Considering a tummy tuck? Chances are you’ve spent plenty of time online researching the procedure and looking for a qualified plastic surgeon. And, if you’re like the tummy tuck patients I see in Charlotte, N.C., you have questions about whether you need to do anything special before the surgery.
Being prepared before any type of cosmetic procedure is beneficial and can help to minimize the risk of complications and reduce any discomfort associated with recovery. During consultations with patients, I always provide detailed pre and post-op instructions to help you prepare for the surgery and your recovery process once you decide to move forward with your plans for a tummy tuck.
A few important pre-surgery ideas include:
- Stop smoking: The sooner the better, but I recommend stopping at least a month before your scheduled surgery. It’s also important to not resume smoking for 3 to 6 weeks after the procedure (quitting completely would be best, of course). Smoking restricts blood flow and can slow healing and cause other complications.
- Fill your prescriptions: Don’t wait until after the surgery to head to the pharmacy. Medications to help manage discomfort can be filled ahead of time. You can also pick up the special compression clothing that you’ll need to wear during your recovery from a tummy tuck.
- Get your house in order: The only thing you’ll want to do after returning home from surgery is rest, so take care of household chores before your tummy tuck. Do laundry, vacuum, clean dishes, and stock up on groceries. It’s a good idea to have some pre-made meals handy if you don’t have someone who can cook for you. I also recommend creating a comfortable area where you have easy access to television remotes, books, tablets, and other similar items.
- Arrange for transportation: This seems obvious, but you’ll need a ride to and from the surgery as you won’t be able to drive yourself after anesthesia. Make your travel arrangements as soon as possible and be sure to confirm them the day before surgery.
A tummy tuck is often performed as part of a Mommy Makeover, so if you have young children at home you’ll also need to arrange for childcare. Part of the recovery for a tummy tuck is to avoid lifting anything heavy, and that includes small children. It can be helpful to plan ahead of time a few activities that you can do with your children while you are seated or resting. You’ll appreciate having the supplies on hand once you are home after surgery.
To learn more about tummy tuck surgery and what to expect after the procedure, contact our plastic surgery practice in Charlotte, N.C. to schedule a personal consultation. You can also see the results of tummy tuck surgeries I’ve performed in our before-and-after photo gallery.