Struggle with the loose tummy after pregnancy and childbirth can become a constant factor in many women’s lives. Some are absolutely comfortable with the loose hanging tummy and continue with their lives normally but for many women this becomes a problem statement in their daily lives.
Making the decision for a surgery is a crucial step in correcting the problem. Once due research is done and you have zeroed in on a surgeon to perform the procedure what are the key points to keep in mind or do before you actually get down to getting your surgery done?
Been through an abdominoplasty myself, I would say that these are the top-most 10 points that I would keep on the list of must-do things before an abdominoplasty procedure.
1. Exercise: Once decided about the procedure, do not think that you can give exercise a slip. Exercise to improve loose or lax tummy may not help that much but it surely will help you make your abdominal muscles stronger. Once you do exercises to make your abdominal muscles taut and strong, the muscle repair done in the abdominoplasty procedure is definitely better.
2. Eat healthy: You must modify your diet and make your meal more balanced. Eat a lot of proteins and keep yourself well hydrated to prepare for the tummy tuck surgery. This should start at least a couple of months or longer before your abdominoplasty procedure. Essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals have a role in healing and these will help in keeping your body reserve stocked up for the energy required in healing the tissues after the surgery.
3. Stop smoking: Smoking is the skin’s worst enemy. Smoking hampers the blood supply to the skin and women who smoke have more chances of complications than women who don’t. You must think about quitting smoking as soon as possible because the changes caused by smoking may take long to reverse. For women who smoke heavily, I usually advise them against this surgery because there is a significantly increased risk of complications and skin loss. If they are really keen then they must stop smoking completely for at least 2 months before and after the surgery.
4. Reduce alcohol intake: if you consume alcohol on a daily basis or quite frequently then you must reduce or stop the intake. Remember, you must have good body reserves of nutrients, vitamins, proteins and minerals before your surgery. These will deplete the nutrients and make you unhealthy. Social drinking is still alright but you must cut your alcohol intake to minimum before your surgery and stop totally if you can two weeks before the surgery.
5. Watch your protein level: Once the body goes through a surgical stress, it is only the proteins, minerals and vitamins that come to the rescue. The point here is not to stop your carbohydrate intake but reduce it to replace a good portion of it with proteins. Your protein reserves are used up in healing the tissues because a lot of tissue healing takes place by proteins. Make sure you have enough in your reserve in the body. Good protein sources are lentils, soya, paneer (cottage cheese), tofu, eggs, milk, fish, chicken etc.
6. Build up hemoglobin: The hemoglobin levels in most women averages around 10.5-11gm/dl. You must take iron supplements and increase green leafy vegetables or iron rich food in your diet to build up your hemoglobin levels. Sometimes there can be blood loss in the surgical procedure that can leave you weak. If you have a good hemoglobin level, it will help you spring back quicker after your surgery.
7. Take enough time off: This is perhaps of utmost importance that you don’t plan to rush back to work as soon as you feel ok. Have at least 10 days off your social and work schedule. Just rest and heal at home and follow the prescription.
8. Have help: After your surgery you are going to need someone to help you out with the daily chores. Normally you are discharged on the second day after the surgery and many women face challenges at home if they have kids around or if they are living alone. Having someone to help you take care of your responsibilities will definitely be a good idea.
9. Arrange some loose comfortable clothes: After the surgery you wouldn’t want to struggle in and out of your clothes. Having front buttoned loose clothings will help you in your post-operative phase.
10. Lose weight but don’t Keto diet: This goes a long way in giving you your ideal result. A fad nowadays is ‘lose weight with keto diet’. Well, you must know that when you are on a keto diet, the ketone bodies in the urine start appearing and your heart becomes more susceptible to the anesthetic drugs. For a tummy tuck at SB Aesthetics, I would want my patients to be off keto diet for at least 3 weeks before I operate on them. Losing weight by eating healthy and exercising is still the best way.