A tummy tuck can be a life-changing procedure for patients who have struggled to achieve their ideal body. Due to factors like age, genetics or chronic health concerns, diet and exercise are not always enough to lose an abdominal bulge or tighten stretched skin. Choosing a tummy tuck surgery can be the last step in regaining your confidence and taking control of your body and your health. But abdominoplasty is also a procedure to consider very seriously — it is a relatively lengthy and involved surgery that requires your commitment to your health and your recovery. Properly preparing for your tummy tuck can ensure that your surgery goes smoothly and your new, healed body exceeds your expectations.
1. Stay in shape.
Your health leading up to your surgery can make a significant difference in the speed of your recovery and what you can expect from your outcome. Abdominoplasties are most effective for patients who have very clear goals for their surgery: removing excess skin, reducing a specific pocket of fat or tightening loosened muscles. If you can get in the best possible shape before your tummy tuck, your surgeon will be able to accomplish more during your procedure.
2. Talk to your surgeon about your health history.
A tummy tuck is a more significant surgery than many other cosmetic procedures. It requires a few hours on the operating table and thus comes with extra risks, which can be heightened if your surgeon is not fully informed. If you are a smoker, taking medications, have allergies or have ever had an adverse reaction to anesthesia, your surgeon needs to know so that they can fully assess your risks and correct for them during your surgery. Your surgeon will likely ask some of these questions during your consultation, but you should also volunteer any information that might be helpful.
3. Schedule plenty of time off work and away from other activities.
Recovering from an abdominoplasty takes several weeks. Your abdominal area will be weak and sensitive, so your range of movement will be limited — certain motions will difficult and potentially harmful. At Banff Plastic Surgery, we recommend one month of recovery before returning to day-to-day activities, and a second month of recovery before returning to more strenuous activities like exercise or heavy lifting. These guidelines are in place to prevent you from injuring yourself or damaging your results, so it is essential to make sure you will be able to take the necessary time off to recover.
4. Arrange for help around the house.
Our surgeon performs tummy tucks at Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff and typically require that you stay for one or two nights after your surgery for monitoring. If you have pets or children, you will need to make sure you have arranged for someone to care for them while you are in the hospital. You will also need someone to pick you up from Mineral Springs and to help you get settled at home. And, since you will not be able to perform many of your usual tasks for a while — cooking, cleaning and running errands, for example — you should make sure you have hired help or that a trusted friend or family member is available to assist you during your recovery.
5. Stock up on nutritious foods.
Eating well after your surgery is vital to your recovery. You will need to eat plenty of protein and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables to help your body get the energy it needs to heal. Turning to junk food while you recover is tempting because you won’t be able to make your own meals. You should fill your home with healthy snacks and prepared foods so that you always have a nutritious option available when you get hungry. It is also a good idea to adopt a healthy diet as soon as you can, even before your surgery — when you are prepared to keep up healthy habits after your tummy tuck, you will be able to make your new figure last your whole life.
6. Hide your scale.
It takes time to recover from a tummy tuck, and you will experience some bloating and swelling for up to a year after your surgery. If you try to measure your weight or your pants size too soon, you may become discouraged with your results before they are even fully visible. We often counsel our patients to avoid judging their results for as long as possible, keeping their eye set on the long-term goal of a slimmer profile maintained by healthy lifestyle choices. We are confident that you will love your new body, and we know that the wait will be worthwhile.
The Banff Plastic Surgery staff has years of experience providing abdominoplasty services to a variety of patients. We are able to tailor our surgeries to meet your needs and help you achieve your ideal physique. If you are interested in learning more about our procedures or finding out if a tummy tuck is right for you, call us today at 403-762-2055 to schedule a consultation.