What is Tummy Tuck Preparation?
Any type of surgery will require that you take certain steps to help ensure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Not only that, doing—or not doing—some things can also help you heal more quickly, and reduce the risk of complications.
Tummy tuck preparation is exactly what is sounds like. Before you have tummy tuck surgery, we highly recommend you take the time to prepare for your upcoming procedure, and for your recovery period. Aside from the health benefits, your mind will be much more at ease knowing you're ready for your surgery, and for the next few weeks of healing.
Surgery Blood Work
The first item on your tummy tuck preparation list is blood work. Before you have surgery, we'll need to make sure your hemoglobin, electrolytes, creatine, and INR (blood clotting ability) are all within normal levels. There's no need to fast before these blood tests.
While we don't perform blood work in our clinic, when you come in to TCC for your initial assessment, we'll provide you with a requisition form you can take to the lab of your choice. We can also provide lab recommendations, if necessary.
If you're over 50, you'll also need to have an electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG) to ensure your heart is functioning normally.
If your blood levels are out of normal range, or your EKG reveals any concerns, we'll contact you to discuss the next steps.
Two Weeks Before Surgery
Your tummy tuck preparation begins two weeks out. If you get an early start, you won't have a lot of things to do at the last minute. This early preparation will also help ensure the necessary arrangements go smoothly.
Two weeks before surgery, you'll need to arrange for:
- a friend or loved one to drive you home from the clinic on the day of your surgery. to be with you for 24 hours or more after surgery.
- a friend or loved one to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
- childcare, if necessary.
pet care, if necessary.
You'll also need to make a few temporary changes two weeks before your surgery.
- Do not drink alcohol.
Alcohol thins your blood, which will prolong healing and increase bruising. Drink water instead to hydrate and nourish your body.
- Do not smoke.
Nicotine will prolong your recovery, and increases your chances of post-surgical complications. We recommend you try to quit smoking altogether to avoid health problems in the future.
- Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.
These drugs interfere with the body’s normal blood clotting ability. If you have a headache or other pain, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead.
One Week Before Surgery
As the day of your surgery approaches, you may want to cook and freeze meals for easy preparation while you're recovering.
You'll also want to go shopping to have the following items on hand:
- Antibacterial soap, such as Lever 2000 or Dial
- Laxative or stool softener (narcotic pain medication may cause constipation)
- Pick-up tool to help you retrieve things from the floor without having to bend
- Shirts that button in the front
- Comfortable robe and/or pajamas
- Entertainment such as books, magazines, and movies to help keep you occupied while you rest
- prepared meals (if you choose not to cook your own)
- saltine crackers
- gelatin or pudding
Make sure all foods are low in sodium so as not to increase fluid retention and swelling.
Night Before Surgery
The tasks you perform the night before surgery are some of the most important for tummy tuck preparation.
- Wash your hair and then cleanse your body with antibacterial soap.
- Do not eat or drink anything during the final eight hours prior to your surgery. This includes sips of water and chewing gum.
- If your stomach is not completely empty, there's a chance you could regurgitate while you're under general anesthesia. If this happens, food or water could enter your lungs.
- If you eat or drink within eight hours before surgery, the procedure will have to be canceled for your own safety.
- Get a good night's sleep.
Day of Surgery
A few final tasks will complete your tummy tuck preparation, and help everything go as smoothly as possible.
- Do not wear any jewelry, makeup or contact lenses.
- Wear loose, dark, comfortable clothing. Shirts that zip up are preferred.
We'll provide you with detailed pre-operative instructions before your surgery, and your surgeon will also give you instructions and recommendations. Following all of these instructions will help ensure your comfort, avoid tummy tuck complications, and speed your healing.