Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that gives women and men a flat, nicely contoured abdomen. There are several types of tummy tucks, including:

  • Mini
  • Standard
  • Extended
  • Circumferential

The type of tummy tuck procedure needed is determined at your consultation. All tummy tucks involve an incision across the lower portion of the abdomen. The length will vary depending on which procedure is required A mini tummy tuck requires the shortest incision and the circumferential the longest – it goes around the entire body. At Cruise Plastic Surgery. Dr. Joseph Cruise has developed techniques to minimize the visibility of tummy tuck scars following surgery. By following all of his pre and post-op instructions you will position yourself for the best outcome possible so you can feel confident about your results.

Once your surgery has been scheduled, you will receive a packet from Cruise Plastic Surgery which will include any lab work you need to have done and consents for you to review and sign. Any additional instructions or items needed will also be included. You will also need to schedule your pre-op appointment.

Dr. Cruise, like many experienced surgeons, provides detailed pre-op instructions as well as post-op instructions. Both medical instructions must be followed to have the best experience and results.

Before surgery, you will be required to have a pre-operative visit at the office to review consents, take photos, receive your prescriptions for medications, pay your final surgical balance, etc. This is a great time to go over any remaining questions or concerns. This visit typically takes place 2 weeks prior to your surgery date but may vary depending on different factors such as your schedule, where you reside, etc.

tummy tuck before and after orange county

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Pre-Op Visit

Secondary Consultation  

If desired, you may request to have a second consultation with Dr. Cruise to discuss any remaining questions or concerns or to finalize your surgical plan.

Meet the Nurse

Your pre-op appointment will take place with the nurse. She will review your consents, medical history, medications that you are currently taking, provide you with prescriptions for medications needed, review labs, take photos, and answer any questions. She may also provide you with a post-op kit that will include some items needed such as pre/post-surgery healing supplements, surgical tape, scar gel, dressing, compression socks. With tummy tucks, a post-surgical healing garment is needed as well. One will either be provided or you will be given instructions on where to order the specific garment that is recommended.

Fill Your Prescriptions

It is important to fill your prescriptions prior to your tummy tuck surgery. Some medications may need to be started prior to surgery.

Order Your Post-Surgical Garment

If the nurse gives you information to order a post-surgical compression garment, be sure you do this right away so you have the garment available for surgery (if requested) or shortly after.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, you will have already been advised by Dr. Cruise during the consultation to cease approximately 4 weeks (this may vary) before and after surgery. Smoking can cause serious post-surgery issues such as wound breakdown and delayed healing. If you don’t think you can stop on your own, discuss this with Dr. Cruise or his nurse. There are prescription medications such as Chantix that can be prescribed to help you stop.

Avoid Anti-inflammatory Medications

You will be asked to avoid taking certain herbal supplements such as Fish Oil and Vitamin E, aspirin based products and other anti-inflammatory medications starting 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery. These medications can cause excessive bleeding which can lead to more swelling, bruising and discomfort. More serious issues can occur such as blood clots. This will be discussed in greater detail with the nurse and you will receive a list of medications to avoid.

Eat Healthy

As with any surgery, it is recommended that you eat a healthy diet consisting of high protein and fiber. Anesthesia and narcotic medications can cause constipation after surgery making a fiber-rich diet just that much more important. If constipation becomes a real problem for you, any over-the-counter laxatives will help. Ask the pharmacist for recommendations. Prune juice is also an option. Increasing your Vitamin C intake will also help during the healing process. This can even be started prior to surgery to boost your system. Vitamin C through fruits and vegetables is ideal, but the pill form will work as well.

Recovery Contingencies

There are several housekeeping steps that you should have in place before your tummy tuck that you will need immediately following your procedure. For example:

  • Your tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgical facility. You will need to secure a driver to take you to and from surgery.
  • Make sure you have someone stay with you at least for that first night following surgery. If you don’t have anyone or your house is simply too chaotic with kids, etc., please speak with your consultation or the nurse who will provide you with recommendations of post-surgery recovery facilities in the area.
  • Once you are home, enlist family or friends to help with housekeeping tasks like dusting, sweeping or vacuuming, shopping for groceries, doing laundry, etc. You will not be able to lift or do much for several weeks after surgery. It is very important that you follow the instructions given to you as to what you can and can’t do over the weeks after surgery. You do not want to compromise your healing or results.
  • if you have children at home, plan on having someone help you with their daily routine. The main idea is not to do any lifting, not even your children.

If you have more questions about Tummy Tuck recovery, contact Cruise Plastic Surgery. They are happy to answer your questions or to schedule you an appointment to meet with Dr. Cruise for a comprehensive consultation.