When you’re looking to improve your appearance and restore your self-confidence, you have many options at your disposal. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, remains one of the most sought-after procedures in the U.S., with more than 130,000 surgeries performed in 2018, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
If you’re considering joining the tummy tuck bandwagon, it helps to understand what to expect and what to do before and after your surgery to get the best possible results. Here’s our complete tummy tuck checklist to help with your decision-making process.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Entail?
Many people dream of having a flat, toned stomach, but even if you work hard on refining your core muscles through targeted exercises like planks and crunches, it can be difficult to achieve that goal. Perhaps you are genetically predisposed to accumulate fat around your midsection, or pregnancy has left you with weakened abdominal muscles and unwanted, sagging skin and fat deposits on your belly. A tummy tuck is a surgical way to address all these concerns simultaneously.
At The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery, we offer two options for tummy tuck surgery: a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck is the best choice if you have a loss of muscle tone and undesirable excess skin both above and below your navel. However, if your muscle laxity and sagging skin are below your belly button only, you may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck. Depending on the amount of fat you wish to address, you may also wish to add liposuction to your abdominoplasty to see even better results.
How to Choose Your Cosmetic Surgeon
Who performs your tummy tuck surgery is the most crucial factor in your safety and satisfaction. It is essential to take time to finding a doctor who has plenty of experience in performing tummy tuck surgeries, whose bedside manner makes you feel welcome and at home, and whose aesthetic approach has produced outstanding outcomes for other patients like you.
As you are narrowing down potential doctors to consult with about your tummy tuck surgery, be sure to look for whether they have attained board certification, which demonstrates a surgeon’s commitment to upholding the highest levels of medical ethics and patient care.
Once you have scheduled a few consultation appointments, your next step should be to make a list of questions to bring with you to the interview. The answers you get should help you determine whether you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery and who should perform it. Here are three example questions to help you get started:
- How long have you been performing tummy tuck surgeries?
- How often do you perform abdominoplasties?
- Can you show me before-and-after photos of previous tummy tuck patients?
Recovering From a Tummy Tuck Surgery
Another essential item on your tummy tuck checklist is to make sure you have plenty of time to take a break from work and other aspects of your life while your body heals. Remember, you’ll need to avoid strenuous activities like vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for several weeks. Make the necessary arrangements ahead of time so you and anyone who depends on you can be fully prepared for your recovery period.
We’ll provide you with complete recovery instructions, including the following:
- How to care for your incision sites and any drainage tubes that will remain in place after the surgery
- How to spot warning signs of infection and other post-surgical complications
- What physical activities to avoid, and for how long
- When you will need to return for any follow-up appointments
- How long you will need to wear your abdominal compression garment, which supports your repaired tissues as they heal
- How much rest you should get
- What medications to take, and for how often
Possible physical side effects in the first few days and weeks after your surgery include soreness, swelling, tightness, itching, numbness, and bruising. You’ll be getting around more slowly than normal, and you may feel a pulling sensation when you try to stand up straight.
Your Successful Tummy Tuck Starts Here
For outstanding abdominoplasty results in Columbia or Baltimore, Maryland, reach out to The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery. Our four experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeons are all experienced in providing tummy tuck surgeries, and can help you get the toned abdominal region you’ve always wanted. Contact the office near you to set up your consultation.