Pregnancy, weight loss and aging can stretch the skin of the abdomen and leave behind stubborn fat pockets. A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can help you get that flat, toned tummy you’ve been dreaming of. It is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery procedures performed each year. In this procedure, excess skin and fat are removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened, resulting in a firmer, flatter midsection.
A tummy tuck can change your life and give you more self-confidence. But before jumping into any elective surgery, it is important that you understand what you will be getting yourself into. Do your homework and talk to your plastic surgeon about any possible concerns.
Here are five things about a tummy tuck that you should know beforehand.
Plan for Sufficient Time to Recover
A tummy tuck is not minor surgery. Every patient is different, so it stands to reason that every patient will have a different recovery process. You should plan to take at least two weeks off from work following your surgery.
Your first week of recovery is limited only to the activities of daily living. Even the most basic activities can be difficult during this time. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and focus on healing. Arrange for some live-in assistance and help with childcare and chores.
During the second week post-op, you may start to drive, shop or work with limited activity. During weeks three and four, you may begin walking for exercise. You may resume your regular activities at four to six weeks post-op, depending on how you feel.
For about six weeks after your tummy tuck, you will continue to wear a supportive abdominal garment called an abdominal binder to help minimize swelling and to support your abdomen as it heals.
Make Sure Your Weight Is Stable Before Surgery
A tummy tuck is not a tool for weight loss. You should be within 10 to 15 percent of your goal weight at the time of surgery. This is especially important for patients who have lost a lot of weight or undergone bariatric surgery. (After bariatric surgery, most plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least a year to have a tummy tuck.)
Eat Nutritious Foods to Promote Faster Healing
A healthy diet is very important after surgery. During this time, your body will be fighting to heal itself. Forget about Happy Meals and highly processed foods. A nutritious, well-balanced diet rich in healthy grains, lean proteins and vegetables will promote better immune health and help your body to heal faster.
Know That the Surgery Will Leave a Scar
During the surgical procedure, your plastic surgeon will need to make a bikini line incision that runs from hip to hip. It’s important that you realize that you will have a scar after your tummy tuck. The appearance of the scar will fade in time, and the placement of the incision allows you to hide the scar with panties or bikini bottoms.
The Results of Your Surgery Can Be Permanent
As long as you maintain a healthy weight, the results of your tummy tuck can be permanent. It is important to avoid any major fluctuations in weight. A future pregnancy can also undo the results of your tummy tuck, so make sure that you are done having children before deciding to get a tummy tuck.
To find out if a tummy tuck is right for you, contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Port City Plastic Surgery serves Charleston, Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant and Summerville, South Carolina from two locations in Charleston and Daniel Island.