For patients who are interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery to help rejuvenate some aspect of their appearance, there are many important decisions to make and factors to consider before a procedure can take place. For many patients, a tummy tuck is a great way to achieve a trimmer physique by removing excess skin and fat from the belly area. However, tummy tuck surgery is not a one-size-fits-all process. Patients must understand the basics of their procedure and all their aesthetic options in order to have the best experience possible with their tummy tuck. That’s why I have created the following checklist to help prospective tummy tuck patients prepare for their surgery.

A Pre-Surgery Checklist to Help Tummy Tuck Patients1.) Understand Exactly What a Tummy Tuck Does

A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) is a cosmetic surgery procedure that reshapes and flattens the abdomen by removing loose, excess skin and fat from the area. Loosened or damaged abdominal muscles can also be tightened or repaired during a tummy tuck for patients who have a “belly pooch.”

2.) Determine Which Type of Tummy Tuck is Best for Your Needs

Depending on the patient’s aesthetic goals, I may either recommend a full or mini tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck uses incisions that are less extensive to help patients who only wish to improve their lower belly area (below the belly button). Some patients may prefer to undergo a drainless tummy tuck, in which I use a specific layered suturing technique instead of a typical fluid drain during the recovery.

3.) Determine if You Are a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck

In addition to having excess skin and fat around their abdomen, good tummy tuck candidates should be in good physical and mental health. Tummy tuck patients should be at a healthy, stable body weight before their surgery. They should also not be smokers, as nicotine can cause issues during the procedure and recovery period.

4.) Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon to Perform Your Tummy Tuck

It’s important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon with considerable experience performing tummy tucks. I recommend that for any plastic surgeon you meet with, you ask them a series of questions to help determine whether they are a good fit for your needs. These may include how long they have been performing tummy tucks, if they have before and after pictures from past tummy tuck patients available, which hospitals they operate in, and more.

5.) Physically Prepare for Your Procedure

Every tummy tuck is different. However, there are certain things that I recommend for all tummy tuck patients to help prepare for surgery including adjusting current prescription medications (if recommended by your physician), stopping smoking or other forms of nicotine consumption, and temporary avoidance of over-the-counter meds that may increase bleeding like aspirin or ibuprofen.

6.) Understand What is Required for Post-Surgery Recovery

Closely following your surgeon’s post-surgery instructions is crucial for achieving the best possible results from your tummy tuck. Make sure to have an in-depth discussion about your recovery during your pre-surgery consultation.

Following these steps can help patients better prepare for your prospective surgery. The more time you spend researching and learning about your potential procedure, the more likely you are to find the cosmetic surgery that will help you achieve the best, longest-lasting aesthetic improvement. For more information on tummy tucks or if you would like to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation today, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery today. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional plastic surgery tips, videos, news, and more.