Are you a mother who’s been struggling with excess skin or loose muscles around your stomach? If so, we have the perfect guide for you! We will cover everything you need to know about how to prepare and recover from tummy tuck surgery. 

Tummy tucks are a popular procedure for women looking to reverse the effects of pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss. There is no doubt that tummy tuck surgery can be an investment in your health and appearance. This 6-month guide will help you navigate the tummy tuck process with confidence from start to finish.

Tummy Tuck Basics

To get started, here are some of the most common questions asked by mothers about tummy tucks:

What is a tummy tuck?

The tummy tuck procedure is a surgical operation that removes most of the fat and skin from around the waistline and excess tissue. A tummy tuck surgery is done with general anesthesia and may take multiple hours (you will need to stay overnight in the hospital). A tummy tuck may also involve removing some lower belly or stomach muscles if they have become too stretched out over time.

What if I only have excess skin?

As you are planning your tummy tuck, it’s important to note that there are two types of tummy tucks – abdominoplasty and mini abdominoplasty.

What is a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is less invasive than a full abdominoplasty. It’s often effective for people within their recommended weight range but have a little extra skin or fat, sometimes called a pooch, that won’t go away with diet and exercise. This technique only removes excess skin.

Can my children visit me in the hospital?

Your children will be allowed to visit you after a tummy tuck if you wish. Keep in mind that you will not be able to pick them up or hold them for weeks after the procedure. You will need to protect your incision from accidental bumps and strain.

Will you be able to see my tummy tuck incision scar?

Depending on the type of surgery you have, the scars will be on your belly button if they are V-shaped or on your bikini line and downward for U-shaped. You should bring a bikini bottom to your consultation to get an idea of where your incision would be placed and if clothing will cover it. 

Can I have more children after a tummy tuck?

While it is possible, it is not recommended to have more children after a tummy tuck surgery. In some patients, a tummy tuck may affect future pregnancies. The effects on a pregnancy vary by how much of the abdominal muscles are removed and whether or not the midline strengthening sutures are performed. 

If you plan to have more children in the future, discuss your options with your surgeon before having surgery. It is an important decision and should not be made quickly. 

6 Months Before

  • Consider your surgery goals. The goals of tummy tuck surgery are different for every patient. Are your goals lifestyle-oriented or cosmetic? Will you be ok having a scar? Have you finished having kids and are working on getting back the body you desire?
  • Get serious about diet and exercise. Before your procedure, you should be within 10-15 lbs of your goal weight. If you can’t safely lose this weight six months before the procedure, you should extend your plan to include weight loss.
  • Quit smoking and quit or limit alcohol or consumption of any other substance. This will help your body heal afterward.
  • Start researching the best tummy tuck surgeons available to you. Make sure they have before and after photos and reviews showcasing their work. 

4 Month Before 

  • At four months, you should be at or very close to your ideal weight.
  • Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon in Belle Meade, TN to create a surgical plan around your tummy tuck surgery goals.
  • Discuss your goals and expectations with the surgeon to decide if their cosmetic recommendations align with yours.
  • The best surgeons will be booked out months out, so you should choose one and book your surgery now.

Planning your tummy tuck surgery with a nashville plastic surgeon

3 Month Before 

  • You should schedule your leave from work.
  • Make arrangements for child care and animal care.
  • Set up your recovery support system to help with driving and everyday tasks.
  • If you are a smoker, you need to be altogether quit.
  • Continue your healthy eating and exercise habits.

1 Month Before 

  • Stock up on supplies you will need for recovery.
    • This can include extra pillows, gauze pads, comfortable clothing you can remove easily, ice packs, OTC pain medication, and compression clothing if recommended.
  • Finalize your tummy tuck procedure with your surgeon.
  • Meal prep and freeze healthy food for later.

The Day of Surgery

  • You’ve made it, this is the exciting part!
  • Dress in comfortable clothes.
  • Review the pre-surgery checklist given to you by the surgeon.
  • Check in with the surgeon with any last-minute questions.

After Surgery Care

After surgery, you will have dressings and bandages over your incision. You will also wear a compression garment around your waist to reduce swelling and prevent complications like blood clots. The compression wear will also help your contours heal smoothly. Wear your compression garment at all times, except in the shower. You should be able to shower after 24 hours unless you have drains.

If you have drains placed for healing, you will need to empty them multiple times per day and keep the area clean with sponge baths.

After tummy tuck surgery, you will be in pain and should rest the first few days you are home. It is essential to limit movement around your incision so that it can heal and not reopen.

If you would like to book a tummy tuck consultation in Belle Meade, TN please give Dr. Garza a call at 615.620.7800! Garza is a double board-certified surgeon and is named one of “America’s Top Surgeons” in multiple years. You will have a chance to get all your questions answered and decide if this procedure is right for you.