Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Night Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

The night before you have your tummy tuck surgery, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared. Make sure that you have all of your medications and prescriptions ready to go. If you’re not sure what medications you need, or if there are any specific instructions for when and how much to take, call your doctor’s office. You also want to pack a bag for the hospital—this will make it easier for you when it comes time to leave for the hospital.

Make sure that there is someone who can drive you home from the hospital, since it is likely that your husband will be under strict orders not to drive for two weeks following his procedure. It’s also important to bring clothes with you—just in case there are any complications and you need clothes immediately after surgery! In this guide, we review the aspects of Night Before Tummy Tuck Surgery, vitamins to take before tummy tuck surgery, exercises to prepare for tummy tuck surgery, and Should I exercise the day before tummy tuck?

I hope this guide helps make the night before tummy tuck surgery go smoothly!

Night Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

Deciding to schedule a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a huge and very personal decision. If you are like most, you have probably been contemplating whether or not to go through with it for a while. You are likely feeling excited about the new you, and anxious about the actual procedure. Quite often, anxious feelings creep up due to fear of the unknown and not understanding what to expect. Let’s ward off the anxiety by helping you prepare with a thorough explanation of the procedure as well as a complete tummy tuck checklist.

Reasons to Consider a Tummy Tuck

Going through a significant weight loss, pregnancy and childbirth can result in softened skin due to pregnancy hormones and a separation of the “6 pack” abdominal muscles. It may also leave you with an unwanted accumulation of hip and back fat. Most patients choose Tummy Tuck surgery because they cannot correct these issues with diet and exercise. The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgery that flattens the stomach area by removing unwanted fat in the belly and tightening sagging skin so that it lays taut and smooth. The surgeon accomplishes this by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles. It is quite common to undergo liposuction of the back and hip area as well, resulting in a nicely sculpted waistline. Here at the Centre for Plastic Surgery, our board-certified surgeons and anesthesiologists in Grand Rapids perform tummy tuck procedures under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgery within our beautiful, on-site surgical center.

Preparing for a Tummy Tuck

According to our surgeon, Dr. Doug Leppink, “one of the best things you can do to prepare for a tummy tuck is to be at a healthy, stable weight you can comfortably maintain. You should not “train” for a tummy tuck, but it’s important to feel you are in your overall best health.” He also stressed the importance of fueling your body with good nutrition such as low fat and high protein foods, especially in the weeks prior to surgery. Dr. Leppink also says “having a dependable support person is incredibly vital to your recovery. You will not be able to care for yourself for the first week or so following your surgery.”

Feeling fully prepared for your tummy tuck will make the experience much less stressful and can actually aid in speeding up your recovery. To help with the preparation, we have put together a checklist of things to do before your tummy tuck:

Two Weeks Prior to Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Stop taking aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil or similar anti-inflammatory medications, as they increase bleeding. You MAY take Tylenol until the day before surgery for pain.
  • Stop ALL herbal medications, supplements, teas and diet pills, as they may increase bleeding.
  • You should notify your doctor if you contract a cold, fever, flu or sore throat before your surgery, so they can determine if it needs to be rescheduled.
  • If you smoke- STOP SMOKING. (Also, no chewing tobacco, nicotine vape pens, nicotine patches, or nicotine gum). This is not a matter of judgement, but a matter of serious health concerns on our part. Smokers have a much higher chance of surgery-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, shock, and death. Smoking decreases blood flow making surgical wounds less likely to close and heal well and more likely to become infected. It also weakens the immune system, which increases the chance of infection after surgery. Remember that your safety is our number one priority!

