Once an individual has decided to undergo a tummy tuck procedure, there are several things they must do to prepare for the surgery. Not only will this make the procedure go smoothly, but it can also help when it comes to the tummy tuck recovery period.
Most of the preparation for an abdominoplasty has to do with avoiding the potential complications that can result from such a surgery. These include scarring, infections and necrosis of the tissue. As such, it's important that you make yourself as healthy as possible before the surgery.
Perhaps the most important pre-surgery preparation has to do with smoking. Your plastic surgeon will tell you the same thing, but you need to quit smoking in the weeks and months leading up to the plastic surgery. It's not enough to simply cut down – most surgeons say no cigarettes for two weeks before and two weeks after the surgery.
The reason is that smoking greatly increases the risk of tissue necrosing, and may also affect the scars. If the abdominoplasty doesn't heal properly due to smoking, you may need to even go back for a second surgery to repair the damage. A tummy tuck is ultimately about creating a new, slimmer, healthier version of yourself. You may even want to take the opportunity to kick smoking if you've developed it as a habit.
Besides smoking, plastic surgeons will also ask about any medications you're currently taking. Typically, the only issue is if these medications will interact poorly with the anesthesia. One common medication that does not combine well with anesthesia is ibuprofen, so be sure to avoid it in the days leading up to the surgery.
Part of the preparation for the tummy tuck will involve getting your home ready for your return. Abdominoplasty recovery can take weeks, and during that time you'll likely be bedridden. Pain medications can make you woozy, and you'll need to be vigilant about infections during this time period. Be sure your house is clean and buy plenty of antibacterial soap ahead of time.
It's very helpful if you can arrange for a friend or family member to look after you as you recover. Even if it means someone flying in to stay at your house for a few weeks, it'll be very helpful to have someone who can take care of you as you recover. You might want to make things easier on the person by planning all your meals ahead of time – either buy some frozen dinners or cook meals yourself and freeze them.