I allow some light exercising after three weeks on my patients. You may have nothing to worry about, just go back to your surgeon and have them examine you to make sure. JG 7.5.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck a year ago, during which the mylar mesh was used to give me a better overall effect. It makes my stomach hard, but I have regained the weight I lost (20 lbs), and my belly button still has a slight infection and bleeds periodically. Now I am newly pregnant. Are there any risks or complications I should be aware of because of the mylar mesh and scar tissue in regards to my babys development or delivery? Thanks.

Answer:

I don't think the Marlex mesh will present any problems with the pregnancy but the bleeding is a small sign that the mesh may be infected, at least around the belly button, so keep a close eye on it and tell your doctor about it. JG 7.5.05

Question:

I had lipo of u/l abdomen on 3/17/05. My bellybutton is long horizontally and sort of squished looking. I am 5'3,115 and wonder if this is a permanent effect of taking out too much in that area?

Answer:

it is probably due to the size opening that was made for the belly button at the time of the abdominoplasty. Many times it can be revised and made to look better. At times it can be done under local anesthesia. I would suggest you return to the surgeon who performed it and see if they can help you. JG 6.28.05

Question:

HI, I am 19 years old, I had a child 2 years ago and my stomach is pretty flat, but i did get stretch marks around my belly button. The stretch marks arent that big but it bothers me enough to not wear a two piece bathing suit or a short shirt. I was wondering if there was anything you could do to get rid of the stretch marks. Or would it be a tummy tuck that i need? Since I dont have that much extra skin there would it even be possible to have a tummy tuck? Is there any kind of laser sergury that you know of?

Answer:

Lasers will only fade the stretch marks if they are red, otherwise there is not much to do. If you do not have a lot of loose skin, then a tummy tuck would not be a good trade off to get rid of the stretch marks. JG 6.28.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I heard titan can be an alternative way to get rid of losing and sagging skins( if they are not severe) which are normally treated by tummy tuck, how do you think about the effetiveness of this method? thanks Also, which doctor do you recommend in New york City or new jersey for tummy duck and thermage?

Answer:

I think there may be a handful of patients out there that have had a Titan procedure done on the stomachs instead of a tummy tuck but it will never compare to a tummy tuck in terms of the amount of improvement. It is also not FDA aproved for that so the doctor should tell you that it is experimental. Is it worth a try, maybe, but I would not get my hopes up.Due to potential legal issues, and some doctors wanting to know why I referred a patient to someone else and not them, I think you are best to go to this website and look for a plastic surgeon in the area you desire. I wish you all the best.www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon. JG 6.27.05

Question:

I saw a procedure on the Todat Show June 3, 2005. It is the 30 minute tummy shrink. I believe it combines a mine lipo and some type of radiation(?). Do you know anything about this procedure and who performes it.

Answer:

I am sorry but I did not see the show so I cannot comment on it. JG 6.22.05

Question:

During a tummy tuck can you loose the stretch marks above the naval. pde

Answer:

The stretch marks in the upper abdomen will move to the lower abdomen. The only way you can lose all of the stretch marks on your tummy from an abdominoplasty is if you have enough skin on your belly which has no stretch marks that it could cover the entire distance from your ribcage down to your pubic region, otherwise, all you do is move them downwards. JG 6.20.05

Question:

How much for a full tummy tuck?

Answer:

A full tummy tuck with a one night stay at the hospital, all labs, anestehsia and operating room fees is $8150. JG 6.20.05

Question:

Hi Dr Garcia, Danielle again following up on my question about a narrower waist...you said that the amt of improvement possible is determined by the length between the hipbone and lowest rib, plus how much fat is in the abdomen (I assume under the muscles since I've had lipo on the fat above the muscles). I am good on the first count, I'm 5'10 and have a long waist. Of course I don't know how to tell how much fat is under my abdominal muscles. Would you be able to tell from an in person examination how much improvement could be achieved or is that something that is unknown until actually in the surgery? Thanks, Danielle

Answer:

You can get a vague idea by sucking in your stomach, if when you do that the width of your waist stays narrow, then a tummy tuck may do what you want. If when you suck in your belly the waist line gets wider at the level of your belly button then the tummy tuck will not narrow your waist as well. Jg 6.18.05

Question:

Dr.Garcia I found a plastic surgeon that's going to do both my TummyTuck and Breasts Augmentation ,for the price of 9,450.Is this a good price?

Answer:

I think that is a fair price, yes. JG 6.16.05

Question:

Hello i had a baby 2 years ago, i don't have a huge abdomen, but a rather wrinkly strecthy type abdomen. The lower abdomen does hang over. Do you suggest I get lipo done or maybe a tummy tuck, too young help me out please?

Answer:

I do not think liposuction will help you much, I think you will need a tummy tuck done, but if you have more children in the future, it will have to be done again. JG 6.15.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, I have found the questions and answers on your site informative. I'm 34 and I had my 2nd C-section 4 years ago. I still have swelling, bulging around the incision mostly above on one side. Is this a bursa and if so what would be the cost of having this revised? Would this be considered a mini-tummy tuck? Also can a bursa cause tenderness and slight burning sensations? Thanks

Answer:

It can be some chronic edema or a bursa and a mini tummy tuck should eliminate the problem, yes. The burning is more likely to be some small trapped nerves caught in scar tissue and may or may not be helped with the mini tummy tuck. Jg 6.13.05

Question:

Hi, I had a tummy tuck with liposuction done about 9 months ago and my stomach is pretty flat. However, I still have a lower bulge where my incision line is with an indentation in the middle. You can see the bulge on each side of the lower abdomen and then the indentation/divot. You can feel a bump there, too. It looks weird to me and I have been looking at pictures of other people who have had the same procedure done and theirs does not look like mine. Is this something that can be corrected? Would I need a liposuction touch up? If this can be corrected, is it too soon, still? I would appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks!

Answer:

Liposuction would probably correct the small area well, a common problem after tummy tucks. I think any time after 10 months is OK to proceed with a revision. JG 6.12.05

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, I am a 29 year old female with 2 children. I am 5'6, and weigh 133 pounds. 3 weeks ago, I got a full Tummy Tuck done in Spain where I am currently living. I developed Seromas which caused my lower abdomen to swell, and made me look pregnant. Another seroma developed above my belly button. A week ago, the doctor opened the incision and extracted the fluids, and placed another drainage tube in. Now, my stomach is flat, but I have severe wrinkles (stretch marks?) under my belly button. Will this go away with time, or do I have permanent stretch marks from the large seroma? Thank You - M. Collins 6/7/05

Answer:

I think most of those lines will get better, its just that the skin got stretched form the seroma and needs to shrink back down. I don't think it will stay like that. JG 6.8.05

Question:

How much is tummy tuck and liposuction?

Answer:

Fees vary depending on how many areas have liposuction and the time involved, an in person consultation with one of my nurses can give you an accurate idea of the cost, and this is a no cost visit. JG 6.8.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I have posted here before reguarding my situation and have always ben pleased with what you have to tell me . I have had problems since my mini abdominoplasty 2 years ago, I have just had my 4th touch up surgery on my stomach . It is an area just above my navel that has developed a seroma twice. My surgeon just attempted the 4th touch up a week and a half ago, I saw him on monday and immediately when he saw my stomach his head dropped ,he sighed,and said we should have just left it alone.I feel like crying because I paid to have a nice stomach and not to hide it anymore. Here I am back where I began, still hiding . Yesterday I saw my family doctor and he said that damage has been done to that area and he says I have lymphedema. What are your thoughts on Lymphedema , what I can do about it and will my stomach ever get better? Thanks Jen

Answer:

One option is if there is still fluid in the bursa to inject it with an antibiotic called Linocin which irritates the tissue and gets it to stick down. It stings but it could help. JG 6.8.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia. What is bursa? It it something that can be avoided with a tummy tuck, Also to remove it would another tummy tuck have to be performed or would it be a much less complicated surgery?

Answer:

A bursa is a sac that forms around areas of swelling, it can happen after a tummy tuck where there are fluid accumulations. To remove it the skin of the tummy needs to be lifted but no more skin typically is needed to be removed, so it is less painful than the original abdominoplasty. JG 6.7.05.

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I am 220 pound 5'6 tall female who needs a tummy tuck do to some weight loss. Do you know of any dotors in town who do Pro Bono.