One Week Prior to Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Create a little “happy place” for yourself, where you will be comfortable sitting for long periods of time. We suggest having a recliner with a side table within reach. Have a supply of books, magazines, snacks and of course the remote in an easy to reach spot.
  • Fill all your prescriptions and pain medications.
  • Be sure your support person is aware of your surgery time, medication instructions and any other details regarding your surgery day and aftercare. You will likely be a little groggy following your surgery, so it’s a good idea to discuss these important details ahead of time.
  • If you’re the type who stresses about a clean house and having everything in order, spend some extra time getting everything in order so you don’t need to worry about it the week of surgery.
  • Make a few meals ahead and have plenty of food in the house, especially if your support person isn’t too savvy in the kitchen. It’s also a great idea to have some protein shakes on hand in the event you don’t have much of an appetite.

The Day Before Your Tummy Tuck

  • Drink plenty of fluids containing electrolytes (Gatorade, Smartwater, etc.) during the day. The evening before your surgery eat a high protein and low fat dinner such as a grilled chicken salad.
  • Set out a few comfortable outfits to wear over the next several days. That way you won’t need to be bending over to pick out outfits, or have your support person trying to find your clothes for you.
  • Get a good night’s sleep, tomorrow is the big day!

The Day of Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Typically you will be instructed to not eat or drink anything the day of your surgery.
  • Bring any pain medication and muscle relaxers with you to your surgery appointment.
  • Take a shower with an anti-bacterial soap like Dial, Safeguard or Soft Soap.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing along with flat soled shoes. The top you wear must zip or button all the way open. This is for ease of dressing after surgery. Make sure you bring a hair tie with you as well, if you have longer hair.
  • Relax and let us take care of you!

Emotions Leading Up to Tummy Tuck Surgery

It is completely normal to feel various waves of emotion leading up to surgery. Many patients describe swinging from feelings of excitement and anticipation to guilt and anxiety. Please remember that we are happy to be a part of your support network! We help patients navigate both the medical and emotional aspects of elective cosmetic surgery every single day. We encourage you to contact the practice at any time during your journey, and that no question or concern is too small.

Tummy Tuck Preparation Exercise

If you’re planning to have tummy tuck surgery, you’re probably already familiar with the many ways in which this procedure can improve your core. Not only does tummy tuck surgery remove loose skin and subcutaneous fat (allowing your muscles to show more prominently), it can heal damaged muscle tissue. For some patients, having a tummy tuck is a necessary step on the road towards achieving strong abdominal muscles.

Why Do Some People Need Tummy Tuck Surgery to Strengthen Their Core?

Those who have been pregnant or significantly overweight in the past often struggle profoundly with their core. They usually labor under the erroneous idea that diet and exercise alone can restore lost muscle tone and create a “flat” stomach. Only to discover, after many hours of exercise, that this simply isn’t the case. The problem isn’t their dedication or technique; instead, the issue is within their muscle tissue.

When a large amount of weight (from fat deposits or a growing baby) exerts stress on the walls of the abdominal cavity, the tissue that connects the two lateral halves of the abdominal muscles often tears. When this happens, the muscles are prevented from working in unison; they therefore cannot be strengthened properly with exercise alone. Unfortunately, these tears don’t usually heal on their own because tissue needs to be connected in order to heal (this is why deep cuts require stitches in order to close). Sutures must be placed in the tissue during tummy tuck surgery to start the healing process, which often takes about two months to complete. After this occurs, the patient is ready to start working on his or her core via conventional means like diet and exercise.

The 5 Best Core Workouts for Tummy Tuck Patients

As a tummy tuck patient, it’s essential that you wait until your surgeon tells you that it’s okay to start exercising again. Exercising too early can cause your muscle tissue to tear again, making revision surgery necessary. However, once you have been given the “all clear,” exercise is a great way to accentuate the results of your procedure. Strong abdominal muscles exert a “corseting” effect on the abdomen, pulling in subcutaneous fat stores and compressing the organs. This makes the stomach flatter as these tissues protrude less.

