A tummy tuck is certainly one of the most famous plastic surgery procedures out there. In fact, it’s almost synonymous with plastic surgery itself, given the old jokes about “nip and tuck.” A tummy tuck has a well earned reputation for getting the amazing results, for transforming the body in a way that nothing else really can. But knowing how to prepare for your tummy tuck is an important part of the process, especially when it comes to getting the best possible results.
Knowing How to Prepare for Your Tummy Tuck
That’s because tummy tuck isn’t quite as non-invasive as other plastic surgery procedures have become. The incisions for something like a facelift or breast augmentation, these days, are pretty limited. Surgeons have cleverly discovered ways to shrink all kinds of incisions. But the effectiveness of tummy tuck currently relies, at least in part, on that incision.
Meaning that shortcuts are harder to come by for tummy tuck. That means that preparation is going to be key. How to prepare for your tummy tuck is incredibly important, in other words. So while these tips should not be considered medical advice on their own, they should give you a starting point for discussions with your plastic surgeon. Because you should always talk things over with your surgeon first!
Tip Number 1: Be a Stable Weight
One of the most important things you can do before your tummy tuck surgery is stabilize your weight. Many patients who seek out a tummy tuck do so after two particular life events:
- Pregnancy, which stretches out the skin of the belly area, often leaving patients with a significant amount of excess skin.
- Weight loss: when the patient loses a significant amount of weight, some excess skin can be left behind. It’s a natural, if irritating, part of the process.
The creation of excess skin around the belly area, around the tummy, is created by fluctuations in weight. When your weight goes up (even via something like pregnancy), your body produces more skin. When your weight goes down, that skin tends to stick around. It’s an unfortunate side effect of losing weight–but that’s precisely what tummy tuck was intended to address.
The problem of gaining or losing weight after a tummy tuck becomes apparent, of course. If you lose weight after your tummy tuck, you’ll be left (again) with some amount of excess skin. If you gain weight after your tummy tuck, you risk stretching out the results of your surgery. That’s why surgeons emphasize being a stable weight before and after your tummy tuck surgery.
Tip Number 2: Plan Some Time Off
Tummy tuck surgery is a serious thing. It’s going to require more significant recovery than something like a breast augmentation or facelift. The reason is twofold:
- First, the incision is significantly larger.
- Second, more interior work is performed (your abdominal muscles are often given added structure during a tummy tuck procedure)
Combined this means that tummy tuck recovery is often somewhat trying. That means you’ll probably want to take at least a couple of weeks off of work. If you can work from home for a couple more weeks afterwards, that would be even better. Giving yourself as much time to heal as possible is really ideal when it comes to a tummy tuck.
You’ll likely have drains in place for the first couple of weeks after your surgery in order to help control bruising and swelling as much as possible. It’s really important during your recovery that you follow your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible.
Tip #3: There Will be a Scar, but it Will be Well Hidden
And most tummy tuck procedures are going to leave a scar of some kind. Most often, that scar will be hidden below the bikini line, so it’s not really in a visible place most of the time. And while that might sound like something of a downer, it’s also worth saying that tummy tuck procedures tend to be wildly popular.
Indeed, according to the plastic surgery social media website RealSelf.com, tummy tuck has a 96% “worth it” rating–meaning that 96% of those who comment and post on the site (and who have undergone the procedure) find it to be a worthwhile experience, even with the challenging recovery.
Results Over Time
Tummy tuck is one of those procedures that is designed to give you results over time. That is, the results from this procedure are designed to be enjoyed for years to come. It may take a while (a few months maybe) for you to really see your final results. But when you do, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Especially if you’re prepared for your tummy tuck. And knowing how to prepare for your tummy tuck, whether it’s a Chicago tummy tuck or a New Jersey tummy tuck, can help you achieve and maintain excellent results.