If you are considering a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, you are not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, some 130,000 men and women in the United States opted for this transformative surgery in 2018, making it one of the top cosmetic procedures. One of the keys to achieving successful abdominoplasty results is to begin preparing for it well in advance of your scheduled surgery date. This is the most effective way to help ensure that the procedure, as well as your recovery period, goes smoothly so that you can get the sculpted, more toned stomach you desire.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters of Walters Plastic Surgery in New Orleans, LA works closely with abdominoplasty patients from the pre-surgery consultation to our post-surgery check-ups. He recommends that you begin planning for your tummy tuck as much as six months ahead of time. Read on for a planning timeline on how to prepare for your upcoming tummy tuck.
Six months before surgery
A half-year may seem like plenty of time on paper. However, this is when most patients should start really focusing on their tummy tuck surgery, specifically by making their diet and exercise regimens a priority. Although a flatter stomach can be achieved with a tummy tuck, it is important to remember that it is not intended as a weight-loss surgery. Be sure that you are making an attempt to exercise several times each week. By increasing your activity levels, you may be able to recover more quickly from surgery. Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and cut back on high-calorie and less-nutritious foods. Drink plenty of water each day and limit the amount of alcohol you consume each week. If you are a smoker, now is the perfect time to quit since this habit can actually impede healing and may cause you to experience a prolonged recovery period.
This is also when you should begin your search for a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Orleans to complete your abdominoplasty. It takes a highly-skilled surgeon such as Dr. Jules Walters, who has vast knowledge and experience performing various styles of tummy tucks on numerous patients, in order to achieve an excellent outcome. Ask trusted friends and family members who have previously had abdominoplasty for the name of their surgeon and inquire about the specifics of their procedure. Take the time to go online and visit the websites of those surgeons’ practices to learn more about their education, medical training, and surgical specialties.
Four months before surgery
By this time, you should be well on your way toward reaching the fitness and weight goals you set for yourself in advance of your tummy tuck. Achieving these goals will help to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure since it is advised that patients be at a healthy weight in order to proceed with surgery. It is also time to begin scheduling consultation appointments with the qualified plastic surgeons in New Orleans whom you previously researched online. During your consultation with Dr. Jules Walters, your overall health and medical history will be evaluated and discussed. You will also be able to ask questions you may have about the surgery and view before-and-after photos of previous patients. These may help you to set and maintain realistic expectations for the results of your own procedure.
Three months before surgery
By this point, you should be able to confidently select the plastic surgeon with whom you feel most comfortable to perform your tummy tuck. Once you have done so, contact his or her practice and schedule your surgery. With your procedure date confirmed, you can request the time off from work that will be required so that you can recover. Count on being absent from your job for at least two weeks or more. This also is a good time to secure the assistance at home you will need following your tummy tuck, especially if you have pets or children that will require care. Also, you will need someone reliable to drive you home from your surgery as well as an individual who can stay with you around the clock or check on you frequently for a few days after the procedure.
One month before surgery
The scheduled date of your tummy tuck in New Orleans is fast approaching. This is the time to start prepping your home to ensure that you will be comfortable and have the supplies that you’ll need throughout your recovery. Select an area of the house where you can rest for the first few days after surgery. Ideally, this space will be located on the ground-floor level so that you can avoid climbing stairs, and will feature a bed or sofa with plenty of pillows.
Stock your home with any supplies that you may need during your recovery. Dr. Walters and his professional staff at Walters Plastic Surgery in New Orleans will provide you with a detailed list of items, which may include compression garments to wear on your abdominal area, gauze pads, pain-relieving medications, and ice packs. It is also a good idea to have several changes of loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. In the kitchen, keep plenty of healthy snacks and foods that require little or no preparation. If possible, make meals ahead of time and freeze them so that they will be on hand and easy to access while you recover.
One week before surgery
In the days leading up to abdominoplasty, contact your surgeon’s office as well as the surgical center or hospital and make sure that all of the pre-surgery paperwork has been completed. You may also wish to ask your plastic surgeon any last-minute questions that you may have. Confirm that you have a ride home from your procedure, that someone will be available to assist you for several days, and that pet and childcare arrangements are secured. Be sure that your refrigerator and pantry are stocked with food items. Don’t forget to pick up any prescription medications that you will need from the pharmacy.
As with most things in life, when it comes to tummy tuck surgery, preparation is key. By starting the planning process early, you better your odds for experiencing a speedy recovery. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters of Walters Plastic Surgery in New Orleans, LA is dedicated to assisting his patients in preparing for tummy tuck surgery. Schedule an appointment to learn more about this transformative procedure and start planning your path towards a smoother, more contoured stomach today.