Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?

A tummy tuck, sometimes called an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin around the midsection. This leaves you with a flat, taut result that is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but can also resolve chafing, skin breakdown and other practical issues as well. If you’ve lost a lot of weight or given birth before, excess skin is a common outcome. Deciding if a tummy tuck is right for you, however, is a question with many facets to consider.

Your Future Family Planning

While tummy tucks work well for people of all genders, women of child-bearing age need to consider their future family planning before undergoing a tummy tuck. It’s not dangerous to you or the growing child if you’ve had a tummy tuck in the past, but your skin will doubtless stretch again and your incision line could be sore and uncomfortable from that stretching. For these reasons, it’s usually best to wait until you are sure you won’t be pregnant again in the future before having this procedure.

Your Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use Status

If you smoke tobacco or use any type of recreational drugs, including smoking marijuana or excessive alcohol consumption, it’s imperative that you quit several months before surgery. This is important because smoking, drinking too much alcohol and taking recreational drugs all impact your ability to heal.

The Stability of Your Body Weight

For those who have lost a large amount of weight, the urge to rush into a tummy tuck can be huge. After all, you’ve worked very hard to shed the weight and want all reminders of your previous weight gone. However, this may not be the best idea. It’s usually recommended that weight loss patients keep their weight stable for at least six months to a year before undergoing a tummy tuck. Not only does this give your skin a chance to shrink on its own, this waiting period also ensures you won’t pack the weight back on and undo the results you worked so hard to get. If your excess skin is the result of pregnancy and you are usually at a normal weight, a six-month wait should be sufficient.

Your Ability to Take Adequate Healing Time

While most people only get two weeks of paid vacation a year, it can take six weeks or more to recover from a tummy tuck enough to return to work. After surgery, you will be given adequate pain management medication, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be back at work in a few days. You will need to be able to step away from work and other pressing commitments for at least six weeks.

Deciding if a tummy tuck is right for you is a consideration with many facets. If you have questions or would like a review of your specific case, contact the office of Dr. Wendell Perry today to schedule an appointment. Located in Miramar, we happily serve theAlexandria – Woodbridge, VA & Rockville, MD area.