Answer:

I am sorry but I know of no doctors in town doing pro bono work, not even the ones at UMC training new plastic surgeons. JG 6.5.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia I am a 28 year old mother of 3. In April of 2004 I had a full tummy tuck done with skin removal, repoistioning of my navel, stapling of my muscels and lipo of my flanks. I was expecting to have an appealing flat stomach instead my stomach looks DEFORMED! I have a huge bulge on the left side of my new navel, the right side of my stomach is flatter then the left side of my stomach. This has caused me to become more self concious then I was before I had my surgery. In August of 2004 I had more Liposuction done to the stomach to try to correct the problem, it helped some with the bulding but has caused the unevenness of my stomach. Do you have any recommendations as to what I could have done to correct this and an explanation of why/what is causing this. Thank you. May 29, 2005

Answer:

It sounds like you may have had a bursa from fluid accumulation after the tummy tuck and that bursa is not removed with liposuction and may need to be surgically remeoved by lifting the tummy skin and cutting it out. JG 6.6.05

Question:

Good Day Dr Garcia, terrific website and thanks for providing this informative service. My question is about my waist. I am 46yo, have never had children, I do not have excess skin or fat (had abdominal lipo), but over the years my waist has gotten wider even though it looks lean. I want more of an hourglass shape.. Is there a variation on a tummy tuck that can give someone with a taut waist a smaller waist? Best regards, Danielle

Answer:

There is the possibility of tightening the muscle at the waist to try to narrow it but it will be limited buy the amount of fat within your abdomen and also the distance between your lowest rib and your hip bones. To achieve that appearance you need little fat within your abdomen and a longer distance between hips and ribs. Thanks for the compliment too. JG 6.6.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am a little over 2 months recovery from a tummy tuck. I understand that it will take a long time for the swelling to go down; however, on certain days, I seem to blow up like a ballon and its very uncomfortable. With the swelling that I still have I appear to be heavier on one side which makes my stomach look warped. The doctor says it doesn't look very noticably different. What do you think might be happening and what should I do moving forward.

Answer:

It may be some fluid accumulation deep, next to the muscle. It should all go away though in time. That is about the only thing that could make it look more swollen on one side versus another. JG 5.124.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia I am a 30 year old that just had her fourth and final child by c-section, my questions is how long after a c-sectiion is it ok to have a tummy tuck?

Answer:

Whatever skin is going to shrink will shrink by 6 months, so I would say any time after that for the tummy tuck. JG 5.22.05

Question:

HI DR I AM A 29 YEAR OLD MALE HE IS GOING THROUGH MAJOR WIEGHT LOSS I WAS 540LBS IN THE PAST 4 MONTHS I HAVE LOST 120LBS THROUGH DIET AND EXCERSISE, I CAN ALREADY NOTICE MY BELLY SAGGING MORE, I'M WORRIED ABOUT WHAT KIND OF SURGERY AND COST I MAY NEED WHEN I REACH MY GOAL OF 250LBS CAN YOU GIVE ME AN IDEAL OF COST AND WHAT KIND OF SURGERIES I MIGHT NEED AFTER LOOSING NEARLY 300LBS AS I HOPE TO DUE

Answer:

It will be very difficult to say as the prices will vary depending on the time involved. Once you get a little closer an in-person consultation will help in establishing the fees. JG 5.22.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia, this is a wonderful website. My skin on my belly is very tight resulting from a tummy tuck done about 2 months ago. I had my belly button pierced a week ago and took the ring out because the piercing was too high and there was too much flesh in the ring due to the fact that I had to sit up to get enough skin for the piercing. How long should I wait to pierce my belly button again? Will I risk infection by piercing again too soon?

Answer:

Well, firstly, thank you for the kind comments. I think waiting about three months should give you enough loosenes of the tissues that it could be done again without problems. I think the risk of infection is small as long as it is done with sterile technique. JG 5.15.05

Question:

I am considering a tummy tuck and I smoke about a pack a day. I was wondering how this would effect the surgery and recovery.

Answer:

I would not perform a tummy tuck on someone who smokes. I require one month before and at least 3 weeks after with no smoking when performing a tummy tuck on someone. JG 5.15.05

Question:

Hi Dr., I am 19 yrs. old and I have a 16 month old son. He left me with lots of stretch marks and more than enough sagging skin around my belly. No matter how hard I work at it nothing seems to help. I was wondering how much a full tummy tuck would cost and is there any way to minimize the scaring or can the incision be made lower than usual. I am in the adult entertainment industry and I am very worried about the scar. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you Casey LV,NV

Answer:

The price will vary depending on if your belly button has to be moved or not. I must tell you that the only stretch marks that will be removed are the ones in the skin that is discarded. If you have stretch marks above the belly button, all that will happen is that they will move to below the belly button. The length of the scar will depend on how loose the skin is, but at times can extend from hip to hip. I would suggest an in person consultation with one of my patient coordinators, which is free of charge, to evaluate your needs. JG 5.15.05

Question:

Hola Dr Garcia. Me hice una lipo de abdomen hace 2 anos, tenia mucha deformidades que no sabia lo que eran, me hice otra lipo para removerlas, pero el doctor me dijo que heran fibrosis y que hizo la mas que pudo, pero ahora me veo peor que antes, si saco vastante grasa pero no pudo remover la fibrosis. Estoy depimida pues me veo peor que antes, me estoy dando unos masaje desde que me hice la operacion pero no veo mejoria. Ya tengo 1 mes desde la cirugia. Ya tengo dos operaciones y no se si una tercera lo mejorara, especialmente una fibrosis que tengo en el lado izquiero de mi costado que no me deja definir la cintura en ese lado. Mi preguta es: Es culpa del doctor la fibrosis o no y si se puede hacer una cirugia especifica para removerla y despues de cuanto tiempo? especialmente para remover la fibrosis del costado izquiero y cuanto tiempo usted personalmente recomienda que use la faja, que tan apretada y si me la puedo quitar para dormir. E.B 05/15/05

Answer:

No es culpa del doctor, la fibrosis es lo que pasa despues de lipo cuando uno es muy agresivo. La unica ciurgia que se puede hacer para tratar de mejorar es una tummy tuck para cortar la fibrosis y la piel que queda en exeso, pero toda la fibrosis no se puede quitar. Esperaria por lo meno 3-6 meses. Yo recomiendo un mes para la faja, y se la puede quitar para dormir. JG 5.15.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia: I had a mini tt and lipo one year ago, however, the results were not as expected, the surgeon had to perform a second one, however he just excised the fat because it was too dense to be lipo, anyway the result was nice, however, I developed a seroma. He aspirated three times and then I gained a flat stomach on one side and scar tissue bulge on the other. He performed surgery for the third time, one month ago to remove the scar tissue, it's better but still not flat. I thought it would be flat to my pubic bone, however, it is still a bulge. How can I give my self a post-operative massage. rh

Answer:

Gentle massage like a swedish massage is the best just by rubbing the tissues in little circles and then out to the sides to push the fluid towards the lymph nodes so the swelling can absorb after your tummy tuck revision. JG 5.14.05

Question:

Thank you for your prompt response. You are so knowledgeable... I am the 47 old men with the agressive lipo done on the stomach. How much of a chance do I have to get good results from a tummy tuck. Can it only be better? Or do I run a risk to make things worse.. How big the cut it consists and where exactly? Does it generally ill well or could this leave an important scar? Would the surgeon be able to actually remove some of the extra and thick fibrous connective tissues and some of the scars? Or only flat them out? From 1 to 10, 10 being perfect, what kind of results should I expect from a tummy surgery with regards to my problems... What will happen to the already damaged nerves? Will I get back some flexibility? How much could cost such surgery? How long is the recovery? Any good surgeons to suggest with the type of issue I have in the area of Miami Beach... I am desperate for help... Many thanks.

Answer:

I don't think it would be worse, but the trade off is the lower abdominal scar that will be permanent. The incision is done in your lower abdomen and the length more than likely will be from hip to hip. It generally heals well, but when naked will be seen. The scar will be diminished but not totally removed from below the skin. Without seeing and touching the skin I cannot say what degree of improvement you would have. The already damaged tissue will not be totally removed but that tissue which is in the skin that will be discarded will be gone. Flexibilty should get better but I cannot guarantee you will regain all of what you have lost. Recovery is 4-6 weeks before full activity. I think you need to seek out a few consultations in the Miami area and see what they say. JG 5.12.05

Question:

From the agressive lipo case gentleman... Is there a picture available in your site that shows a scar already illed from a cut performed for tummy tuck? This would give a good idea of the trade off we are talking about... Have you heard of another surgeon, or maybe yourself, performing a tummy tuck for the same reason of mine. What is the average cost for such surgery? By the way, are there pre-set rules for plastic surgeon to follow with regards to protecting patient from practicing too agressive surgery that can damage the body? (i.e.: In my case, praticing a lipo without ensuring to preserve the padding and protect the tissues as it may be necessary in oder to obtain good looking results and avoid endless discomfort for the patient). I promise I will no longer take too much of your precious time... Because of your kindness and generosity, I can see some possible light at the end of my very dark tunel... Thanks a lot!

