Preparing for a tummy tuck
You have probably heard about the “tummy tuck” on entertainment news or read it in a magazine. More than just a headline, the tummy tuck (also known medically as abdominoplasty) has helped thousands of people worldwide with problems in the abdominal area of the body, whether they are men or women who have suffered physically and psychologically because of the loose, sagging skin and fat tissue in their abdominal region. These issues may possibly have been brought about by extreme and/or sudden weight loss, post-pregnancy, aging or illness.
When conventional methods of removing excess fat and skin from the midsection simply do not work, doctors often recommend tummy tuck as the most effective way to deal with the said problems. Abdominoplasty starts by the surgeon making a linear incision across the lower abdomen, just below the bikini area. Depending on the type of technique utilized, there might be more incisions made to the region. Excess skin and tissue are removed, and sutures are put in place to facilitate for a better shape and form after the incisions have healed.
The whole process results in a more proportionate midsection in relation to the hips and chest, with a flatter abdomen. The skin would also look tighter and the most prominent scars will be hidden under the bikini line, therefore making the area look more natural. This dramatically improves the aesthetic considerations of the abdomen, solving problems such as negative body image or low self-esteem.
However, just like all cosmetic procedures, anyone who wants to undergo a tummy tuck surgery must be prepared for the procedure and the post-op recovery after. This preparation makes sure that you as a tummy tuck candidate can achieve the results that you want and expect.
Becoming an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck
Not everyone who wants to trim excess skin and fat in his or her abdomen are eligible for a tummy tuck. Doctors would first screen you out with some tests to see if you are healthy and physically fit enough to handle the surgery. Anyone who is smoking and drinking will be asked to stop imbibing these a month before the surgery. Smoking adversely affects the healing processes of your body, thereby it is highly advised that you cease smoking if you are planning to have any form of surgery anytime soon.
You must also have realistic expectations. Although the tummy tuck procedure has been perfected over years of medical research and development, it is not a miracle weight-loss procedure. Most doctors would advise that if your problem pertains more to the weight issue, then exercise and proper diet should be first tried. If those methods fail to make any impactful change or may cause the very same problems mentioned above, only then will doctors give out the option for a tummy tuck, possibly with a liposuction procedure done in conjunction.
Doctors would advise that any candidate ceases taking in any aspirin or NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) as they will adversely affect the body’s blood clotting mechanisms. Finally, if a candidate has plans of getting pregnant in the near future, doctors would advise that the candidate either not go through with the procedure, or defer it to a later time after any planned pregnancies.
Preparing yourself for the surgery
Before the procedure, it is important to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle and prepare plans on how you will go about after the procedure. This is called the post-operative recovery or post-op for short, and having these measures can make sure that you have an easy one as much as possible.
First off, watch your weight. Any significant loss or gain in weight might result in undesirable outcomes when you start healing post-op. Try to maintain a stable weight in the weeks prior to the tummy tuck operation. In addition, practice eating healthy, well-balanced meals as it will help your body come into a more natural metabolic cycle, aiding in its healing process. Expect some discomfort for the first few days after the surgery. Preparing yourself mentally to weather the worst days can be a huge help.
Arrange for someone, such as your significant other, a trusted friend or a family member, to drive you to and from the hospital or clinic after the procedure. This person would also be your primary support base after the operation due to the fact that you won’t be able to do much of the usual stuff you do around your house before the surgery for a day or two. This should be done in conjunction with making calls to your employment and ask for a week or two off from work after the operation date, as your body will need to focus on resting and healing for the first few days.
Finally, surround yourself with a positive and supportive atmosphere. Nothing works more wonders to your healing body more than a little sunshine on the days leading up to the procedure, and especially after. Avoid stressful situations and relax yourself more often.
Tummy tuck proofing your home
Now that you have your body prepared for the tummy tuck, it is time to move on to preparing your household for the procedure. Head on out to your nearest pharmacy and stock your home with plastic sheathing, towels, compresses, petroleum jelly and other necessities that would be outlined to you by the clinic or hospital.
The plastic sheathing would be used to waterproof your beddings and furniture. An abundance of towels means you will have the luxury of attending to spillage without having to worry too much about laundry, which should be doubly taxing during your post-op recovery. Also, because you’ll be resting and lying down for a good portion of your time at home, cramps and muscle spasms may be a problem. This is why having compresses are handy even before the procedure. As for the petroleum jelly, it works wonders in keeping the skin around the incision areas moisturized.
Again, because you will be spending most, if not all of your time healing indoors, it is good to have novel means of entertainment or items to pass the time. Post-op is the perfect time for you to get on to reading books that you have always wanted to read. Get copies of movies you haven’t watched yet, although it is advisable that you steer clear of anything that will make you laugh hard or give you the spooks as they might cause you to pull on your stitches, literally. Take this time to enjoy the company of your family or that someone you have trusted to take care of you while your body repairs itself.
Other considerations and precautions
Eating the night before the surgery is to be avoided. Some surgeons explain that eating at least the night or morning before the surgery may cause risks or complications during the surgery. This is probably the reason why most surgery appointments are canceled or delayed if the surgeons hear that the patient consumed food beforehand.
It is advised that patients not bring anything too important in their bags like passports, laptops, etc. unless they have others accompanying them. Another thing cosmetic surgeons remind patients from time to time is not to wear any unnecessary pieces of jewelry, makeup, body piercings, etc. during the surgery as much as possible. Earrings, necklaces, watches, and contact lenses that may interfere or disrupt the surgery are to be avoided.
Patients should also prepare and bring extra clothes on the day of the surgery. Loose and easy-worn clothes are highly recommended, as the patient’s sutures and surgical scars would be sensitive to the touch. Nightgowns and pajamas are great choices for patients. Compression garments are sometimes not provided by the hospital or clinic, thus purchasing and choosing the right fit beforehand is necessary.
The typical response of patients when asked to prepare would revolve around just the physical aspects, like eating healthy or exercising. This is not necessarily the only thing patients are required to focus on, for they should also look at the social, emotional, and mental aspects of preparation. For example, patients should let their family members and good friends know what they are about to undergo. This allows them to be informed accordingly and lets them know not to disturb the patient’s recovery.
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