Get the most out of your abdominoplasty consultation by knowing what to expect and preparing a list of questions to ask your cosmetic surgeon before your tummy tuck.
Discuss Your Goals
Your consultation is the first opportunity for you to discuss your goals in detail with your cosmetic surgeon and figure out if this procedure could be right for you. Be as open and honest as you can about what you’re hoping to get out of cosmetic surgery so that your cosmetic surgeon can work with you to develop a surgical plan that will meet your needs.
Look at before and after photos of people with similar body types to yours to help you explain your goals.
Get an Evaluation
During your tummy tuck consultation, your cosmetic surgeon should also provide a health examination to ensure that you’re in good physical health and can safely move forward with your procedure, should you choose to do so. He or she should also use this time to determine if a tummy tuck is the most appropriate procedure to help you reach your goals.
For example, if you want to address both loose skin and stubborn fat in your abdominal area, your cosmetic surgeon will likely recommend adding liposuction to your tummy tuck.
Ask the Right Questions
Use this time to ask any questions that you might have about your procedure. Jot them down beforehand so you don’t forget. Just a few important questions that should be on your list are:
- How many tummy tucks have you performed?
- Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
- Do you recommend adding liposuction?
- What risks are involved?
- How can I prepare for an abdominoplasty to get the best results?
- How can I make the most of my tummy tuck recovery?
You’ve already done your research, picked a cosmetic surgeon and had your tummy tuck. Now comes the fun part. As you continue to heal over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to gradually get back to a normal exercise routine and see your full results begin to take shape.
But before you head to the gym, here are a few pointers for exercise after your tummy tuck.
1. Take It Slow
When it comes to your tummy tuck recovery, slow and steady wins the race. That is especially true of your exercise regimen after abdominoplasty.
Start with sitting up straight and light walking around your house. Once you get the green light from your cosmetic surgeon, you can graduate to a brisk walk around the block or going on the elliptical.
Abdominal exercises should be the last thing you add back into your regular routine.
2. Don’t Push It
If your body is telling you that something’s hurting or uncomfortable during a workout or particular activity, take heed and slow down or stop. Your tummy tuck recovery period isn’t the time to push your body to do things that make it uncomfortable or even painful. Otherwise, you could end up prolonging your recovery and hindering your results.
3. Listen to Your Cosmetic Surgeon
Check with your cosmetic surgeon before beginning a new level of physical activity after your body contouring procedure, and follow that advice. If you’re not sure about a particular exercise, play it safe and give his or her office a call.
Did you know that liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States at the moment? And CoolSculpting® is rapidly climbing the charts as the top nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. Not only can these body contouring options work great as standalone procedures, they can also be used to complement the results of a tummy tuck.
Why Add CoolSculpting® or Lipo to a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck removes loose or sagging skin while repairing lax or separated abdominal muscles. However, the fat removal capabilities of abdominoplasty are limited compared to liposuction or CoolSculpting®.
Similarly, while liposuction or CoolSculpting® can reduce pockets of stubborn fat, neither can do anything to tighten muscles or improve loose skin. If you’re considering liposuction or CoolSculpting® for fat reduction, it’s important to be aware of their limitations.
Combining additional contouring with a tummy tuck can help you tackle excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat at once.
Health Benefits of Adding CoolSculpting® or Lipo to Tummy Tuck
Aside from the aesthetic benefits, there may be some health benefits to combining procedures. When you reduce excess fat and loose skin around the abdomen, you could find that it’s easier to exercise, not to mention gaining the motivation to maintain your improved figure. Don’t underestimate the potential boost to your self-confidence!
Deciding whether to get a tummy tuck or liposuction is one of the most common dilemmas facing those who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen following pregnancy, fluctuating weight or aging. Although a tummy tuck and liposuction often considered similar, the two procedures do, in fact, tackle different issues, meaning the best option varies from person to person. To make it even more confusing, you might even find that your cosmetic surgeon recommends both!
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: Excess Skin
If excess skin around your abdomen is your main concern, a tummy tuck is the better option for you. While a tummy tuck will only remove a minimal amount of fatty tissue, it can work wonders on that pesky loose skin that may be left behind after major weight loss, as well as repairing loose, weakened muscles.
An experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon is an essential part of achieving outstanding body contouring results.
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: Stubborn Fat
While tummy tuck can effectively address loose skin and abdominal muscles, if you’re struggling with stubborn pockets of fat that simply won’t be defeated by a healthy diet and exercise regimen, liposuction could be the answer. Removing fat cells that stubbornly remain behind even after you reach your target weight is where liposuction really shines.
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: The Reality
You’re far from alone if you’ve been reading this and thinking you fall into both categories rather than one or the other. For this reason, a tummy tuck and liposuction are often combined for best results, combatting excess skin, loose muscles and sculpting away stubborn fat all at once.
If you’re considering either or both body contouring procedures, your first step should be consulting a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, just the best option for you.
