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Abdominoplasty - Tummy Tuck Preparation




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There is a lot to consider when preparing for abdominoplasty surgery.  Your final result will depend on many factors.  Since abdominoplasty is major surgery, patients should educate themselves with what to expect and how to prepare for your procedure. 

Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, tightens the stomach muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the middle to lower part of the abdomen area.  The main goal of the surgery is to make the abdomen smoother, tighter and flat. 

Read the Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Pre-Op List


Important facts to consider before your abdominoplasty:

  • You should be close to your ideal weight - within 30%

  • Weight should be stable for the last six months

  • Other medical problems

  • Medications you may take

  • Regular exercise

  • Good skin tone and elasticity

  • Maintain a well balanced diet

  • Smoking

  • Have realistic expectations

  • Know all the risks and possible complications



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At your consultation, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your needs and to see if you do qualify for a tummy tuck and if this is indeed your best option.  Your surgeon might suggest liposuction to be done at the same time with your abdominoplasty to help contour your body and enhance your tummy tuck results. 

Specific risks of the procedure will be gone over in detail with your surgeon at pre-surgical consultation. As all surgery, abdominoplasty does have a degree of risk.  It is very important to tell your surgeon all of your medical history, problems, past surgical procedures and current medications you take. It is very important to make sure your surgeon knows about any prior abdominal surgeries you might have had.

The integrity of your skin is examined along with making note of unnecessary skin and scars you might have. Your plastic surgeon will also check to see where any of the excess tissue is located, how it hangs, check for hernias and examine your scars. The type of abdominoplasty is predicated on the anatomical defect and the viability of the tissue.

During this consultation the choice of anesthesia, location of surgery, and the costs involved will be discussed. The risks, benefits and alternate methods of care will be discussed with the patient in length.  It is very important that you have realistic expectations and that the line of communication is open between the surgeon and patient. If your surgeon fully understands your expectations, he'll be able to determine whether your goals are realistic.




Your actual tummy tuck procedure with the length of time you will be spending in surgery depends on the extent of tissue removal and if there is the necessity for an additional procedure such as liposuction. Most Full Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty procedures can last anywhere from two to five hours.

Prior to the start of your Tummy Tuck, the treatment area is cleansed with betadine solution and also the incision guidelines will be drawn on your abdominal wall. Because of the time constraints with a full Tummy Tuck procedure, more than likely you will have general anesthesia. This will make you more comfortable due to the length of the procedure. For less invasive procedures, some plastic surgeons will prefer a local anesthetic with a sedative (commonly referred to as twilight sedation).




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Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or even for an appropriate exercise program. The results are permanent; however a less than positive outcome can arise from this surgery if you are not at your optimal weight when having this procedure. Any weight fluctuations will diminish the outcome. Be sure you are done with having children, as any subsequent pregnancies as well can wreck havoc on your results. Most plastic surgeons will recommend that you should postpone a tummy tuck if you are considering future pregnancies.

Stretch marks may see an improvement after this procedure, but they are not completely removed. If the stretch marks are in the area where the surgeon will be excising the excess skin, then those stretch marks will be removed – and normally this is in the area below the belly button.

Reducing your risks for complications for abdominoplasty surgery should include you being in good physical health before the procedure. Your diet should not be overly rigid and you should make sure that you have not over exposed your skin to the effects of the ultra violet rays from the sun or a tanning bed. Having your body well rested and properly nourished prior to surgery will help with wound healing.

If you notice you are feeling ill or you notice you have gotten a cold, you need to tell your plastic surgeon immediately. Any kind of slight symptom with a cold or the flu can sometimes lead to some serious abdominoplasty risks from surgery. Delay of a surgical procedure is better than taking the chance with the procedure when you are sick.





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