After having children or losing a significant amount of weight, people are often left with excess abdominal skin that can add bulk and make them feel self-conscious. The appropriate procedure for removing excess skin and stretch marks, as well as repairing separated abdominal muscles, is a tummy tuck. People from Merrillville and towns throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Metropolitan area come to my Schererville and Valparaiso offices for tummy tuck consultations, and I have answered just about every question you can imagine about this procedure. So I decided to write a blog post with some practical information that my patients find helpful when planning for their surgery.
What You Should Know
These are 7 of the most important things to know before getting tummy tuck surgery, involving the time before and after the operation.
- Be patient with your recovery: As mentioned above, a tummy tuck is major surgery that often involves liposuction and the repair and tightening of abdominal muscles. For women who have a tummy tuck as part of a Mommy Makeover , which also includes cosmetic breast surgery, recovery may take a little longer. Many of our patients lead active lifestyles and exercise regularly and they’re eager to return to the gym. Even if you’re feeling back to normal after a couple of weeks, though, your body needs more time to fully heal.
- Don’t expect clothes to fit for a while: Swelling following a tummy tuck takes some time to resolve. The good news is that your old clothes will fit better than ever after your recovery. And you’ll probably want to buy new swimwear or more fitted clothes to show off your new contours.
- Avoid stepping on a scale for a couple of months: Your body retains excess fluid that can result in weight gain after your procedure. Again, be patient. You’ll soon look like those tummy tuck “after” photos that revealed remarkable outcomes.
- Don’t consume a heavy dinner the night before surgery: Tummy tuck surgery involves being under a general anesthetic, which can cause nausea under the best of circumstances. Avoid any foods that normally leave you feeling overstuffed. A high-protein, low-carb diet prior to surgery can help your recovery. Another tip: eating pineapple helps minimize bruising.
- Say “yes” to help: This is especially true for moms who have young children at home. Simply moving around will be a chore for the initial phase of the recovery, so childcare is a must. Arrange for it before the surgery. Having someone come in to clean the house, or bring meals over, is also invaluable.
- Stock up on supplies before your surgery: This includes prescription medications, supplements you may use, protein shakes, and healthy snacks. It’s also a good idea to set up an area where you can rest comfortably with your smartphone, remote control, and any other necessity within arm’s reach.
- Don’t forget to move around: Yes, you’ll need plenty of rest, but taking short walks around your house starting on the day after surgery is important for blood circulation. Blood carries oxygen to the tissue and helps accelerate the healing process. Movement also helps decrease the risk of blood clot formation.
Of course, we provide detailed pre- and post-op instructions to our patients that provide other helpful information. If you’re looking for a plastic surgery specialist near Merrillville, contact our practice in Schererville to request a consultation, or call us at (800) 721-3244.