Summary: If you’re feeling less than enthused about your midriff and are potentially considering a tummy tuck, you’ll need to consider recovery as well as the surgery itself. Sometimes, despite all of your best intentions, dieting and exercising aren’t quite enough and a little helping hand is needed. This is where a tummy tuck can help.
There are several types of tummy tuck surgery, but in all cases, you must consider how to plan ahead for your tummy tuck recovery and ease back into your normal routine after the surgery has been completed.
What to Do to Aid Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Firstly, take your pain medication as advised and don’t try to “tough it out.” Contact your cosmetic surgeon if you feel something doesn’t seem right during your tummy tuck recovery.
- Remember to keep moving. Although you may feel uncomfortable, walk around at least a few times a day to aid blood circulation. When sitting in a chair post-surgery, be sure to keep moving your legs and feet. This isn’t an alternative to moving around regularly; it’s an additional recovery tip to be factored into your routine.
- Avoid lifting anything heavy until advised by your cosmetic surgeon that it’s safe to do so. Stick to a limit of around 10lb during tummy tuck recovery.
- Follow your surgeon’s advice about how to long to wait before bathing, showering or going swimming.
Assume the Position
During the first week or so, adopt a slightly bent position when standing, walking, sitting or lying down. When sitting, knees and feet should be lifted, head should be elevated and a jack-knifed position should be maintained.
Following these instructions will help protect the incision and aid your tummy tuck recovery. Holding this position while walking, particularly early in your healing period, will relieve some of the pressure on the incision and increase comfort.
However, don’t bend completely over. [quote] Moving around is good – bending over is not. [/quote] Bending too sharply can increase blood pressure on the site of your wound and cause bleeding. Although this applies to bending over slightly as well as bending completely, a very slight bend at the waist is essential during tummy tuck recovery, for the reasons mentioned above.
Get Plenty of Rest
When it comes to sleeping, listen to your body. During your tummy tuck recovery, you may find it uncomfortable to sleep in your usual favorite position, but as long as you avoid sleeping on your stomach, go with whatever feels right. Reclining as if you were on a beach chair is a popular option. Before your surgery, stock up on plenty of pillows so it’s easier to give your body the support you need to sleep comfortably.
Aside from ensuring you move enough, and adopt positions which will aid recovery, you should make sure you follow all post-surgery instructions provided by your surgeon. These may include wearing a compression garment, monitoring your temperature, taking antibiotics, drinking plenty of water, changing dressing regularly, emptying abdominal drains and keeping the site of the incision clean. If you have any questions at all about what to expect, don’t hesitate to check back in with your cosmetic surgeon.
Finally, don’t forget to take it easy and relax. Allow your body time to heal itself and adjust to the recent changes, and never push yourself to do too much too soon after your tummy tuck.