Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in Santa Barbara, CA
The abdomen is often considered a problem area for both men and women who are striving to obtain their ideal bodies. It can often be the first area to expand after weight gain, and the last to slim down when weight is lost.
In some cases, the midsection seems resistant to all diet and exercise efforts. If you are near your ideal weight and still unsatisfied with the profile of your abdomen, a tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) may be right for you.
Dr. Sara Yegiyants can help reshape your abdomen. She is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with an early academic career in art before her study of medicine and surgery.
Alone or as part of a mommy makeover, your tummy tuck surgery can restore the firmness and shape you want. Dr. Yegiyants’ has helped hundreds of patients feel great about their bodies through abdominoplasty.
Schedule your Santa Barbara tummy tuck consultation today by calling Dr. Yegiyants and her team at 805-682-1731.
Schedule a Consultation
Ready to take the next steps towards booking a procedure? Schedule your consultation today to begin your aesthetic journey with Sara Yegiyants, MD, FACS.
Your Abdominoplasty Consultation at our Boutique Office
Before your first in-office meeting, it’s a good idea to gather your questions and concerns, so Dr. Yegiyants can ensure your complete confidence. Dr. Yegiyants will review your medical records extensively and discuss ultimate goals.
Dr. Yegiyants has advanced training in arts and aesthetics, and she will draw upon this background to study the natural shape of your body and make recommendations for the contouring of your abdomen.
She will also take the time necessary to make sure she fully understands what you want for yourself and that you know what to expect throughout the process.
Santa Barbara Tummy Tuck: Frequently Asked Questions
Is a tummy tuck right for me?
There are several reasons you may have sagging skin, excess fat, and a bulge around your abdomen.
Some people naturally store fat in this location. For patients who have had children, pregnancy often causes a separation of underlying abdominal muscles, which makes it challenging to regain your waistline and flat stomach. Others have experienced significant weight loss, which can result in loose skin and poor tone around the abdomen.
There are many ways to treat the abdomen for improving tone and profile. For those with excess fat but relatively firm skin tone, liposuction alone may produce the results you desire.
For those with excess fat and moderate skin tone, liposuction can be combined with a skin tightening device such as the BodyTite to promote increased tightening of the skin.
While your surgeon may incorporate liposuction as part of your abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck also involves the removal of excess skin and repair of underlying muscles that may have separated, causing expansion of the abdomen.
Patients who plan to become pregnant should postpone a tummy tuck until after they are done having children, as future pregnancies may cause damage to the abdominal wall. If you are not near your desired weight and anticipate significant future weight loss, it may be best to postpone body contouring surgery.
A tummy tuck is not an alternative to weight loss. In general, you should be at a relatively stable weight when you have your tummy tuck.
How Is the Tummy Tuck Performed?
Dr. Yegiyants can perform several different techniques, based on your anatomy, desired results, and what can give you the best possible outcome.
The techniques vary, depending on how much skin and fat must be removed and whether you are having accompanying procedures, such as a butt lift or additional skin and fat removal planned.
Mini or Partial Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is most appropriate for patients who have a lower belly “pooch,” or whose problem area is located mostly below the navel.
The surgical incision is smaller than that for a full tummy tuck, usually only a few inches long and easily hidden by most underwear and bikini bottoms.
This approach allows our surgeon to re-contour your lower abdomen through fat and skin removal and repair of lower stomach muscles that may have separated. Note that the mini tummy tuck does not usually address the upper part of the abdomen.
Classic Tummy Tuck
During a full tummy tuck, Dr. Yegiyants reshapes both the upper and lower areas of the abdomen, making an incision in the lower abdomen, usually in a U-shape spanning from hip to hip. It is placed low enough to be hidden by most underwear.
Another incision is made around the navel. The abdominal muscles are repaired, and excess fat and skin removed. The remaining skin is stretched over the belly, and the navel may be repositioned as necessary.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck can allow for the treatment of not only the belly but the flanks and back as well. Especially for patients who have had significant weight loss, there may be excess sagging skin in the belly and around the sides and back.
A longer incision than the classic tummy tuck allows Dr. Yegiyants to remove excess fat and skin from the sides and back as well, significantly enhancing your contour. Though the scar is more significant and may not be hidden by all clothing, many patients consider the changed silhouette to be well worth it.
