Preparing to have a tummy tuck can be so exciting. As you prepare for surgery, you may also be a bit nervous about the pain and recovery time involved. In all of your excitement and anxiousness, it is easy to overlook some important facts. But the more you know, the better off you'll be. Here are some things pre-operative patients don't always realize about tummy tuck surgery.
1. You might have liposuction at the same time.
The tummy tuck itself is the removal of skin from your midsection. Your surgeon will literally cut away the extra flap of skin and then sew the two sides together. However, most surgeons also do some liposuction when they perform a tummy tuck. They will remove some excess fat from beneath the remaining skin to give you a more toned look, and simplify the incision closing step. So, if you hear your surgeon talking about liposuction, don't be alarmed. This is a normal accompaniment to a tummy tuck and will be done at the same time while you're already under.
2. Your abdomen will be swollen and uncomfortable at first.
If you are having a smaller amount of skin removed, you may be shocked to wake up and realize your abdominal area doesn't actually look any smaller. But rest assured; the results will come. The tummy tuck procedure is pretty invasive, and thus it can leave you with a lot of swelling post-surgery. This should be greatly diminished by about a week after surgery, but you won't see the full extent of your results for a couple of weeks, so be patient.
3. You may not have an incision all of the way around.
Perhaps you've seen patients on medical shows who had tummy tucks that involved an incision that went all the way around their body. The procedure is only done this way when there is an excessive amount of skin to remove, such as when a morbidly obese patient has lost hundreds of pounds. If you have less skin to remove, the incision will probably only stretch across the front of your body. This means less pain during healing and a shorter recovery time.
Undergoing a tummy tuck is often different than pre-operative patients imagine it to be. You won't fully know what it's like until you experience it, but learning a bit more can still allow you to be better prepared.