Wouldn’t it be nice to get the incredible results you desire from a tummy tuck surgery without any risk of complications? While it’s impossible to find a single surgical procedure that is totally without risks, there are ways that you can minimize your own chances for post-surgical complications. A tummy tuck can be tricky, since it is a major abdominal surgery. Yet, simply becoming aware of the risks you face and taking precautions against them, you could get that near-perfect surgery you’ve been dreaming of.

Make Sure a Tummy Tuck Is Right for You

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty. If you’ve been considering a tummy tuck for yourself, the first step toward a safe procedure is to make sure that you’re a good candidate. Tummy tucks are very involved surgeries that could involve changes to the skin, fat, muscles, and soft tissue of the abdomen. Recovery can be difficult at first, even more so if you’re not a good match for the surgery.

To be sure that you meet all the criteria for a good tummy tuck candidate, consult this checklist before you head in to consult a plastic surgeon:

  • You are in good overall health.
  • You do not have any current medical conditions that could delay your healing.
  • You have been (or will be) a nonsmoker for at least six weeks prior to your surgery date.
  • You have a positive attitude about your surgery.
  • You have realistic expectations about the results a tummy tuck can deliver for your body.
  • You currently have excess skin on your abdomen, which may be the result of heredity, past pregnancies, prior surgeries, dramatic weight loss, or aging.
  • You are not currently pregnant.
  • You are not planning any future pregnancies, which could affect the results of your surgery.
  • You are at a stable weight within 30% of your ideal weight, based on your age, sex, height, and stature.

Ultimately, your decision to pursue a tummy tuck surgery should come after you have consulted with a credentialed plastic surgeon, who will examine you and provide his own recommendations.

Take Steps to Prepare for Your Tummy Tuck

Once you’ve made the decision, the planning for your tummy tuck surgery can begin. Of course, you can’t leave all the planning and preparation to your surgeon; you’ll need to do a few things yourself to minimize your risks for post-op problems later on. Take careful note of the instructions your plastic surgeon gives to you during your consultation and follow each and every one. To keep your risk of complications low, it’s up to you to plan for a smooth recovery and make sure everything is in place before your surgery date.

Some of your instructions may include a quit date (if you’re a smoker), a list of herbal supplements to avoid, medications to stop taking and when, and other measures that could lessen your chance of a bad reaction to drugs or slowed healing after surgery.

You should also make sure you have a friend to drive you to and from your surgery, as well as someone to stay with you for the first critical 48 hours if you live alone. Arrange for child or pet care as needed and be sure to take care of your errands and household chores ahead of time so you can rest. Finally, prepare a recovery space dedicated to rest and relaxation, where you have everything you’ll need on hand. Stock up on healthy snacks, bottled water, magazines and other entertainment, blankets and pillows, and loose-fitting clothing to keep nearby.

Always Be Honest With Your Surgeon

A tummy tuck is major surgery and keeping secrets from your surgeon can make it dangerous. Don’t hide any information about your lifestyle, medical history, or substance use from your surgeon just to save face. Doing so can have serious ramifications, including bleeding, improper healing, and other complications. If you’re honest with your surgeon, he can be honest with you and take the steps necessary to ensure your procedure is as low-risk as possible.

Understand Tummy Tuck Surgery and What to Expect

One of the less dangerous risks involved with a tummy tuck is unsatisfactory results. Many times, results are deemed unsatisfactory because of the patient’s misunderstanding of the procedure. The first issue you can control completely, by gaining a better understanding of what is involved with a tummy tuck surgery. Learn what it can fix and what it can’t, so your expectations are based on facts. A tummy tuck is meant to correct what diet and exercise cannot, but it should not be used to replace these healthy habits in your everyday life. Discuss your questions and concerns with your plastic surgeon during a tummy tuck consultation.

Choose the Right Surgeon for a Low-Risk Tummy Tuck

Schedule your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Robert Kessler, a board certified general and facial plastic surgeon, to learn more about what this surgery can do for you. Dr. Kessler completed his medical degree with honors from Tufts University in Boston as well as a distinguished General Surgical Residency with North Short/NYU in New York. Prior to that, he completed a Plastic Surgery residency with the US Air Force and the University of Texas.

Today, Dr. Kessler operates his surgical practice in California, has worked as a surgical consultant and surgical assistant on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and has lectured nationally and internationally on topics including facial rejuvenation, plastic surgery, and body contouring. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kessler, contact his office, located at 2121 E Pacific Coast Hwy #200, in Newport Beach, CA, by calling 949.644.6544.

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