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a woman on the beach with lines showing where excess skin may have been removed.Tummy tuck surgery can be a life-changing experience. Abdominoplasty helps improve body contours by reducing excess skin and fat and tightening abdominal muscles. This results in a tighter, younger, and fitter-looking abdomen.

In the weeks and days leading up to your tummy tuck surgery, there are several things you should do to make your surgery and tummy tuck recovery safer and easier.

Prepare Your Recovery Area

After plastic surgery, you will need a designated place to recover that addresses your temporary limitations. Dr. O’Toole recommends that you set up your recovery area a few days in advance so you will be ready to relax as soon as you return home. 

This recovery area should include

  • A place to rest and sleep in a semi-flexed position 
      • A recliner chair, loveseat, couch, or bed with strategically placed pillows is ideal.
  • Easy access to required medicines 
      • You will not want to participate in any strenuous movement for much of the first few days after surgery. Arrange your required medications within your immediate reach.
  • Plentiful entertainment opportunities 
    • You will be spending a few days in your recovery area, so make sure you have access to entertainment options such as movies, TV, audiobooks, physical books, magazines, or other alternatives. Post-operative recovery is far easier when you are entertained. 

Returning home after surgery will be less of a hassle if you prepare for your recovery in advance. 

Stop Taking Certain Medicines and Supplements

Patients should stop smoking and consuming nicotine products starting four to six weeks before tummy tuck surgery. 

Nicotine can cause severe complications during surgery. Smoking immediately before plastic surgery is incredibly dangerous. If you smoke before your surgery, inform your plastic surgeon before entering the operating room.

Patients should also stop drinking alcohol and taking blood-thinning medications and certain herbal supplements and vitamins for one to two weeks before surgery. 

Consult your plastic surgeon, primary physician, or local pharmacist to determine what is safe to take before surgery. This is a safety precaution to prevent excess bleeding during surgery.

Take Care of Chores in Advance

Before surgery, it is a good idea to take care of many necessary household chores. This includes cooking, cleaning, and other physically demanding tasks that you will be unable to perform for a few weeks.

If you plan on having a friend or family member assist you during your recovery, this may be less of a concern. 

Still, many patients find returning to a clean house without any pressing tasks more soothing after abdominoplasty.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

In the weeks and months before surgery, it is best to maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein. 

This will help your body bounce back faster after surgery. Ideally, you should also be at a stable weight and in decent shape before surgery. 

The healthier you are before surgery, the faster and easier your healing process tends to be. 

Avoid Eating or Drinking for 12 Hours Before Surgery

Make sure to not eat or drink anything for at least 12 hours before the surgery. This can prevent certain complications while under general anesthesia. 

It is also required to wash the treatment area with antibacterial soap either the night before or the day of your surgery. This will help to prevent infection after your tummy tuck.

Interested in Learning More About Tummy Tuck?

If you want to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and how to prepare for it, please contact Dr. O’Toole at Pasadena Cosmetic Surgery. You may schedule an appointment by calling 626-449-8910 or filling out our online form.