So you’ve made the decision to get a flatter stomach through the help of an abdominoplasty, or better known as a tummy tuck. There are a number of different types of tummy tucks, and once you select the right one, then you can start preparing for your surgery. It is essential to prepare properly so you get the best results and speed up recovery time. Here is a checklist of a few things you can do to prepare for your tummy tuck.
1) Quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery, and do not smoke during recovery as it greatly increases your risk of complications.
2) Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Eat a well-balanced diet that provides your body with nutritious food filled with important vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immune system. Make sure to exercise regularly to manage weight and build strong muscles to promote faster immune response. Also, having strong leg muscles prior to surgery will help your body fight off blood clots during the first few days of recovery when you will be unable to move around.
3) Discuss the surgery with your personal physician and make sure that any past medical history will not pose a problem during your tummy tuck.
4) Tell your surgeon about any medications you’re taking as well as vitamin supplements. Some substances may decrease the ability to recover from surgery or could have dangerous effects on your body during surgery. If you are taking certain supplements that contain vitamin E, discontinue use two weeks before surgery.
5) Make sure you speak with your boss about taking time off from work. While the recovery process is different for everyone, you should expect to miss 2-3 weeks of work.
6) Arrange for someone to take you to and from the doctor’s office as you will be unable to operate a car after having your tummy tuck procedure.
7) Prepare a recovery station at home complete with all the essentials you’ll need during recovery. Since you won’t be able to move around a lot the first few days, make sure you have plenty of things around for entertainment like books, magazines and television. Also, keep pillows around so you can keep your upper body propped up. Have a telephone with a speaker nearby so you can easily call friends and family if you need anything.
8) Prepare and freeze 2 weeks worth of meals that are gentle on your stomach such as soup, protein shakes, pudding, applesauce, yogurt, juice, oatmeal and jello. Keep flexible straws handy so you can easily sip your fluids.
9) Keep ice packs or frozen bags of vegetables around. These will be helpful to reduce swelling.
10) Purchase all medications, dressings and other pharmacy essentials before hand so you will have them right when you get home after surgery.
11) Keep everything you may need at hip level as you won’t be able to reach up or bend down for the first week or so.
12) Shower the day before and make sure to use antibacterial soap to get rid of all natural occurring Staph. You want to avoid any possibilities for infection to develop. Also, you may not get to shower for a few days due the sutures and wrappings, so showering prior to surgery is important.
13) Wear loose clothing the day of surgery and have clean, loose-hanging clothes at home to change into during recovery.
14) Finally, take time for yourself before your tummy tuck operation and just relax. Both the surgery and recovery process will be easier on you if you are not stressed or anxious.
For more pre-surgery steps, you can speak with one of our friendly guest service liaisons. They can also connect you with a qualified tummy tuck surgeon in your area and set you up with a private consultation.