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How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck


    Not feeling super confident in your bathing suit? Understandably, people can feel uncomfortable showing off their bodies with excessive, sagging skin in the midsection. Whether you're going through the effects of aging or experiencing a post-pregnancy body, you can still achieve your perfect beach physique through aesthetic treatments and mommy makeover procedures, like a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. 

    Like any surgical operation, preparing for it helps ensure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible, decreases the risk of complications, and promotes faster recovery. We'll share how to prepare for a tummy tuck in this post.

    How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck Surgery - From Months Before to the Day Of Surgery

    It's worth noting that the final result of an abdominoplasty becomes visible between the second and third months post-op. If you plan to get a slimmer, tauter stomach by summer, we recommend talking to a surgeon several months before you hit the waves. Here's how to prepare your body for a tummy tuck.

    Six months before tummy tuck surgery

    Your focus during this period is to be healthier: eat well, drink more water, and stay active. 

    ●     If you smoke, you should begin the process of quitting.

    ●     If you drink, start limiting your alcohol intake.

    ●     If you have chronic stress, try looking into stress management to improve your overall health and immune response.

    ●     If you're severely overweight, get active and eat healthier to shed some pounds for the best post-surgery results. 

    The healthier you are, the better your body heals and fights off infection post-operation. 

    Take this time to research board-certified surgeons to consult.

    Three to four months before tummy tuck surgery

    Around this period, you should be close to your ideal weight and fitness level, have quit smoking, and maintain your healthy lifestyle. Speak with your surgeon to evaluate your candidacy for the tummy tuck. The best surgeons often book out three to four months in advance.


    Once you've booked surgery, it's time to schedule your days off work, make arrangements for childcare or animal care, and establish your support system to help you during post-surgery (from transportation to aftercare).

    A month before tummy tuck surgery

    Stock up on supplies and things you need for recovery. Your priority during the initial stage of your post-op recovery is to stay as comfortable as possible. Your surgeon can give you a list of what to buy for home care, such as pillows, gauze pads, comfy and easy-to-remove clothing and underwear, ice packs, and over-the-counter pain medication.

    Two weeks before tummy tuck surgery

    It's critical to stop taking anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, herbal medicine, supplements, teas, and diet pills — they interfere with blood clotting and anesthetics. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead for headaches (though ask your doctor beforehand). 

    If you ever contract a cold, fever, flu, or sore throat during this time, notify your surgeon so they can reschedule your procedure if needed.

    One week before tummy tuck surgery

    You'll want to cook and freeze your meals for easy prep during recovery. You may also want to shop for fruits, saltine crackers, gelatin, pudding, and soup. It's recommended to consume food low in sodium to avoid increasing swelling and fluid retention. 

    Ensure your support system is aware of the upcoming surgery, medication instructions, and other valuable information about your surgery and aftercare during this time.

    The day before tummy tuck surgery

    Drink plenty of fluids that contain electrolytes during the day. However, keep in mind that you shouldn't eat or drink anything during the last eight hours before your surgery, so schedule your meals well. Get a good night's sleep.

    On the day of tummy tuck surgery

    The big day's finally here! Important things to keep in mind are: 

    ●     Wear loose, comfortable clothing, preferably zip-up or button shirts

    ●     No jewelry, makeup, or contact lenses

    ●     Bring pain medication and muscle relaxers if necessary and as approved by your doctor

    ●     Wash with antibacterial soap when you shower 

    How painful is a tummy tuck recovery? Most of the intense pain will occur in the first few days following the procedure, which is why it's important to have pain medication ready. 

    Besides the above tummy tuck preparation list, some patients may have questions like, "how to prepare for a tummy tuck and liposuction?" or "how to prepare for a tummy tuck and breast lift?" that may require more specific instructions. It's recommended to discuss with your surgeon how to get ready for two treatments performed together.

    Consult a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today

    Let's get you summer-ready! Get in touch with us today for more information on our range of aesthetic treatments in Burbank, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.