Tummy Tuck Recovery
My Dayton tummy tuck patients love their results so much that they wish they’d taken the plunge earlier than they did. Knowing how many of my patients are considering this procedure, I’m sharing these tips to make your recovery even easier!
Get Time Off
You’re going to want a minimum of one week to recover, and most of my Dayton tummy tuck patients find that 10-14 days is even better. If your job involves lifting, you’ll want to either take more time away from work or be reassigned (temporarily) to a position that has no lifting involved.
Get Extra Sleep
The best postop advice in the world is to sleep! It’s Mother Nature’s healer! Sleeping in a recliner allows you to keep your knees up a bit, which is more comfortable than sleeping on a flat bed. Using a pillow under your knees is another option if you don’t have a recliner.
Get Help At Home
For a period of 6-8 weeks, you should not lift children in and out of the tub, highchair, car seat or stroller; lift or carry heavy bags of groceries in and out of the cart, into the car and into the house; or do other strenuous tasks you’re used to doing. Be sure someone is at home, the day of your procedure, to do those things.
You’ll shuffle around in a slightly bent-over position for a few after your tummy tuck, because you’ll feel very tight in your mid-section. Rest is important but you can’t stay in bed for days at a time—you need to get up and move. First, just getting up and walking around the room and to the bathroom or kitchen will be enough. Add more walking as you feel able, until you can walk around the block. Small amounts of walking will increase circulation, which aids in healing, and will keep you from feeling depressed.
Don’t Get an Infection
- I tell my patients who smoke that they must quit at least 2 weeks before and remain smoke-free for 2 weeks after their tummy tuck. Smoking robs oxygen from your tissues, where you need it to heal. Hopefully, after a month without cigarettes, you’ll be able to quit forever!
- Follow my wound care instructions for wound care, taking special care not to get your sutures wet.
- If you see any oozing and/or redness/soreness around your sutures, come in and see me.
- Be sure to keep drains empty. Once the draining stops, I’ll remove them.
Abdominal surgery almost always creates constipation. Here are some tips to avoid it:
- Take an over-the-counter stool softener the day before your tummy tuck
- Don’t strain with bowel movements.
- Drink lots of water, i.e., 8-10 glasses every day. Yes, you can also drink soda, tea, coffee and other beverages but they aren’t included in the count of 8-10 glasses of
- Avoid these constipation-causing foods for the first week after your tummy tuck:
- Red meat
- Dairy products, especially cheese
- Baked goods such as cake, chips
- Fried Foods, like fries, chips, etc
- Too much salt can dehydrate you, worsening constipation
- If you do become constipated, try these tips:
- Drink a cup of hot black coffee
- Eat beans and/or other legumes
- Enjoy a handful of berries or other fresh fruit several times a day
- Eat a handful of nuts 2-3 times a day—opt for raw nuts rather than roasted/salted nuts
Take Your Meds
I’ll give you prescriptions for pain medications prior to your tummy tuck. If you don’t like taking medicine, fill the prescriptions anyway. After your tummy tuck, you’re going to have a sense of tightness and tenderness both in front and back of your abdomen. Pain medication makes recovery much easier, and such a short course won’t make you addicted. If you have had problems with addiction to pain meds in the past, however, do talk to me before I write your prescriptions, so I can make adjustments.
A Tummy Tuck is a Long-Term Investment in You
If you’ve seen my tummy tuck before/after pictures, you know that you’re going to look and feel amazing after your recovery. Knowing that it’s not an overnight transformation makes the weeks of discomfort and several months of restricted activity much more tolerable.
Your tummy tuck will change you mentally as well as physically. When you look in the mirror after your recovery is complete, you’ll see a younger, sexier body! Your clothing will fit better, too! In the meantime, remember the 3 R’s of plastic surgery: Risks, Recovery and Rewards. If you appreciate the risks and follow my instructions during recovery, you’ll reap the rewards of a new figure! Call one of my three cosmetic surgery offices today at 937-839-4681 or complete this online consultation request form for more information about a tummy tuck.