How can I prepare myself for a tummy tuck?

Erik A. Hoy, MD
Plastic Surgery
The best way to prepare for surgery is to educate yourself about the procedure you are planning to undergo, and the risks and benefits associated with it. In doing this, you should know what the typical course of recovery will be like, but also what problems to look out for. You should understand all of the medications your physician recommends for you, and how to care for your bandages and wounds. Make sure you have all of your questions answered prior to surgery. You should know what medications to avoid (such as aspirin and other blood thinners) in the weeks leading up to your surgery. Finally, make sure you don't eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery, and that you know which medications, if any you should take the morning of surgery.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
As with all other surgeries, patient's should be well informed of the risks and complications of the operation. With an abdominoplasty procedure, preoperatively the patient should refrain from taking blood thinning products including aspirin, Advil, and Motrin at least 72 hours to one week prior to surgery. Postoperatively they should also refrain from these medications for up to two weeks.

Our patient's are instructed to keep the incisions dry for at least seven days while the drainage tubes are in place for one week. Patient's should refrain from heavy lifting post-surgically with abdominoplasties where there is tightening of the muscle to prevent tearing of the sutures which could cause hemorrhage.

Our patient's are placed on antibiotics for one week until the drainage tubes are removed to prevent skin infections or internal abscesses or seromas. Preoperatively patient's should refrain from eating or drinking after midnight or n.p.o. past midnight for general anesthesia. All medications should be known to your surgeon and anesthesiologist and a history, physical examination, as well as a 12-lead EKG are often performed on patients over the age of 40.
Tara Whitworth
The most important thing you can do before any procedure is to educate yourself. Read through all information provided to you by your physician, including what to expect after your surgery. Your physician will let you know which foods and medications to avoid before and after surgery. If you smoke, stop, as smoking interferes with the wound healing process.

You will need to have blood drawn a few days prior to your surgery to check your blood count and to make sure you do not have anemia or an infection. Your physician will generally give you some prescriptions for pain medication, as well as an antibiotic. Go ahead and have these filled before your surgery date. You may have a drain or two after surgery, which will need to stay in place about 10 days. Make sure you understand how to care for your drain and your incision.

You will need to be NPO after midnight on the night before your surgery, which means you will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first night, as you will be groggy and sore.

Continue Learning about Abdominoplasty Or Tummy Tuck

Can a tummy tuck be done more than once?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
If the patient loses a significant amount of weight after the original tummy tuck, then it may be po...
More Answers
How is fat harvesting used in cosmetic procedures?
Roger E. Bassin, MDRoger E. Bassin, MD
Watch as Dr. Roger Bassin explains what fat harvesting is and how it is used in facial plastic s...
More Answers
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
What Is an Abdominoplasty?
What Is an Abdominoplasty?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.