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TUMMY TUCK CONFESSIONS: THINGS PATIENTS WISH THEY DID BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY

The decision to undergo tummy tuck surgery is only the first step. There are many factors both before and after the actual procedure that lead to a comfortable recovery and a desirable result. Here are some things to keep in mind to best prepare for your tummy tuck.

BEFORE SURGERY

QUIT SMOKING

Before undergoing any surgery, it’ll be recommended that you quit smoking at least four weeks prior. Smoking can be one of the most detrimental things you can do for your body’s recovery. Not only will smoking and other tobacco use increase your chance of complications both during and after the operation (such as anesthesia risks, blood clotting, etc.), it can also impair your overall recovery as well as the healing of your scar. Smoking decreases blood flow, which is the opposite of what you want to ensure a smooth and proper recovery. The decrease will slow down your healing process, weaken your immune system, and lead to a higher chance of more visible scarring.

LOSE WEIGHT

It is a common misconception that tummy tuck surgery will remove all of the excess fat in the abdomen, and it is not a substitute for weight loss. While there will be some fat removed during the procedure, it often only results in the loss of a couple of pounds. The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is the patient who is at or near their goal weight and has stubborn pockets of fat, excess skin, and weak or separated muscles that have resulted from pregnancies or weight loss. Many overweight patients find that their results are less than ideal because they rushed into surgery before their body was ready. Be patient and make sure you are at a good weight before considering tummy tuck surgery to ensure the best results.

PREPARE AHEAD

Once you come home from your procedure, you will feel wiped out for weeks. The night after is not the time to prepare your home for your recovery. The best way to ready yourself for your surgery is to assemble your home for easy recovery. The more you have prepared before, such as a comfortable, stress-free space with lots of pillows and plenty of easy to prepare food, the better off you will be afterward.

AFTER SURGERY

REST, REST, REST

Tummy tuck surgery is a big deal. If you think about it, every movement you make during the day is somehow intertwined with your core muscles, and after surgery, it’s your core that may feel like it’s out of commission. While it may not feel like it at the time, your body will heal, the pain will vanish, and you will eventually realize that all of the discomforts you experienced were well worth it for the results you will achieve. Your recovery period is, unfortunately, something you just have to get through and the best way to do that is rest. Many patients feel like they are tough and will be able to get back to their routines sooner than their doctor says, but in reality, taking it easy is the best path to take to achieve your desired results. Get plenty of sleep, don’t strain yourself, and take slow and comfortable walks around your house to keep your blood moving. Give yourself this time to relax and let others pamper and take care of you.

HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

The tummy tuck surgery is one of the most extensive cosmetic procedures. For a full tummy tuck, an incision will be made from hip bone to hip bone where all of the muscles will be tightened and adjusted. Following your procedure, you will have a scar from hip bone to hip bone and will be uncomfortable for a little bit while you heal. Your surgeon will do their best to conceal this scar (either in a previously existing cesarean scar or in an easy to cover area beneath the bikini line); however, the scar will be visible to you. Having realistic expectations about your surgery and recovery will help the whole process go smoothly. Tummy tuck surgery will tighten, firm, and sculpt your entire midsection, and it can change the way you perceive yourself and increase your confidence.

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