With time, our bodies change. Pregnancy, drastic weight gain combined with rapid weight loss, aging and trauma can change the structure of your stomach. At aFresh® Med Spa & Plastic Surgery in Glenview, IL, we’d like to give you hope. You can have the tight, toned tummy you’ve always dreamed of or the one you had before you had kids. Today, we’re talking about the best way to prepare for a tummy tuck to ensure the best results and a speedy, comfortable recovery.
How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck in 9 Simple Steps
Step 1: Decide Which Kind of Tummy Tuck Is Right for You
The first step in preparing for your tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is determining which type of abdominoplasty is right for you. There are three types of abdominoplasty, sometimes called a tummy lift, that each have their own distinct advantages. A mini-tuck is ideal mostly for pregnant women. It addresses excess fat and skin on the lower stomach as well as loose, sagging skin.
A full-tuck is ideal for people in Chicago, IL with weak abdominal muscles, excess skin and fat and inelastic skin affecting the abdomen both above and below the belly button. Finally, an extended tuck is right for people who need excess skin and fat addressed around their hips, lower back and flanks, as well as everything a full-tuck accomplishes. During your initial consultation, we will help you determine which tuck method is right for you.
Step 2: Stop Taking Certain Medications
Before your abdominoplasty, it is essential that you stop taking certain medications. These include aspirin and NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These medications thin the blood and affect the results of your procedure.
Moreover, you should avoid taking certain vitamin and herbal supplements, such as St. John’s Wart, vitamin E, omega supplements and other supplements that can thin your blood. You should avoid taking these for two weeks prior to and after your abdominoplasty.
Step 3: Stop Smoking
It is absolutely critical that you stop smoking for six weeks before and after your abdominoplasty. Nicotine is one of the main ingredients in cigarettes. This addictive chemical compound raises your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels. This means less oxygen and fewer essential nutrients can flow to your stomach. Smoking will noticeably slow down the speed of your recovery.
Step 4: Drink Lots of Water
Before your abdominoplasty, you should be well hydrated. While it’s not scorching hot year-round in the Chicago area, it can get pretty humid outside. Account for that when deciding whether or not you want a glass of water.
The ideal amount of water for you to drink depends on how much you weigh, how active you are, how much sodium you consume and several other factors. However, you’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine is translucent or very pale.
Step 5: Arrange for a Ride Home and Post-Op Care
Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home on the same day that your procedure is performed. However, because it is performed under anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home afterward. You may not drive within 24 hours of being put under anesthesia and you may not drive within 24 hours of taking certain analgesics. Read the back of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take during your recovery.
You should also arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after your procedure. If you have small children or indoor pets, remember you cannot lift anything greater than 10 pounds for the first couple weeks after your abdominoplasty. Make sure you have a strong support system in place before you schedule your tuck.
Step 6: Prep Your Recovery Room
Once you’ve ensured you’ll have someone to drive you to and from your procedure and care for you for at least 24 hours, it’s time to prep your recovery room. This is the room where you will spend almost all of your time for several days. Some people like to convert their bedroom into their recovery room. They feel most comfortable in their bedroom, and especially if it adjoins a bathroom.
However, you may choose to convert your living room or sitting room into your recovery room. Regardless of which room in the house you use to recover, ensure it has plenty of water within a few inches of where you will be resting, antibiotics, books and a portable cell phone charger. The portable cell phone charger is important because it ensures you don’t have a 10-foot long charger wrapped up in your blanket when you need to use the restroom.
Step 7: Prep Your Meals
You should prepare enough meals for several days so you don’t have to cook after your procedure. It is extremely important to prepare meals with lots of fiber and protein. The fiber mitigates the risk of constipation and cramping from the painkillers you will be prescribed. The protein speeds your rate of recovery significantly.
Step 8: Make Sure You Understand the Results You Can Expect
The only way to enjoy satisfying results from abdominoplasty is to fully understand what results you can expect. Abdominoplasty will tighten your weakened abdominal muscles. It will also remove several pounds of fat from your abdomen and remove excess skin. Once the excess skin is removed, it will be lifted and tightened.
However, abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss procedure. Thus, it will not help you lose 50 or 100 pounds. It will help you contour your abdomen and possibly your hips, sides and back. The best candidates for this procedure are within 10 to 30 pounds of their goal weight and confident they can maintain the results of their procedure.
Step 9: Don’t Forget Your Favorite Pillow
Once you come out from under your anesthesia, you will feel extremely drowsy. You may find yourself drifting in and out of sleep on your ride home. Make sure you bring your favorite pillow to make the ride more comfortable. Not only will you have a memento to hold on to, but the smell of your laundry detergent on your favorite pillowcase will also give you a morale boost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Abdominoplasty
1. Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
During your initial consultation in the Chicago, IL area, we will help you determine if this is the best body contouring solution for your needs. To determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure, we will review your medical history, conduct a physical examination to assess your health and review your aesthetic goals.
It is important that you are in good general health to be a good candidate for this procedure. If you have certain blood diseases that require you to take anti-platelet or anti-clotting medications, a different body contouring solution will be a better fit for you.
2. What Alternatives Are There to Abdominoplasty?
Finding a good alternative to abdominoplasty is a little tricky. There are several body contouring solutions, such as WarmSculpting, CoolSculpting and liposuction. However, only WarmSculpting is capable of tightening your skin like abdominoplasty does. Thus, if you opt for an alternative to abdominoplasty, you may need a skin tightening treatment, as well.
3. What Is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved body contouring treatment medically known as cryolipolysis. It involves freezing your fat cells to the point of death without injuring the surrounding skin or muscle tissue. Treatment of the abdominal region doesn’t usually take more than an hour. There is no downtime, and you will start to see the results in about a month after your first treatment.
4. What Is WarmSculpting?
WarmSculpting is similar to CoolSculpting in that there is no downtime and the body contouring treatment is FDA-approved. Unlike CoolSculpting, however, this treatment uses heat to kill cells. One significant benefit of this method is the heat from the laser energy stimulates your body’s natural production of collagen. This means that the skin over your stomach will tighten as fat is removed from the abdominal region.
5. How Long Do the Results of My Procedure Last?
The results of abdominoplasty are considered permanent. Once the fat cells from your stomach are removed, new ones cannot grow back to take their place. However, there are circumstances under which the results of the procedure can be reversed. For example, if you get pregnant, your abdominal muscles can distend and weaken once again. You may also accumulate fat in the fat cells remaining over your abdomen.
6. How Long Will I Be In Recovery?
Following your abdominoplasty, you will wear a compression garment for six weeks. This is to mitigate the risk of swelling following the procedure. During this time, you should avoid any strenuous physical activity, including heavy lifting and vigorous exercise. If you work a job involving lots of heavy lifting, expect to take six weeks off of work.
If you work a sedentary job, you can return to work when you feel ready. For most of our clients, this is only after a week or two. If you schedule your procedure for a Friday afternoon, you may be well enough to return to work the following Friday.
7. What Can I Do to Speed My Recovery?
The best thing you can do for your recovery process is to rest as much as you need to. You may feel anxious to “get back to normal”. However, picking up your children, playing pick-up basketball and dancing the night away at your favorite club are not how you restore normalcy to your life.
While you should rest as much as you need, you should also remember that you need to engage in a little light exercise. Walk as far as you feel comfortable. Rest up against the wall, then return to your starting point. Walking is important because it gets your blood pumping stronger, including blood to your abdomen. This will drastically speed your recovery. Every day, try to extend how far you walk during each bout of exercise. Just don’t try to go too fast.
8. What Can I Take for Swelling and Discomfort?
We strongly recommend Montana Arnica, which can be found at your local health food store. It comes in either gel or pill form and ensures that you don’t experience discomfort from swelling. It should be taken three times daily or as needed for comfort. You should also be sure to get plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins are essential for skin health and will make sure your results are as aesthetically appealing as possible.
Get the Tight, Toned Tummy You Deserve
To learn more about how to prepare for a tummy tuck in the Chicago, IL area, contact the dedicated health and beauty experts at aFresh® Med Spa & Plastic Surgery in Glenview, IL to schedule your initial consultation. We will help you decide which body contouring procedure is right for you and give you all the tools necessary to ensure a speedy, comfortable recovery.