Answer:

I have heard of and done the procedure we have been talking about and I believe if you go under the surgical procedures section there are before and after pictures of tummy tucks on the website. The average cost would be around $8-9000 for this. As to the rules, none are pre-set, it is up to the skill of the individual surgeon. Best of luck. JG 5.12.05

Question:

himy name is ec and ijust had a baby and am not happy with mybody and i were to now if am to young to have a tommie tak and am also not happy with my but

Answer:

A tummy tuck may be the option for you but if you are going to have more children I would wait, otherwise the whole tummy tuck will need to be done again. JG 5.12.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck done about 3 years ago. Although I am pleased w/ the results, I am still a little poochy in the upper abdomen. I work out 3-4 times a weekly, eat healthy but still can't seem to lose this. Would you recommend lipo? If so, what is an estimated price range? My surgeon has moved to Green Valley, which is clear across town for me.

Answer:

Well, if the skin is loose now, I am afraid that liposuction would probably leave the skin even looser. I am afraid that the only thing that may be possible is to remove more skin as diet and exercise will not tighten the skin to any significant amount. JG 5.9.05

Question:

This might be an insane question but I'm going to ask anyway. I had my first and last child 2 years ago and it left me with a very torn tummy. I will be 22 this year, I'm a full time student, employee, and a single mom. Is it possible to have a pro bono surgery done to repair my tummy and self-esteem? Any recommendations?

Answer:

I am unaware of anyone doing probono work for what you describe. Universities where they train plastic surgeons will do it at a reduced price but not for free. Sorry. JG 5.9.005

Question:

I am a desperate 35 year old female. I've been trying to have a tummy tuck and lipo on my thigh area for months now.There is no way for me to afford it at this point. I am a single mother of three with no other financial help other than my full time job as a dental assistant. My question is- is there any qualified plastic surgeon that will do those two procedures PRO BONO? My credit is not good because I had to file bankruptcy so therefore I can't get financing. If there is anyone that could help me I would appreciate it. I'm feeling more and more about my body image by the day. I've heard that Mexico does procedures a great deal cheaper. Please help! TB-5/6/05

Answer:

I know of no one doing the surgry pro bono. I also must tell you that going to Mexico is cheap but you may have a hard time finding a doctor here to take care of you if you have your surgery done down there. University programs where they teach plastic surgeons have discounted programs, but not for free. JG 5.6.05

Question:

What is the cost of a tummy tuck? What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck? Also, what are the risks of the procedure for patients with hypertension on Toprol 50 mg per day?

Answer:

As long as the blood pressure is under control it would be OK to proceed. In terms of a regular tummy tuck versus a mini-tummy tuck, a mini will not tighten the uppper abdomen and will not move the belly button so if there is loose hanging skin or loose muscle in your upper abdomen, then a regular tummy tuck is a better option. The regular tummy tuck all inclusive with a one night stay in the hospital is about $8500, price wil vary a little depending on the time I would need to perform it. JG 5.2.05

Question:

I will like to get the tummy tuck surgery. mainly because my stomach is completly full of strech marks, my question is will they dissapear after the surgery ? k.r.4/27/05

Answer:

The only stretch marks that will disappear are the ones in the skin that will be cut out and thrown away. All skin that remains if it has stretch marks now will continue to have stretch marks after. JG 4.27.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 7 weeks ago and my surgeon has put permanent anchor stitches just below the scar line all the way along. This means that the scar and surrounding skin cannot move over my hip bone. He says it was to ensure good healing and to reduce pressure on the skin. However because of these anchors, I have an overhang and bulging tummy roll. Before the surgery I had a great deal of excessive skin (he has removed 17cm) but was able to conceal it under clothing. That is no longer the case. The anchors also cause dimpling. He says the overhang and roll is 30% swelling and that the remainder is fat . I am very slim (126lbs - 5' 7 ) and I am concerned that additional liposuction along the scar line will leave me with lumpiness particularly as the skin above the scar line has lots of old stretch marks. My question is - should I have a revision to take more skin and fat tissue or would liposuction alone resolve. My surgeon says the 30% swelling should improve the result but I am not convinced it will give me the flat stomach I want.

Answer:

I would wait at least 10-12 months before going back for anything more. Much of what bothers you should go away and if it doesn't you can always have a little touch up at that time. JG 4.25.05

Question:

what is the best non invasive treatment for dark circles/bags under eyes? What is approximate cost of tummy tuck vs. liposuction? JMP 4/20/05

Answer:

I don't think there are any good effective treatments that are non-invasive for the dark circles and bags under the eyes. As to a full tummy tuck, that is $8150 all inclusive with a pain pump and one night in the hospital included. Liposuction of the abdomen alone is $4000. JG 4.20.05

Question:

DR GARCIA QUISIERA ASERME UN TUMY TUCK PERO TENGO UN POCO DE TEMOR DE QUE LA OPERACION NO QUEDE BIEN TENGO 30 ANOS Y 2 NINOS MIDO 5.8 Y PESO ENTRE 140 Y 145 LIBRAS PERO TENGO MUCHAS STRECHMARKS SERCA DE MI OMBLIGO Y NO PUEDO USAR NI VIKINIS NI PANTALONES A LA CADERA PORQUE SE MIRA MAL USTED CRE QUE UN TUMICK TUCK PUEDA QUITAR LA MALLORIA DE LAS STRECHS MARKS.

Answer:

El tummy tuck le quitaria muchas de las marcas pero vas a tener marcas entre el ombligo y la piel debajo. No es una operacion para las stretch marks, es para quitar el exceso de piel. JG 4.14.05

Question:

Re: Tummy tuck, 8 months post-op. Is it common to have a bulge above your scar line and below your naval? My PS told me it would take time for that to go down, but it really hasnt changed in 4 months now. It's obvious under clothes and the scar is thick in that area as well, is there anything that could be done? Or will it go down in time. Thank you for your time.

Answer:

It is not uncommon to have a small bulge, most likely due to swelling that at times can take up to one year to improve. It could have some liposuction after the year has passed if it still remains. JG 4.14.05

Question:

I ha a tummy tuck and liposuction of the inner thighs back in November of 2004. Shortly afterwards, I ended up in the hospital due to a blood clot in my lungs. Since then I have recovered and the blood clot has dissolved. I am currently on warfarin though and will be until November of this year. I have just recently seen my plastic surgeon because it seems like my belly button hole is closing up. He says he has never seen this before. He told me to notify him when I am off the warfarin and he will take care of it for me. He said something about putting a wedge in the belly button. My question to you is, Is this dangerous for me? I am so self- conscious. I couldn't wait to finally be able to wear a bikini and now I am so depressed again. I am only 27 and I have never been pregnant or extremely overweight. I have always just had loose skin since I can remember. I want to feel comfortable and have self-esteem, but I don't want to put my life at risk again. Do you know what my surgeon is planning to do? Is it a major surgery? Everything else seems to be healing fine. Please help me. Thank you.

Answer:

The surgery is a small one but you need to wait until you are off the blood thinnners. Just be patient, he is doing it for your safety. JG 4.13.05

Question:

hi dr garcia i am 22 year old woman and i was wondering what is best for me i always work out and take care of my self but after i had my daughter my body just seams not to go back to the same way it was my bottom stomach always has a little boulg and no matter how many sitt ups i do it does not go away and also my breast seem to sag a little more ever since i lost weight what is best to do right now thank you r.r

Answer:

It sounds like you may benefit from a mini tummy tuck and possibly a breast lift, an in person consultation could answer those questions in greater detail, and they could be performed together if so desired. JG 4.13.05

Question:

Hello Dr Garcia, I have heard great things about you, my questions are re: a tummy tuck, what type of anesthesia do you use on a full tummy tuck with some lyposuction? I know that you cannot give me an exact figure but about how much you charge for a this procedure, can you give it in approximation with no complications and pretty standard just the tummy tuck, please thank you!

Answer:

We use genral anesthesia for the combination you describe. Assuming there is only liposuction on the hips at the same time as the tummy tuck the approximate fee would be $10,500, that is all inclusive with a one night stay in the hospital, pain pumps, and all garments, blood work and testing. JG 4.4.05

Question:

Hello again, I asked about the tummy tuck, one more question, why the over night stay in the hospital? With everything that I have read many physicians do it on an outpatient basis.

Answer:

It is an out patient procedure but for your comfort and safety I keep you overnight in the hospital to make sure you get all you need and to let your family rest as they would not get much sleep that night with everything I ask to be done for my patietns. JG 4.4.05

Question:

IM 20YEARS OLD AND AM THINKING OF GETTING A TUMMY TUCK.I REALLY WORK OUT AM A THIN PERSON BUT I JUST CAN GET RID OF MY STOMACH.DO U RECOMEND AT MY AGE.

Answer:

I would suggest waitng until you have had any children you may have as the pregnancy will undo all of the benefits of the tummy tuck. JG 4.1.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia 8 months ago i did a tommy tuck ,now i have a lot a pain on my upper stomach,it feels like the inside stiches came off.It is very painfull if i move or sitdown, or sit up straight. i think that the muscle ripped.

