Introduction The abdominoplasty procedure is a plastic surgery intervention used to tighten and flatten the abdomen of the patient. The procedure is also known as the tummy tuck and has become increasingly popular over the last years, as it is one of the safest and simplest methods to eliminate excess skin and fats in the abdominal area. We already know that the excess skin and stubborn fat tissue in the tummy area are resistant to diet and exercise. The tummy tuck surgery or, in some cases, the mini tummy tuck, are the only viable options. The ideal candidates for the tummy tuck Excessively overweight persons or those who went through significant weight loss but left with too much excess skin and fats can greatly benefit from a tummy tuck surgery. They are the ideal candidates for the tummy tuck intervention, once their weight has stabilized for at least six months. The tummy tuck is also known as “mommy makeover” precisely because it can help mommies regain figures affected by pregnancy weight gain as well as tighten weakened abdominal muscles. They are also good candidates for the intervention, but they must have given birth at least four to six months prior the intervention date. That said, here are five things you need to do before your tummy tuck procedure: 1. Make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure The tummy tuck are ideal for patients who have already reached a stable weight and want to get rid of the surplus skin and adipose tissue from the abdominal area. Pregnant women or women who are planning to have more children in the future should postpone the procedure for a while. Ideally, it is recommended that tummy tuck be done after the patient has no more plans of getting pregnant, as a new pregnancy will negate the beneficial effects of a tummy tuck. To be a good candidate for the procedure, you will have to understand and accept that there will be permanent scarring after the tummy tuck. Many patients struggle with the idea of having the marks on their body for the rest of their lives, but the tummy tuck procedure can’t be performed otherwise. The plastic surgeon will evaluate your health status and current condition of the abdominal region and will advise if you can qualify for the mini tummy tuck, an intervention with less scarring. 2. Get ready for the surgery Once you reach a stable and close to ideal weight, the tummy tuck intervention becomes an option. You will need to avoid drinking herbal infusions, vitamins, natural supplements, birth control pills and anti-inflammatory medications for at least a week or two before the intervention. Quit smoking at least 14 days prior and after surgery. During the initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, it will be determined if you need a tummy tuck, or a mini tummy tuck or a tummy tuck combined with a liposuction or other plastic surgery procedure etc.. The surgeon’s recommendation will also take into consideration other surgeries you might have had in the area, as well as other medical conditions, allergic reactions that may affect safety during and after surgery. Two weeks before the surgery, you will need to stop taking any medication that contains aspirin. The birth control pills should be halted 4 to 6 weeks prior to surgery. Smoking is also forbidden before and after the surgery. Most plastic surgeons will avoid performing the intervention during the patient’s menstrual cycle. Keep in mind that before the surgery, you need to be in good, physical health. Even something as simple as a common cold can cause a delay of the surgery. You cannot eat or drink for at least eight hours before the intervention. 3. Find out all the details about the operative stages You will be administered a general anesthetic and then the plastic surgeon will make the incisions. Usually, the incision will be performed from hip to hip. The longer the incision, the more skin and fat can be removed. The next step would be to separate the excess skin from the abdominal wall and to tighten the weakened abdominal muscles using internal sutures. This step of the procedure creates the tinier waist and tighter and firmer abdomen. Once the surplus skin is removed, the incision is sutured and bandaged to prevent infection. The procedure usually takes about two to three hours, but it will really depend on the complexity of the surgery. You might be required to spend the night in the medical facility. 4. Get ready for the recovery period after the tummy tuck The results of the tummy tuck intervention are visible within two or three weeks after the procedure when most of the swelling will have vanished. The recovery period takes between two and four weeks, but usually, the patients can get back to work and resume their daily activities within one or two weeks. Make sure to take time off work and arrange to have someone helping you around the house to give your body time to heal after the surgery. Before going home, you will be instructed to wear a special compression garment that needs to be kept on for the first few days after the procedure. The compression garment plays an important role in the healing process, as it can help reduce the size of the scars in the surgical area. 5. Be aware of the potential risks and complications of the tummy tuck surgery The tummy tuck surgery presents the typical minor risks of any plastic surgery procedure. Complications associated with the tummy tuck can include: – Bleeding – The need for a revision surgery – Injury of the nerves in the surgical area – Infections – Ruptures of the internal sutures There are also a few side effects that can occur after a tummy tuck intervention. You can feel dizzy and nauseous but this is mainly due to the general anesthesia administered during surgery. Expect some numbness in the incision area, swelling, bruising and pain that can be controlled with analgesic pills.