What Can I Expect During Recovery and Beyond?
After surgery, you will have bandages to protect and support your abdomen and minimize post-surgical swelling; you may also have surgical drains in place. You may or may not be able to leave the surgical center on the same day as your procedure, depending on which surgeries were completed during your appointment.
You will be able to get up and walk some during the first few days, but you should plan to rest. For at least the first couple of days, you will need someone with you.
It is common to experience significant soreness for several days following the procedure. Dr. Yegiyants will prescribe pain medication to enhance your comfort. Dr. Yegiyants performs an abdominal nerve block with long-lasting medications during the tummy tuck to ensure comfort for 72 hours after surgery, after which any pain normally subsides.
It is important that you follow all post-operative instructions to maximize your healing and promote the best possible outcome.
Any surgical drains will likely be removed within a week.
For select patients, drainless abdominoplasty is offered. Before surgery, you will be given instructions on how to care for your incisions and surgical drains. Your ultimate recovery time will depend on which abdominoplasty procedure you undergo.
You may be able to drive and return to work after a couple of weeks if you have an office-type job and are no longer needing prescription pain medication. Your activity will still be limited, and you should not plan on doing any exercise other than walking for 4-6 weeks while your body is healing.
You will notice some immediate results from your surgery, but it may take months for your swelling to subside and your belly to fully heal. Over time, the appearance of surgical scars will also fade.
How Long Will I Be out of Work?
Rest and recovery are essential after a tummy tuck. We usually recommend patients take at least two weeks off from work after surgery. If you work at a physically demanding job, you will need additional time off.
Don’t be tempted to skimp on recovery time and return to work before you’re ready. Getting rest and allowing your body to heal are crucial for avoiding complications and achieving your ideal aesthetic result. By the end of two weeks, most patients can complete many daily tasks. It can take four to six weeks or longer before you’re ready for strenuous activities after tummy tuck surgery.
How Long Before I Can Exercise?
Seeing your new, flat tummy can provide a boost of exercise motivation, but we encourage you to be patient. Your new and improved tummy will be waiting for you after you see your recovery all the way through. Wait until Dr. Yegiyants clears you to head back to the gym.
Patients can typically resume strenuous activities within six to eight weeks of their tummy tuck. Gentle walking can begin shortly after surgery, as soon as you can get up and start moving again. After about four weeks, many patients are ready to resume gentle exercise, including some arm and leg stretches. Slowly build up to your pre-surgery workout regimen. Abdominal exercises and heavy weightlifting should be the last things you incorporate; wait about three months before attempting crunches, sit-ups, or weights.
My Abdomen Feels Tight After Surgery. Will I Hurt Something If I Move?
After a tummy tuck, it is very common for the abdomen to feel tight. This tightness is a result of pulling the muscles and redraping the skin. Most patients don’t find the tightness an issue, and realize it resolves by itself within a few months of surgery.
Moving is one of the best things you can do to loosen up tight skin after a tummy tuck. We recommend regular exercise, including lots of stretching. Remember to listen to your body. Exercise shouldn’t be painful. Tightness is normal, but if it hurts, you may be doing too much.
To keep yourself safe, make sure you resume physical activities slowly. Don’t start exercising until Dr. Yegiyants gives you the OK, and avoid abdominal exercises for at least 12 weeks.
Can I Become Pregnant After an Abdominoplasty? What Happens If I Do?
A tummy tuck does not prevent pregnancy. Ask your doctor about birth control options if you do not want to become pregnant.
Pregnancy is safe after a tummy tuck, but we don’t recommend it. During pregnancy, the abdomen rapidly expands, stretching the skin and muscle as the baby grows. This stretching is safe, but it often has a negative cosmetic impact. Stretch marks can occur, abdominal muscles loosen, and skin may become saggy and deflated.
For tummy tuck results that last, we recommend waiting for surgery until you’re finished bearing children. Ask us about our mommy makeover to restore and enhance your body after your final pregnancy.
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Meet Dr. Yegiyants
Sara Yegiyants, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in surgical and non-invasive procedures. Learn more about Dr. Yegiyants and why you should choose her for your next procedure.