Answer:

Well, certainly that is a possibility and it could cause some discomfort. I think rest and warm packs and anti-inflammatories would be indicated and then see if the upper abdomen starts to pooch out more. If it does, then it may have been torn stitiches. If it stays flat, it may have held at least partially. Either way, I would wait and see what time brings. JG 3.30.05

Question:

Hi, Dr. Garcia, I'm 43.I had a tummy tuck last nov. 28 2005.It has healed except that it still is slightly numb. I very much want to have a baby maybe a year after. Is this possible? Can I have a repeat or 2nd tummy tuck after the pregnancy, ifever? I want the pregnancy badly.

Answer:

Yes you can get pregnant but it will undo everything you have had done. The numbness you have is normal and may take up to a year or longer to go away.

Question:

How expensive could be a tummy tuck, and nose surgery? B.E 3/22/05

Answer:

A nose surgery is $6275 all inclusive if the whole nose, including the bones are done. A tummy tuck will vary but a full tummy tuck with a one night stay in the hospital is $8150. There would be a discount if they were both done together.

Question:

5 months ago I had a full tummy tuck. It appears that I had some lost tissue, which has left a large scare. My Dr. has told me that i will need additional surgery to correct the problem after all my swelling is gone. I have a few questions. What is the typical procedure to repair this and what is the chance this can happen again? I am not a smoker and was told this is one of the reasons why this happens. Does stress play a part in this, or anti-depressants? I lost one of my twin daughters, 18 months prior to having this operation. BE 3/20/05

Answer:

The typical thing that has to be done again is essentially to raise the tissue again and advance the skin to be able to cut the scar out and then reclose the incision. The other causes for this to happen is if the blood vessels in the skin flap are injured, if there is extensive lipsuction done at the same time,or if the skin is closed with too much tension. Emotioanl stress will not cause it though. Anti-depressants have absolutely nothing to do with this. JG 3.20.05

Question:

Is it truly best to wait until you have lost weight to have a tummy tuck and/or breast enlargement? I have about 50 lbs to lose. Thank you.

Answer:

Unfortunately yes, the loss of weight will affect both of those surgeries. Once you are about 10-15 pounds near the goal it would be OK to go forward. JG 3.17.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 6 months ago. For the first two weeks my stomach was very flat. After the drainage tube was taken out I started retaining fluid and had to have it asperated. But my stomach did not nor has it since gone down. My stomach is very hard and my surgeon has just told me it is a result of scar tissue and that it will get softer over time but will I ever be able to have a flat stomach again? Is there a way to get rid of scar tissue? My surgeon says there is a small amount of fat there that he can lipo when the tissue gets softer but I am worried that I have gone through this painful ordeal for nothing. What is your advice? KF 03/13/05

Answer:

It should flatten in time. In severe cases at times we need to go back in and cut the sack around the area where the swelling was. Lipo is a possibility as long as it is fat and not scar tissue as lipo will not do anything for scar tissue. I would see what it looks like at one year and then decide which of the options would be best. JG 3.13.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia I'm Karla 26 years, thank you for thank you for taking youre time in answering my question, I don't want to have any more kids thats way i want to consider in having i tommy tuck and breast implants over the muscle and if its a mini tummy tuck and a breast implant over the muscle con you tell me what the price could be. So that way I can now if I can do it or not and also to schecule an appoinment because I'm daing to do these procesure, thats my dream. Thank- you. bye

Answer:

With a mini tummy tuck and breast implants above the muscle, you are probably looking at a fee of about $9000 when done together, assuming an average time element for your surgery. JG 3.6.05

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia I'm realy intrested in doing the tommy- tuck surgery and breast implants I just want to now what are the risk the time of ricovety and the cost of it. thank you K.S

Answer:

Recovery for each is about two weeks, and three weeks if done together. The fees will vary depending on whether you want the implants above or below the muscle and whether it will be a mini tummy tuck or a full one, so an in person consultation would be best. Please feel free to call the office and one of my nurse consultants can meet with you to describe the options and help you with the fee quote. JG 3.5.065

Question:

Dear Dr Garcia, I had a full tummy tuck a year ago and the scar is terrible. I am hispanic and have medium olive skin. What can be done to help with the scar. Can you perforem radiance injections into the marionette lines

Answer:

Radiance injections can be done to the marionette lines only if done really deep, I prefer Restylane for that area. As to your scar, there could be options such as IPL laser to minimize the redness. As to a scar revision, it would depend on the amount of loosenes in the skin to see if we could cut the scar out and make it look better. Hard to say without looking at you. JG 2.28.05

Question:

Hi, my name is Karla todays date is the 20th of februery Hi Dr. Garcia I have 26 years old andI have two kids, and I have a terrible tommy and I want to consider the tommy-tuck as well of the breast implants I just want to now, how much, it cost these two surgerys and also the time of recovery. THANK YOU. BYE

Answer:

The recovery from both of these surgeries would be about two weeks of light duty. The cost will vary though and would be more accurate if we were to examine you as there are many variables, for example whether you need a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck, the prices will vary there. Also, if one chooses to place the implants above the muscle or below will also affect the fees. I would suggest seeing one of my nurse patient coordinators and they can examine you and give you the fees on what you would like to have. I will say that if you are thinking about having any more children, I would postpone the tummy procedure because the pregnanancy will stretch everything out again. JG 2.20.05

Question:

Hello DR.Garcia,My name is Kathy.I am planning on abdominoplasty, after having children i have very loose skin and a pouch.My husband would like to know what the price is and what is exactly the lab work up,ect.before this is done.I guess he wants to know what he is paying for exactly.Could you please provide me with a list of pre-op labs and any other tests reguired that most or all plastic surgons require.Thankyou so much.KC

Answer:

The price for a full abdominoplasty is $8150, that includes operating room, surgical fees, all preop testing, all visits and girdles, and one night stay in the hopsital. If a mini tummy tuck is all that is required it would be less. Which tummy tuck you would need my nurses or I could better tell you after examing you. Typically the tests we obtain are a CBC, a hepatitis panel and AIDS test, and if over 40 an EKG and a CXR, along with a pregnanacy test. JG 2.12.05

Question:

Hola Dr.Garcia Yo estoy buscando la ayuda de un buen doctor,Yo nesecito sirugia en mi abdomen Pero no tengo la cantida de dinero para la sirugia Me gustaria saber si usted estaria interesado en mi caso y si me podria ayudar. Gracias!

Answer:

La verdad es que nosotros ya tenemos pacientes por qual les estamos haciendo cirugia de gratis en este momento, desculpe. JG 2.9.05

Question:

Dr. Garcia,I am a 44 yo mother of 3 grown children.I am very much considering a tummy tuck!! After 3 c-sections and TAH, i have been left with this excess flab on my abdomin.I was wondering if having 4 abdominal surgeries would in any way prevent me from having abdominoplasty? I also wanted to know exactly what type of lab work,x-rays,etc.,would be done as pre-op.How soon could i expect to return to work,and of course what your facility charges for abdominoplasty.I would appreciate any information you can provide asap!!We are planning a cruise in 2 months and would love to have this done before we leave. sincerely,LS

Answer:

The previous surgeries should not preclude you from having a tummy tuck, so its still a possiblity. The pre-op labs are a CBC, hepatitis and AIDS panel. When over 45 we get a CXR and EKG, or in younger individuals who have a medical history that warrants it. Most people are back to work in 2-4 weeks depending on their activiy level at work. Our fees for a full abdominoplasty all inclusive is $8150, that includes a pain pump and one night stay in the hospial on us. We are booked about 3 1/2 months out and I would imagine you should have it done 4-6 weeks before a cruise so as to not ruin your activities on the trip so I am afraid that I could not do it for you before your trip. JG 2.2.05

Question:

Hello,I'm a 44 yo,mother of 3.I'm considering abdominoplasty because of the loss of all my abdominal muscles and of course the unsitely extra tire i acquired after 3 c-sections and TAH.I was wondering what type of lab work is required as well as any x-rays,ekg,etc...

