Skip to main content
Christopher K. Patronella, MD, FACS, FICS homepage

How to Prepare for Tummy Tuck Surgery

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a transformative surgical procedure designed to address excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, providing a smoother and firmer contour. Whether motivated by post-pregnancy changes, significant weight loss, or other factors, adequate preparation and understanding of the recovery process are crucial for a successful outcome.

This comprehensive guide navigates the essential steps to prepare for tummy tuck surgery and what to expect during recovery.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck: A Guide to Readiness and Recovery

The following five steps will help you prepare for your tummy tuck surgery and recovery while minimizing the risk of complications and maximizing your final results.

  1. Your Initial Consultation

    The first step in your journey to a slimmer and more youthful figure or physique starts with an in-depth consultation.

    • Dr. Patronella, who is a board-certified plastic surgeon, will listen carefully to your specific concerns and goals, examine the treatment area, and explain the various aspects of this procedure, including potential risks, benefits, and expected outcomes. He uses visual aids such as before-and-after tummy tuck photos to help you understand your potential outcome.
    • Dr. Patronella will review your medical history and ask about your lifestyle habits. Medical clearance from your primary care physician may be necessary to ensure that you are in good overall health and a good candidate for abdominoplasty.

    At the end of your consultation, you can expect to receive an inclusive cost estimate for your tummy tuck surgery.

  2. Assessing Your Lifestyle and Making Improvements

    Make the following lifestyle adjustments if instructed by Dr. Patronella:

    Nicotine Use

    • Smoking and tobacco use of any kind significantly increase your risks of complications during and after surgery. It can lead to increased bleeding and interfere with wound healing, which ultimately affects your results.
    • Quit smoking well in advance of your surgery and continue to abstain during your recovery to avoid these issues.

    Weight Stability, Diet and Exercise

    • Adopt a balanced, nutritious diet and exercise routine, and maintain a stable weight for at least six months before abdominoplasty to avoid further weight fluctuations and support your body’s healing process.
    • Staying well-hydrated in the weeks leading up to surgery reduces physical stress and helps your body tolerate surgery and recovery more easily.

    Adjusting less-than-ideal lifestyle habits prepares you for surgery and recovery and will help you maintain your results and improve your overall well-being.

  3. Planning Your Tummy Tuck Recovery

    Careful preparation for your recovery period will ensure a more positive experience and lower your complication risks.

    Home and Support Arrangements

    • Prepare your living space for a comfortable recovery, including setting up a comfortable resting area with necessary supplies within arm’s reach.
    • Consider purchasing extra-long charging cords for your devices.
    • Arrange for a ride to and from the surgery center on the day of your procedure and assistance from friends or family during the first two days of recovery.

    Wardrobe and Comfort

    Lay out loose and comfortable clothing so they are easily accessible.

    • Choose bottoms with elastic waistbands to avoid irritating incisions.
    • Tops with button-down or zippered openings are also recommended to prevent straining when removing them.


    Pre-cook nutritious meals that can be reheated to avoid having to prepare them during your downtime.


    Pick up any medications prescribed by Dr. Patronella before your surgery date.

  4. Preoperative Instructions

    Following Dr. Patronella’s pre-surgical instructions is essential to avoid delays and reduce health risks.

    Preoperative Labs and Imaging

    Complete all preoperative testing ordered by Dr. Patronella.

    Medication Adjustments

    Dr. Patronella will advise you to discontinue taking aspirin, NSAIDs, and any other non-crucial medications and supplements that may increase bleeding a few weeks before surgery.

    The Night Before Your Tummy Tuck

    The night before surgery is a good time to check that all your preparations are in place and you will be coming home to an environment conducive to optimal healing.

    • Confirm your ride to and from your procedure and adhere to the fasting guidelines provided by our office to minimize potential complications or possibly having to postpone your procedure.
    • Shower the evening before your surgery or in the morning if your surgery is scheduled for later in the day. Remove any jewelry, and do not apply deodorant, creams, or fragrances of any kind.
  5. Day of Surgery

    Arrive at the surgical facility at the designated time, allowing for preoperative assessments and preparations. If you are experiencing any anxiety, use deep, measured breathing and other calming techniques to ease your mind. You are in good hands with Dr. Patronella.

    Immediate Postoperative Period

    Expect to be closely monitored in our surgery center’s recovery area before being discharged. You will find that a compression garment has been placed over the surgical area to aid in healing and accelerate swelling reduction over the next six or so weeks.

    Anesthesia will still be in effect, so you should not be in any significant pain.

    When you are discharged, your designated friend or family member can drive you home after surgery and help you get settled.

Making the Most of Your Tummy Tuck Recovery

By preparing in advance for your surgery and following Dr. Patronella’s instructions regarding limits on physical activities, you should experience a relatively stress-free recovery experience.

Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to allow our surgeon to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns. If you encounter any complications, call our office immediately.

Houston Tummy Tucks With a Top Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck surgery is a significant step towards achieving a slimmer, smoother, firmer, and youthfully contoured belly and waist. You can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome by thoroughly preparing for the procedure, understanding recovery expectations, and following pre and post-operative instructions.

Dr. Christopher Patronella is a top plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, who provides abdominoplasty and understands that each patient’s needs are unique. He maintains open communication and is reachable at all stages of this process to ensure that any concerns or questions are promptly addressed. Ask about your abdominoplasty options, including:

Call (713) 575-1996 today to schedule your Houston tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Patronella to start your journey to a more slender and appealing body.

Call Today 1(713) 575-1996

We would love to discuss your Plastic and
Cosmetic Surgery Goals.

Virtual Consultation Request a Consultation

Serving Houston, Texas and
worldwide Patients

12727 Kimberley Lane, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77024

1(713) 575-1996