How to Prepare for Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck, is a complex plastic surgery procedure to create a firmer and flatter abdomen. Tummy tuck preparation is vital to the safety and success of this surgery. During your pre-operative consultation, your surgeon will discuss all aspects related to the procedure and will explain how to prepare for tummy tuck. A well-prepared patient will be more aware, confident and is likely to achieve excellent outcomes.

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Tummy tuck preparation: An overview

Tummy tuck preparation ideally begins from the day your plastic surgeon has confirmed you as a candidate and you have committed yourself to the procedure. Your surgeon will provide you a detailed tummy tuck pre op checklist, which includes certain do’s and don’ts to follow prior to the surgery. If you have any confusion or concerns, make sure to ask your surgeon so you understand all aspects pertaining to how to prepare for tummy tuck surgery.

Preparing for abdominoplasty

Your tummy tuck preparation list will primarily focus on things to do before tummy tuck surgery. You will have to pay more attention to your diet, fitness, and lifestyle habits in order to bring your body and mind in the best possible state of readiness for surgery. Medical evaluation and certain precautions will also constitute a key element in your preparation process. You can expect ideal results when you are well-prepared for the surgery.

Preparing for post-op recovery

Post-operative recovery is an equally important component in your surgery process. At the time of the initial consultation itself, your surgeon will provide you guidelines about how to prepare for tummy tuck recovery. Make your notes about these guidelines or request your surgeon to provide you a formal tummy tuck preparation list, which can also include recommendations about the post-surgical recovery phase.

What to do before tummy tuck surgery/abdominoplasty

While you are considering an abdominoplasty surgery, you can start researching about what to know before a tummy tuck surgery. Go through some informative online resources on this procedure, join a reliable online discussion forum for patients such as RealSelf, and if possible, talk to someone who has previously undergone the same procedure successfully. Here are few salient things to do before tummy tuck surgery.

  • DVT risk evaluation: Your plastic surgeon will assess your risk of DVT or deep vein thrombosis or internal blood clotting. They may order a few medical tests or simply review your health records to determine your safe candidacy for a tummy tuck surgery.
  • Hernia risk assessment: Some patients who have excess fat deposits around the waist along with loose or stretched underlying abdominal muscles may be at a higher risk of ventral or umbilical hernias. Your surgeon may conduct a physical exam to rule out these risks.
  • Body weight and fitness: If you are significantly overweight, have obesity, or fluctuation body weight, your surgeon may advise you to focus on weight control and fitness as part of your tummy tuck preparation. You can obtain best results when your weight is moderate and stable.
  • Things to avoid: While you discuss with your surgeon about how to prepare for tummy tuck, they will inform you about certain medications, foods, tobacco, alcohol, and other things to avoid at different pre-op stages. You should also have no plans for a pregnancy in the foreseeable future.
  • Recovery preparation: Your tummy tuck preparation list will include recommendations such as applying for leave at your workplace in advance, storing medications, bandages, ice packs, and pre-cooked meals at home, and arranging for help for the first few days of recovery, if necessary.

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Preparing for tummy tuck consultation

Preparing for abdominoplasty consultation will help you to have a productive meeting with your surgeon and understand various things about how to prepare for tummy tuck. Be ready to participate proactively, ask questions to clear all doubts, and share all relevant medical information with your surgeon so that they give you the right advice for your surgery.

  • Medical history: Request your general physician and specialists to send your medical history information directly to your plastic surgeon well ahead of your scheduled consultation appointment with the plastic surgeon. This will save time during the consultation and enable your surgeon to inform you what to do before tummy tuck surgery.
  • List of questions: You may have a number of questions to ask before getting a tummy tuck. It is best to list all these questions in advance either in your diary or on a mobile device, and carry it along with you to the consultation. This will ensure that you do not forget anything important and all your questions and concerns are systematically addressed.
  • Photographs: You may have a certain idea in mind about how you want your mid-body appearance to improve with a tummy tuck surgery. You may prepare your own pre-pregnancy photos or collect images of others from magazines or social media, which look ideal to you. This will help your surgeon visualize your cosmetic goals and create a custom surgery plan.
  • Cost aspects: If you have health insurance, check your policy details and talk to your insurance provider about the possibility of coverage for abdominoplasty. Research the average cost of tummy tuck surgery online, and evaluate your financing options, if necessary. This will help you make an informed decision when you discuss the cost issues with your surgeon.