Answer:

The fees that we quote inlcudes the labwork and other tests needed. If you are healthy, at that age there is no need for a Chest X-Ray nor EKG. JG 1.30.05

Question:

Hola, Dr. Garcia I am in search of a doctor I need a tummy tuck! after 3 pregnancies my abdomen is damage ,I have a lot of fat that no matter the amount of exercise i can't get rid of

Answer:

We perform tummy tucks in our office and I would be honored if you were to choose us. Please feel free to call the office and make an appointment so we can evaluate you and determine what the best options for you may be. JG 1.28.05

Question:

I had a tummy tuck 4 months ago, I still have clear stitches coming through my scar from the inside. (you can feel and see them, looks like fishing line clear. These are not the black stitches used on the outside. My doctor said they should of disolved already and he does not know why. And maybe I am a slow healer...I do smoke 1 pack of cig. a day. My stomach is still swollen near the scar little rolls, humps etc,,,,but flat else where. Also I am still sore, if I left something heavy. I take vitamins,,,also How long do I have to wear the band. Is there something I can do to make to stitches dissolve. and the swelling go down. JS

Answer:

The stitches usually are totally gone in 3-4 months and the band on your abdoemn I have the patients wear it for 6 weeks. Your doctor can remove those sutures that are poking out and the swelling around the incision will get better once the sutures are dissolved or taken out. JG 1.17.05

Question:

Dear Dr. Garcia, First, I love your website. I had weight loss surgery 4/15/04, 5'8 currently 168lbs size 10 from 270 size 24. I am reasearching tummy tucks and breast implants. My doctors advise is to wait about 2 years before having the tummy tuck, due to additional weight loss that can occur. What is your opinion on the time line? Should I wait and get the tummy tuck and breast implants at the same time, would that save on cost? Also, I am 100 percent sure to the tummy tuck procedure but feel reserved about getting the implants even thou my breast have sagging. Most of my life as I look at my body in the mirror I have always hated that lower tummy pouch. If I had to choose between the tummy tuck or breast implants it would be the tummy tuck. Any advise would be appreciated. Viki, LV Native

Answer:

Thank you for the kind comments. My suggestion to the surgery is it is OK to proceed when the weight is stable for 3-6 months. The tummy tuck and breast implants can be done at the same time if there are no medical problems. If the breasts are saggy you may need a breast lift or mastopexy rather than just implants alone. It may also enntail a breast implant and a breast lift, so that also has to be considered. Congratualtions also on the tremendous weight loss. JG 1.15.05

Question:

I have had a tramatic experience several years ago, when I had my daughter. Is there any doctors that do tummy tucks at a lower cost, without damaging the patient. gismay@unch.unc.edu.com

Answer:

All I can suggest is to contact a major university near you with a plastic surgery training program as they sometimes offer discounts on surgery if the doctors in training perform the surgery. JG 12.30.04

Question:

I want to have a tummy tuck and fat removed from my arms, armpits and arms, what is the cost and could you recommend someone in the Dallas texas or San Antonio Area?

Answer:

In Dallas I would suggest Dr Rod Rohrich and in San Antonio I would suggest Dr Tolbert Wilkerson. JG 12.30.04

Question:

Dr.Garcia, He tenido un bebe hace 5 meses por cesarea, ya que mi bebe fue muy grande y durante mi embarazo subi mucho de peso. Hace 2 meses comence en el gimnasio pero por mi cesario no puedo hacer muchos abdominales o muchos ejercicios localizados en esa area haci que no veo mucho resultados aun. Mi pregunta es ?Cuanto tiempo debo esperar para una liposuction o un tamytuck? Ademas Hace unos 7 anos ya tuve una liposuction pero no tenia bebes. Tengo una cicatriz muy fea en el estomago a raiz de esa liposuction... Puede el Tamytuck quitarme esa cicatriz (esta a cada costado de mi ombligo) ????

Answer:

A veces el tummy tuick le puede quitar la cicatriz. You le diria que esperes por lo menos 6 meses antes de decidir. Pero sigue haciendo lo ejercicios. JG 11.30.04

Question:

I had a abdominal hysterectomy in July 28 2004. How long do I wait to have a tummy tuck? And what is the price for a Tummy Tuck.

Answer:

You could have the tummy tuck now and the price is $8150, that includes the surgical fees, operating room, anesthesia doctor, pain pump,all post op visists and one night in the hospital, essentially everything except your medications for after surgery. JG 11.28.04

Question:

Dr. Garcia my wife is unhappy with her physical apperance and would like a tummy tuck done with lipo and a breast lift. Could you please give me a ballpark figure on the cost of these procedures and can she do them all at once. Her height is 5'2 weight is 210lbs and has had 3 c sections.

Answer:

At 5'2 and 210 pounds she would be better to lose some weight first. The procedures can be done together but the result will be limited as to the cosmetic result due to the probable intrabdominal fat and other contours. The extra sagging skin can be removed, but the shape may not end up being optimal. That is a lot of surgery to do all at once and I would say the safer idea would be to split them up as heavier people have a higher chance of poor healing. JG 11.18.04

Question:

I AM WANTING TO GET A TUMMY TUCK, I AM 30 AND I HAVE 2 C-SECTIONS I WEIGH ABOUT 112LBS, BUT I CAN NOT GET THIS TUMMY MUSCLES TO BE FIRM, AND IT LOOKS LIKE I HAVE A LIP OF FAT IN MY LOWER TUMMY, IS A TUMMY TUCK WHAT I NEED OR LIPO?

Answer:

Well a tummy tuck improves the excess skin and tightens the muscles, while lipo removes only the fat below the skin, so they do complimentary things. If the skin is only a little loose, then lipo may be OK, but if the skin is very loose, then a tummy tuck sounds more like what you will need. JG 11.14.04

Question:

DR. GARCIA I AM INTERESTED IN A TUMMY TUCK, BUT I AM ALSO OVER WEIGHT.I'VE HAD THREE C-SECTIONS ALSO.DO I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT FIRST IN ORDER TO GET THE PROCEDURE DONE?

Answer:

The result would be much better if you lost the weight first as the result would have a better contour and better tightening of the muscles of the abdomen. JG 11.14.04

Question:

Hi Ashley again about the strechmarks even though my skin is not loose or saggy,and the strechmarks are all under my belly button and on my sides and there's no other technique to remove the scares would a mini tummy tuck even be possible?what does it involve? how much is it? plus I sometimes keloid and scar bad obviously,so what is the scar like after that procedure?

Answer:

The tummy tuck scar, even a mini, can have thicker scars. If your skin is tight and the only problem is the stretch marks, I think there is not much to do. Removing skin when there is no skin excess can lead to tension on the wound and these can then turn into thicker scars such as keloids. You may need to leave well enough alone. JG 11.7.04

Question:

Dr.Garcia, I had a mini abdominoplasty a year and a half ago. Since that time I have had 3 touch up surgeries, the first 2 were a bit of lipo about an inch and a half above the navel and 4 weeks ago I had my 3rd touch up which involved lipo again and separation of the skin 3 inches in diameter in that same area above the navel. I developed a seroma with the original abdominoplasty and again with the 3rd touch up. Now the area where the seroma recently was has turned hard and buldgy and has a strange texture and the skin looks like an orange peel. Will this heel and flatten out? I feel sick jus

Answer:

Massage and time should flatten and smooth that area out. It is the tissue below healing and we see that when the tissue gets indurated, which is a fancy term for swollen. The orange peel appearance is the swelling in the skin and will improve in time. JG 10.24.04

Question:

I LIVE IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS I'M 29 YEARS OLD AND I'M INTERESTED IN HAVING MY TUMMY, WAIST,UPPER ARM,INNER THIGHS, AND THE SINGLE FLAB OF FAT THAT HANGS OVER MY BRA AND UPPER WAIST REMOVE. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY DOCTORS HERE?

Answer:

I would suggest Dr Robert Tattersall or his partner in Tortola, BVI. JG 9.30.04

Question:

About 12 years ago I had a tummy tuck with skin removal, new belly button and muscles stapled. The result has been pretty good as my stomach is has hard as a rock and pretty flat at 51. Since a couple of years after the surgery I have had a small pooch right above my naval. I have had liposuction in this area 3 times already and it does not go away. What do you recommend to treat this problem? I asked one doctor here in Houston what he thought it was since I never had fat there before and he said something may have fallen? I know I won't use the right term but I believe something called mylar was also used on my tummy. Could it have bunched up or something? I am now considering Kenalog injections but I am a little afraid. Had them before for a liposuction lump on my leg with no result but also no side effects so I don't know. I have been having Lipostabil injections in my back and wonder if this might help the pooch and if we should add something extra to the Lipostabil? Something like a mesotherapy ingredient. Thank you in advance for you help. sg,houston texas

Answer:

I doubt seriously that any injection will help. You may have some pooching of the intrabdominal contents outward, the material below the muscle. It is much more difficult to tighten the muscles of the upper abdomen than of the lower due to the ribs. You may also have an old seroma with a bursa of scar tissue where the fluid used to be, not uncommon when mesh is used. Liposuction having not helped tells me that the mesothrapy attempts will also fail. As to kenalog, I think the chances for success are low and the chances for problems may outweight them. A CAT scan or MRI may show some detail, but it may take a surgical exploration and retightening of the mesh above your navel.JG 9.29.04

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had twins 2 years ago which left me a lot of unwanted skin. I was just wondering how much a full tummy tuck costs and how long is the recovery time. I live in Las Vegas. Thank You! S. B.

