The Best Tummy Tuck Tips for a Quick and Comfortable Recovery
Different plastic surgery procedures have different “downtimes”. The tummy tuck procedure, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a powerful way of contouring the tummy to create a beautiful looking midsection. This cosmetic surgery requires all patients to take the postoperative instructions seriously to have the easiest recovery with the best results possible. The staff at Body By Ravi Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics and I are here to make every step of your journey as comfortable as possible. Here are my top five tips that can help you make a knowledgeable, timely recovery.
1) Be realistic about the time you need
My advice is to give yourself and your body the time it needs to heal. You shouldn’t feel rushed or forced to feel back to normal, unfortunately that may be outside of your control. I suggest you be prepared to have a full two weeks for recovery. That means taking off at least 2 weeks of work. If you feel back to normal, it’s always easier to go back to worker than expected instead of requesting additional time off. If you give your body plenty of time to heal you will be in a better position to go back to work and complications will be minimized.
2) Make sure you have a trustworthy support system with family and friends.
Not only will you need help moving around after surgery, but you’ll also need some emotional support. You’ve been through a lot after surgery and will need someone to talk to and show you compassion. Make sure you have either a spouse, close friend or family member that can be at your beck and call the first few days after surgery. Things that you likely took for granted before, such as getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, and combing your hair, will suddenly feel like a challenge. You will most likely have a body garment on after surgery, so you’ll need someone to help take it on and off. Having someone you trust stay with you will make all the difference.
If you have children or pets, you will certainly need someone to take care of them as you will physically be unable to do it yourself. Having someone around will make your life a lot easier as you recover. Make arrangements ahead of surgery for school drop off and pick up, as well as helping your kids with homework, baths, and bedtime. The first few days you won’t be able to do much as far as caring for anyone else besides yourself.
3) Start a high fiber diet.
After surgery, you will require certain pain medication for a more comfortable recovery. Some of these pain medications will cause constipation. When you’re recovering from abdominal surgery, the last thing to add to your plate is going to be increased abdominal bloating and straining to have a bowel movement. It’s important to try to prevent this from the get go. I highly suggest starting a high fiber diet prior to surgery, this includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, drink plenty of water. In addition, adding a stool softener to your regimen will also be essential. If you are prone to constipation, these tips are even more essential, and it may be necessary to start a stool softener or even Miralax prior to surgery.
Starting a diet rich in water, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is beneficial not only for preventing constipation, but also to build long term healthy diet habits that will keeps your weight stable. This will maintain your beautiful new body and results for decades to come.
4) Old habits are hard to break, but some changes are needed
In order to recover properly after surgery and allow for the best possible results with fewer complications, there are certain changes you’ll need to make to your routine. Some women are used to sleeping on their tummy or sides, but during the recovery time you will have to sleep on your back so as to not disturb the surgical incision. If you are a tummy sleeper, I suggest practicing sleeping on your back prior to surgery so that you can get used to that position. Also, immediately after surgery, your body won’t allow itself to lay down completely flat. You’ll need to either sleep with multiple pillows on your back to prop up your body or sleep in a reclining chair. For added comfort, I also suggest adding pillows to elevate your legs so that you are slightly bent at the waist.
5) Prepare your living space before surgery
Everybody wants a smooth recovery, and this is possible if you are fully prepared before surgery. Although certain unplanned things may happen, trying to set everything up in advance can help you. Prepare your home and commonly used living space with everything you’ll need, that way you can be on the right road to recovery after surgery with the least amount of stress. Stock your fridge with fluids and meals that you can simply heat up with little prep time. Your abdomen might feel full after surgery and sometimes drinking soups and protein shakes can be easier. Purchase dry shampoo for immediate use at home if you are unable to wash your hair. Some patients have dry, flaky skin after surgery so make sure you have a moisturizing lotion on hand.
I also recommend having a sturdy pillow nearby to press against your abdomen if cough, sneeze or feel nauseated. This extra support from the outside will help reduce any discomfort. Using a walker after surgery can also help tremendously. Since your abdomen will be very tight after surgery, walking slightly hunched over with the help of a walker for the first week will reduce strain and back pain.
I truly believe these simple, but useful tips, will make your recovery much easier. As always, myself (Dr. Ravi Somayazula) and our team at Body by Ravi Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics are available 24/7 to answer any questions before or after surgery. If you are looking for more information and a in-person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, call our office at 281-242-1061 today. Our office is located in Houston, Texas, near Memorial and Katy with easy access off the Katy Freeway.