By Sherri Roberts Lopez
Proving to the world that motherhood doesn’t mean your youthful feminine allure has to become a wistful memory of yore, singer Mariah Carey shows off her curvaceously fit physique on the cover of this month’s Shape magazine—just one year after the birth of her twins.
After gaining 70 pounds and enduring such pregnancy challenges as toxemia, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia, Carey credits her workout regime and structured diet plan with helping her shed the stubborn postpartum pounds that melted off more easily in her pre-baby days. Her tough but ultimately rewarding experience compelled her to join forces with the American Heart Association to spread the message, “You can live longer and better if you eat well and move more. I’m hoping people are inspired by my own journey and start taking the right steps toward being healthier.”
While speculation abounds as to whether a tummy tuck might be partially responsible for the singer’s flat, toned abs, she could be among that fortunate group of women who have the right combination of superb skin elasticity and genetics that allow them to regain their youthful, firm abdomens after childbirth.
However, for many—including those who are dedicated fitness enthusiasts—the great stretching force that pregnancy places upon the skin and underlying muscle wall leaves the area with loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles that no amount of dieting or exercise can make firm again.
As Angie, a patient of Dr. Patronella and a former fitness trainer who enjoys participating in marathons and bike races, commented, “As hard as I worked out, that extra skin around the belly button would not go away. I was seeing results everywhere but there.”
During her consultation with Dr. Patronella, Angie—the mother of three grown daughters, including twins— told the surgeon, ‘I have done physically everything I can do. You just need to tweak me here and there to reach the physical result I want to achieve.’”
Electing to have a tummy tuck in conjunction with a breast lift and breast augmentation to rejuvenate her breasts, which had lost shape and firmness through the years, Angie said the physical improvements lifted her up and made her even more confident. It was a step, she noted “I should have taken a long time ago.”
A Woman’s Perspective
By Sherri Roberts
For those of us who work with cosmetic plastic surgery patients, a new study which reports the combination of tummy tuck surgery and liposuction has a soaring satisfaction rate of more than 99 percent comes as no surprise.
Almost without exception, Dr. Patronella’s patients who undergo this procedure combination express unabashed elation about their new look.Though they expected to feel better about the way they look in and out of clothes, they often are amazed at how far-reaching this positive aesthetic change translates to their self-image and zest for life.
As Gail, age 54, a teacher and mother of two college students noted, “I’ve always been a confident person—I was a ballerina in high school, so I had good posture, a proportionate body, and I carried extra weight well.” But despite working out, she still had loose abdominal skin and a tummy pooch, and she wanted to be “smaller and more lifted.”
After making the decision to have tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Patronella to restore the svelte contour of her abdomen, along with breast surgery and a body lift to obtain a firmer, shapelier appearance in areas that had begun to sag due to the effects of childbirth, aging, and gravity, Gail said, “ I now have a better body than I did before having children!”
The change, she commented, has been life-changing in a lot of subtle ways, “It’s the confidence you have when you walk into a room,” men approaching her to strike up a conversation when she goes out, and the fun of shopping for clothes that you know you’re going to look smashing in. “I have a spectacular, new wardrobe with more fitted and stylish clothes, whereas, before, everything I wore was loose and flowy,” she said.
Like Gail, 86 percent of the 360 patients who took part in the study, which was published in the April 2012 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said they experienced a boost in self-esteem, and 70 percent reported a higher quality of life after surgery. And if they had it to do all over again, would they? A resounding 98 percent responded, “Yes!” And 99 percent would recommend it to others.
Gail agreed, “I had a good life before surgery, but this change just enhanced it and made it even greater.”
A tummy tuck is major surgery that involves numerous components to achieve high-quality aesthetic results and the safest possible outcome for the patient. These elements will be reflected in the price you pay, so be wary of using cost as the sole criterion that influences your decision. A reputable, skilled plastic surgeon will not cut corners to save costs at the expense of compromising your health and aesthetic results.
Dr. Patronella noted, “A proper tummy tuck requires a significant amount of skill to perform. Cost is an understandably important consideration to weigh in making the decision to pursue cosmetic plastic surgery. But if the price of having a well-done procedure is prohibitive, it would be best to either reconsider or wait to have it done until it is feasible.”
The advent of companies such as Care Credit and M-Lend have made this a more viable option for many. By offering financing plans for tummy tuck surgery and other elective procedures, these companies break the total cost down into affordable monthly payments, similar to the process one may use to purchase a car.
In evaluating the price of tummy tuck surgery, carefully investigate the following aspects that comprise the entire experience:
- The qualifications and skillfulness of the doctor and surgical staff
- The professionalism of the staff and support personnel
- The comfort and attention to detail you receive from the staff
- The quality and safety of the surgeon’s office and surgery center
- The care you receive before, during, and after surgery
- Your surgical result
Dr. Patronella uses only board certified anesthesiologists to administer anesthesia and monitor patients, and he performs surgery in a private surgical facility that is licensed and accredited—a label which indicates adequate emergency equipment and procedural protocols are in place, and the doctor is properly trained in the procedures he performs. While these measures add to the expense of having surgery, they help to ensure the safest possible conditions are provided for patients.
Oftentimes, fees that are quoted do not include all the costs that are associated with the procedure, which can make it difficult to accurately compare and assess the true value. The $9200 starting price for tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Patronella is comprehensive and includes all of the costs associated with the procedure, including:
- The surgeon’s fee
- The anesthesiologist’s fee
- The surgical facility fee
- A pain pump to alleviate discomfort during recovery
- Compression garments to reduce swelling
- An overnight stay in one of Dr. Patronella’s private surgery center’s four private post-operative recovery suites, where you will be carefully monitored by Dr. Patronella’s caring, well-trained staff of registered nurses
- A visit to your home on the day following surgery from a certified medical professional who will monitor your recovery, change your dressings, assist you with medications, and provide Dr. Patronella with an update on your recovery
- Follow-up visits
- Supplemental vitamins to support your healing and recovery
- Postsurgical therapeutic massage with a licensed massage therapist
- A microdermabrasion or chemical peel skin care treatment to smooth and brighten facial skin
Each component has been included in order to optimize the aesthetic outcome, safety, comfort, and recovery of patients to provide them with an exceptional level of attentive service. This has proven to be an invaluable source of reassurance and comfort to patients, who appreciate that every detail of their care has been carefully planned and carried out to ensure their experience is as smooth, satisfying and rewarding as the new look they receive.