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Dina's Tummy Tuck Surgery Story

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"That was going to be
my 50th birthday present."

A Birthday Present to Herself

Dina first started thinking about getting a tummy tuck when she was in her early 30s. It wasn't until she turned 50, however, that she decided it was time to follow through.

"That was going to be my 50th birthday present."

The mother of three adult sons, Dina said she underwent a hysterectomy in her 30s and was left with scars that made her self-conscious. Her avid exercising kept her trim and healthy, but it didn't improve the appearance of her abdomen.

"Pretty much my whole stomach was distorted," she says. "Nothing I did at the gym was going to make that go away."

'Dreaming About This a Long Time'

After waiting for years, Dina decided it was time to act. She started asking for recommendations about plastic surgeons to do a tummy tuck in Indiana. Dina works for a medical practice, and she asked two physicians in separate conversations for their recommendations. Both unequivocally recommended Dr. Gus Galante, a board certified plastic surgeon. She looked online and read only positive comments about the physician.

During her consultation, Dina says, the first thing Dr. Galante asked was whether she intended to maintain her current weight. She assured him she was ready.

"I've been dreaming about this a long time."

She also says Dr. Galante made her feel very comfortable, asking about her cosmetic goals and suggesting she might benefit from liposuction to remove a small amount of fat on each side to enhance her contours. He also asked why she wanted to have a tummy tuck. Dina says she smiled and told him when he saw her stomach, "you won't ask that question again."

'Honestly a Pleasant Experience'

After a final preoperative consultation, Dina says, the procedure itself went smoothly.

"I was nervous," she says. "I've never done anything like that before."

She says the immaculate office and surgical center where the outpatient procedure was done set her at ease. "I was in and out in a few hours," she says, adding that Dr. Galante followed up with a phone call the night of the surgery to make sure she was doing fine.

"It seems funny to say this, but overall it was honestly a pleasant experience."

"I've been dreaming about
this a long time."

Finally, a Two-Piece Bathing Suit

With the tummy tuck, she could finally feel comfortable showing off the results of all those long hours of exercising. "My stomach is flat."

"I went with a girlfriend to Vegas," she says, "and I bought my first two-piece bathing suit since I was 18 or 19 years old."

Dina says the results improved even more with time. The ultimate satisfaction, she says, came when she and her husband attended a friend's July Fourth pool party that they've been going to for years. When she was able to wear a bathing suit and walk around the pool without being self-conscious, "it was just like the greatest feeling in the world."

The results look so natural, she adds, that many acquaintances can't quite put their finger on why she looks so good.

"Everybody asks me if I had a 'boob job,' not a tummy tuck," she says with a laugh. "That is no lie."

Her husband's reaction, however, was the most memorable, says Dina, especially once the swelling diminished and the real results of the tummy tuck appeared.

"He said, 'Wow, I wished we never waited that long.'"

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