If you’re ready to start working out your core and creating those six pack abs you’ve always dreamed of, the five exercises below are a great place to start:

1. The Raised Plank

Enter a standard plank position, resting on your elbows and toes with your body elevated off the ground. Raise one foot off the ground and hold it aloft for 5 to 10 seconds, making sure to keep your body level. Don’t bend or twist your torso. After holding, switch legs. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

2. The Side Plank

While resting on your side, raise your body up on one elbow. Hold your position for at least ten seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise at least five times, then switch sides.

3. Reverse Crunches

Unlike a traditional crunch, the reverse crunch involves raising the lower part of the body to create an intense lower ab workout. Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and slowly raise your buttocks off the ground while keeping your legs raised. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 20 to 30 times.

4. The Body Hold

As the name suggests, this exercise requires holding your body up for a set duration of time. It sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult to maintain. To perform the body hold, lie on the ground and raise your shoulders, arms, and legs, with your arms stretched out in front of you. Hold your position for at least ten seconds. Release and repeat the exercise five to ten times.

5. The Bicycle

While lying on the floor with your arms behind your head, raise your legs and bend them at the knee. Start pumping one leg forward, then the other, as if you’re riding a bicycle. Do at least 25 repetitions before relaxing your stance.

The beauty of the exercises described above lies in their simplicity. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or a lot of room to perform them; you only need a mat and your own willpower. This makes strengthening your core something you can work into your routine anywhere, anytime.

vitamins to take before tummy tuck surgery

The body can take quite some time to heal after a surgical operation. However, some supplements are recommended prior to plastic surgery procedures because they have been shown to increase wound healing, build new collagen, and decrease inflammation and swelling. These should be continued post-operatively for another couple of weeks. While several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are used during healing, there are specific vitamins and minerals that are known to specifically support the normal response to healing and assist in the function of the normal immune system response to infection.

Supplements recommended before and after surgery include:

Vitamin A: 10,000–25,000 immunizing units (IU) per day, beginning a week before surgery. This vitamin supports immune system functioning and aids collagen strength.

Vitamin C: 500–1,000 mg per day, beginning at least 1 week before surgery. Vitamin C is necessary to build and rebuild collagen throughout the body. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune response and speeds up surgical recovery.

Bromelain: 500–1,000 mg per day, beginning a week before surgery

Omega-3 fatty acids: Pre-surgical use is controversial. Some studies have shown them to be very beneficial in increasing immune function, while others indicate that they may increase bleeding. It is best to wait until after your surgical procedure to start taking omega-3 so that you can avoid any unforeseen complications.

Perioperative zinc supplementation: 15-30 mg daily is recommended, with higher levels in patients who have conditions that promote zinc deficiency (risk factors such as malnutrition, malabsorption, or chronic diarrhea). Zinc is an important trace mineral for DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis. Zinc decreases inflammation during the healing phase, as it is used in enzymatic reactions involved in tissue and wound healing, regeneration, and repair.

Arnica montana: This homeopathic preparation can help with bruising or soreness. It can be taken in pellet or tincture form beneath the tongue right before surgery and again once you’re awake in the recovery room. Continued use of arnica is recommended for about 2 weeks after surgery to reduce bruising and swelling. Arnica can also be found in a topical form.

High-potency vitamin supplements: These supplements aid in healing the body. Some of the vitamins known to assist in the healing process include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Remember that it’s best to avoid vitamin E prior to surgery because it can cause thinning of the blood, which can will make the body more susceptible to bruising. Other vitamins beneficial for the healing phase include vitamin K, which aids the natural blood-clotting response and is important for bone health. The B vitamins assist in cellular metabolism, tissue repair, and immune support. Topical vitamin E preparations, however, are used for scars post-operatively. Oral vitamin E should be discontinued for at least 2 weeks before surgery because it is associated with increased bleeding, and this can lead to collection of blood (called a hematoma), which could result in serious complications.

