A tummy tuck can remove excess fat and skin, leaving you with a smooth and firm midsection. Richmond tummy tuck patients who are close to their ideal body weight but can’t get rid of loose skin are the best candidates for this procedure. This is an extensive surgery that usually involves muscle repair along with the skin correction. Because of this, it is important to prepare and pay close attention to your surgeon’s instructions.
The following are some tips I give my patients before surgery:
- Ask a loved one for a ride home from surgery. Your anesthesia will still be wearing off, so you will not be able to drive. This family member or close friend will need to stay with you for the first few days to help you out around the house. Getting a tummy tuck requires a good support system.
- Prepare a comfortable environment that promotes healing. A reclining chair or bed with plenty of pillows will be the most comfortable options. Make sure things like water, pain medication, and your cell phone are within arm’s reach so you don’t need to constantly stand up.
- Have good communication with your doctor. Don’t hesitate to express any questions or concerns. It is important to be open and honest with your surgeon. Save your doctor’s number in your phone, so you can easily call him or her if you have any questions.
- Stock up on nutritious snacks and prep meals for the week. Avoid salty and processed foods to reduce swelling and inflammation. If you are the primary cook in your household, it may be a good idea to prep a few easy meals for the week, so you can just pop them into the microwave and reduce the amount of time you need to stand.
- Make arrangements for someone to take care of your children or pets. While you are taking pain medication, you will not be able to drive, run errands, or tend to your pets. For the first part of your recovery, you need to plan for someone to help you out with your normal daily tasks.
- Keep water close by. Being well-hydrated can help prevent dangerous post-op complications. Drinking water will also minimize swelling and keep you regular. Getting up to go to the bathroom every couple of hours will also be good for circulation.
- Plan on missing work and other daily activities during your recovery. Communicate with your boss and co-workers well in advance. Make sure that you schedule your surgery during a time that makes the most sense with your work schedule. You won’t be able to return to work for at least a week. If your job requires manual labor, you will probably have to take off even more time.
- Stop smoking. Smoking constricts your blood vessels. Healthy blood circulation is imperative to healing, so smoking can compromise your results. Avoid all nicotine products 6 weeks before surgery and during your recovery.
- Keep ice packs, compression garments, and comfy clothes on hand. Make sure to stock up on these supplies before your surgery date. Your surgeon will provide you with a more comprehensive list of items you’ll need.