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5 Things you should do before a tummy tuck

Abdominoplasty is a plastic surgery performed to tighten and improve the appearance of the patient’s abdomen. The procedure is commonly called the tummy tuck and it has increasingly grown in demand over the last few years as it is one of the easiest and safest methods that help patients get rid of excess skin and fat on the tummy area.

Most of us are already aware of the fact that the surplus skin and adipose tissue located on the belly are very difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty or mini abdominoplasty are two of the solutions that can really correct and improve the aspect of the abdominal wall.

Ideal candidates

Significantly overweight individuals who underwent a major weight loss and are now suffering from excessive skin and fat tissue can considerably benefit from abdominoplasty. However, their weight needs to be stable for at least six months before scheduling the procedure.

The abdominoplasty can also be a part of the Mommy Makeover procedure as it can help the new mother get back to the pre-pregnancy body shape and also tighten the loose tummy muscles that can be caused by pregnancy. Again, it should be at least six months since they gave birth until they are eligible to undergo the surgery.

  1. Ensure that you are eligible for the tummy tuck surgery

Abdominoplasty is the perfect treatment option for individuals who have a constant weight and need help eliminating the excess skin and fat tissue from the belly area. Women that are pregnant or desire to have more children after the procedure are advised to postpone the intervention. Getting pregnant again after abdominoplasty can alter the results achieved.

To be an ideal candidate, you need to accept and understand the fact that scarring is part of the intervention. Some patients are not comfortable with the idea of being left with permanent marks on their body after the tummy tuck, but the procedure can only be performed this way.

Your plastic surgeon will assess your medical and emotional condition, as well as the status of the tummy area and let you know whether you qualify for a complete tummy tuck or a partial tummy tuck.

2. Prepare for the abdominoplasty surgery

Once the patient reaches a normal weight that is stabilized for at least a few months, the tummy tuck can be performed. To be able to undergo the procedure, your plastic surgeon will recommend you to avoid drinking herbal infusions, natural supplements (even vitamins), birth control pills and anti-inflammatory drugs for at least a few weeks prior to the intervention. You will also be required to stop smoking for 14 days before and after the procedure.

During the first meeting with the plastic surgeon it will be decided whether you require a complete tummy tuck intervention, a mini tummy tuck or a combination of procedures (e.g. the tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction for more impressive results). The surgeon’s indications will also consider what other interventions you had in the area in the past and other medical conditions that you might be suffering from, including allergic reactions.

Any drugs that contain aspirin should be avoided for at least 14 days before the intervention. Treatment with birth control pills, if you are taking one, should be stopped at least a month before the surgery. Remember that smoking is strongly forbidden before and after the procedure. A responsible plastic surgeon would not perform the procedure when the patient is having her menstrual cycle. Being in a good physical condition is a prerequisite of the intervention. The procedure can be postponed even for something as simple as a cold. Don’t drink or eat anything for at least eight hours before the surgery.

3. Get all the information about the surgical stages

A general anesthesia will be performed on the patient before the surgeon will start making the incisions. In most cases, the incisions go from hip to hip. A longer incision is needed so the plastic surgeon can remove more tissue.

The next stage is to separate the surplus skin from the tummy wall and strengthen the loose belly muscles with internal sutures. During this stage, a slimmer waist is created and the abdomen gets flatter and firmer. After the excess skin is eliminated, the incisions are sutured and the surgical wounds are dressed up to avoid infections.

The intervention doesn’t usually last longer than three hours, but the length of the procedure is highly dependent on the complexity of the case. The patient might be sometimes required to stay in the medical facility overnight.

4. Prepare for the recovery period

The outcomes of the abdominoplasty procedure can be fully noticeable within a few weeks when the inflammation has disappeared. The recovery period usually doesn’t last longer than a month, but in most cases, the patients can resume work and normal daily activities within the first two weeks. The patient should make sure that time off work is possible and also arrange to have some help at the house when returning from the medical facility.

Before you will be released from the medical facility, the plastic surgeon will give you instructions about wearing a special compression corset. The girdle needs to be kept on at all times for the first few weeks as it has an essential role to play in the healing process. The girdle also helps reduce the swelling and the size of the scars in the area.

5. Consider the risks and possible complications

The abdominoplasty procedure is associated with general minor complications of any surgical intervention. Possible complications that can accompany the tummy tuck procedure are, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Additional interventions for revision purposes
  • Damage to the nerves in the area
  • Infection
  • Rupture of the surgical sutures

Some patients can also experience a few side effects. Dizziness and nausea are not abnormal and they are usually triggered by the anesthesia. Numbness in the area, as well as swelling, bruises, and a certain level of pain and discomfort are also completely natural after the procedure and can be easily alleviated with simple analgesic medication.

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