Before Your Procedure
The first step you’ll need to take will be the consultation with Dr. Sleightholm and his surgical consultant. During your consult, you can expect to discuss things like:
- Why you’re considering a tummy tuck.
- What your goals and expectations are.
- Which areas of your body you’d like to address.
- Your medical history, including any medications you’re currently taking.
Your consult also gives you time to learn about and get to know each cosmetic surgeon and clinic. Reflect on things like how comfortable they make you feel, how much experience they have in performing the procedure you’re interested in, and what credentials they can demonstrate.
If you choose to have a tummy tuck at Brampton Cosmetic, we’ll give you some resources you’ll need to read and complete before your surgery:
- Consent Forms: You need to sign these to confirm you understand the nature of the procedure as well as any risks that might be associated with it.
- Preoperative Instructions: These will go over a range of topics including how you should prepare in the days leading up to your surgery, any medications you should and shouldn’t take, and more.
If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure itself or any of the documents, be sure to talk about them with your cosmetic surgeon in advance.
During Your Procedure
Your surgery will be performed under general anaesthesia. During the procedure, Dr. Sleightholm will typically make two incisions: the first a horizontal one extending along the bikini line (from hipbone to hipbone) and the second one around your bellybutton (or navel).
After lifting the skin, Dr. Sleightholm will begin by realigning the weakened muscles beneath and suturing them vertically. He will then remove any excess fat and skin (stretch marks included) left below the incision. Dr. Sleightholm will reposition your naval and suture it into place as well. Finally, the remaining horizontal incisions will be closed.
After Your Procedure
It’s important to emphasise that a tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure affecting the body’s core muscles that are responsible for helping you stand, lift, and even sit up straight. As a result, you should expect that recovery times will be longer compared to other procedures.
The First Few Days
Expect to spend your first three days relaxing and taking it easy. You should not yet shower and will need to keep your compression garment on at all times, though you should start taking short walks when you feel well enough. This will encourage good circulation and ease swelling. Take pain medication and antibiotics precisely as instructed in order to keep pain under control and reduce risks of infection.
You’ll also need to monitor your drain, which Dr. Sleightholm will put in place to reduce the amount of fluid that accumulates in your body. You’ll need to measure outputs and empty drains as often as is required. We, Dr. Sleightholm and Brampton Cosmetic, will provide written and verbal instructions about how to look after your drain.
On the fourth day you’ll be able to bathe, keeping in mind that someone will likely need to assist you as you will neither be able to bend nor lift your arms, and wash your compression garment. Let your compression garment air dry completely before putting it back on.
We’ll schedule your follow-up appointment for about a week after your procedure. We’ll use this opportunity to ensure you’re healing well and answer any questions you have. Dr. Sleightholm might choose to remove the drain at this stage, though you might need to keep it in place for an additional week.
The First Few Weeks
As you begin to feel better, you can start extending the length of your walks and getting back into other light exercises. You’ll want to avoid workouts that are too strenuous, especially anything that puts tension on your core, for at least six weeks.
Dr. Sleightholm will ask that you continue to wear your compression garment for up to six weeks as well in order to minimize swelling, keep you more comfortable, and support your abdominal muscles as they heal. We will provide you with your first-stage compression garment, though you will need to purchase your second-stage garment when you’re ready to transition into it.
The First Few Months
Patients are typically able to fully resume their normal day-to-day activities (including more demanding exercises) after approximately eight weeks. Remember that, although you will notice some positive changes right away, complete recovery will take up to one year. The key is to be patient with your body as it heals, giving it time to adjust to its new shape, and following your surgeon’s advice in order to achieve the best results.