Attitudes surrounding plastic surgery are changing. More than $15 billion was spent on combined surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures in 2016, accounting for an 11% increase over the past year alone. Due to improvements in technique and material, cosmetic surgery is safer and more practiced than ever. If you feel that you’re carrying a little extra weight in your midsection, it may be time to seek out a plastic surgeon to perform a tummy tuck.

Also known as the classic “mommy makeover” due to the looseness and weight gain that accompanies pregnancy, this procedure is one of the more invasive kinds available. As a result, it can be overwhelming to think about. Let’s look at a few of the changes you’ll be asked to make in preparation for your surgery.

  • Testing: Your plastic surgeon will want to make sure that you’re as healthy inside as you are out by requesting certain medical evaluations and tests. Because there are medications and underlying conditions that can make surgery more difficult (or even dangerous), it’s important for your doctor to know that they won’t be facing high risks of complications. These tests are done to ensure both the procedure and your recovery period go as smoothly as possible.
  • Stop smoking: Although you probably already know that smoking isn’t necessarily healthy for you, nicotine can cause problems unique to surgery. The drug actually shrinks blood vessels and limits the amount of oxygen circulation in your body. The way your body heals after all forms of plastic surgery (from liposuction to breast lifts) is through healthy, oxygenated blood circulation; if your blood vessels are narrowed, the likelihood of complications and cell death become very high.
  • What to avoid: In addition to changing or altogether stopping certain medications you’re taking, anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin should be avoided at all costs. These medicines act as blood thinners and can cause your body to lose more blood during surgery than is safe; your plastic surgeon will supply you with the drugs necessary to tackle the discomfort of your recovery.

At the end of the day, your tummy tuck is all about making you feel better in your own skin. As long as you follow the doctor’s orders, you’ll end up with a belly you can be proud of.