Do you have a tummy tuck surgery scheduled soon?
You probably have lots of questions, such as: How long will my recovery be? When can I start exercising again after the procedure? and What will I look like after surgery?
Tummy tucks can totally transform the way your midsection looks. But preparation is key — especially when it comes to your recovery.
Set yourself up for a fast and successful recovery with these four essential tummy tuck recovery tips.
1. Follow your surgeon’s instructions closely.
From wearing the right post-surgery garments and sleeping in the right position, to knowing when to exercise and how to perform proper belly button care after tummy tuck surgery, your surgeon is your best resource as you recover.
It is your surgeon who will guide you through the recovery process even before you schedule your surgery. This is because recovery from tummy tuck surgery is almost as important as the surgery itself.
If you do not pay attention to the aftercare instructions provided to you by your surgeon, you will not only put your health at risk, but you may also risk your results. Patients who do not adhere to their surgeon’s instructions may end up with subpar results and additional medical problems as well.
2. Understand the progression of a tummy tuck.
The worst days after tummy tuck surgery are immediately after the procedure. During these first few days, you’ll have the most discomfort and pain. While this can be mitigated with pain medications prescribed to you by your surgeon, it’s still important to know that the beginning is usually the hardest. It will only get better from there.
For example, in tummy tuck recovery week 1, you’ll start feeling generally better. And even though the swelling may actually increase during this period, your overall pain and discomfort should start going down. Keep up your mobility and maintain good circulation by getting up frequently and taking short walks around your home.
Overall, during these first one to two weeks, you’ll notice it starts to get easier to walk around, and you’ll begin to be able to stand more upright around the second to third week. Never push yourself too much, however. For some patients, it may take longer.
Around weeks four to six, you should be back at work and reintegrating other daily activities into your schedule as well. Pain should be manageable with over-the-counter medications, if necessary. Continue following your surgeon’s instructions. As you move into the second month of your recovery, your surgeon should allow you to start integrating more exercise into your routine.
Full recovery from tummy tuck surgery doesn’t usually happen until the six-month to one-year mark. At some time in this interval, all swelling will be gone, and you will be able to finally see the full results of your surgery.
3. Take it easy in the beginning.
Although at some point in your recovery your surgeon will suggest ways you can sleep more comfortably and give you some tips to stand up straight after tummy tuck surgery, remember that you should never push yourself too quickly. During the first few weeks, especially, you’ve got to take it slow and easy.
You should be sitting down or reclined for most of the day. Do not drive. Do not lift heavy objects. Do not exert yourself in other ways.
At the same time, you should be getting up frequently to take short walks and stretch your legs. Be sure to stoop as needed. Stooping or hunching over is normal during the initial recovery period. After tummy tuck surgery, your abdominal skin will be stretched and repositioned, after all. Your internal abdominal muscles will be sutured. You won’t be able to stand upright right away.
4. Buy your tummy tuck recovery must haves now.
Finally, get as many preparations done now, before your surgery, as you can. It’s important to plan ahead.
Start by scheduling help at home. This may mean arranging for a nurse to come by at intervals. Or, perhaps you have friends or relatives who can help out.
Preparing your home for surgery will be tremendously beneficial as well. Pre-make some freezer meals, and purchase healthy easy-to-grab snacks. Arrange an area where you’ll be able to relax and recuperate during the day. Put books and magazines, your tablet or computer, charging cords, drinks and snacks, and anything else you may need nearby. Having a trash, tissues, your TV remote, and blankets and pillows at-hand will be useful.
As far as products go, many tummy tuck patients appreciate having some adjustable wedge pillows for their bed and/or couch. These can help ease the challenge of sleeping on your back for the initial recovery period. You may also want to purchase a toilet seat riser, compression socks, and your own compression garment(s) as well.
Want More Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips? Book a Consultation
Tummy tuck surgery is a major procedure. You will be in recovery at home for at least one to two weeks. You will need assistance from friends, relatives, or hired staff. And you will assuredly need to take time off from work or school.
Understanding the procedure now can help you later when you are in recovery. Your very best resource before, during, and after tummy tuck surgery is your surgeon.
If you have been mulling over a tummy tuck but still aren’t sure whether this procedure is right for you, booking a consultation appointment with Dr. Raja Mohan can help orient you in the right direction. At this appointment, you will have a chance to pose all of your questions and concerns regarding surgery to Dr. Mohan. He will answer these inquiries and help guide you and determine your candidacy for the procedure.
Call today to schedule your one-on-one appointment with Dr. Mohan and begin your journey toward a new you!