How to Prepare For A Tummy Tuck?
When you decide to have a tummy tuck, to get the best results from your surgery, you will need to put a plan into place right away. If you have been eating healthy, working out for several months, and now just need to get rid of loose skin and stubborn fat deposits, then you are just about ready. If you are not close to your ideal weight, are not physically fit, smoke, etc, a consultation with your surgeon will be essential to come up with a plan on how to prepare for a tummy tuck surgery to ensure it will yield the best results.
abdominoplasty surgery preparation
Choose a Qualified Surgeon
Part of preparing for tummy tuck surgery, and the most important step, is choosing a surgeon. The surgeon you choose to perform your surgery will be critical to your results so use careful consideration and choose a highly-skilled, board-certified surgeon who has vast experience in the type of tummy tuck you will be having.
During your initial consultation with the surgeon, it is important that you discuss your expectations.
- Let them know why you want abdominoplasty surgery and what end result you hope for;
- Point out the areas that bother you so you will both be on the same page as far as what is and is not possible through a tummy tuck;
- It is important for you to discuss not only the benefits but the risks and any resulting scarring that may occur.
During the initial consultation for your abdominoplasty the surgeon will:
- Obtain some medical history – be ready to provide any information regarding current or previous medical conditions, past surgeries, and any medications you have recently taken or are still taking;
- Do a physical exam – the surgeon will be able to determine which type of tummy tuck is best for your situation and provide any pre-surgery directives to help you with how to prepare for a tummy tuck;
- Take some pictures of your abdomen for your medical record.
Being well informed when preparing for a tummy tuck should make your experience less stressful and your recovery smoother.
4-6 Months Before Having A Tummy Tuck
Most surgeons require that patients be close to their ideal weight before undergoing a tummy tuck. The minute you decide that you are going to have tummy tuck surgery is the time for some serious lifestyle changes if you have not already made them.
Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, stress management, and keeping on track with a steady exercise routine should be your main focus. If you smoke, most surgeons will require you to quit several months before surgery as well as limit your alcohol consumption. Getting down to your ideal weight and improving your overall health before you have surgery will help your body heal faster, and better, and give your immune system an added boost to fight off infection.
2-3 Months Before A Tummy Tuck
During this portion of your tummy tuck preparation, you should be working closely with your surgeon’s office to:
- Review your medical history and go over any medications you may be taking, etc. Some medications may need to be suspended or changed prior to surgery so planning ahead will allow transition time if necessary;
- Check on the status of lifestyle changes implemented such as weight loss, exercise plan, diet & nutrition, quitting smoking, etc;
- The surgeon may want you to have some lab tests done in preparation for surgery and will go over these with you at this time.
Arrange Post-Op Tummy Tuck Help
You will also need to arrange some help for when you come home from your surgery. You will not be able to drive after tummy tuck surgery until you have been cleared by the surgeon and you will need to have someone care for you for about a week or two. You will also have some lifting restrictions while you heal so If you have small children or pets that will require care while you are recovering, it would be a good time to secure a plan for them.
1 Month Before Having A Tummy Tuck
You are nearing the end of your abdominoplasty surgery preparation and before you know it, the big day will be here! During the next four weeks, you should create a tummy tuck pre-op checklist and work from it to make sure you do not forget anything important.
When you arrive home after surgery, you will be uncomfortable and will not be able to get around and do things that seem easy right now. During this time, having things easily accessible and prepared will make your recovery smoother and stress-free.
Some things you can do as part of your tummy tuck preparation include:
- Stock up – ensuring your pantry is well stocked, prescriptions are filled, and you will not run out of essentials like toilet paper or feminine products will help your recovery period run smoother.
- Advanced meal preparation -preparing healthy meals and freezing them will make it easier to maintain the improved lifestyle habits formed over the last several months. It will also make it easier for your caregiver to take care of you and your children/family.
- Put the house in order – having the laundry caught up, cleaning supplies in order, and easily accessible, items that are needed for the children or pets laid out and organized will save time, and help a caregiver, as well as you, keep the household running efficiently during your recovery.
- Gather aftercare supplies – having all the items handy that you will need during your recovery will help your peace of mind and ensure a smoother recovery. It is a good idea to work with your surgeon on your pre-op tummy tuck checklist to make sure you are not missing anything important.
Some of the supplies you might need as part of your abdominoplasty preparation include:
- Comfortable clothing that is easy to get on and off;
- Recliner to sleep in;
- Compression garments/socks;
- A tody pillow;
- Extra pillows;
- Stool softener;
- A toilet seat riser;
- Ointments made for scar prevention;
- Alcohol wipes;
- Gauze pads;
- Ice packs;
- Over-the-counter pain reliever for discomfort.
Day Of Abdominoplasty Surgery
- Wear comfortable clothing and ensure you have done everything according to the pre-op tummy tuck checklist your surgeon provided;
- Arrive at the surgical center on time;
- Get ready to start the next day with your new more contoured abdomen!