If you’re having trouble losing excess fat and skin off your stomach, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck in Santa Cruz, CA. At Kirk A. Churukian, MD, FACS, the surgical procedure can drastically improve the appearance and shape of your stomach, boosting your self-confidence. Here are a few ways to prepare for a tummy tuck surgery.
Get Down to a Healthy Weight
A tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss surgery. It’s intended for people who are at or near their goal weight. If you’re currently overweight, your plastic surgeon will advise you to get down to a healthy weight and maintain it for several months before your tummy tuck. If you wait to lose weight until after your procedure, you risk having loose skin and other complications.
If you’re a smoker, you will want to stop at least six weeks before your tummy tuck. The nicotine in cigarettes can hinder blood flow, which can delay the process.
Choose a Reputable Plastic Surgeon
To ensure great results, it’s important to select the right plastic surgeon. Make sure that your plastic surgeon is board certified and specializes in performing tummy tucks. Read reviews online and look at photos of the surgeon’s previous work.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
What you eat prior to your tummy tuck procedure matters greatly. Consuming a nutritious diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can assist with your recovery. Vitamin-C rich foods, like oranges and pineapple, in particular, can speed up the healing process. Try to avoid processed and overly salty foods before your tummy tuck in Santa Cruz, CA.
Stop Taking Certain Medications
Prior to your procedure, your surgeon will discuss all the medications you’ll need to avoid taking. Medicines like ibuprofen and Advil, for example, can increase bleeding, so don’t take them before your surgery.
Prepare Several Meals
After your tummy tuck procedure, you may experience soreness and fatigue for at least several days. The last thing you’ll probably want to do is cook. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare several nutritious meals ahead of time.
Avoid Eating or Drinking Right Before Your Surgery
Like with other surgeries, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least 12 hours before your tummy tuck. If you eat right before your surgery, you could experience anesthesia complications.
Perform Chores Beforehand
Just as with any other kind of procedure, you will need to plan ahead of time and take care of any chores that you would usually have to do. Take care of necessary household chores, including cleaning, meal preps, and other tasks that require physical energy. Avoid performing chores and lifting objects until your tummy tuck Santa Cruz CA residents trust from Kirk A. Churukian, MD, FACS has confirmed you are recovered enough to do so. If you have a friend or family member helping during your recovery, this is less of a concern. But all in all, many patients find that going back home to a clean house without having to worry about daily tasks is calming after a tummy tuck.
Lean On Family and Friends
Mental health and physical health are both important when it comes to getting a surgery done and changing your appearance. You may want to take some quiet time to journal or meditate, and create soothing environments for yourself. Reach out to people you trust and express your worries so that they can provide you with extra emotional support. Knowing that you have people around you that support you can give you more strength going into the procedure. As a Santa Cruz tummy tuck team member may encourage, don’t forget that your closest loved ones can be helpful during this time, and want to be there for you.
Prepare Your Recovery Area
Set a designated place for you to recover that suits your temporary limitations. After a tummy tuck, the last thing you will want to do is to perform more movements than you need to. Use a semi-flexed place to rest and sleep, such as a couch, recliner chair, loveseat, or bed with pillows strategically set to support your body. Arrange your medications within immediate reach, and gather more than enough entertainment opportunities for yourself. You will be spending at least a few days in the recovery area, so have access to entertainment, such as shows, movies, audiobooks, magazines, physical books, and other things you enjoy. Postoperative healing is easier when you have things to keep your mind entertained.
Call Us About Questions or Concerns
We understand that you may have pre-surgery jitters, that’s a completely normal feeling. If you have questions or serious concerns about the procedure then you must contact us right away. We are always happy to provide patients with the information and clarity they need to feel comfortable walking into their appointment. Our team is knowledgeable and empathetic, and we can imagine you may be nervous. Write down your questions, concerns, or if anything that is still unclear about what is to come so that our Santa Cruz tuck tummy team can get you properly prepared.
If you have yet to schedule an appointment, and wonder if a tummy tuck is right for you, then please reach out to us. We are here as a resource in helping you achieve your physical goals and ultimately feeling more confident about yourself. If you are interested in getting a tummy tuck in Santa Cruz, CA, schedule a consultation with a reputable plastic surgeon from Kirk A. Churukian, MD, FACS today.
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
If your issue is with having loose skin in the lower abdomen area, then a tummy tuck Santa Cruz, CA patients recommend would likely be the most beneficial procedure for you. A liposuction procedure is more appropriate for patients who have good skin tone but are having a hard time getting rid of belly fat.
How long do I have to wait after a tummy tuck procedure to get pregnant?
For the best tummy tuck results, it is strongly advised that all patients wait until they are done having children before having the surgery done. If a patient gets pregnant after having a tummy tuck, the weight gain and stretching that naturally occurs with a healthy pregnancy could compromise the results of the tummy tuck.
What is a full tummy tuck?
A full Santa Cruz tummy tuck is a great choice for both women and men who have that excess skin in their midsection and want to get rid of it. In a full tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon makes the incision from hipbone to hipbone. This allows better access to the patient’s internal areas. The surgeon will then use liposuction to remove the belly. When that is completed, he or she will then take the muscles of the abdomen and pull and tightly secure them. And to ensure natural placement, the navel is typically repositioned.
What is a mini tummy tuck?
Not every patient will require a full tummy tuck in Santa Cruz. Some patients are in good shape, and still have fairly tight abdominal muscles, but just want a flatter stomach. These are the types of situations where a mini tummy tuck is most beneficial. In this procedure – also referred to as a Brazilian tummy tuck – the surgeon will make an incision along the lower abdomen in order to gain access to the fat removal via liposuction. The navel is not affected by this procedure so no repositioning is necessary. Once complete, the skin is pulled tight.