Answer:

The all-inclusive fee for a full tummy tuck is $8150. The recovery is light lifting for 2 weeks, and normal activity in about 4 weeks. A mini tummy-tuck would be a little less money and less recovery. An in-person consultaion with one of my nurses, which is free of charge, will give you a better idea of what you will need. JG 9.6.04

Question:

hi, Dr. Garcia, i had a tummy tuck, not the mini, the full one, where i had to have my navel incision, i had it approximately a year ago from today, i am still very swollen, and numb in the stomach area, the swelling has went down some since i had the surgery, but not too much, is there something wrong, and is there ANYTHING i can use to make the swelling go down faster? Theresa Armstrong-08/22/04

Answer:

One year is a long time for swelling. It could be something else. At times when the tummy tuck is done and they tighten the muscle down low but not the muscle up high it can cause your upper abdomen to pooch out, causing the look of swelling. That can be difficult to fix. It will take either cutting the sutures in the muscle down low, although weight loss will help. This is one of those that is difficult to help without seeing and touching. Sorry. JG 8.22.04

Question:

hello,my name is brandy.i live here in las vegas i am 30 years old and i have 5 kids..i am 5 ft 3in. and i weigh 155 .well i am interested in a breast lift most of all since i was 14 ive had 32 d to dd breast depending if i was prego or not.and of course these pregnancys took a major toll on my breast and when i was younger the bras hurt me alot and dug into my skin so myself very nieve decided to never use a bra not even during pregnancy,well now my breast sag down to my rib cage and my nipples point almost south..i have alot of back pain,and i think that actual breast is probably now only a C cup which i dont mind!!but theres so much skin i still have to use a D or DD cup or i bubble up.ok enough with the long letter my husband says i deserve this lift although because i am not working right now and i have a 1 year old we only have his income i have medicaid but im sure they dont cover it so whats the prices ,, i am very interested in this lift ,i started with kids very young and i want to feel attractive again , iam aware of the scarring, have strecth marks too so the scarring they are nothing plus they are beneath the breast right?we have perfect credit do you have financing or cash pay discounts?? oh just one more question i have a tummy i use size 11 pants (33 levis jeans)tight around the belly how much are tummy tucks?thanx so very much for the time and reading my letter,youve got to be busy!!8/18/04 my husband and i want to renew our vows in dec.of this year could this be done by then????

Answer:

The scars are around the nipple area, on the vertical portion of your breast and also on the underneath area. We do offer financing through different companies that offer competitive rates. I would also say that if you ar going to lose any weight in the future, you should try to do it beforte the surgery. The cost is $9250 for the surgery. It includes my fees, all visits, the anesthesia doctor, the operating room. It does not include your medications for after which generics run between $25-40. Tummy tucks are about $8150 but if we do them together there is a considerable savings for them being combined. I think if you did them in October, you would be ready for your vows again in December. Please feel free to call our office and see one of my assistants. They can show you pictures, give you a tour of the operating rooms, and also give you the financing information. Congrats on the marriage renewal too! JG 8.18.04

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I had liposuction a year ago but my skin on my stomach saggs. So i am thinking about having a tummy tuck and i would like to know how much you charge for the tummy tuck because my liposuction wasn't very successful because i still have a little fat. I understand that you are an excellent surgeon because i saw you on the health discovery channel while you were doing a surgery. I would like for you to give me an estimate of the tummy tuck so i won't have to go to your office because i would like to know how much money i would have to save up first.C.O./8-17-04

Answer:

The fee for the tummy tuck, assuming it is a full tummy tuck and not a mini is $8150. That includes my fees, the anesthesia doctor's fees, operating room costs, girdles, your blood work and CXR and EKG, and one night care at the hospital. The medications is the only thing not covered and generics run about $25-40 for those. We are currently booked about 6-7 weeks in advance so if you are interested, please come and see one of my nurse assistants and they can evaluate your needs and show you pictures and give you a tour of our operating suites. JG 8.18.04

Question:

Hi again, how much does this mini-tummy-tuck costs?

Answer:

The mini-tummy tuck is $6400. That includes all visits, lab work, operating room costs, anesthesia doctor fees, surgical fee, and garments to be worn after surgery. It does not include your pain medications or your post-operative massages which the meds run about $50 and the massages for a package of six run about $200. JG 8.9.04

Question:

Hi Dr.Garcia, im the one who just posted my problem with the loose skin..i just wanted to say that the loose skin is above my belly does that need a tummy tuck too?IT kind if looks like wrinkles..

Answer:

Yes, that loose skin gets pulled down past your belly button and ends up below the belly button. The belly button then is brought out through a new hole and sutured in place. Depending on the amount of skin that is loose and how low the lower abdominal incision is made, you may end up with a vertical incision where the previous belly button hole needs to be closed after being mover further down. JG 8.9.04

Question:

I'm 20 yrs-old and i had a baby a year ago..my problem is that i have a strechmark near my belly botton and some loose skin there which is bothering me alot since i want to have a belly peirce but i'm afraid it would look ugly..do u recommend a cream for the loose skin or a mini-belly tuck??

Answer:

There are no creams that will help with the problem you describe. Certainly a mini-tummy tuck would pull the loose skin down but it would leave you with a scar lower down on your abdomen that will be permanent. JG 8.9.04

Question:

Do you believe it's alright to combine a C-section with a tummy tuck? Both my plastic surgeon & OBGYN seem to think it will be just fine. This is my 2nd C-section & my 3rd abdominal surgery. I don't mind if after I can't bounce pennies off my tummy, but as long as I don't have hanging skin over the scar I'll be happy. I am worried though & want to know what other doctors think?

Answer:

I think there is a slightly higher risk of infection and abdominal bloating, so if possible, I like to space them out. Plus, you never know how much that skin was going to shrink and you may end up cutting too much out, leaving you a wider scar than expected. I think you will probably be better than you were before the pregnancy, but it will not be as good as if you waited. JG 8.8.04

Question:

I live in New York and will be visiting Las Vegas for two weeks on August 21 - Sept. 4, I was wondering if I would be able to schedule surgery within the first week and be able to leave on my schedule date of return. I want to have a Breast Enlargement, liposuction, tummy tuck etc. Not sure what I need. Should I send some digitial pics so that you can suggest what it is I need. Let me know where to send the pics to. Also, would I be able to have that much work done within the 2 week period.

Answer:

digital pictures certainly can assist in making a decision about what procedures would be of benefit, but unfortunately, although we operate Monday through Friday every morning, my next open date for surgery is not until October 5. I would certainly be able to help you decide which procedures we could do. I would want an out-of-town patient to be here for about one week, although if multiple things are done, it may be closer to 10-12 days, and you would need someone with you to help you get around as you could do no lifting for a couple of weeks. After seeing your pictures, we can also give you an approximate cost for the procedures you have chosen to have done. JG 8.4.04

Question:

I had a lap band done in January of 2003 and have lost 85 pounds , I am 20 pounds from my personal goal weight and am looking into a tummy tuck , breast lift and implants and upper arm lift. Is it too soon for a consult? I am eager to get it done as my hanging stomach interferes with exercise and hurts my lower back. Thank you!

Answer:

A consult now is certainly a good idea so we can meet, discuss different options and the order of how and when to do things. I would certainly want you within 10 pounds of your target weight as losing weight after surgery may leave you with more loose skin. Please feel free to call and schedule your consultation with us. JG 7.22.04

Question:

Dr.Garcia I have had two c-sections and gallstone surgery and my scars are vertical is it possible to have a tummy tuck with my scars being vertical?

