Tummy Tuck Surgery FAQs
How can I prepare for a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck procedure is a major surgery and it will, therefore, take some time before you fully recover. It's sensible to think about your tummy tuck preparation before you go in for your procedure. You should allow yourself enough time to rest and heal after your surgery.
Below you can find some tips for your tummy tuck preparation:
It may be useful to get household chores such as doing the washing and taking the bins out of the way before you have your operation. You may want to place hard to reach cupboard items such as mugs and plates on the kitchen counter so that you do not strain your incisions by trying to reach for them.
As you will not be able to do any heavy lifting straight after the operation, you may want to do a big food shop beforehand and prepare some meals for the freezer.
Children & pets
As you will need to rest well after surgery, you should ask friends and family to help look after children and pets during your recovery period. You may find you cannot lift infants for several weeks after surgery. In addition, dogs pulling on a lead could be painful and negatively impact your wounds healing. You're probably not going to be leaping out of bed to do the school run either, so asking a friend, partner or neighbour to take over these roles is necessary.
Maintaining a healthy diet will help you during your recovery. Try to eat high-protein, low-sodium foods including lots of vegetables and fruits. Hydrate your body well by drinking lots of water and avoiding drinks with caffeine.
Wear comfortable, easy to wear clothing during your recovery. Choose shirts that fasten easily from the front or the back, easy to pull on trousers and slip-on shoes. You will have to wear a compression garment after your tummy tuck procedure. The instructions for this including how long to wear it for will be given to you by your surgeon.
You will need to get plenty of rest after your operation. It will be necessary for you to sleep propped up for the first weeks after surgery, so make sure to have plenty of extra pillows on your bed! Try to rest and sleep on your back in an inclined position for 1 to 2 weeks after your operation. It is also important that you do not sleep on your stomach for the first 6 weeks after your tummy tuck.
As you will not be able to drive straight after your surgery, you should arrange for a family member or friend to take you home after the operation. You should also have adult supervision for the first 24 hours after being discharged as your cognitive and motor skills may be affected by the anaesthetic.
Your surgeon will give you specific advice regarding how best to prepare for a tummy tuck. If you have any further questions do speak to your Patient Care Adviser.
Should I have liposuction or a tummy tuck?
Your surgeon is the best person to advise you on whether you are more suitable for a tummy tuck or liposuction. If you have loose skin that has lost its elasticity due to pregnancy, ageing or weight loss, a tummy tuck may be a more appropriate procedure for you. If you are a younger patient who has a low BMI, healthy, elastic skin and you simply want to enhance your figure and smooth the contour of your body, liposuction may be more suitable for you.
The two procedures can also be combined to further contour the abdomen following excess skin removal and re-tightening of the abdominal muscles.
It varies very much from patient to patient, so it's important to discuss your needs and expectations with your Patient Care Adviser who will be able to explain in more depth, but ultimately your body will decide what procedure is right for you, rather than you selecting a particular procedure.
Will liposuction be included in my tummy tuck?
The use of liposuction during a tummy tuck can help contour the shape of the abdomen. Some surgeons choose to include liposuction in their procedures and some choose not to. This choice will depend on your personal needs and on the surgeon’s regular practice. It is worth asking your surgeon if they will include liposuction.
Will a tummy tuck get rid of stretch marks?
The main aim of the tummy tuck procedure is to remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles that often separate following pregnancy or massive weight loss. If there are stretch marks on the skin removed, then, of course, they will no longer be present on the tummy. However, the surgery will not seek to remove all stretch marks on the abdomen. Do talk to your surgeon regarding your expectations and they will be able to know what will be possible for you.
Do I need a GP referral for a tummy tuck?
You do not need a referral from your GP to have a tummy tuck. Your surgeon may however, contact your GP so that they can get your full medical history from them.
However, it's important to note that some medical conditions may need to be signed off by your GP prior to have the tummy tuck procedure. But your Patient Care Adviser will be able to let you know if this applies for you.
What will happen to my belly button after a tummy tuck?
In every case, you will keep your original belly button (naval) following a tummy tuck. However, particularly when having a full abdominoplasty, it will be necessary to create a new window at a higher part of the torso skin. This may result in your belly button going in a higher position than before.
How long after pregnancy must I wait before having a tummy tuck?
Surgeons usually recommend that you wait at least six months after pregnancy before having an abdominoplasty. This is because it can take around 6 months for the stretched abdominal muscles to recover after childbirth. It's also worth noting that during tummy tuck recovery you will not be able to lift infants so you may want to consider that when planning your procedure.
Published: Thursday, 30 December 2021