If you’re gearing up for a tummy tuck, you’re likely getting excited by the prospect of having a leaner, more sculpted abdomen. A tummy tuck is an ideal cosmetic procedure for eliminating excess abdominal skin and repairing diastasis recti, but did you know that the slimmer you can get your stomach before your surgery, the better your results will be? If you need a few tips on belly fat fixes to prepare for your tummy tuck, read on, because we’ve got you covered.
The Right Foods Can Help Fight Belly Fat
Focus on fixing yourself meals that are packed with fiber and lean proteins, while minimizing your sugar and carbohydrate intake. What’s the secret? Protein helps you to feel full, keeping your appetite in check. Fiber can also fight against fat gathering in the abdomen and minimizes fat absorption from other less healthy foods.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can help you win the battle against belly fat.
Move It to Lose It
We know you’ve heard this one before: exercise can help you lose weight. If you’re dubious about activity being a fix for belly fat, hear us out. Being sedentary means you burn fewer calories, and over time they can show up as belly fat. No one’s asking you to run a marathon, but if you add activity throughout your normal day, you can help carve away belly fat. Take the stairs instead of the elevator ot take a walk on your lunch break.
Lipo Away Your Belly Bulges
If proper diet and exercise aren’t enough to fix your belly fat, liposuction can help. Liposuction is the go-to body contouring procedure that can target diet and exercise resistant fat, sculpting your contours for a leaner abdomen, so you can get the best tummy tuck results.
Recovering from tummy tuck surgery requires time and careful planning. Immediately after your abdominoplasty, you’ll be prescribed bed rest, and it may take several weeks for you to fully recover. Laying out a plan before your procedure will ensure a speedy and safe healing period, especially if you follow these 3 tummy tuck recovery tips.
Tip 1: Gather Help, Food & Supplies
Since you will be unable to move around or leave your house after surgery for at least a few days, seek help from family or friends to stay with you and assist with watching your children or pets. Also, stock your refrigerator with plenty of juice or water (not carbonated beverages) and nutritious foods. Staying hydrated and eating healthy will help prevent bloating and keep your digestion regulated. Also, make sure to stock up on other items to help with healing, like ice packs.
Tip 2: Wear a Compression Garment
After your tummy tuck, your cosmetic surgeon will recommend using a compression garment that fits securely around your abdomen. This garment assists in helping the skin conform to your new contours as well as control swelling and help you feel supported and comfortable. It’s recommended you purchase at least two of these garments so that you can wear one while the other is being washed.
Tip 3: Get Moving
Movement is a vital part of healthy recovery after any surgical procedure. While you will be very sore and swollen, it’s important that you move around to help prevent blood clot formation and reduce swelling. Don’t overdo it with your activity levels, but take small walks around your home during the first week. You can increase your walking distance with each passing week. Movement and light exercise during your tummy tuck recovery period will help heal your body and mind.
As summer approaches, more people are asking the same thing of their cosmetic surgeons: When can I swim after my tummy tuck? Here are a few things to know as you look to schedule a surgery date that also works with your vacation plans.
Although there are steps you can take to speed up your tummy tuck recovery, your body will need time to heal. Most people can return to work within a couple weeks, and light walking is recommended during the initial recovery period. You’ll be able to gradually ramp up your activity level as you heal. However, your cosmetic surgeon may restrict you from strenuous exercise for around 6 weeks.
Immediately following your tummy tuck, you may also need to wear a compression garment to promote blood flow and encourage healing.
Going for a Dip
There isn’t a hard and fast rule about when you can swim after a tummy tuck. It may be 4 to 8 weeks, depending on your body and your cosmetic surgeon’s assessment. To avoid risking infection, you need to wait until the drains have been removed and your incision and drain sites are completely sealed. You’ll also want to protect your incisions from sun exposure to prevent the scars from darkening.
Your skin forms an important barrier against any bacteria that may be in the water. A cut or wound can compromise your skin’s defense, allowing potentially harmful things into your body.
Testing the Waters
Depending on how quickly your body heals, you may be ready for light, short swims 4 to 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. People who’ve had muscle repair will need to avoid any strenuous swimming that puts strain on their abdominal muscles. Consult with your cosmetic surgeon and follow their recommendations in order to avoid complications.
Many women are eager to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape after giving birth. A tummy tuck removes excess stomach skin and can tighten loose abdominal muscles, making this the perfect post-baby procedure. However, the months immediately following a pregnancy may not be the ideal time to get cosmetic surgery. Here’s why new mothers should wait at least six months after pregnancy before scheduling a tummy tuck.
Take Time to Get Back to Target Weight
Candidates for a tummy tuck are encouraged to achieve their target weight prior to surgery. This is because a tummy tuck cannot remove excess pounds to give you the waistline of your dreams. Waiting at least six months after giving birth gives a woman enough time to resume a fitness routine and adopt a healthy diet in order to shed pregnancy pounds. If you still have stubborn abdominal bulges after reaching a stable weight, a tummy tuck with liposuction can reveal a fitter look.