What is an extended tummy tuck?
When a person has had a major weight loss, there is often an excessive amount of loose skin. While an extended tummy tuck targets the abdomen area, it also targets the fat and skin in the “love handle” areas and the lower back. In some cases, the procedure may even include excess skin on the lateral thigh.
There is a much longer incision with this procedure, going from the low pelvis to the lower back and a second around the naval. The surgeon will use liposuction to remove all the excess fat, trim away excess skin, and follow all of that with tightening of the skin. The navel is repositioned in this surgery.
WHAT IS A FULL TUMMY TUCK INFOGRAPHIC
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Once you have had your Santa Cruz, CA tummy tuck, it is critical to follow your surgeon’s instructions in order to ensure proper and safe healing and recovery. Never hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns you may be having.
The following are some of the things you should keep in mind, however, your doctor will have more specific instructions following your own procedure.
Immediately Following Surgery
When you awaken from your surgery, the abdomen area will be fully covered in surgical dressing to keep it clean and free from contamination. You may also have small, thin tubes that have been placed around the area of the incision. These tubes are draining any fluids that may build up. For the first few days following your procedure, you will need to get plenty of rest, but that rest should be at an angle. Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on dos and don’ts when it comes to moving around and other activities, as well as steps to take to prevent blood clots.
Once You Are Home
When you leave the hospital, you will need someone to come get you since you will not be allowed to drive. Remember, not only have you had surgery and your mobility is seriously limited, but you will also likely be on some form of pain medication that would make it dangerous to operate a vehicle.
This limited mobility will make it difficult to do even the simplest of tasks. You should avoid standing for any length of time, bending, and lifting. You may even find you have a difficult time getting up from a chair because of the incision. This is why it is important to have someone at home with you during your first couple of days of recovery.
Care of Your Incision
As mentioned above, your surgeon will provide specific instructions for you to follow when it comes to the draining of tubes and taking care of the incision, but generally, you will likely have some type of abdominal support garment or wrap that you should keep on. This garment will help with the discomfort and with keeping down any swelling so make sure to wear it for the number of hours each day your Santa Cruz tummy tuck doctor instructs you to.
Your doctor will also likely give you antibiotics to fight off any potential infections, as well as anticoagulation medication to help prevent blood clots. Most patients are also given topical creams for incision site application.
And as with any surgery, patients should refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking since both of these things will hamper their recovery and could even cause serious complications.
Getting Back to Normal
It will take time for your incision to heal so even as you find yourself feeling better, you still need to take care to avoid certain activities for a bit. Avoid lifting heavy objects for the first few weeks – including children. Once your surgeon gives you the okay, you can usually begin resuming other activities – cooking, driving, shopping, etc. – about two weeks later.
Can I resume my usual activities post-surgery?
As your tummy tuck Santa Cruz CA residents trust at Kirk A. Churukian, MD, FACS can explain, one of the main questions patients have after their tummy tuck procedure is how soon they can go back to their usual activities. The answer to this will vary and your doctor will discuss this with you on an individual basis. Exercise can be an important part of a tummy tuck recovery. When combined with good eating, it can ultimately maximize the results you experience. If you feel like you are ready to start engaging in exercise or activities with moderate movement, confirm with your doctor that this is okay before doing so.
What should I wear on my tummy for the first week or two after?
As your Santa Cruz tummy tuck surgeon may suggest, you can wear a compression garment for up to six weeks post-surgery, as it amplifies the tummy tuck results and helps to reduce swelling. During the first couple weeks, you can go for a walk as long as it is a short distance and you maintain a flexed abdomen. By using a flexed posture when walking, your abdominal muscles and the fascia will be protected from getting pulled. You may be able to get back to work once the initial two-week recovery period has ended, permitting that your job is not demanding physically.
How will I know it’s safe to drive after my tummy tuck?
After surgery, your doctor will recommend not operating a vehicle until you are further healed. There are serious safety reasons for not driving after your surgery. The same day as the procedure, you will be unable to drive due to effects of the anesthesia, which can cause fatigue and confusion. As you recover over the few weeks, your doctor can track your healing and suggest when it is okay to start driving again. Surgery can cause exhaustion on the body and mind, so you should have someone else take you home after surgery, and ask a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days.
When will it be safe to have physical intimacy?
A procedure on the tummy will entail stitching together the muscles of the abdomen so that they look toned and firm. It is best to avoid having sexual intimacy shortly after your surgery, to allow the incisions to close fully and the abdomen to heal completely before putting stress onto that area. Regardless of the position, sexual activity applies tension on the abdomen area that will still be tender and needs to rest. There are a couple factors that will be used to assess when you can have physical intimacy again, and those are the extent of the procedure you received and how quickly that patient’s body tends to heal as an individual.
Is there anyone else I should know about tummy tuck aftercare?
Be patient with yourself and your body. You already underwent a surgical procedure, and likely because you wanted to see your body change in a certain way. You will have great days, and other days you may wonder if your goals are actually achievable. Your Santa Cruz tummy tuck doctor can talk with you about realistic expectations to have while you are still in recovery. Taking it easy on both your body and mind can make all the difference in how fast you recover and what your end results look like.
Call Our Office
If you are considering a tummy tuck in Santa Cruz, call Kirk A. Churukian, MD, FACS to schedule a consultation and find out what your options are.