Questions to ask before getting a tummy tuck

Knowing the right questions to ask before getting a tummy tuck will help you make a judicious decision and set you up for a successful surgery. While you are preparing for tummy tuck consultation, it is prudent to note down all your questions in advance. Here are some of the key questions to ask before getting an abdominoplasty.

  • What are your professional qualifications and certifications that qualify you for a tummy tuck surgery?
  • How many years of training and experience do you have in plastic surgery procedures?
  • Have you performed abdominoplasty in the past, and if yes, what is your success rate for this surgery?
  • Do you think I am a good candidate for a full traditional tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck?
  • Which surgical technique will you use and what will be the incision placement for my procedure?
  • Are there any risks and complications in this procedure that I should know about in advance?
  • Would you perform my abdominoplasty using general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation?
  • Will you perform my tummy tuck surgery at a hospital or a plastic surgery center?
  • Do you have staff privileges to perform this procedure at a hospital?
  • How much post-operative downtime will be involved and is the recovery going to be painful?
  • How to prepare for tummy tuck surgery in a way that it reduces my risk of complications?
  • Will you provide me with a tummy tuck pre op checklist?
  • Can I review a few tummy tuck before and after photos?
  • How much will the tummy tuck procedure cost me, and which services are included in the cost?

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Foods to avoid before tummy tuck

A healthy diet is a key element in your tummy tuck preparation list. While you are considering how to prepare for tummy tuck surgery, remember to focus on boosting your nutrition. Add more of lean proteins to your diet, which help you heal faster after your surgery. It is equally important to know certain medications and foods to avoid before tummy tuck in order to have a safe surgery and recovery.

  • Foods to include: Chicken, fish, beef, vegetables and fruit, soups and salads, whole grains, seeds, nuts, avocados, beans, and berries are some of the recommended inclusions in your diet while you are preparing for abdominoplasty. Stay well-hydrated throughout your pre-op phase.
  • Foods to avoid: Processed foods, fatty and oily foods, desserts, ice creams, and other sugary foods, carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and any other empty calorie foods will increase your weight. Talk to a nutritionist to know more about what foods to avoid before tummy tuck.
  • Medications to avoid: Vitamin E supplements, fish oil, herbal medications, blood thinners such as aspirin, NSAIDs, birth control pills, hormone replacement medications, garlic supplements, and green tea extracts are some of the medications to avoid before tummy tuck surgery.
  • Cigarette smoking: One of the key things in your tummy tuck pre op checklist will be to avoid smoking or using tobacco in any form for at least a few weeks before and after your surgery. Nicotine in the blood can obstruct your oxygen flow and increase your risks of surgery and recovery.

Tummy tuck preparation list

The preparation list will tell you things to do before a tummy tuck, what precautions to take, what food to eat, and what activities to perform. Most plastic surgeons or their staff will provide you a virtual or print copy of your tummy tuck preparation list at your first consultation. After your surgery, they may also hand you over a list of do’s and don’ts to following during recovery. This list can be divided into three phases as follows.

Phase 1: Early preparation

The early prep phase will begin with a review of your medical history, a general physical exam, and a few diagnostic or lab tests, if necessary. The results of these health evaluations will determine the path for your pre-op preparation and precautions to be observed. A dedicated focus on diet and exercise will also constitute a key element at this stage when you are preparing for abdominoplasty.

Phase 2: Pre-surgery preparation

Once your surgery date has been scheduled, you will know exactly how many days or weeks you have for tummy tuck preparation. Based on your lifestyle habits, medical condition, and time available for surgery, your plastic surgeon will advise guidelines regarding ongoing medications, foods to avoid before tummy tuck, insurance, financing and payment issues, clearing any last-minute concerns, and surgery day preparation.

Phase 3: Post-op recovery preparation

How to prepare for tummy tuck recovery is also an important component of your surgery process. Any laxity or careless acts during recovery can create complications and put you at risk even if your surgery has been very successful. Advance preparation for your recovery, including arranging help, applying leave at work, and creating a recovery station at home will help you heal safely and quickly.