Answer:

Yes, a tummy tuck can take into account the previous vertical incision, but depending on where your skin is loose, you may also require a horizontal incision down lower, but it will be shorter than other typical tummy tuck incisions if a vertical excison is done at the same time. JG 6.15.04

Question:

I have lost 174 lbs in the past 13 months. I had gastric bypass surgery here in Vegas. What kind of tummy tuck would you perform for someone like me who has so much skin? I don't want to have a big stomach hanging over a flat abdomen. A 'y' incision was mentioned by my bypass surgeon, but I don't want a scar going up my stomach! thanks.. lisa s 5/31/04

Answer:

Although the least visible incision is the lower abdominal one, if there has been a large amount of excess skin, you may need a vertical excision along with a horizontal incision. This would leave you a scar going up the middle of your abdomen towards the ribcagee. It may not be what you wanted to hear, but there are serious limitations when we are constrained to a horizontal excison only in someoen with extensive skin redundancy.The incision would look like an inverted T. JG 6.6.04

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia- I'm a 38-yr-old woman, weigh 127 and am 5'3. My problem is my stomach: I have very bad stretch marks from pregnancy (5 yrs ago). The stretch marks have faded, but there are deep grooves and a bit of excess skin. I'm considering a tummy tuck. Would such a procedure eliminate the stretch marks? I realize there will be a scar. How long does the scar stay darkly colored and how well will it fade? Thank you for your advice. — Kim 5/28/04

Answer:

The only stretch marks that will be gone are the ones in the skin that is removed, All others will remain, just in a lower position. The surgical scars look pretty good in a couple of months and full activity is regained in one monthh, light duty in two weeks. JG 6.6.04

Question:

DR GARCIA, I WROTE YOU ABOUT WHETHER A TUMMY TUCK OR LIPO WOULD BE BEST, ANYWAY I SCHEDULED AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR RECEPTIONIST TO SEE YOUR NURSE ON MAY 14TH AND SEE YOU ON THE 18TH. I AM GOING ON A CRUISE ON JUNE 25TH IF I SEE YOU THEN WOULD I BE ABLE TO GET RIGHT IN FOR SURGERY OR DO I HAVE TO WAIT A COUPLE MORE WEEKS? I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS DONE BEFORE I LEAVE IF YOU FEEL I WOULD BE OK BY JUNE 25TH. I PROBABLY WILL HAVE THE MINI TUMMY TUCK WHAT IS THE HEAL TIME? AND COULD YOU GET ME IN SOONER POSSIBLY THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. THANKS AGAIN, BRANDI FURLAN

Answer:

I doubt that we would be able to do your surgery and get you healed in enough time for your cruise. Although it is smaller than a full tummy tuck, you would still be healing and would not be able to enjoy your vacation as much as you should. JG 4.25.04

Question:

DR GARGIA, I AM A MOTHER OF 2 AND HAVE DONE EXERCISE OFF AND ON FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS. I ADMIT MY DIET IS NOT THE BEST HOWEVER I TRY, I HAVE A POUCH UNDER MY BELLY BUTTON AND WOULD LIKE THAT REMOVED AND HAVE A TIGHTER STOMACH, WOULD I NEED A TUMMY TUCK OR WOULD LIPO BE ENOUGH. I AM WORRIED WITH LIPO THAT IT WILL COME BACK WORSE AND THAT A TUMMY TUCK WOULD BE MORE PERMANENT. ALSO HOW LONG IS RECOVERY ON EITHER PROCEDURE AND WHAT IS THE COST ON EACH FOR A MINI TUMMY TUCK AND A REGULAR ONE AS WELL AS LIPO ON STOMACH AND INNER THIGHS. ALSO HOW QUICKLY CAN SURGERY TAKE PLACE AFTER THE INITAL MEETING. I LIVE IN LAS VEGAS AND CAN HAVE IT DONE IMMEDIATELY IF POSSIBLE. YOU MAY CALL ME AS WELL TO TALK ABOUT THIS IF YOU WOULD LIKE AT 303-0147. THANKYOU.

Answer:

A tummy tuck may be a better option for you as liposuction alone may leave loose skin on the lower part of your abdomen. If the belly button does not need to be moved, that is a mini tummy tuck and is less money than a full tummy tuck. Prices are determined by the estimate of time it will take me to correct your problem. I would suggest you meet with one of my nurses who can give you an accurate estimate and give you more specific information regarding your particular case. Once I see you, usually we can do the surgery in 2-4 weeks. Recovery will depend on whether it's a regular versus a full tummy tuck, but will vary from 2-4 weeks. JG 4.24.04

Question:

Hello Dr. Garcia, 1st I will like to say thanks for helping me through my breast lift. Now I have this friend that have had breast inplants Oct 03, and in Feb 04 she got a mini tummy tuck and lipo, since that time she have had to go back to the Dr. to get fluids drained, 5cc each a total of 10 times. Her stomach sometime get very very big from the fluids and her face swells. Her breast is smaller now, she said it as if she haven't had anything done to them. Also she don't have any feeling in her tummy. Her Dr. told her that he have to cut her again to see if he can find what is causing the fluids, I am very scared for her, and I want her to see another Dr. I told her about you and told her to wait to see what you had to say. We are not in the U.S. at this time and I really need to know if she is in any kind of danger. Also my breast lift is ok, we had the same Dr. I got the lift done Aug 03 the left on still have a hard area at the scare about 1/2 inch wide and the same in depth, do I have to have anything done to it or will it go away in time. I know this is a lot, but we need some help. Thank You

Answer:

I think all is OK, for now. I think that aspirating the fluid repeatedly may be the right thing to do short of surgery. She may need a drain placed to empty it all out. There is no immediate danger at this time and she should continue to see her doctor as long as she is there. When you return to the US, you should get a second opinion to see if anything has changed, until then, just continue what the doctor has ordeered. JG 4.14.04

Question:

Hi, I am not sure if I would be a candidate for any procedures... I am overweight... quite a bit(100 lbs overweight), but it centers around my waist more than anything else. I have dieted all my life and am very active physically but cannot seem to take weight off in the stomach area. I have a large pouch starting right below my belly button that hangs over. It bothers me the same way some large chested women would be bothered when I do exercises... i.e. it bounces up and down and pulls. I get alot of back pain from this also.... is there any relief in sight? crn

Answer:

Well the pouch can be surgically removed, but that is not an answer to your weight loss. It may be worthwhile seeing if you are a candidate for stomach banding to shrink your stomach, helping you to lose weight. The skin tightening can then be done after you lose your weight.

Question:

I am having a lot of fat around my lower abdomen and hips how can I get rid of it and how long does it take to recover. What would be the cost?

Answer:

the cost is difficult to determine without actually examining you, as it could vary from $4000 to $6000, depending on the areas and time involved. This would be for liposuction, assuming that there is no loose skin, as that would require a tummy tuck possibly.You should be feeling pretty good in a week and back to most activities in 3 weeks. JG 4.4.04

Question:

I recently had an abdominoplasty (3 weeks ago). My concern is the incision is puckered. My doctore tells me not to worry, but when I look at the incision I fear that it will not smooth out. Is this common with this proceedure and how long before, if at all, this puckering will level out?

Answer:

That is very .very common, and in time, like a couple of months it should all smooth out. Give it time and a little massage and it should all go away. JG 3.19.04

Question:

Hi Doc. I live in Las Vegas and found your website interesting and informative. I am VERY interested in a full tummy tuck. I was pregnant with twins in 2000 and had a C-section; not the bikini cut but the long cut down my abdomen. I have lost a lot of weight since but I have a huge fat deposit on my abdomen area that makes the general public assume that I'm five months pregnant. I hate it! I just turned 30 last month. I am a petite frame sized woman,(5 feet 2 inches) and I currently weight 168lbs. Prior to pregnancy, I was 120 lbs. I have had my tubes tied so NO MORE KIDS! My question is: May I send you pictures of my abdomen so you or your staff can give me a ball park figure? Is financing available? TP 3-7-04

Answer:

Yes, pictures would help us give you an accurate fee quote and we do offer financing through a couple of different companies that are much more competitive than credit cards. The application can be done entirely over the phone after you know what you want to borrow. Please forward your photos to drgarcia@lvcosmeticsurgery.com and my staff will call you as soon as we receive them. Until then, be well. JG 3.7.04

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I recently heard you speak at the Bandsters Ball at TI and was very impressed with your comments directed towards the post weight loss surgery patient and wanted to thank you for your time, but I do have one remaining question for you. I am only midway through my weight loss (55 pounds) but have already developed areas that I need to have reconstructed. Namely my neck, abdomen, inner thighs, and vagina which has developed a lot of loose skin. Would the panniculectomy or belt lipectomy solve the all the problems areas aside from the neck or would multiple smaller procedures be more

Answer:

The belt lipectomy would help with most of your concerns, but if you continue to lose weight, you may need it done again. The second time is always longer time for swelling to resolve. If you are that uncomfortable with things, we could proceed, just be aware that you may need the whole thing done over again. I am glad that you enjoyed the talk at Bandsters. I will have another extreme makeover in the fall on a band patient that we are getting ready for her second phase surgery. Discovery Health has had me on with one previous patient so look for the next one. Be well, and let me know if there is anything else I can do. JG 3.8.04

Question:

Hi I am from Toronto, Ontario I just wanted to know can you get a tummy tuck, and breast enlargement done at the same time.I am 27 years old black women and have two children which is 9 & 2 yrs old. My last child I had a c-section bikin cut so there is only a little bit of loose fat in front of my stomach and some strectch mark that show a little bit, What I am trying to say is, am I the right person for this job. I thought about it right after my last child. Also to know the prices. Thank You, kameka (email me at n_kelly14@hotmail.com)

Answer:

The procedures can be done at the same time, but it would require you staying here for about 10 days. The price would be determined by whether you have a full tummy tuck or a mini, and also where you place the implants, above or below the muscle. Please call my nurse Beth or Gerri and they can individualize your fees for you. Pictures may be helpful also to assist us in determining your needs. JG 2.2.04

Question:

Hi Dr. Garcia, I had abdominoplasty, and a breast lift at your facilty about 5 years ago, I was wondering, I wanted to have another child, but I wanted to know if there would be any problems. carri

Answer:

There are no problems getting pregnanat or carrying the baby, just that the breast lift and the tummy tuck may need to be done over again from the stretching. I hope all goes well with the baby, and good luck. Let us know when you are all done and we can see you and make some recommendations. JG 1.5.04

Question:

it has been almost 1 year and 6 months of my tummy tuck but still getting seroma do I need another surgery?

