Preparing for tummy tuck surgery

While choosing a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial to ensuring patient safety as well as a positive outcome, those pursuing surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures can do their part to help guarantee their success as well.

Preparing for a successful tummy tuck surgery - also known as abdominoplasty - involves being physically fit and as healthy as possible before going under the knife.

"The best abdominoplasty candidates are within 15 percent of their ideal weight," the website advises. "Abdominoplasty can lead to dramatic improvements in the appearance of people with small, but stubborn, fat deposits and loose, sagging skin around the abdomen. It is not, however, necessarily the best choice for seriously overweight patients."

Maintaining a healthy diet before surgery can also help ensure a faster recovery, as it helps keep the immune system stay strong. And while taking vitamins can also strengthen one's immunity, those preparing for any type of surgery should discuss what types of vitamin, herbal supplements and other medications they are taking with their physician, as certain substances can negatively affect healing.

"Vitamin E can interfere with the body's blood clotting response, causing increased bleeding during surgery," stated. "The same is true of aspirin and some NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The use of birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and some forms of post-cancer treatment medication may also involve an increased risk of complications during or after surgery."

Additionally, those preparing for surgery should stop smoking in advance of their procedure to help aid healing.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), because the surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, it is important that patients have someone to drive them home and stay with them for a few days following the procedure. In addition, those who undergo the surgery should plan to get up and take short walks in the days immediately afterward to promote circulation.

Tummy tuck surgery is a good option for individuals who have excess or sagging skin on the abdomen that cannot be eliminated with exercise and diet. It works by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the stomach muscles.

ASAPS reports that tummy tuck procedures were one of the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed by member doctors in 2011. In all, more than 149,000 individuals underwent the procedure.

ASAPS reports the average cost for the surgery in 2011 was $5,278. says that 95 percent of individuals who have undergone a tummy tuck procedure say it was "worth it."

CopyrightAmerican Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 

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