If you suffer from any form of the white-coat effect, a common phenomenon that makes people anxious and tongue-tied around doctors, you might be dreading your plastic surgery consultation more than the tummy tuck itself. While it can feel intimidating to bare all, it’s important to focus on the task at hand rather than feeling embarrassed about your flab or worrying whether your questions are silly. Be honest about your expectations, and especially about any questions you have surrounding the abdominoplasty procedure.
If you’re not sure what to say, here are four questions to ask to get you started.
1. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Any surgeon who is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada should give you an honest answer. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for regular weight loss, nor will it instantly give you the body of a Victoria’s Secret model – though most tummy tuck patients are very satisfied with their results. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are people whose weight is under control but have pockets of abdominal fat, loose skin and sagging abdominal muscles.
2. Where and how will you perform my abdominoplasty?
Though a tummy tuck is usually performed in the plastic surgery clinic, some clients prefer to have it at the hospital. Your surgeon should have hospital privileges just in case, and at minimum, a board-certified anaesthesiologist should be present wherever the surgery takes place. Also, there is more than one way to perform the procedure depending on your physique and your desired outcomes. Even if you’re squeamish, find out in advance exactly where and how the surgeon will make the incision and what techniques will be used.
3. What does recovery look like?
While all patients experience pain and healing differently, there are some standards that generally apply to everyone who has had major abdominal surgery. You probably already know there will be some bed rest and activity limits, but you may not be aware of things like:
- Watching your sodium intake to prevent post-operative water retention and swelling.
- Avoiding carbonated beverages and foods that cause bloating.
- The importance of wearing supportive garments.
If you have small children you can’t avoid lifting, or you work in a strenuous job that won’t give you sufficient time off, you might want to postpone surgery until things change for you.
4. How will my tummy tuck look after pregnancy?
At best, you’ll undo a good deal of the aesthetic benefits of the procedure. At worst, you’ll have complications as your belly expands, putting pressure on muscles which have already been cut. Wait until you’ve had your last child before getting your tummy tuck.
Do you have more questions about a tummy tuck?
Although we have listed some of the things to ask your Doctor before a tummy tuck, we understand that you may have more questions. For more information on tummy tuck procedures and to see if one is right for you, please contact the Royal Centre of Plastic Surgery today!