In part one of this series, we covered some basics about surgery, including what to expect and how to choose a good surgeon. Picking a good surgeon is the easy part if you choose Front Range Plastic Surgery in Loveland. Dr. Schutte is one of the area’s few double board-certified surgeons, so you know you’ll be in good hands.
If you are considering tummy tuck surgery, continue reading and then give us a call to schedule a consultation to get the rest of your questions answered.
Know the Facts
The objective of abdominoplasty, the official name for tummy tuck surgery, is to smooth the abdominal area and increase firmness. How big of a change you see depends on the type of surgery you choose. There are a couple of different procedures, and some are more extensive. Depending on how extensive the surgery is, you may be able to tighten your abdominal wall muscles and reduce some fat. But, remember, fat reduction is not the primary objective. If you’ve got stretch marks, a tummy tuck may help reduce their appearance. If that is one of your goals, be sure to discuss that with your surgeon.
Discuss all the Options
You’re planning to have extensive surgery. So, if there is anything else you or your surgeon think you should consider doing at the same time, have that conversation early. Liposuction is sometimes done at the same time as a tummy tuck. Talk to your doctor to decide if that is a good option for you.
This is not a simple surgery. Regardless of which type of tummy tuck procedure you and your surgeon decide is best for you, there is going to be a significant, and somewhat unpleasant, recovery period. You may have drainage tubes on either side of your incision for a few days. It will be approximately three weeks before you can return to your regular routine, and a few more weeks until you are 100 percent healed.
While you won’t have to stay in the hospital during your recovery, you’ll probably need some assistance at home for the first week, because you’ll be in pain and your mobility will be significantly reduced. You may have difficulty sitting up and even rolling over for the first week. Don’t push your body too hard during this period. Your skin has just been pulled very tight, so you’ll feel like you’re a little bent-over. You are. Don’t worry, that’s just part of the recovery process. You may experience some back pain because of your posture during the first couple of weeks. Ask your doctor about pain medication or other ways to relieve discomfort.
Prepare at home to make your recovery period as comfortable as possible. Try to set up a space for yourself where you won’t need to climb stairs daily. Have loose-fitting clothing that is easy to get on and off handy. Make sure to have a couple of changes of clothes available each day. Have ice packs ready in the freezer. Set up a chair in the shower and a hand-held shower head to make showering easier.
Make Sure it is For You
If you may become pregnant at some point in the future, you should not have this procedure. If you get your muscles tightened, they could become separated during pregnancy. And, while tummy tuck results are very long lasting, they won’t last through a pregnancy. Your skin will get stretched, and you’ll end up dissatisfied with your results.
If you are more than 20 pounds overweight, your surgeon will probably recommend that you wait to have the surgery until you’ve lost the weight. If you have the surgery, and then lose that weight, your skin may sag in areas where it used to be plumped up by fat. You may be able to tighten it back up a lot with exercise, but your tummy tuck results will be much better, and much longer lasting, if you lose the weight first.
If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, 30 pounds or more, your surgeon will probably require that you do so before having the surgery. Abdominoplasty is not a substitution for weight loss.
Do not go on a crash diet before your surgery. It won’t improve your results, and it just isn’t healthy.
If you’ve read both of the articles in this series, you should have a very good idea of what to expect if you decide to have this surgery. If you want to learn more, come in to see us in Loveland for a consultation. We’ll walk you through the procedure step-by-step. Going through that process always raises more questions. And it is important for you, and for your surgeon, that you have an opportunity to ask all of your questions before making a final decision.