What Is The Process Of a Tummy Tuck Pre-Op Appointment?

What is the process of a pre-op appointment?

Doctor Answers 3

Pre-Operative Tummy Tuck Appointment?

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Thank you for the question.

You'll find that every practice has a different routine when it comes to pre-operative appointments.

In our practice, during the preoperative visit ( typically done several weeks prior to surgery)  patients are given a list of do's and don'ts that will help them get through the surgery and recovery safely.   We review their medical history and obtain any necessary preoperative workup necessary. This may include EKG and/or laboratory values depending on the patient's specific situation.

We will also discuss diagnosis and treatment options/plan as well as the potential risks/complications associated with the planned procedure.  Informed consent is obtained verbally and in written form.

"Dos and don'ts" regarding the use of medications,  alcohol, nicotine,  foods  etc. are reviewed in detail ((before and after surgery)

Prescriptions are provided for postoperative medications after reviewing patient allergies.

Relevant pictures are taken.  “Goal pictures” ( of what the patient wishes to look like,  and NOT  look like) are reviewed again.

Details about the day before (NPO status)  and the day of surgery are reviewed.

Often patients have concerns about anesthesia and these are addressed as well.  They are reminded that they will be treated by well experienced board-certified anesthesiologists who work with our team routinely. They will be monitored very carefully  both in the operating room and in the recovery room.

Patients are often concerned/anxious and we try to provide them with “relaxation techniques” to use prior to surgery. 

The patient's aftercare plans are reviewed carefully;  depending on the procedure,  home nursing is also arranged.  The patient's family members/ and friends are engaged and instructed as well.

Whenever possible, I ask to see  patient's the day before surgery for preoperative markings.

Patients are reminded that,  especially after bigger procedure such as tummy tuck or mommy makeover surgery there is  significant physical as well as  EMOTIONAL  “ups and downs” that can be expected.   A few words of advice  we give to these patients are 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 helps.

Preoperative for TummyTuck

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Thank you for your question. First you will start out with a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. You will be physically evaluated to see if you are a good candidate for a TT. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. We will ask you to stop some medications, supplements and certain vitamins. A complete list will be provided. Our doctors perform abdominoplasty as an outpatient procedure. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for at least the next day or two. When abdominoplasty is performed in conjunction with medically necessary procedures such as hysterectomy or hernia repair, a short hospitalization may be required. Best of luck! 
Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates 

The Tummy Tuck Pre-Op Appointment

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Every Plastic surgeon has a slightly different way of performing consultations. The first consultation is a fact finding visit both for you and the surgeon. He takes a history, comes to understand you and your motivations and wishes. He will examine you to see what can or cannot be done and what should be done and based on your examination, will educate you on your surgical options. For your part you will get to see how this surgeon and his staff answer your questions and your concerns. You will form your own impression how comfortable you feel with him and his staff. You will be given a fee estimate for the procedure. Most of us will invite you back for another visit in which  all your questions will be answered. Personally, I like to see the spouse or significant other to answer their questions and discuss the recovery process. 

This can be the Pre-Operative visit at which time after surgery prescriptions are issued, photographs are taken and final decisions are made regarding breast implants and surgical garments, if they are needed.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.