5 Things to Do before Your Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular procedures in the United States, with over 120,000 performed in 2015 alone (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Whether due to weight loss, pregnancy, or other factors, many women and men alike opt for a tummy tuck to remove and tighten excess skin and tighten loose muscle tissue in the abdominal area. But while this procedure can yield excellent results, there are a few things that you should consider doing before scheduling your tummy tuck.
1. Stop Smoking
If you smoke, there’s no better time to kick the habit than before your tummy tuck or other plastic surgery procedure. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of complications during surgery, and it may also hinder your body’s ability to properly heal and recover after your tummy tuck (Annals of Surgery).
Most plastic surgeons will recommend that you stop smoking at least four weeks before and remain smoke-free for four weeks after your procedure. Many people find that this provides a great opportunity to finally quit for good.
2. Line Up Childcare
If you have children or pets, make sure you arrange for another responsible adult to help you with their care in the days and weeks following your procedure. Knowing that this is already taken care of prior to going in for your tummy tuck can help give you peace of mind so that you’ll have nothing to worry about when you get home.
3. Complete Your Family
Many women who have already had children decide to have a tummy tuck to help them get their pre-baby bodies back, as pregnancy can result in loose or stretched skin and muscle tissue. However, if you plan on having more children in the future, you may want to wait until you’ve completed your family to schedule your tummy tuck. Additional pregnancies can affect the results of your abdominoplasty, which may make a revision surgery necessary (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
4. Be at a Stable Target Weight
The best candidates for a tummy tuck will be at or very close to their target weight before the procedure. This can help to ensure that you get the smoothest, most effective results, as a tummy tuck is not meant to serve as a method of weight loss. Instead, it’s a body contouring tool that can help you fine tune your physique once you’ve already lost as much weight as you can through diet and exercise.
It’s also important that you’re able to maintain this weight for at least several weeks before your surgery, because significant fluctuations in weight can also throw off your final results.
5. Be Realistic
Above all else, it’s crucial that you’re able to maintain realistic expectations about your tummy tuck results. This procedure can absolutely help you to embrace and love the shape of your body, but it does have limitations. It’s not a miracle cure for an unhealthy negative body image or other psychological concerns, and you will still need to make healthy living choices like eating right and exercising in order to maintain the same smooth, sleek results.
Taking the Next Step
If you’ve been thinking about getting a tummy tuck, the next step is to choose a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon with whom to work. He or she can guide you through each step of the process, as well as answer any questions or concerns that you might have about before, during, or after your procedure.
At Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in Pittsburgh and Wexford, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Heil has been named as one of the top 10 percent of plastic surgeons in the region. Dr. Heil comes with years of extensive professional training and experience performing abdominoplasty.
If you’d like more information about your tummy tuck options, or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Heil, please contact us at 724-264-3608 and take the next step toward finally achieving the sleek, toned body you want.