All plastic surgeries require recovery time. Your body simply needs time to heal after being completely reshaped. In the case of a tummy tuck, that recovery period can be rather extensive. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the recovery period can vary widely based on the age, skin elasticity, and general health of the patient. Still, the average hovers around six to eight weeks. That’s a long time, so timing really does matter if you want the best experience. Let’s look at the best time of year for a tummy tuck.
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What is the Best Time of Year for a Tummy Tuck?
Most experts agree that winter is the optimal season for having a tummy tuck. You can begin the consultation process in late fall. That will give you time to identify the most qualified plastic surgeons in your area and review their portfolios. Given what a tummy tuck can do to reshape your entire figure, it is absolutely necessary to find a plastic surgeon who will give you realistic expectations that mesh with the results you’re looking for.
It may seem a bit early, but by starting the process in late fall, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. By giving yourself between four and six weeks to meet with prospective surgeons, you can minimize feeling rushed. You’ll have ample time for individual consultations with time to spare if you’re finding the final decision more difficult. Even with a little indecision, you’ll still you’ll have plenty of time to schedule a surgery date that works for you.
When to have the Actual Surgery?
During a normal year, the holiday season would be filled with social engagements. Of course, this year is far from normal, but you may still have plans to see people throughout the holiday season. If you have any intention of interacting socially over the month of December, then don’t stress yourself. Schedule your surgery for January or February because a tummy tuck is not a minor procedure; it’s a total transformation of your abdomen.
Understanding the Recovery Process
You probably already know that a tummy tuck is designed to slim the body by removing extra fat and skin. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. A true tummy tuck also involves the reshaping of the abdominal muscles. In most cases, patients who are considering a tummy tuck have experienced substantial changes in weight or gone through pregnancy. The strain caused by these changes can actually stretch or even tear the abdominal muscles.
The damage to this muscle group can warp the shape of your waist, making it far less flattering. To give you the results you want, your surgeon has to physically stitch the muscles back together. This part of the procedure is what gives you a more natural curve. But it also means that your abdominal muscles will be very tight after surgery. You may not be able to sit up straight right away, and you will likely be wrapped in compression bandages to prevent swelling.
Unless you’re some kind of superhuman, you won’t be in the mood to interact with others for at least a couple of weeks, and your surgeon will want you to take it easy. Waiting until January or February will give you a little break to recover in solitude. As a bonus, if you’re not comfortable talking about your procedure or simply don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, having your tummy tuck in January gives you months to fully recover before the warmer weather hits.
Ready for Summer
By aiming for a winter surgery date, you will be giving yourself almost four to six months of healing before it’s hot enough to slip into a bikini or board shorts. If you follow your board-certified plastic surgeon’s instructions and prioritize scar-care, then no one will even be able to tell you had work done once you’re ready to hit the beach.