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Tummy Tuck Preparation: 6 Things to Do

Tummy Tuck Preparation

If tummy tuck surgery is on the horizon for you, you may be wondering how you should prepare for this major event in your life. Below, we’ll go over some of our best advice for how to prepare for a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck Preparation

Other than making sure you are a good tummy tuck candidate for this elective cosmetic surgery — something your plastic surgeon will largely be in charge of — there aren’t many major things to do to prepare for your tummy tuck. 

Basically, it’s important that you organize your life in such a way that when you get home from surgery, things are easier for you. This is simply for the reason that you won’t be able to do much when you go home. You’ll be recovering and dealing with side effects like pain, discomfort, fatigue, swelling, bruising, and more.

Here’s how to be smart and plan ahead.

Tummy Tuck Preparation List

To best prepare yourself for plastic surgery, do the following in the weeks and months leading up to your surgical procedure.

  1. Take time off from work. Plastic surgeons will tell you how long you need to take off from work or school for your recovery.
  2. Lead a healthy lifestyle. Plastic surgeons routinely tell patients to eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, reduce your stress, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Your surgeon will tell you that tummy tuck preparation exercise is very important.
  3. Prepare your home. Make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable, easy recovery. This is also a good time to ask for help from friends and family.
  4. Adjust your medications and supplements as directed by your surgeon. Not all of your pain medication and supplements will need to be altered, but you need to stop taking things like Motrin, ibuprofen, herbal supplements and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
  5. Don’t get sick. Avoid anyone who may be ill with a cold or the flu because you don’t want to be sick when it’s time for surgery.
  6. Stop smoking. It is critical that smokers stop smoking at least several weeks before surgery, and they will need to refrain from smoking for several weeks after surgery as well. 

“Things I Wish I Knew Before Tummy Tuck Surgery”

Staying in touch with our patients after their procedures is important to us. We like to ask all of our patients about their surgical experiences so that we always address any concerns as soon as they come up and so that we can better help future patients. 

Here are some of the things our tummy tuck patients have said they wished they’d understood better prior to surgery. Of course, we always do our utmost to provide each and every patient with complete and comprehensive information about their upcoming surgeries.

  • Swelling is inevitable. Everyone swells, and residual swelling will persist for many months.
  • You may have trouble fitting into your clothes at first. This is largely because of the swelling and inflammation. Discomfort near your incision sites as blood flow returns to normal, may be an issue at first as well. 
  • Before your plastic surgery you most likely worked hard to achieve significant weight loss. Remember that your weight and measurements will fluctuate wildly for a while. This is normal and will settle with time.
  • Complete healing may take longer than you think. In some cases, it may take up to a year.

What to Do the Night Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy Tuck Preparation ListOn the day and night before surgery, start by making sure you have a designated person who will be able to take you home after your procedure.

Next, make sure your home is prepared as this will be where you will be recovering and spending all of your time for the next few weeks. Make sure you have a few comfortable outfits to wear during your recovery and as soon as you get home. 

Also, have several healthy and easy-to-get-prepare meals ready beforehand. Finally, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet — ideally, one that is high in protein. The night before your surgery, get a solid night of sleep — at least eight hours.

FAQ: How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck

Here are some of the most common tummy tuck questions we receive regarding how to prepare for a tummy tuck. 

Should I diet before tummy tuck surgery?

As long as you are at or near your target ideal weight (within a healthy weight range), you do not need to diet before surgery (as in, eat less to lose excess fat). Still, it’s never a bad idea to eat a healthy diet in general — especially before major surgery. Plastic surgeons will always tell you to focus on whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of water.

What should my weight be before a tummy tuck?

It is important that tummy tuck patients are at or near their target weight before surgery. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery. A tummy tuck is not about removing excess fat, that is liposuction. A tummy tuck is also not able to address the problem of stretch marks. It is also important to remember that gaining or losing a significant amount of weight after surgery may alter your results. Furthermore, overweight or obese patients may not be good candidates for your surgery to begin with but may qualify for a plus size tummy tuck. It is also important to monitor your weight to ensure you do not see significant weight gain before your surgery. This is something to discuss with your surgeon, however.

What should you avoid before a tummy tuck?

Throughout the week before your tummy tuck, avoid drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep, and pushing yourself too hard at the gym or at work. 

How painful is a tummy tuck?

A certain level of pain will be inevitable with a tummy tuck. After the procedure, you’ll have several healing incisions, and these may be sources of pain for several weeks. When you undergo a tummy tuck procedure your surgeon will be removing excess skin to help create a more flattering figure. It is the excess skin around abdominal muscles that patients are concerned about. Your plastic surgeon will tell you that a tummy tuck is different than liposuction in that the removal of excess skin is not aimed at addressing concerns about stubborn fat. Fortunately, you’ll have pain medications and other pain management tools and techniques at your disposal. 

How do I know how to prepare for a tummy tuck and BBL?

If you will be getting a tummy tuck procedure as well as a BBL, your instructions will be similar to what we have outlined in this article. This is also true in the even that you will be getting a mini tummy tuck.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

The average cost of tummy tuck includes anesthesia, operating room fees, and other related costs. These additional charges can vary depending on a variety of factors. Your surgeon will be able to answer any questions you have about these costs at your consultation.

Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Appointment

Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a female double board certified plastic surgeon, specializing in tummy tuck surgery and other cosmetic procedures for the face, breasts, and body. 

If you are in the Greater New Jersey, New York, or tri-state areas, Dr. Ramanadham would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your future tummy tuck and cosmetic goals. Call today to schedule your consultation appointment!


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