Posted June 03, 2019 in Tummy Tuck
While men and women may prepare for the days leading up to the surgery and the surgery itself, one of the most critical parts of the tummy tuck journey occurs after you leave the surgery center. Your recovery period is vital to your overall health and the quality of your results, and your actions during this time can have a huge impact on the outcome of your surgery. The recovery period after a tummy tuck is extensive, and taking proper care of yourself will not only ensure that you achieve the results that you desire, but that you do so in the healthiest way possible.
Tummy tuck surgery is performed on men and women looking to enhance their confidence with a slimmer, firmer midsection. This procedure is often performed on those who have lost a substantial amount of weight and have loose excess skin, or on mothers who have found that pregnancy and childbirth have left them with weakened abdominal muscles, loose skin, and diet or exercise-resistant fat deposits. After your tummy tuck, you will need to follow a series of instructions to ensure that you recover well.
While tummy tuck surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, patients must accept that they will be tired and sore when they wake up. Tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so you will need a family member or friend to stay with you for the first night. This person will be responsible for helping you get to a comfortable location in your home, prepare food, dress, and assist with all household chores.
You should not lift anything for the first few days, even if you feel like you can. Your body needs adequate time to heal internally, and placing any additional on the body can reopen your wound, worsen your scar, and lengthen your recovery time. Your incision will be sore, regardless of whether you are sitting still or moving around, and this can become even more uncomfortable when you cough, sneeze, or laugh.
Resting is the best thing you can do during the initial days of your recovery. Your doctor will give you instructions on when it is alright to shower and how you should change your bandages and dressings.
Resuming Normal Activities
While you do not want to push your body before it is ready, getting up on your feet as soon as possible, preferably the day after your surgery, will help speed your recovery and promote blood circulation. Proper circulation will help to prevent blood clots, which is one of the most dangerous side effects of abdominal surgery. This movement should not be strenuous; instead, focus on short walks either inside your house or around your neighborhood. Most patients can resume most normal activities and chores after three weeks. Patients still cannot participate in strenuous exercise or lift anything over 10 pounds; however, most day-to-day practices can be resumed.
A healthy diet is often overlooked after surgery. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet following your tummy tuck will help speed your recovery and set you on the right path to maintaining your results. Protein repairs skin, tissue, and muscles. Vitamins A and C help fight infection and reduce inflammation, and zinc stimulates the growth of new cells.
Returning to Work
Regardless of your job, you will need to take some time off. Most patients can return to work after two or three weeks. Patients who work at home may be able to return to work earlier; however, patients with demanding jobs that require them to be on their feet and moving around may require additional time off.
Hitting the Gym
Exercise is a significant part of maintaining your tummy tuck results. Unfortunately, physical activity, especially strenuous exercise, is prohibited for at least six weeks. This will allow for adequate time to heal both externally and internally. When you return to the gym or your preferred exercise routine, please do so slowly and listen to your body.