Answer:

You may need a small exploration and placement of a drain, altough, a re-operation to remove the bursa or sac that has surrounded the fluid may be the most effective.

Question:

After my second sons birth, I had alot of skin around my stomach area. I have tried execises,sit-ups etcs and I am unable to get rid of of that little stomach. What can I do?

Answer:

Skin can be removed with a tummy tuck, and if it is just fat, maybe liposuction could be possible. Exercising will help tighten muscles and lose fat, but unfortunatley will not shrink skin

Question:

I had a tunny tuck and hernia repair 6 months ago. The surgeon used alloderm for the hernia repair. I ended up having a seroma by the hernia repair and the surgeon repeatedly drained the fluid and injected steroids in the area. After 4 months I ended up with my stomach all swollen, went to the hospital where a cat scan showed something in the area where the alloderm was. I was put on heavy intravenous anitbiotics and the seroma did not heal. I had a second surgery where the surgeon cleaned the area and removed any of the alloderm that hadn't already dissolved. It's been over a month after that surgery and the drain has been removed and I still have the seroma. The doctor drained 75 c.c.s of fluid and is at a loss of what is causing this seroma not to heal. Have you heard of any complications with Alloderm and do you have any suggestions. I am tired of being sick.

Answer:

This complication happens after tummy tucks even without Alloderm. The current thinking is that there is shearing or tearing forces from movement after the surgery that causes the tissues under the skin not to attach to the underlying muscles again. Sometimes injections of material that causes irritation are used. At times, when the repeat surgery is done sutures are placed from the skin to the muscle to hold everything down tight, also there are tissue glues that can be sprayed or injected into the cavity to attempt to get adherence of the skin back down. I know it can be frustrating, but it sounds like your doctor has been doing the right things

Question:

I previously asked a question regarding removal of stretch marks located above the navel. The answer was that it was unlikely that stretch marks in this location can be removed with abdominoplasty due to the fact that this is the skin that is pulled down and there probably would not be enough skin available. My question is this. I have heard of tissue expansion. Would it be an option to use tissue expansion just above the area with stretch marks, and then pull the expanded section of skin down and excise the area containing the stretch marks?

Thanks in advance for your response...Melissa

Answer:

well, it is possible, but tissue expander works poorly in the abdominal area as they push inward and have nothing hard for them to stabilize, also there would be the risk of getting stretch marks in the expanded skin!!!!

Question:

I would like to know if stretch marks above the navel can be removed with abdominoplasty. Some information I have read says that they cannot be if they are located there. I have them about four inches above the belly button and loose skin in that area as well as a result of having twins a few years ago. If they cannot be removed with abdominoplasty are there any other options for improving stretch marks that remain after abdominoplasty?

Answer:

The stretch marks above the navel are nearly impossible to remove with an abdominplasty as that skin is pulled down and there probably would not be enough skin to unfold to be able to remove all of them. Unfortunately there are no methods to reliably remove stretch marks. There is a new laser being marketed to help them but as soon as you stop the treatments they return, and actually all that is improved is that the redness fades. It sounds like you may not have many good options available to you to relieve the problem.

Question:

Two issues. I had a tummy tuck and breast lift April 2003 in California. My belly button is not centered. It is set to the right of center. If you did a snap line it would totally clear it. I feel painful tearing inside where my belly button should be with even a yawn. My breasts have thick, wide, ropey scars around the areola (spelling?)(brown part). The areola is misshapened and they protrude out like a drawstring that has been pulled too tight. When I lay on my back the brown part sinks in, there is no substance behind it. The nipples have sensitivity but have become shorter and almost inverted. And on top of it all they still sag to the same degree, there is just less breast to sag. There is also pleating (not puckering), indentation and holes. I pulled out 3 wire sutures they missed. I have to wear an underwire bra to hold them up and a padded one at that, to hide the shape. I tried to get a second opinion here in Calif. but the receptionist said it is doubtful the doctor would say anything negative about another doctors work.
Are my concerns common? My doctor will do revisions for free, but I'm afraid the cost to me physically may be too great. Should I be afraid? Thanks, DD 9/16/03

Answer:

Well, fear is a difficult thing to quantify. As to the scarring around your areola, unfortunately, that is a very common occurance in breast lifts and breast reductions. The reason the areola goes flat while lying down is that the tissue of the breast moves underneath the skin. As to the scars and the puckering, a repeat skin excision may be warranted, and since you are still saggy, a re-do breast lift may need to be done with further bolstering of the breast tissue to give more of a lift and better areola projection. In terms of the nipple itself being shorter, at times when this type of surgery is done, the nerves to the nipple which cause the nipple to get erect are cut and one can lose the ability for the nipple to stand up, usually this is explained to the patient prior to surgery. As to the belly button not being in the center, it can happen, mostly due to scarring underneath the skin, which can also cause the pulling and pain you describe. Moving the belly button can be done, but it may leave a scar where the belly button lies at present. In short, without examining you, it is difficult to say what is needed, but it seems that some improvements could be achieved. These issues can happen even in the absence of medical malpractice. I think you should talk to your doctor and see if something can be worked out, as having someone else do it will lead to additioanl fees charged by the new surgeon, along with the healing period needed.

Question:

After my pregnancy I still have a flat stomach but the skin is kind of hanging around my belly button. Is there anything to get rid of my problem?

Answer:

Unfortunately, the only way to remove the wrinkled skin is by cutting it out, which will leave a a scar somewhere. The location of it will depend on the amount of skin to be removed. There are no exercises or peels that will improve the loose skin in that location

Question:

Dr. Garcia, I am 25 years old. A mother of two. I have stretch marks on my stomach, as well as my buttocks, and my thighs. I also have flabby skin on my stomach. My stomach is flat though. I am getting ready to have my breast enlarged at your facility soon. Is there anything you can do about the stretch marks as well? if so, how much does it cost? The skin on my tummy is from 2 c-sections. Can you help me? I am an up-coming rap artist, and I have an image to uphold!.....Help!
R.Y.D., Las Vegas, Nv

Answer:

Well, the only way we have presently is to remove the skin on the abdomen and then the skin which is removed will remove some of the stretch marks. There are no lasers or creams otherwise that improve stretch marks to any significant degree. Sorry

Question:

Hi I'm interested in having breast implants and a tummy tuck. Can both procedures be done at the same time or how long should I wait after I have either one done. Also I have big thighs and no bottom leg. Do you do calves implants or know anyone who does? Thank you.

Answer:

well thay can be done simultaneously but your level of disability will be greater and you will need more help for longer, like getting in and out of bed and normal house chores. Usually a 3-6 month time period in between is better. Also it depends on how extensive the tummy tuck is. If it a smaller one,then doing them together may be more feasable. As to calf implants, I'm unaware of anyone doing them in Las Vegas, Dr Aiche in Beverly Hills does do them. As to the fat on the thighs, liposuction at one of the surgeries could also be performed.

Question:

I'm considering getting a tummy tuck because when I had my daughter it left that little pouch of skin. If I still want to have kids would a tummy tuck have any effect on it?

Answer:

The tummy tuck will have no effect on your ability to carry the pregnancy to term, but it will re-stretch the skin and muscles again and essentially undo everything the tummy tuck will do. For this reason I would suggest you wait untill you are done having children, sorry.

Question:

In Jan. 2000 I had the Full Tummy Tuck done by you and was extremely pleased with the results. I told all of my friends to see you for consultations for their own questions. At the time of my surgery, I had not planned on having more children but as things in my life changed I desired another baby and recently had my forth child. I am scheduled to have my tubes tied. My belly button has turned a very dark brown now and of course I have more loose skin and an extremely unattractive b. button. I am working out, continuing the Bodywise regimine and excercising to stay and keep healthy. My questions are these, Would a mini tummy tuck fix the skin and the belly button or does fixing the belly button require the full tummy tuck? Do you recommend a tummy tuck along with face lift, brow lift and nose surgery all at the same time? Or done seperate? I am now 41 and considering some facial procedures. D. A. L. May 4, 2003

Answer:

As to whether a mini tummy tuck would be the answer depends on where the skin is loose now. If it is only beow the belly button, a mini procedure may be possible, if there is loose skin above the belly button, then a more extensive procedure than the mini may be needed. The scarring does not necessarily have to be worse the second time, but you may be swollen for a longer period of time. As to having facial procedures done at