A tummy tuck is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery. It is also very invasive and as such, necessitates that patients who undergo it take a significant amount of time to let their bodies heal and recover following their procedure. Nevertheless, we understand that patients have busy lives and will want to try and get back to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible after their tummy tuck surgery. The following tips will help you to ensure that your recovery following a tummy tuck is as quick and straightforward as possible.
Follow the recommendations of your surgeon
By far the most important thing that you can do for your recovery is to follow the post-surgical instructions given to you by your surgeon and care team. They have your best interests in mind and want you to make a swift and complication-free recovery. Therefore, their advice should be heeded as closely as you can. This will include information about wearing your support garments, caring for your wound, taking medication and more. If you have any concerns or are in any doubt about any element of these instructions, don’t hesitate to speak to your surgeon’s offices.
Schedule enough time off of work
We know that it can be difficult to take off of work, but when you are recovering from surgery, it is essential that you take all the time needed to heal properly before returning, otherwise you could suffer complications that could see you taking even longer than originally planned. You should allow at least six weeks to fully recover following a tummy tuck. If required, your surgeon will be able to provide your employer with a letter detailing that you medically need this time to recover (without stating the nature of your surgery).
Don’t suffer unnecessarily
Many patients have concerns about taking pain relief, particularly when it is prescription pain medication. However, discomfort is to be expected when you are recovering from surgery, particularly in the first week to ten days, and it may be that only prescription painkillers provide enough relief from this. You should always take your pain medication as directed, even if you don’t feel that you are in significant pain at that time. Discomfort can quickly go from niggling to unbearable, and when you are in too much pain, it will prevent you from moving around which isn’t good for the healing process. Being in pain has also been shown to slow down the rate of healing, making your recovery last longer.
Monitor your wound healing
There will be a significant incision through which your tummy tuck surgery was performed, and this will have been closed using sutures or staples. You will be told how to care for it and change your dressing, and you should monitor carefully for any signs that anything isn’t healing as it should. If you notice any redness, unusual swelling, bad odors or oozing you may have an infection and should speak to your surgeon as soon as you can.
Get back on your feet
Although you won’t be on your feet right away, and you certainly won’t be doing any significant exercise for at least six weeks, you should start moving around slowly as soon as you feel able to. Gentle walking, even just around your bed, will boost your circulation, ensuring that oxygen-rich blood reaches the wounds that require healing. It will also reduce your risk of suffering from a blood clot, which is a real risk for any patient that spends too long in bed.
If you would like more tips for a quick recovery after a tummy tuck, get in touch with our discreet and knowledgeable team who would be delighted to help.