10 Tips for the Best Tummy Tuck Results

Published: January 25, 2021
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Category: Dr. Nathan Leigh, Plastic Surgery, Tummy Tuck

According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, over 123,000 Americans chose to improve their abdominal area’s appearance with a Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty surgery, in 2019.  It’s no wonder this surgery continues to be one of the most requested worldwide. A Tummy Tuck can remove excess skin and fat, flatten your stomach, and help you feel confident showing off your midsection again! But did you know that the success of your Tummy Tuck isn’t entirely in the hands of your surgeon? YOU play an integral role in your outcome, regardless of what procedure you desire. How you prepare your body, mind, and environment before your Tummy Tuck can significantly enhance your recovery and results. 

Here are ten tips to ensure you get the best results from your surgery.

#1 – Wait until you’re done having children to schedule your surgery.

“If you are a woman considering Tummy Tuck surgery, it’s best to plan to have your procedure after you’re done having kids,” advises Dr. Nathan Leigh, a Plastic Surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “A Tummy Tuck is focused on removing excess skin. Because pregnancy can significantly stretch abdominal skin, your results may be comprised, and a revision will be needed if you choose to have more children after your initial surgery.”

#2 – Stop Smoking.

Smoking and surgery simply do not go together. Not only does smoking increase your risk factors for surgery, but it also inhibits your body’s ability to recover after surgery. To heal well, your body will need its circulatory system working at full capacity. Smoking jeopardizes this by decreasing blood flow, which is vital for wound healing. Slow healing means a greater chance of infection and other complications as well. Your surgeon will want you to kick the habit for at least eight weeks before your surgery and abstain from smoking at least three months afterward.

#3 – Embrace healthy eating months before surgery and maintain it after.

Eating a healthy diet for weeks, if not months before your Tummy Tuck surgery, can help get and keep your body in optimal health. The better conditioned your body and overall health are before a Tummy Tuck, the better your results will be afterward.

“Nutrition plays a pivotal role in how our bodies function and heal,” explains Dr. Leigh. “Food contains vital nutrients that can fuel your body and skin for faster recovery from procedures like abdominoplasty. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight after surgery protects your investment and your results.”

#4 – Stay hydrated.

Our bodies are mostly water. Proper hydration optimizes all of our body’s functions, including how well we heal. Water hydrates our skin, enhances circulation and nutrient transfer, helps clear waste, and delivers oxygen throughout the body – all essential for healthy healing after surgery. Strive to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. More if you are very active.

#5 – Take sleep seriously.

“If our bodies were batteries, sleep is when we would recharge,” says Dr. Leigh. “The therapeutic properties of sleep don’t just make our brains run better; they make our bodies perform more efficiently. Deep sleep is when unused resources are devoted to healing, especially to our heart and blood vessels. Recovering from surgery is taxing on your body. Getting a restorative eight hours or more of sleep each night will ensure that your body is healing optimally.”

#6 – Exercise Regularly.

There is a strong correlation between being at or close to your ideal weight before your Tummy Tuck surgery and satisfaction with your results. Regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, are two means of reaching this weight. But, the benefits of exercise extend beyond the number on the scale. Regular exercise encourages healthy circulation, a crucial part of healing after surgery. It also decreases stress, improves sleep quality, and builds muscle that can create a leaner, shapelier body. Making exercise a regular part of your life will enhance your Tummy Tuck results and help maintain them.

#7 – Reduce stress.

“Stress creates inflammation in your body, and so will healing from your Tummy Tuck surgery,” explains Dr. Leigh.  “When your body is recovering from surgery, you’ll want all of its resources going to healing, not to reacting to an incomplete work project or messy home or fight with your spouse. Reduce the lifestyle stressors you can control before your surgery so that you can relax during your recovery and let your body prioritize healing.”

#8 – Prepare your home, family, and refrigerator for your recovery.

Who is going to do the laundry while you’re recovering from your Tummy Tuck? Who will take the kids to soccer practice until you can drive? Is your fridge stocked with healthy groceries and easy to prepare meals for the week after your Tummy Tuck? Do your kids understand why they need to be careful about hugging you too hard when you get home after your procedure? These are all things that should be sorted out BEFORE your surgery day. Preparation is key to making sure you can focus on healing well after your surgery and not reacting to the everyday stressors of life.

#9 – Follow your post-op instructions to the letter.

“If ever there was a time you wanted to follow the instructions to a T, it’s after your Tummy Tuck surgery or ANY surgery for that matter,” says Dr. Leigh.  “Although this sounds easy in theory, you’d be surprised at the number of people who veer off course and overestimate what they can do and when they can do it after surgery. Post-op instructions are created to keep you safe, to maximize your recovery, and to ensure that you get the best results from your Tummy Tuck.”

#10 – Keep the lines of communication open with your Plastic Surgeon.

Your relationship with your surgeon doesn’t end the day after your Tummy Tuck. It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open and not feel intimated about reaching out with any questions or concerns.

“Plastic surgery truly is a partnership between you and your surgeon,” explains Dr. Leigh. “We are heavily invested in your results, but we also deeply care about our patients. Many of us chose this specialty of medicine because of the happiness and confidence plastic surgery can bring to people’s lives. Building and maintaining relationships with patients is important to us. Never hesitate to reach out. Feel and BE empowered by the influence you have on your surgical outcomes, not intimidated by it.”

Do you have questions about Tummy Tuck surgery? Schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with an Edina Plastic Surgery Plastic Surgeon by calling (612) 688-3177 or by CLICKING HERE.

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