Keep in mind that all of this should be discussed in detail with your surgeon, who can recommend the appropriate dosage and duration of your nutritive supplementation therapy. In addition to taking supplements, you can also eat a well-balanced diet to assist the body in preparing it for the extra energy it needs for recovery. Protein is the building block of healing and immunity/resistance to infection. Therefore, it’s usually recommended that you increase your protein intake to at least 80 grams per day, as your body’s demands to heal and rebuild tissue are greatly increased following a surgical procedure.

One of the easiest ways to prepare your body before and after plastic surgery is to drink plenty of water. Water is necessary because it aids digestion, ridding the body of toxins, wastes, and impurities, while preventing constipation and bloating.

Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should also use caution in taking any multivitamins and should discuss their individual supplementation requirements with their general practitioner.

exercises to prepare for tummy tuck surgery

If you’re planning to have tummy tuck surgery, you’re probably already familiar with the many ways in which this procedure can improve your core. Not only does tummy tuck surgery remove loose skin and subcutaneous fat (allowing your muscles to show more prominently), it can heal damaged muscle tissue. For some patients, having a tummy tuck is a necessary step on the road towards achieving strong abdominal muscles. Take a look at our tummy tuck before and after pictures in our photo gallery to get an idea of what can be accomplished.

Why Do Some People Need Tummy Tuck Surgery to Strengthen Their Core?

Those who have been pregnant or significantly overweight in the past often struggle profoundly with their core. They usually labor under the erroneous idea that diet and exercise alone can restore lost muscle tone and create a “flat” stomach. Only to discover, after many hours of exercise, that this simply isn’t the case. The problem isn’t their dedication or technique; instead, the issue is within their muscle tissue.

When a large amount of weight (from fat deposits or a growing baby) exerts stress on the walls of the abdominal cavity, the tissue that connects the two lateral halves of the abdominal muscles often tears. When this happens, the muscles are prevented from working in unison; they therefore cannot be strengthened properly with exercise alone. Unfortunately, these tears don’t usually heal on their own because tissue needs to be connected in order to heal (this is why deep cuts require stitches in order to close). Sutures must be placed in the tissue during tummy tuck surgery to start the healing process, which often takes about two months to complete. After this occurs, the patient is ready to start working on his or her core via conventional means like diet and exercise.

The 5 Best Core Workouts for Tummy Tuck Patients

As a tummy tuck patient, it’s essential that you wait until your surgeon tells you that it’s okay to start exercising again. Exercising too early can cause your muscle tissue to tear again, making revision surgery necessary. However, once you have been given the “all clear,” exercise is a great way to accentuate the results of your procedure. Strong abdominal muscles exert a “corseting” effect on the abdomen, pulling in subcutaneous fat stores and compressing the organs. This makes the stomach flatter as these tissues protrude less.

If you’re ready to start working out your core and creating those six pack abs you’ve always dreamed of, the five exercises below are a great place to start:

1. The Raised Plank

Enter a standard plank position, resting on your elbows and toes with your body elevated off the ground. Raise one foot off the ground and hold it aloft for 5 to 10 seconds, making sure to keep your body level. Don’t bend or twist your torso. After holding, switch legs. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

2. The Side Plank

While resting on your side, raise your body up on one elbow. Hold your position for at least ten seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise at least five times, then switch sides.

3. Reverse Crunches

Unlike a traditional crunch, the reverse crunch involves raising the lower part of the body to create an intense lower ab workout. Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and slowly raise your buttocks off the ground while keeping your legs raised. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 20 to 30 times.

4. The Body Hold

As the name suggests, this exercise requires holding your body up for a set duration of time. It sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult to maintain. To perform the body hold, lie on the ground and raise your shoulders, arms, and legs, with your arms stretched out in front of you. Hold your position for at least ten seconds. Release and repeat the exercise five to ten times.

5. The Bicycle

While lying on the floor with your arms behind your head, raise your legs and bend them at the knee. Start pumping one leg forward, then the other, as if you’re riding a bicycle. Do at least 25 repetitions before relaxing your stance.

