What preparation do I need to expect before my Tummy Tuck, and what can I do to promote healing?

I am finally getting it done. I was at the gym taking my usual classes, and that night I was extremely uncomfortable. I could feel every inch of my excess skin bouncing away. I was like that's it I'm doing it. I'm getting a full Tummy tuck.

Doctor Answers 9

Preparing for a tummy tuck

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There are many things you can do to prepare for this type of surgery.  First, you want to research board certified plastic surgeons in your area and schedule a consultation.  This visit will give you lots of information about the procedure, in addition to a review of your medical history to determine any special requirements.  Second, you can prepare your body by exercising, eating a healthy diet and taking vitamin supplements for any areas you may be lacking with your diet.  Third, get a time frame in mind.  This surgery has about a two week recovery period where patients who work need to take time off.  More time off will be needed before resuming exercise as well.  If you have small children, you may want to consider different childcare arrangements for while you are healing.  
The tummy tuck is a wonderful procedure, but it does take some planning.  Kudos to you for thinking ahead.  Good luck!

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Preparing for a tummy tuck

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Hi, if you are already well-nourished and in good overall health there may be very little to do in order to prepare physically for a tummy tuck.  If there are any medical issues (like diabetes, high blood pressure etc) these should be well-controlled prior to elective surgery.  Stopping smoking prior to surgery can also decrease the risk of complications.  Your plastic surgeon will review your overall health and provide specific recommendations.  I hope it goes well.

What preparation do I need to expect before my Tummy Tuck, and what can I do to promote healing?

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Thank you for the question.  Since you considering undergoing a major operation which again involves a significant physical AND emotional recovery ( often underestimated by surgeons and patients alike), a few words of advice may be helpful:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.
2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.
3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.
4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.
6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.
7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.
8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).
9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.
10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.
11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Tummy tuck preparation

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Maintaing your diet and exercise is important. Lose that extra 5 pounds if you can. Don't smoke two weeks before surgery. good luck...

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy tuck prep

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Congratulations on taking the plunge. If you are healthy have a realistic motivation, and your surgeon is board certified, you need to do nothing. Many surgeons set limits on weight and require diets and screening to achieve good safe results, I was one of those surgeons. Today, your health and attitude are my main criteria. All surgeries carry risks; obesity diabetes and smoking increase those risks, but managed properly risks can be minimized. If you trust your surgeon and have reasonable expectations you will be OK.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Pre-op suggestions

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Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying hydrated. In addition, stay at a stable weight and refrain from any drug use. I also suggest abstaining from any alcohol use the week before surgery. If you smoke, I ask my patients to quit 6 months before surgery although different surgeons have different policies on this matter. I suggest asking your surgeon if he has any additional pre-op instructions. Best regards.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tummy tuck preparation

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Preparing for a surgical procedure is an active process. Ensuring that your nutritional intake is optimized, that you are not smoking, that your support system is in place and that your emotional needs are fully taken care of.
All of these elements are important as you prepare for the aftercare to maximize your results.
For a nutritional analysis consider discussing your food intake with your surgeon. You may even want to consider a nutrition consult prior to your surgery.
Wound healing is a exhaustive process and requires more calories and protein than you would during a routine day. This is not the time to try to loose weight. Eat healthy food and plenty of it. Drink lots of fluids to remain well hydrated.

Several suggestions to help you prepare emotionally for your recovery:
1) Have your support team set up prior to surgery. If you can have several meals prepared ahead of time, this will decrease the stress on everyone in the family.
2) Expect that you will feel a little "run down" and fatigued in the post operative period. Often this is from the effects of the anesthesia and will resolve with time.
3) Plan for a light work load at work so that you are not stressed about taking some time off.
4) Patience with the healing process and not expecting too much of yourself in the early post operative period
5) Keeping active mentally. Get some good books that you have been meaning to read anyway.
6) Check in with your plastic surgeon regularly and call if any questions come up.

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of ASAPS is always a good idea.

Preparation before a Tummy Tuck what to do promote healing

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Preparation for your surgery
To achieve the best possible outcome we have to start with a healthy body. Steps to ensure that you are in optimum health start today. The following are suggestions and you may already be doing many of them. Continue with those and add the others as described below.
You may wonder what do some suggestions below have to do with the particular surgery you are interested in; they are important, as I am interested in your overall improvement. This one surgery or procedure you may or may not even need but we all need a healthy body to live in. In some patients I may recommend that they loose some weight before they have the surgery and sometimes, by the time you loose the recommended weight, or we obtain the necessary authorizations and find a time for your surgery on our schedule can be a few weeks. This interval of time could be used for optimizing your health. Any preventive check ups such as mammograms, PAP smears, full check up by your primary care physician to update any medications that you may be taking etc.; this is the time to get everything all tuned up.
[Multivitamin with minerals and trace elements (please check the label to make sure that there is Selenium, Magnesium and Zinc in tablets) one a day.
Supplements (in addition to the amounts that are in the Multi Vitamin tablet):
Vitamin A 10,000 international units one a day.
Vitamin C 500 mg one tablet three times a day with meals.
Vitamin D3 5000 unitsOne Capsule once daily.
Vitamin E 1,000 international units one a day.
These supplements are just for the period between now and the just before your surgery. Vitamin E supplements are to be stopped one week prior to date of surgery.]
Eat a single serving of ‘yogurt with Active Cultures’ daily for one week prior to surgery. This has been shown to reduce the risk of MRSA infection many folds.
Asparagus Blenderised 2 tablespoonfuls 3 times a day
Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water daily. At lest Eight 8 ounce glasses a day. Avoid Sodas and avoid caffeine.
No Smoking for at least four weeks before the date you plan to have surgery.
Stretching exercises 10 minutes twice a day. Please get hold of a book on Yoga or look up Yoga Exercises on line. If you are following a regular exercise program at this time then you are OK from this point of view.
Mental Relaxation. This could take the form of meditation, reading a book, reading the bible or going for a walk 20 minutes twice a day. Please look up different meditation techniques on the Internet. It is important that you select a quiet place in your house where you are not likely to be disturbed by a cat or a dog, children, telephone etc and sit down comfortably, close your eyes and start with a deep breath in to the fullest expansion of your lungs, hold for a moment and then exhale through your pursed lips. Focus on relaxed breathing after this and observe 20 minutes of blissful silence. This is your special time to allow you mind to get ready for the day in the morning and unwind your self from the stresses of the day.Once you get into the habit of setting aside this special time for yourself everyday you will experience wonderful things happening in your life, in your health, in your relationships etc.

Gurmander Singh Kohli, MD, FACS
Fall River Plastic Surgeon


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Hello, a good thing to do is to start taking iron supplements to increase your hemoglobin levels, which would give you a better post op recovery and healing. Best wishes.

Luis Tactuk Simo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 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.