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Is There Anything Specific That I Should Do Before a Full TT?

I'm in good physical shape. Age: 47 2 large C-sections...14 & 10 yrs. ago.

Doctor Answers (3)

Preparing for full Tummy Tuck


Tummy tuck is a great procedure if you have excess skin/fat on your belly and have stretched out muscle.  With two large pregnancies that you had, you probably have stretched muscle (diastasis recti).  Prior to your full tummy tuck, you want to make sure that you are 1) healthy, 2) not smoking, and 3) at a stable weight.  You want to have a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon to make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.  She/he also will have specific guideline for pre-operative preparation as well as post-operative care/recommendation.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Ask your surgeon for their advice

You should first ask your surgeon for their advice, however 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 70 reviews

Tummy tuck preparation


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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

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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.