A Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that takes planning before, during, and after the procedure. The board certified surgeons at The Lett Center in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon, Tennessee, can give you the tips you need to plan your tummy tuck surgery. With planning, you can ensure it will be more effective and comfortable.
How Far Ahead Do You Plan for a Tummy Tuck?
Planning for a tummy tuck is not a decision to be made on a whim. At the minimum, we recommend starting planning 6 months to a year before you undergo surgery. While this sounds like a long time to wait, it is for a good reason.
A tummy tuck is not meant to be a replacement for weight loss. The procedure is a final touch to help contour and sculpt your figure. Before a tummy tuck, the prep time needed depends on the amount of weight a patient needs to lose to achieve their goal. With more weight to lose could potentially come more time.
It is also necessary to be within 15 pounds of your goal weight for a steady amount of time. Six months is the recommended minimum. Stable weight is important to ensure the patient has made weight-related lifestyle changes and are sticking with them. In the event of more weight being lost or gained after surgery, the contours achieved through abdominoplasty can be undone.
Revisions are an option but would come at additional cost and downtime. The Lett Center advises patients to get to their goal weight, or very close, and get used to maintaining that look before surgery.
Finding a Tummy Tuck Surgeon
For great results, you will need to make sure you find a surgeon with the training, experience, and reviews to back up their work. Try and get recommendations if you know someone who had a tummy tuck with great results. Ask about what they thought about their surgeon and if they are happy with the result. You can learn a lot about what to expect from a certain doctor through their experience.
Search online and in forums. Websites like RealSelf can give you a lot of insight into what surgeons others chose, their experience, and the results of their procedure. In some cases, you may even find a member with a similar body type to yours. That can give you a good idea of your results if you choose the same surgeon.
Always look at Google and Healthgrades reviews as you are sifting through various practices and surgeons. On Google, you will find reviews by people using their real names. On RealSelf and Healthgrades, patient reviewers can post anonymously so you may find more reviews with more specific detailed information.
What Should I Look for in a Tummy Tuck Surgeon in Tennessee?
You want to make sure the surgeon you pick has training and expertise in tummy tuck procedures. Verify that the surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It is also essential that they continue to study and are aware of new techniques and technology that can aid in providing cosmetic surgery with excellent results. Board certification ensures that your plastic surgeon has the education and training needed to successfully and safely complete the surgery.
Knowing about your surgeon’s experience is another must. You want to make sure that they are well versed in abdominoplasty procedures and have completed many over the years with exceptional results. A starting point to measure adequate experience is to ask how many of these procedures they complete a week and for how many years. One or more per week for a minimum of 5 years with excellent results is a safe bet.
How Long Will I Have to Wait for Surgery?
Many of the best surgeons will be booked out months in advance. Three months and longer can be an expected wait time to receive a tummy tuck surgery. You will also need to visit your doctor for a consultation before any cosmetic procedure can be scheduled. Depending on if you feel the doctor is the right fit for you or not, you may need to have multiple consultations to vet different surgeons.
Make Downtime Arrangements
A tummy tuck is an involved surgery that requires weeks of healing and rest. It will take two or three weeks before you can begin basic activity again. This healing time means you will need to take off of work, get assistance with household chores, and have help with younger children. It even means you will need assistance driving for a couple of weeks and may experience tiredness for even longer.
More strenuous activities will need to be postponed for around four to six weeks. Your age, health, weight, and type of abdominoplasty performed will make healing time unique for each patient.
You need to give your body the proper time to heal to avoid complications. Drains will be left in a few days after surgery, and medications are often necessary to prevent infection. This is a time to practice self-care and rely on others to help you during your healing. With a major cosmetic procedure such as this, planning for enough downtime is crucial to healing with fantastic results.
Think about any holidays, upcoming events, or upcoming family or work responsibilities that would get in the way of taking time to heal and rest. Plan your tummy tuck for a time when you know you can get help and take the needed time for healing.
When is The Best Time for a Tummy Tuck in TN?
If your company offers more time off around the holidays, that might be the best time for you. Winter surgery also means more time to heal before being in a swimsuit, less outdoor activity, and more clothes to hide your body if there is any swelling.
How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?
It can take three to six months to see the full results of your surgery, so think about your future plans when you schedule. If you have big plans for the summer, make sure you give yourself the time to heal and settle after your tummy tuck procedure.
To schedule a consultation and meet the experienced and highly reviewed cosmetic surgeons at The Lett Center, give us a call at 615.443.0901. We have locations in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon, Tennessee, for convenience.