Recovery from an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a gradual process. Recovery takes patience, rest, and adherence to specific guidelines set by your doctor to ensure you achieve the best results possible. Here is a comprehensive guide to tummy tuck recovery so you can look and feel your best!
Before Your Surgery
Preparing everything you need before your procedure is key to postoperative success. This means making sure you have foods prepared that are easy to cook, your medications are easy to access, and that you have someone to stay with you for the first few days of recovery. Setting up all your needs beforehand will allow you to focus on rest and recovery.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, your doctor may recommend that you spend a night in the hospital for observation, which is usually discussed beforehand. If you are not expected to stay overnight, you will spend a few hours waking up from anesthesia in the hospital before being discharged home.
A tummy tuck is a major surgery, so postoperative pain is to be expected. To ease your postoperative discomfort, take pain medication as your doctor prescribes and report any unusual pain, swelling, or discomfort.
Rest and Recovery
Rest is an essential aspect of the recovery process. During the first few days after your procedure, it is important to rest as much as possible to allow your body to heal. When sleeping, elevate your head and shoulders on a few pillows to help reduce swelling and pain.
Movement and Walking
After your procedure, gradually incorporate short walks and other movements into your daily routine. Movement is essential to prevent blood clots and promote circulation. Avoid strenuous exercise or activities and lifting heavy objects until your doctor says it is safe to ensure you do not hinder your recovery.
Caring for Your Incision
You can expect a large incision across your lower abdomen after your tummy tuck. Make sure to follow the instructions from your surgeon on how to care for your incision site. Keep your incision clean and dry, and make sure to report any redness, swelling, or drainage from your incision, as this could indicate an infection.
Many surgeons recommend a compression garment to help minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals. Compression garments are usually worn almost consistently for the first few days or weeks after your procedure. Your doctor will then advise you to reduce the use as you heal.
After your tummy tuck, you should avoid strenuous exercise or lifting heavy objects to allow your incision and abdominal muscles to heal from surgery. Once your doctor says it is okay, you can introduce light activities into your day.
Diet and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential in the healing process. After your tummy tuck, eat a variety of foods to ensure you consume all the necessary nutrients to support the healing process. Hydration is also essential for healing. Most doctors recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.
You will be expected to follow up with your doctor regularly to ensure you are healing properly after your tummy tuck. At these appointments, you will discuss your pain and have your incisions checked to make sure you are healing correctly. Follow-up appointments are also an excellent opportunity to ask your doctor any questions.
Find Out if a Tummy Tuck Is Right for You
Tummy tuck recovery is an individual process, and each person has a different experience. Always follow the recommendations from your surgeon and consult them if you have any questions or concerns about your tummy tuck recovery.
If you want to learn more about tummy tuck recovery, schedule a free consultation today!