If you are undergoing tummy tuck surgery, you are probably so excited about the results of your procedure that you haven’t given a great deal of thought to your recovery. However, your recovery is just as important for the outcome of your tummy tuck as the surgery itself. If you don’t take proper care of yourself while you heal, you could be risking both the visible results of your procedure and your overall well-being.
Here are our top post-recovery tips for tummy tuck surgery.
Ensure you take enough time to heal and recover
Whether you go to work, are a stay-at-home parent or juggle the two, you will need to rely on someone else to cover these duties while you recover from your tummy tuck surgery. It can take as long as six weeks to fully recover, although you will be able to get back to your usual activities a little sooner. Most patients can return to sedentary work within a fortnight of their procedure, while more intense physical labor and recreational activities usually require a four-week break. It is important that you follow the guidance given to you by your surgeon.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Most of us are fiercely independent people who wouldn’t dream on relying on someone else to help us function day to day. However, post-recovery from surgery is exactly when you should be getting support from loved ones, whether this is moving around, making meals or helping with your children. Even while you are at home you will need plenty of rest so make sure that you have someone around you who can help in those early days after your procedure.
Don’t delay taking your pain medication
One of the most rookie errors made post-surgery is not sticking to your surgeon’s prescribed schedule for pain medications. We understand that many people dislike relying on medications. However, a tummy tuck is an invasive procedure and you will be in pain for a number of days without them. Stress, such as that that occurs when we are hurting, can actually slow down recovery and prolong the discomfort that you feel. Taking the pain medications as directed will ensure your body can rest and heal as quickly as possible.
Wear your compression garments
They aren’t going to win any awards for sexiness, but compression garments are an essential part of your recovery as they encourage your skin to heal properly and help to reduce swelling. Your surgeon will advise you how long you should wear yours for and you should follow their advice for the best outcome from your procedure.
If you smoked before your tummy tuck, your surgeon will have told you to quit at least six weeks ahead of your procedure. This is because smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process, as well as increasing your risk of complications. Undergoing any surgery is an ideal time to quit the nicotine once and for all. However, if you really can’t, you should avoid smoking for at least four to six weeks after your tummy tuck procedure.
Keep your weight stable
Once you have healed after your tummy tuck you will invariably be thrilled with your new toned, flatter and more streamlined silhouette. However, you will have to do some work to maintain it, and this primarily means keeping your weight as stable as possible. A few pounds higher or lower shouldn’t make a difference to the results of your tummy tuck, but if you gain or lose a significant amount of weight it will have a direct effect on the appearance of your midsection and could even reverse the improvement made by your surgery.
If you would like more advice on what to expect during your recovery after your tummy tuck surgery, our knowledgeable and reassuring surgical care team would be delighted to help. Please contact our plastic and cosmetic surgery offices in New York today to schedule an appointment.