Summary: A tummy tuck is one of the most sought-after plastic surgery procedures in the world. It’s the only way to effectively treat excess abdominal skin caused by weight gain, as well as stretched skin and separated muscles after pregnancy, which is why so many women choose to have a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover.
As with any surgical procedure, there will be a recovery period following your tummy tuck, but these tips can help you feel more comfortable while you wait to see your final results.
1. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a balanced, healthy diet can help keep your body in great shape so you can recuperate more easily from your tummy tuck. Fresh fruits and veggies are chock-full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to heal, plus plenty of fiber to counteract post-op constipation. Drinking lots of water helps promote healing as well.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle before your tummy tuck is even better, as the best body contouring results are seen in candidates who are at or near their target weight before surgery. Additionally, prioritizing your health can mean a better long-term outcome; significant weight fluctuations post-op will almost certainly compromise your results.
Bad habits like smoking can negatively affect your tummy tuck recovery, and may exclude you from being a good surgical candidate in the first place.
2. Manage Your Pain
Good pain management is a critical part of your tummy tuck recovery. You’ll likely experience some discomfort in the days immediately following tummy tuck surgery, and it may hurt to stand fully upright or move too quickly. Symptoms can be managed by resting and using over-the-counter pain medicine, or your plastic surgeon may prescribe pain medication for you to take.
Most importantly, be careful not to overdo it. Limit your activities and listen to your body. Follow your pain management plan closely and you won’t have to play “catch up” with your pain.
3. Plan Your Downtime Carefully
Typically, you’ll be able to return to work within a week or two after having a tummy tuck. Of course, each person’s experience will vary. While you canreturn to work after a short period, you may not want to. Some people choose to take an extra week off in order to feel more fully recuperated before going back. You may also need more recovery time if you combine your tummy tuck with liposuction or additional procedures. Your plastic surgeon can give you a good idea of how long you can expect your recovery to take.
4. Prepare Your Home
During your recovery, you should relax and refrain from doing most of the activities you normally do. Plan ahead to make sure your home is conducive to your recovery. Prepare meals ahead of time or plan on ordering out, and recruit your spouse, a friend or other family member to help with household duties and childcare if needed.
Make sure the place you’ll recover in is clean and comfortable. Ensure that you’ll have easy access to your laptop, books, healthy snacks and whatever else you might need so you can simply rest.
5. Follow Your Plastic Surgeon’s Instructions
The specific aftercare instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon supersede any tummy tuck recovery tips you read here or elsewhere. Be sure to wear any post-surgical garments for as long as your plastic surgeon advises and take medications as directed. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon if any of your instructions are unclear, or if you’re concerned about anything during your recovery.