Posted November 24, 2021 in Tummy Tuck
Tummy tucks are major surgery, and with major surgery comes a serious recovery. Like all plastic surgery procedures, having realistic expectations about the healing process is crucial in managing your expectations. Keep in mind that the more extensive the procedure, the longer it will take to get back on your feet and resume your daily routines.
For starters, you’ll want to prep your home before you go in for surgery so that when you arrive back home, there will be nothing left to do except relax and recover. Create a checklist and mark each note or item as complete to ensure that you are fully prepared for the next few weeks (each person’s recovery time may be slightly different based on the details of the procedure).
Here, our best tips and recommendations for making your tummy tuck recovery as easy as possible.
1. Have someone help you around the house.
In the beginning, while you’re still recovering from surgery and adjusting to your new body, it will be physically impossible to take care of the household chores like cleaning, emptying the dishwasher, and making your bed. Your surgeon will want you to avoid these daily tasks (until given the green light) not to exert too much energy or possibly tear a suture. Instead, ask a friend or family member to lend a helping hand or opt for some hired help until you are ready and able to resume the activities yourself.
2. Get walking.
Following your tummy tuck, it’s essential to get your body gently moving by walking around your house. One or two laps around the house will suffice in the beginning. However, it’s important not to stay sedentary during the crucial recovery period, and light walking will help improve your immune system and prevent fluid accumulation. Light stretching, which you can do in a chair, is also beneficial. Of course, you’ll want to avoid any heavy lifting and overhead lifting, too.
3. Invest in a recliner chair.
Since the abdominal muscles have just been repaired, getting yourself in and out of a chair and bed can seem like the most challenging task in the world. To make the process of sitting up and down comfortable and more manageable, your plastic surgeon may recommend renting or purchasing an electric chair. The motorized chair will lift you from a seated position to fully standing, and vice versa, to take the strain of your abdominal muscles. Some surgeons even advise their patients to sleep in the chair until they can get in and out of bed without any assistance.
4. Follow a healthy diet.
A low-fat, high-protein diet that’s chock full of good-for-you vegetables, fruits, and omega 3-fatty acids is recommended. A well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water make the road to recovery easier. It will also help reduce swelling and keep your digestive tract working properly (anesthesia used in surgery often constipates patients). However, there are specific vitamins and supplements that your surgeon may recommend avoiding before and after surgery, which you can discuss in your consultation. Make sure to do a full grocery shop before your surgery and prepare and cook any meals ahead of time, so they’re grab-and-go ready.
5. Expect to swell, and don’t freak out.
Swelling is part of the normal recovery process, and your stomach may go through a worse-before-better phase. While the stomach is swollen, it is best to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that doesn’t tug, cut, or pull on your skin. Also, lymphatic drainage massages may be helpful to reduce swelling and release any extra fluid.