Abdominoplasty Surgery Preparation
Patients who refer for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), often ask what they need to do in order to get the best result from their surgery. The answer depends on the problem at hand which needs to be evaluated accurately by the plastic surgeon, and then recommendations are made in terms of preparation for surgery.
Preparation for Abdominoplasty – Medical Clearance
As with any other surgery, the first thing that we evaluate is the patient’s age and general health. Are there any health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, smoking, diabetes, that the patient is under treatment for? The presence of any of these, especially if uncontrolled, can lead to problems and sometimes serious complications with surgery, especially with an abdominoplasty. Such health issues need to be under control, the patient needs to stop smoking, and in most such situations patients have to obtain a “Medical Clearance” from their treating physician. And even with that, it is ultimately the plastic surgeon’s responsibility to decide whether it is safe for the patient to undergo an abdominoplasty or not.
Physical Preparation for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Then we evaluate the patient physically. Does the patient have a general obesity problem? What are the problematic components of the abdomen? Is it mainly hanging, or is there visceral (intra-abdominal) adiposity that is causing the abdomen to bulge. If the patient’s problem is generalized obesity, or intra-abdominal adiposity (fatty tissue), then the patient needs to primarily lose weight. If they are hoping to eliminate their obesity with a tummy tuck, they usually will be disappointed.
One main component of an abdominoplasty is tightening the rectus abdominis muscles (abs), since these muscles lose their tone and separate in the midline (diastasis recti), with pregnancy and with weight fluctuation. Patients are advised to exercise using our recommended exercise regimen which focuses on the rectus abdominis muscles and bring their bodies into shape, in preparation for the surgery and for continuing to exercise after the surgery.
Ideally patients need to go on a healthy eating and exercise routine starting 1-2 months before surgery and continuing this after surgery for the optimal result.