What Is Having a Tummy Tuck REALLY Like?

Written on March 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

Tummy tuck before-and-after photos with a Raleigh, NC patient at Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery.

If you are lucky enough to have a close friend who’s had an abdominoplasty — and willing to share — you may get a decent idea of what the experience was really like. If that person is around the same age. With similar health and fitness levels. And used the same surgeon. Who used the same techniques.

You get the point. Every experience, recovery, and result is completely individual, just like you are.

Now, sites like YouTube and RealSelf are making it possible to follow thousands of plastic surgery patients’ day-by-day experiences and recoveries — even by exact surgeon or technique — giving you a more accurate and current picture of what you might experience if you choose to flatten your midsection. Our Raleigh plastic surgery patients at Davis & Pyle frequently mention pouring through the photos and stories to gain some insight, and we wholeheartedly encourage it.

With sometimes daily updates, you can often truly follow not only the physical transformation, but the emotional journey of plastic surgery.  Stories like this one, from one of Dr. Pyle’s Mommy Makeover patients, can be of great comfort to those contemplating the recovery of a tummy tuck. Or if watching and listening are more your taste, videos like this from one of Dr. Davis’ Mommy Makeover patients may be helpful to you.

In the same spirit of getting the full story, we reached out to a patient of Dr. Pyle’s for her tummy tuck experience here in Raleigh, North Carolina, after losing over 100 pounds.

Q: So, what made you decide to have a tummy tuck?

After losing over 100 pounds and maintaining it for a few years, I couldn’t help but be frustrated daily when I looked in the mirror and saw the extra skin hanging from my abdomen. I felt as though I was still hiding and covering up and didn’t want to show off my new body, even though I had worked so hard. I realized that in order to be able to really continue my transformation and be proud of my body, I’d need to get some excess skin removed, so that’s when I decided on starting with a tummy tuck!

Q: What feelings did you experience after scheduling your consultation?

I remember being super nervous before the consultation. I had never walked into a plastic surgeon’s office before. I truly had no idea what to expect. I kept going back and forth about whether I was willing to undergo that type of surgery just to feel better in my skin — but I realized that it was something I had wanted for so long, so it would be totally worth it!

Q: How did you feel the day of surgery?

I was incredibly nervous, but excited as well. It was my first major surgery as an adult, and the thought of “going under” freaked me out. It’s such a crazy experience to realize you’re going into surgery looking one way and you’re going to come out looking a different way. But there’s something so magical and exciting about that, too, when it’s something that enhances your body.

Q: How was your recovery process?

My recovery was not a breeze. I never realized how much I used my abdomen! A sneeze, a cough, even a laugh was painful at first. It only took about 7 to 10 days until I really started to feel better and like myself again, though. I’m so used to being on the go that lying still was hard for me, but I realized that it was as absolutely necessary to give my body the time it needed to heal.

Q: What tips or advice would you give to someone who is considering a tummy tuck?

From the weight loss side of it, make sure you are at or within your goal weight by 5 to 10 pounds at most, and that you have maintained that weight for over a year. Just because you get a tummy tuck, keep in mind that it’s still possible to gain your weight back. It can certainly happen. Skin removal is truly the icing on the cake to a weight loss journey, so making sure you’re totally ready is key.

Your body needs the rest afterwards to heal, so patience is a virtue. It’s not easy, but so incredibly worth it!