5 Things to Consider Before Your Tummy Tuck
If you have loose, excessive skin and fat at your abdomen, you’re not alone. Many women and men complain about this, plus see no improvement after spending hour after hour in the gym and living with a very strict diet. How frustrating! A tummy tuck could be the answer for you. It’s one of the most popular procedures performed at Body By Ravi Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics by our board-certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ravi Somayazula. Specializing in cosmetic procedures of the breast and body, he’s learned with experience that an abdominoplasty will not only transform the way your midsection looks, but it will also change the way you feel about yourself and increase self-confidence. If you look good, you feel good! Before you jump right into it, here are five things to consider before your tummy tuck.
Are you done having kids?
Having children is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a woman. However, pregnancy in most cases will change the way your midsection looks. It may lead to stretch marks, sagging skin and abdominal muscle separation in the midline resulting in a “pooch” to the tummy. During your initial consultation, Dr. Ravi likes to have an open and honest discussion with patients about whether they are done having children. Typically, he recommends that patient hold off a tummy tuck if they are still considering having children within 2 years of surgery. It is absolutely possible to have children after a tummy tuck, but Dr. Ravi usually recommends hold off on the surgery because your results will not remain the same after another pregnancy.
Make sure you have reliable help after surgery
The “recovery” after a tummy tuck is approximately 2 weeks but of course everyone heals differently. With that being said, patients will definitely need helpful hands for at least the first 2 days after surgery. Make sure that before committing to a tummy tuck you have organized sufficient help with young children and pets. Patients may in fact require someone responsible to stay with them for the first week.
Remain motivated to keep the extra weight off
During the consultation, Dr. Ravi openly discusses with patients the status of their current weight. He recommends that you maintain a stable weight for at least 3 months prior to surgery and are within 5 to 10 pounds of your ideal weight. When patients steadily gaining weight prior to surgery and lifestyle choices (such as choices in food and exercise habits) are not ideal, then the results after surgery will not be ideal. It is extremely important to remain motivated to maintain postoperative weight within 10% of preoperative weight to ensure an excellent long-term aesthetic outcome. Unfortunately, weight gain after surgery can lead to the accumulation of visceral fat (fat underneath your abdominal muscles and around your internal organs). This type of weight gain results in increases abdominal girth and overall size; visceral fat can only be reduced with weight loss. In these cases of visceral fat accumulation, further liposuction will not correct this since the fat accumulation is intrabdominal.
Be prepared to stay active
We discuss post-surgery activity restrictions with patients during the initial consultation and at their preoperative visit. Unless combined with other procedures, most tummy tuck patients go home the same day after surgery to recover in the comfort of their own home. They are encouraged to walk the night of surgery for at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Starting the day after surgery, I recommend walking for a minimum of one hour daily (spread apart during the day) for 2 weeks. This helps keep your blood properly circulating and minimizes blood clot formation. No heavy lifting greater than 5 pounds is allowed for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, most gym exercises can be resumed. Light cardiovascular activity can be performed at 3 weeks if desired. These include brisk walking or a stationary bike. The abdominal muscles are tightened during surgery and they need the proper time to heal properly, so ab and core exercises are not allowed for 3 months.
Give yourself enough time to be “summer ready”
Many patients say to us that they want to be “ready” for the summer in order to wear a bikini. We can certainly make you ready, but it’s all about the timing of your surgery. You’ll need to make sure you have at least 6 weeks to 3 months to heal properly and get rid of your postsurgical garment. So, if you’re planning a beach vacation or any special event where you want to look and feel like a million bucks, make sure you let us know so that we can plan surgery accordingly. Patients should have surgery no later than the end of April if the main goal is to be ready for that summer. Timing of tummy tuck surgery is critical and we’re here to walk to through every step!
If you’ve read this and are interested in undergoing a tummy tuck or want to learn more about this procedure, please call 281-242-1061 or email us to schedule your initial consultation today. Dr. Ravi specializes in body procedures and would be happy to discuss an abdominoplasty in person to make sure you’re ready!