Many would like to try a tummy tuck procedure whose outcomes others already enjoy. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests knowing what you can about this surgery before doing so. Understanding what to expect during your tummy tuck recovery can help you prepare well for it. Here are the details.
A tummy tuck removes skin and fat from your belly. It tightens your stomach muscles, resulting in a flatter, more toned appearance. This procedure is also called abdominoplasty. During the first week of your recovery, your belly will feel swollen and sore. You will need to wear a compression bandage for faster healing.
Expect the skin on your stomach to be numb for many weeks or months. The feeling in our stomach will gradually return. You may feel tired during your recovery. As you heal, your body focuses its energy on tissue healing. It may take about five to six weeks before your energy comes back to normal levels.
Standing up straight may not be possible when you come home from surgery. This will improve later. Standing up and walking every day is important. This will retrain your body to move in a normal way again. It is important to move your legs and feet as often as you can. Doing so can prevent blood clots from forming. The long scar from your tummy tuck procedure will fade over time. A small scar around your belly button will also form.
You should rest as much as you can. Getting enough quality sleep can help your body heal. Try walking every day. Increase your distance gradually. Walking helps improve your blood flow. It also helps prevent constipation and pneumonia. This level of activity is enough at this time. You should stop strenuous activities, including lifting anything heavy, for about six to eight weeks.
Your doctor will suggest when you can start driving again. Studies show that most patients return to work two to three weeks after their tummy tuck procedure. Your return to normal activity will depend on how you feel and the type of work you do. Showering is possible about a day or two after the procedure. Soaking in a bath will not be possible for your first two weeks of recovery.
Your normal diet is fine. But if your stomach becomes upset, it is better to try low-fat, bland foods. You can eat plain yogurt, plain white rice, and toast. Drink plenty of clear fluids unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
It is natural to have irregular bowel movements after surgery. Avoid straining to force your bowels. You can prevent constipation by taking in more fiber. Ask your doctor about mild laxatives if there is still no bowel movement after two days.
Your doctor will tell you when you can start taking your medications again or if there are new medications that you need to take. Follow your doctor’s instructions when you take your antibiotics. You must finish the complete course to prevent infections.
Keep your incision clean and dry. Do not apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because these chemicals slow the healing process. Your doctor will teach you how to care for the drain tubes under the skin of your belly. Remember to change your bandages every day.
Knowing what to expect during your tummy tuck recovery can help you gather what you need ahead of time. At Rich & Humenansky Plastic Surgery of the Face & Body, we help our patients before, during, and after their procedures so they can achieve the best results possible. Feel free to visit our clinic in Columbia, South Carolina, for an in-person consultation. Call 803-799-3223 to schedule an appointment or ask about our tummy tuck packages.