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Any Advice on How I Should Prepare Myself for a Tummy Tuck?

I am so ecstatic about getting my tummy tuck done next week after having waited for a very long time.

Doctor Answers (7)

Tummy tuck preparation

+5

You will receive a list of things to do (and not to do)  in preparation for your tummy tuck surgery, from your surgeon.

I do however have a word of advice for you that you may not receive from your surgeon.

Patients who are about to undergo tummy tuck surgery spend a lot of time thinking about the physical preparation for the procedure (for example weight loss issues) but do not spend a lot of time thinking about the emotional aspects.
It is not uncommon for patients who undergo the procedure to experience severe “mood swings”. These emotions may range from depression ( “why did I do this to myself”) to elation  (which may lead to over activity). I think it is helpful to be aware that these emotional swings do occur postoperatively. 
Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: 1. Make sure you have a strong support system in place who have time/patience to take care of you. 2. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. 3. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 4. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 5. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 6. Keep in mind the end result!

Best wishes.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

Preparation for tummy tuck

+4

I give my patients lots of written materials and show them videos that give them all the information they need to help prepare them for surgery.  Three very important points are:

1. If you smoke, quit smoking for at least 6 weeks before and after a tummy tuck.

2. Avoid rapid weight loss, crash diets, or weight loss medications before your surgery. This can hurt your recovery.

3. Remember that you may have lots of swelling after surgery so you may be bigger than you are now ... don't get discouraged! The swelling will go away. So you need to keep all your follow up appointments with your PS and stay in communication with him/her about any issues you may be having.

 

I hope this helps and wish you all the best! 

 

JK

James Knoetgen, III, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Preparing for An Abdominoplasty

+4

The key element in preparing for an abdominoplasty is to eat a healthy, high protein diet for at least 2-4 weeks pre-op and make sure you’re not constipated. Avoid any type of crash or unusual diet and you will do well.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Tummy tuck preparation

+2

For my patients, I have them stop all herbal meds, stop asprin or motrin products and essentially stop any blood thinner.  If you're doubting a certain med, google it.  Prepare by filling your prescriptions prior to surgery.  Look at your preop photos and discuss what to expect with your doctor, try seeing someone with your same physique.  Stay regular on your bowel regimen so that in case you get constipated after surgery from the anesthetic and the meds you can tolerate it for a while until you're much more mobile.  Prepare yourself mentally to get out of bed despite the discomfort with a bend at your waist, maybe even practice it a few times prior to the surgery.  Arrange your home so that getting things and caring for yourself is made simple.  Good luck, you'll do great

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Preparing or surgery.

+2

Avoid all medications on your pills to avoid list,  do not smoke, avoid alcohol 2 weeks prior to the surgery and just relax.  If you are uncertain about any thing, call the surgeons office.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Preparing for tummy tuck surgery

+1
Congratulations on making the choice to have a tummy tuck. You must be so excited!

Here are some things that I generally advise my patients to do before their surgery:

4 weeks before surgery: Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco chew, and pipes should all be avoided from this period onward. Nicotine use interferes with circulation and puts patients at higher risk of experiencing complications during tummy tuck recovery or while receiving anaesthesia.

3 weeks: Any of the pre-operative tests that your surgeon has scheduled (usually EKG and/or laboratory testing) should be taken. During this period of time patients should reduce their salt intake. Since it leads to swelling and bloating, consuming too much salt can lead to unnecessary post-operative swelling. Water consumption should be increased at this time as well. Drinking more water flushes out toxins, helping prepare the body to heal and ward off illness during the recovery period.

2 weeks: All alcohol (even a single drink) must be avoided from this point onward as well. Alcohol decreases the strength of the immune system and increases the risk of post-operative infection. It can also increase the risk of bleeding.

Aspirin and ibuprofen products also cannot be taken starting two weeks prior to the tummy tuck. Because these medications are blood thinners they can lead to surgical complications like excess bleeding and recovery problems such as incision wounds healing too slowly due to blood that cannot clot. Tylenol has a different formulation and may be taken safely.

Vitamins should be taken to help encourage healing processes. Multi-vitamins containing iron, minerals and vitamin C/E are advised. It's important not to take "extra" vitamin E. 

1 week: Patients should continue to refrain from nicotine, alcohol and ibuprofen products. 

The day before: Fasting is required in order to guarantee a safe surgery and effective anaesthesia. Patients must not eat or drink (including water or gum) after midnight. If regular medication must be taken it can be swallowed with a small sip of water on the morning of the appointment.

Best of luck!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Preparing for a tummy tuck

+1

You should probably follow the instructions of your surgeon.  I usually have my patients avoid blood thinning meds two weeks prior and take vitamin C or a single MVI.  Other than that, I would not do anythign differently or  start a new exercise regimen.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.