- What is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?
- Who benefits from an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
- What are the considerations of a tummy tuck?
- What are the types of tummy tucks?
- How to choose a plastic surgeon for your abdominoplasty
- The procedure for a tummy tuck
- Recovery and aftercare of a tummy tuck
- Some questions answered
The procedure for a tummy tuck
How to prepare for a tummy tuck
Your plastic surgeon will most likely give you an extensive list of instructions to prepare for your surgery.
You will be asked to do the following in advance:
- Stop smoking six weeks before the procedure
- Avoid taking aspirin (as this thins your blood and can cause unwanted bleeding)
- Stay hydrated
- Make sure you are at your goal weight or reach your goal weight
You will also be asked to make arrangements in your home before surgery:
- Arrange for your kids to be looked after.
- Have your meals precooked and frozen for at least the first week.
- Place all the items you use on a regular basis at hip level.
- Make sure your remote control batteries are fully charged.
- Make sure you have plenty of pillows to support you on your bed.
- Have plenty of reading materials and movies to watch.
- Make space for your medications next to your bed, along with water bottles and dry crackers.
- Have loose clothing ready to be worn for the first few weeks.
- Have sanitary wipes for bathing as you will not be able to wet the dressings until they are removed by the surgeon.
Your surgeon will confirm whether or not you will need to spend the night in hospital after your surgery or go home on the same day. You will also be asked to make sure that someone is available to drive you home from the hospital.
The day of the surgery
Your surgery can be performed at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite or an ambulatory facility. Your surgeon will explain the details of your surgery to you, but there are certain factors to be expected:
- When arriving at the facility, you will be taken to your room and asked to put on the surgical gown and underwear.
- Your surgeon will most likely meet you soon after and mark the places of the incision on your abdomen.
- You will meet your anaesthetist who administers the anaesthetic and will stay next to you for monitoring throughout the surgery, you will be given either local or general anaesthetic.
- Various monitors to check your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels will be placed on you. These are normally in the form of stickers attached to a monitor.
- As soon as the surgery starts, your surgeon may change or adapt the chosen method in order to make sure you get the best results.
- Your incision areas will be dressed and surgical drains may be placed.
- Once the surgery is over, you will be moved to and woken up in the recovery area, whilst still being monitored. This is to ensure you are still in good health after surgery.
- Before going home, your drains will most likely be emptied and reset.
- You will not be able to go home without someone driving you and if you do not have someone helping you at home for the first week you may have to consider booking yourself into a recovery facility.