Post-Recovery Tips for Tummy Tucks
A tummy tuck is a highly invasive form of cosmetic surgery and as such, it is absolutely essential that you allow yourself the necessary time to heal and recover after your procedure. Not doing so could significantly compromise your recovery, putting you at risk of developing problems such as torn sutures, infection and more. It could also have an effect on the overall outcome of your procedure, potentially meaning that the esthetic appearance of your abdomen isn’t as improved as it could be.
Your surgeon will give you very specific instructions to follow during your recovery and these should be strictly adhered to as they will provided with the purpose of ensuring that you heal as quickly and effectively as possible. However, in addition to these instructions, here are some other tips that we can give you to help you achieve a smooth, straightforward recovery from your tummy tuck procedure.
Schedule sufficient time off of work
One of the biggest mistakes made by anyone undergoing surgery, whether functional or cosmetic, is failing to allow themselves enough time away from work and rushing back too soon. It can take as long as 6 weeks to recover fully from a tummy tuck as you will need to allow time for your body to heal internally as well as the incisions made to close and the swelling to dissipate.
Your surgical team will be able to provide you with a letter for your employer stating that you need the relevant time to heal and recover from a medical surgery. It isn’t necessary for us to provide information for your employer about the nature of your procedure.
Don’t be afraid to take pain relief
Many patients have concerns about being dependent on pain relief in the days and weeks following a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck. However, your surgery is highly invasive, and you will be in significant discomfort for up to a week after your procedure. Your surgeon will provide you with prescription pain relief to help keep your discomfort at a manageable level and you should ensure that you take this as directed. This will keep it from becoming unbearable and make it possible for you to move around.
Get back on your feet as soon as you can
While any form of exercise is off the menu for at least six weeks while your body heals, you will be encouraged to get on your feet and moving around slowly and carefully as soon as you are able. This is because gentle walking can boost the circulation, delivering oxygen-rich blood cells to the wounds so that your body can heal more effectively. It will also help prevent you from suffering from muscle wastage and blood clots – both which are possible if you spend too long lying down.
Watch how your incision heals
You will have a wound that will have been closed using sutures or staples. It is important to monitor this as if there is an issue with how it heals, it could lead to further complications with your recovery. Change your dressing and care for the wound as directed by your surgeon. If you notice it seems red, smells bad or is oozing, you may have an infection and require antibiotics. Don’t delay in seeking the advice of your surgical team as soon as possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There are some things that you won’t be able to do in the days immediately after your surgery, such as pick up your child or run the vacuum around. Make sure that you have a support network in place to help support you during your recovery period. You should also note that you won’t be able to drive until your surgeon and insurance company clears you to do so, so make sure you have someone who is able to take you to and from your surgeon’s offices for the follow-up appointments from your tummy tuck procedure.
If you have any questions about the recovery process after a tummy tuck, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable surgical care team today.