Tummy Tuck ( Abdominoplasty) (cont.)

How to Prepare For Tummy Tuck Surgery

If you smoke, you will have to stop for a certain period as determined by your doctor. It is not enough to just cut down on smoking. You must stop completely for at least two weeks prior to surgery and for two weeks after. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

Make sure you eat well-balanced, complete meals and do not try to diet excessively before the surgery. Proper nutrition plays a key role in healing properly.

If you take certain medications, your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking these for a certain period before and after the surgery. Your surgeon will determine this as part of your pre-operative consultation.

Before undergoing the surgery, you'll need to get your home ready for your post-operative care. Your home recovery area should include:

  • Plenty of ice packs
  • Supply of loose, comfortable clothing that can be taken on and off very easily
  • Petroleum jelly for incision sites
  • Telephone within reaching distance
  • Hand-held shower head and bathroom chair

You know yourself best, so make sure you set up the safest, most comfortable recovery area before you undergo the surgery to meet your personal needs.

What Are the Complications and Side Effects of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

As expected, you will have pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor can prescribe a painkiller, if needed, and will instruct you on how to best handle the pain. Soreness may last for several weeks or months.

You may also experience numbness, bruising and overall tiredness for that same time period.

As with any surgery, there are risks. Remember, this surgery affects a very crucial part of your body. Though they're rare, complications can include infection, bleeding under the skin flap or blood clots that could travel to your lung and interfere with your breathing. You may carry an increased risk of complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes or heart, lung or liver disease or a history of blood clots.

You may experience insufficient healing, which can cause more significant scarring or loss of skin. If you do heal poorly, you may require a second surgery.

As we mentioned before, the scars from a tummy tuck are fairly prominent and though they may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear. Your surgeon may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you've completely healed to help with the scars.

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