Newborns Need Lots of Care
Infants require a lot of lifting, which means new moms are constantly engaging their midsection to care for their babies. After a tummy tuck, it’s important to minimize stress on the abdominal region, as frequent movement can disturb the healing process or undo results. Waiting at least six months after pregnancy gives mothers the chance to develop an efficient routine and adapt to their baby’s needs so that their tummy tuck doesn’t interfere with the need to care for their baby.
Hormones secreted during pregnancy allow abdominal muscles to stretch and soften to accommodate the growing baby. Many pregnancy hormones remain at higher levels throughout nursing. By waiting until you’ve finished nursing and pregnancy hormones have returned to normal levels, you can ensure the best possible tummy tuck results.
Updated for 2018
If you’ve just had a tummy tuck, chances are you’ve become well acquainted with the discomfort that comes with post-operative healing. Redness, swelling and pain are all normal symptoms that feel challenging to manage. While the road to recovery is a long process that must be given the proper amount of time, there’s much debate over whether lymphatic massage could help speed the process along.
More resources: What to Expect at Your Tummy Tuck Consultation [Infographic]
Benefits of Lymphatic Massage
Lymphatic massage involves a gentle pressure applied to the area around your abdomen that’s intended to reduce lymphatic fluid buildup from the site and reduce swelling more quickly.
While lymphatic massage won’t necessarily reduce your overall healing time, it can definitely be useful in providing relief from the swelling around your midsection. Lymphatic massage can also help determine whether additional procedures may be needed to achieve the results you want, as excess swelling may be masking your final outcome.
How Liposuction or CoolSculpting® Could Improve Your Tummy Tuck
General Recovery Tips
As with any surgery, there are several steps you can take to ensure your tummy tuck recovery goes as well as possible, with or without lymphatic massage:
- Staying adequately hydrated and maintaining good nutrition are always important for the functioning of your body, particularly with damaged tissue trying to heal.
- Your surgeon may recommend that you wear a compression garment for several weeks after surgery to minimize fluid buildup and reduce swelling.
- Lymphatic massage as mentioned above may be performed by a qualified practitioner to reduce fluid buildup as well.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on any additional recommendations for your post-surgery care. Proper recovery from cosmetic surgery can feel like a slow process, but by taking the proper steps, you can do your part to achieve the tummy tuck results that you want.
An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the stomach contours. Tummy tucks come in all sizes to meet your individual needs. Here is a closer look at four types of tummy tucks and what they can do for you.
1. Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen and is suitable for patients with minor contouring needs. A mini tummy tuck can tighten the skin below the belly button and remove small amounts of excess tissue stored just above the pelvic region.
2. Traditional Tummy Tuck
A traditional tummy tuck treats both the upper and lower abdomen. In addition to tightening and smoothening the stomach skin both above and below the belly button, a traditional tummy tuck can remove excess fatty tissue as well as repair loose or broken abdominal muscles through an incision normally hidden below the bikini line.
3. Fleur de Lis
The fleur de lis tummy tuck is for patients with extremely redundant abdominal skin after massive weight loss or bariatric surgery. Often, candidates for the fleur de lis have an abdominal region that is wider than the hips. In a fleur de lis, excess skin and fatty tissue is removed and abdominal muscles can be repaired through a standard tummy tuck incision as well as a vertical incision in the center of the abdomen.
4. Belt Lipectomy
A belt lipectomy, also referred to as a lower body lift, uses an incision that circles the entire body below the belt line to lift the outer thighs and buttocks, improving lower body contours in addition to the benefits of a standard abdominoplasty. This procedure is most suitable for patients with generalized skin laxity or who have undergone significant weight loss.
Tummy tuck patients are often anxious to know when they can resume their exercise routine after undergoing surgery, and men and women are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle following any type of body contouring to maximize the chance of life-long results. So when does recovery time end and an active lifestyle begin?
Days 1-10 after Tummy Tuck
This is most critical recovery period. As tempted as you may be to try some light exercises, you should remain relaxed most of the time. You can gradually practice walking around the house, first with and then without assistance.
Two Weeks Post-Surgery
Two weeks after surgery is typically the earliest possible time that patients can begin some very easy activity. Try light walking, up to a mile twice a day, but continue to avoid strenuous activities, and also avoid prolonged standing of two hours or more.
Four Weeks Post-Surgery
By this time, you should feel comfortable enough to do some brisk walking. You can also ride a stationary bike and lift some light weights, but avoid aggravating your tummy muscles, which may cause incisions to tear.
Six to Twelve Weeks Post-Surgery
Many patients are tempted to fully resume a comprehensive workout regimen by a month or two after surgery. However, while you may feel well enough for strenuous activity, to maintain the best tummy tuck results, you should continue to avoid strenuous ab workouts or heavier lifting until at least the 12-week mark. Prior to this, you can gradually incorporate more gentle activities, such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, aerobics and jogging.
While tummy tuck recovery is gradual, the results can make the wait well worthwhile. Follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions, and if you feel unsure of any particular exercise, contact your surgeon before trying it on your own.