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You are fed up with feeling unhappy about how you look in a bathing suit or underwear? Do you want to get rid of rolls and love handles once and for all? A tummy tuck is an ideal solution for anyone who wants a more toned, shapely midsection.
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a permanent solution for getting rid of stubborn fat and loose skin. It can also tighten and repair weak or separated stomach muscles. The result is a flatter abdomen that you want to show off.
You might be raring to schedule your procedure, but this is not a decision you want to jump into lightly. You may think you’ve found the right surgeon, but there are a few questions you should ask first.
Must-Ask Questions for Anyone Considering Abdominoplasty
These are the questions you need to ask your surgeon before you schedule your surgery.
1. Is abdominoplasty the right surgery for me?
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. If you have a high percentage of extra fat and skin that won’t budge, regardless of your healthy lifestyle, this surgery might be right for you. A round and sagging midsection can develop for several reasons. You could have given birth, experienced weight fluctuations or struggle with hormonal imbalances.
Potential patients need to be in good health for this procedure though. You should also be doing it for the right reasons. If you haven’t reached your goal weight, you might want to delay your procedure. The same applies if you plan to have more children.
2. Do you have board certification?
You should only ever schedule your procedure with a board-certified plastic surgeon. If they aren’t board-certified, there’s a chance you won’t achieve your desired outcome. Your surgeon’s experience and qualifications are very important. Before you look at anything else, you want to ensure your surgeon can get the job done right. Surgeons need a thorough understanding of several aspects before they can successfully perform a procedure such as an abdominoplasty.
3. What facilities do you operate in?
Not all cosmetic surgery is performed at a hospital. With this being said, not all outpatient facilities are good enough either. Find out more about where your surgeon operates and if they have any hospital privileges. Your health and safety should always be a top priority. This all starts with where your procedure will be performed.
4. What will happen before my tummy tuck?
The entire abdominoplasty process starts with an in-depth consultation. You will also require blood tests and a physical exam. When you are cleared for surgery, you will need to stop smoking and taking certain medications. Medications and supplements that thin your blood can cause additional bruising and bleeding.
By stopping smoking, you ensure your blood flow and veins are ready for a smooth recovery. Before surgery, your surgeon will also explain exactly what you can expect. Use this time to ask any additional questions that crop up about the surgery.
5. What will happen during my tummy tuck?
The average tummy tuck takes about 2 hours to complete and requires a general anesthetic. What happens during the procedure is dependent on your specific requirements. Along with removing excess skin and fat, the abdominal muscles may also need to be repaired. To complete the procedure, a U-shaped or horizontal incision is required. The incision is usually made just above the pubic area, which helps hide scarring too. In some instances, another incision needs to be made around the navel to access additional skin. Once the incisions are closed, a dressing and compression garment is applied.
Patients are moved to a recovery room where they can be monitored. It’s very rare for patients to require an overnight stay in the hospital. You will, however, need someone to drive you home. You can read more details here.
6. What will happen after my tummy tuck?
Every patient has a slightly different experience during recovery. In most instances, patients don’t need to take more than a week or two off work. After two weeks, regular activities can be resumed. However, strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks.
If drainage tubes were used, they would be removed a few days after surgery. You will only be able to shower once the tubes have been removed. It helps to sleep on an incline for several days as this reduces swelling. Placing pillows under your knees can also help reduce pressure on the midsection.
Walking after surgery can really help speed up your recovery. However, some tightness, swelling and discomfort may make this uncomfortable at first. Try to walk a little every day. You won’t be able to drive for a few weeks, so make sure you have everything you need before surgery.
7. Are there any risks I should be aware of?
Any type of surgical procedure carries some degree of risk. Bleeding, bruising and infection are some of the most common. Numbness in the area is also possible. However, this will dissipate on its own after a few months. All other potential risks will be discussed during your consultation so that you can prepare.
There is a lot to consider when you’re planning to undergo a tummy tuck. Ensuring that you have the right surgeon assisting you is the best start. It’s essential to consider all aspects of the procedure, which is why questions are so important.
You have every right to know as much as possible about the procedure and your surgeon. Surgeons are asked these kinds of questions all the time. There is absolutely no reason to feel reluctant or embarrassed to ask. If a surgeon can’t or is unwilling to answer your questions, it should be seen as a red flag. Don’t rush your choice in a surgeon, it’s one of the most important decisions you will make during this process.
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