The beauty of the exercises described above lies in their simplicity. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or a lot of room to perform them; you only need a mat and your own willpower. This makes strengthening your core something you can work into your routine anywhere, anytime.

Interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery? Discover your best surgery options with a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.

Should I exercise the day before tummy tuck

No area of the body is more frustrating than the stomach. As we go through normal physical changes, such as childbirth, weight fluctuations and the aging process, excess skin and fat find a way to accumulate around our middle. Unfortunately, as many people find out, exercise and diet can prove to be unsuccessful at reclaiming the curvaceous waist of our youth. The abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is an extremely successful surgical procedure, designed to sculpt the waistline and smooth the stomach. The surgical technique can also repair damaged and weakened abdominal muscles, further tightening the stomach and ensuring long-term results.

As with any surgical procedure, it is important that a prospective patient do their homework to fully understand both the potential positives and risks of the procedure. Even though the tummy tuck surgery can prove to be beneficial for many men and women, there are stringent recovery requirements and potential complications that must first be considered. For these reasons, the abdominoplasty may not be right for everyone. Before committing to the abdominoplasty procedure, consider the following five tummy tuck facts:

A tummy tuck requires significant downtime

A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that will require weeks to heal. The technique includes an incision, running from hip to hip. Patients should expect their recovery to take two to three weeks. At the beginning, you will be fatigued, swollen and sore. It is normal to have moderate pain during these first several days, although this will steadily improve. It is vital to allow yourself time to focus on rest and healing. More than simply taking time off from work, abdominoplasty patients will need assistance with household chores and children. Strenuous physical activities will also need to be postponed for at least four to six weeks.

Expect to be at a stable weight before your tummy tuck

An abdominoplasty is a wonderful way to sculpt the figure and shape the body. However, the surgical procedure is not a replacement for weight loss. It is important that you be close to your desired weight for six to twelve months before undergoing a tummy tuck. Most surgeons will recommend patients be between 10-15 pounds from their goal weight. This is important as gaining or losing additional weight can undo the contoured shape achieved through your surgery. Weight fluctuations can stretch the abdominal tissues and can require a revision procedure to restore the benefits of the initial procedure.

A tummy tuck will leave a permanent scar

Although the tummy tuck is one of the most valued and effective cosmetic surgery procedures performed today, the incision will leave a scar along the abdomen. This will run along the horizontal incision line, stretching from hip to hip, right above the pubic bone. While the scar will fade a bit over time, it will remain visible for years to come. An experienced plastic surgeon will carefully place the incision, ensuring the scar is well-concealed under clothing, underwear and swimsuit bottoms.

Surgical drains will be in place for the first week or two

After surgery, drains are put in place to eliminate a buildup of blood or fluids, keeping swelling down and ensuring proper healing. In many cases, surgical drains are placed following an abdominoplasty. Although temporary, these will require attention and care. Prior to surgery, your surgeon will discuss the need for drains and how to care for them, including any limitations on bathing. In most cases, the drains are painlessly removed in seven to ten days, however, they may need to stay in place for two weeks or longer.

Full healing can take up to a year

The benefits from your tummy tuck will not be immediately noticeable. In fact, over the first several weeks, redness, bruising, stiffness and swelling are common. This will slowly resolve over the next four to six weeks and the results will start to show. However, residual swelling can linger for six months or longer. A temporary numbness or a loss of sensation along the incision line is normal, but will slowly resolve. While you should be feeling close to your old self after a few months, it can take a full year before the stomach has finished healing and the complete results of surgery can be seen.

Whether you are thinking about a full abdominoplasty or a mini-tummy tuck, take your time and only put your trust in a board-certified plastic surgeon. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) offers a variety of tools to get you started towards your abdominoplasty, from informative animations to before and after photographs. Do your homework, then schedule a consultation appointment with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. With proper research and an experienced aesthetic provider, you can achieve the flat, taut abdomen you have been longing for.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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