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The more you know, the easier it will be for you to make a smart decision about getting a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck can help you look better and feel more confident, and the majority of people who have abdominoplasty are very happy with the results. Many even enjoy some additional tummy tuck benefits, like improved posture. However, you have to make sure that a tummy tuck is right for you. Before you consider getting a tummy tuck, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon and take these six questions along with you.

1. Am I a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

People who have excess skin around the abdominal area, particularly after a pregnancy or weight loss, tend to make good tummy tuck candidates. Your plastic surgeon can only determine if you’re a candidate for a procedure if you are honest about your health and lifestyle. You might be asked to lose weight or maintain your weight for a certain period before having a tummy tuck. You should also do your best to eat well, exercise regularly and get lots of rest. Staying away from junk food, alcohol and smoking may also help your chances at being a good tummy tuck candidate.

2. Are My Expectations Realistic?

It’s important to make sure that you have healthy expectations about what can be achieved through plastic surgery. Tell your plastic surgeon what your goals are so he or she can tell you whether a tummy tuck is the best course of action. You may benefit more from a different procedure, or from combining a tummy tuck with another cosmetic surgery. Make sure you discuss with your plastic surgeon if you plan to get pregnant after your tummy tuck.

3. How Much Experience Do You Have with Tummy Tucks?

It is perfectly acceptable – and important – to ask if your plastic surgeon is board-certified and whether he or she has considerable experience performing tummy tucks. Your plastic surgeon should be glad to answer any of your questions about education, credentials and experience, and you should feel you can entrust your care to them.

If a plastic surgeon doesn’t want to answer all of your tummy tuck questions, find one who does.

4. Do You Have Before and After Photos?

You may have looked at tummy tuck before and after pictures online to get an idea of what can be achieved with the procedure. This is a good idea, but it’s even more important to see photos of tummy tucks that were done by the plastic surgeon you’re considering. Ask to look through your plastic surgeon’s portfolio so you can see real-life results.

5. What Will My Surgery Be Like?

Discuss how long your procedure is expected to take and what steps are involved in your tummy tuck. Talk about the techniques your plastic surgeon plans to use and where your tummy tuck will be. Question whether you’ll stay overnight or will be able to go home the same day.

6. What Can I Expect for My Recovery?

Inquire how long your tummy tuck recovery will be and what kind of help you’ll need while you’re healing. You have to know how much time you should take off work and what kind of things you’ll need assistance with at home. You might need to get someone to help out with childcare or household duties, so make sure you have a clear picture of what to expect.

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