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Preparing for tummy tuck: 2 Weeks before surgery

More intensive preparation for your tummy tuck will begin two weeks prior to the schedule date of surgery. At this stage, it is important to maintain a positive mindset, keep focused on your surgeon’s preparatory instructions, and protect yourself from injury or infection as far as possible. Here’s what to do before tummy tuck surgery when just two weeks are remaining.

  • Stop the use of blood thinning drugs such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories and NSAIDs, and any herbal medications.
  • Modify the schedule of any specific prescription medications in consultation with the prescribing physician and your surgeon.
  • Stop the use of tobacco in any form – including cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patches, nicotine vapes, nicotine gum, or chewing tobacco.
  • If you experience an injury, infection, fever or cold, inform your surgeon so that they can treat the condition before surgery.
  • Inform your work supervisor about your upcoming surgery and request a leave for at least one week or more.

Preparing for tummy tuck: 1 Week Before Surgery

When you discuss with your surgeon about how to prepare for tummy tuck, they will lay special emphasis on the final week before your surgery. At this last stage, it is important that nothing goes wrong so that your scheduled procedure is completed smoothly. If you have any last minute concerns, talk to your surgeon or refer to your tummy tuck pre op list.

  • De-stress yourself at work or at home, watch some movies, read books, and enjoy your time with friends and family members.
  • Enlist the support of someone responsible who will drive you to and from the hospital on the day of surgery and assist you as needed.
  • Get your home ready in advance for recovery so that you don’t have to bend for things, lift heavy objects, or look for essential items.
  • Arrange for post-op pain medications and fill your prescriptions in consultation with your plastic surgeon.
  • Keep your freezer stocked with some pre-cooked meals or make sure you have someone to help in the first few days after your surgery.

Tummy tuck preparation: The day before surgery

What to do before tummy tuck surgery on the last day is a common question on the mind of many patients. This is the day to stay cheerful, relaxed and rest at home. Coordinate the time with your support person who will accompany you to the hospital and be there on time. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for tummy tuck on the penultimate day.

  • Eat light, home cooked food on the last day and stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled time of surgery or as directed by your surgeon.
  • Select a loose fitting outfit for your day of surgery, and preferably choose a top with front buttons.
  • If your surgeon has prescribed you a mild sleep medication for the night before surgery, take it as advised to get good sleep.
  • Do not wear jewelry, heavy makeup, accessories, or contact lenses on your day of surgery.

Tummy tuck pre op checklist

Long-term tummy tuck pre op checklist

  • In the weeks or months leading to your tummy tuck surgery, focus on a balanced diet that is rich in lean proteins.
  • Follow a regular fitness regimen or join a gym to make your body as resilient and flexible as possible before your day of surgery.
  • If you are a smoker, quit the habit or at least stop smoking for a few weeks as directed by your surgeon.
  • Minimize alcohol intake in the weeks before your tummy tuck, and completely avoid it in the last 48 hours before surgery.
  • Achieve a moderate body weight a few months prior to tummy tuck as far as possible, and maintain it at a stable level until the surgery.
  • Complete your medical tests or reviews as advised by your plastic surgeon to minimize your risks during and post-surgery.

Short-term tummy tuck pre op checklist

  • Stop taking blood thinners, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and any herbal medications for at least two weeks.
  • Arrange for post-op pain medications and fill the prescriptions in consultation with your surgeons.
  • If your surgeon recommends you to buy a suitable compression garment on your own, select and purchase it ahead of time.
  • If you have little kids or your health is delicate, arrange for professional help or a friend to assist you in the first week of recovery.
  • If you have any last-minute concerns, feel free to call your surgeon, or schedule an appointment a few days ahead of your abdominoplasty.
  • Talk to someone who will accompany you on the day of surgery and can drive you back home safely after the tummy tuck procedure.

Last-minute tummy tuck pre op check list

  • Keep your home clean and ready for your post-operative recovery, and make sure all essential things are within comfortable reach.
  • Keep yourself stress-free, take rest at home on the last day, and sleep early on the night before surgery.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for at least eight hours before the scheduled time of surgery, if it is going to involve general anesthesia.
  • Take a bath and clean your skin and hair thoroughly on the day prior to your tummy tuck surgery to minimize any infection risks.
  • On the day of the surgery, remember to carry your ID, hospital paperwork, and your insurance card, if you have the coverage.
  • Dress appropriately for your big day – wear comfortable clothes with a front-button top and avoid jewelry, accessories, and perfumes.