What You Really Want to Know about Tummy Tuck … But Are Afraid to Ask

At the Plastic Surgery Group, we believe the best tummy tuck patients are the most informed. We urge our patients to ask any question (regardless of how minor or cringe-worthy it might be) in the pre-operative consultation phase.

Truthfully, certain questions are difficult or embarrassing to bring up. Our team has compiled a list of tummy tuck questions you might hesitate to ask during consultation. If you don’t see your question(s) on this list, please contact us today to speak with one of our friendly staff members.

Will I need to stay overnight in the hospital after surgery?

In most cases, you will be released from the surgical facility shortly after your procedure. You will be able to recover comfortably in your own home the night of surgery. However, we do recommend you have a family member or friend stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Do I need to lose weight prior to surgery?

For the best results, you should be at, or close to, your ideal weight. Also, you should not plan to gain weight or become pregnant after surgery, as that could affect the surgical outcomes.

More important than your weight is your physical health condition. Eat well, sleep a lot and exercise regularly in the weeks leading up to surgery. Do not smoke, and stop taking any medications that could cause complications (we will provide a list for you). Being in good shape will reduce the surgical risks and shorten your recovery time.

Will tummy tuck treat my stretch marks?

A tummy tuck will remove some stretch marks, depending on where they are located. It is most effective at removing stretch marks on the lower abdomen (i.e., below the belly button), which is achieved by removing the excess skin and tightening the remaining skin. Tummy tuck usually won’t affect stretch marks above the belly button. Another procedure, such as body lift, may be more effective.

Will drains be used after surgery?

Small, thin tubes may be placed under the skin temporarily to drain excess blood and fluid. Our team will provide detailed instructions for caring for the drains and the incision site.

What will recovery be like?

Tummy tuck recovery may be uncomfortable at first, but it is tolerable. Bruising and swelling are normal, temporary side effects. Your abdomen may also be numb, tender or sensitive to the touch. We will prescribe pain medication and share tips for minimizing discomfort.

Initially, your range of motion will be limited. Expect to spend your first week of recovery in bed or in a comfortable spot on the couch, resting quietly. Make sure you have plenty of easy-to-digest food, water and entertainment to keep you occupied. Ask a family member or friend to help with food preparation, childcare, laundry and other household chores.

We will schedule several follow-up appointments with you to remove your drains, check your healing progress, re-dress your incisions and remove your sutures. We will answer questions and let you know when it is safe for you to return to work, exercise, socializing and the rest of your normal activities.

What are the risks of a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck candidates must understand and accept the risks and possible complications of surgery. Every operation presents some degree of risk, regardless of the experience and skill of the surgeon. Tummy tuck risks include:

  • Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin sensation and numbness
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Accumulation of fluid

Have More Questions? Call the Plastic Surgery Group

Remember: no question is too embarrassing to discuss with our knowledgeable, professional team. We have heard it all!

For more information about tummy tuck or the procedure of your choosing, contact the Plastic Surgery Group by calling (973) 233-1933 today.

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