Having a flat, tight tummy is definitely something to look forward to after a tummy tuck. However, you may feel a little nervous about the surgical recovery period. By following these tips, you can achieve a successful tummy tuck recovery experience and help make the results even better.
What to Do Before Surgery
A good recovery begins with what you do before your surgery. Do the following at least two to four weeks before your scheduled procedure:
- Exercise: Begin or continue aerobic exercises to strengthen your body so that you can recover more quickly after surgery.
- Diet: Pack in the protein with fish, lean meats, beans, protein shakes, eggs, and other high-protein foods as well as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to help your body heal more effectively.
- Quit Smoking: Do not smoke during the month before and the month after surgery. Smoking will slow your healing process and may cause surgical complications.
- Stop Medicines and Supplements: Quit taking blood thinners, oral contraceptives, herbal supplements, vitamins, and other medications mentioned by Dr. Spies to prevent the risk of excess bleeding or blood clots.
What to Do During the First Two Weeks After Surgery
The first two weeks after surgery will likely determine how quickly and smoothly your recovery will go. Follow these tips:
- Rest: Enlist the help of friends and family for any childcare, cooking, or cleaning so that you can rest as much as possible. Take advantage of the break and read books, watch TV or movies, or play games on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
- Get Comfortable: Wear comfortable, loose clothes, as you will experience some swelling. Avoid tight waistbands that could irritate your incision.
- Hydrate: Drink lots of water and fruit juices to replenish your fluids.
- Walk Around: Walk around for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours to maintain circulation and speed recovery. Increase activity little by little as time goes on.
- Diet: Continue maintaining a healthy diet including protein, healthy fats, and vegetables, but limit your salt intake to reduce swelling. Eat easily digestible foods to reduce constipation.
- Take Laxatives: Constipation is common after major surgery. Laxatives can help during the first week.
- Avoid Illness: Avoid contact with sick people so as not to overextend your immune system and risk complications.
- Avoid Stretching: To prevent straining your sutures, avoid stretching and maintain a slightly stooped position for the first week or so, gradually standing more upright each day.
- Keep Clean: Use antibacterial soap to prevent infections. Avoid contact with animals to reduce the risk of infection. Care for your incision as instructed.
- Avoid Work: Most patients feel ready to return to work within 14 to 21 days. Avoid stress and work until this point.
- Avoid Exercise: Do not engage in strenuous physical activity.
What to Do to Next
After the first two weeks, it should be downhill from there!
- Gradually Increase Exercise: Gradually increase light activities to help you heal. Avoid strenuous exercise, straining, and lifting for at least six weeks, and avoid abdominal exercises for 12 weeks. Progressively introduce new exercises to increase your tolerance.
- Scar Treatment: Follow your recommended scar treatment plan to reduce scarring.
- Enjoy Your Results: Within a few months, all swelling should be gone and you should feel back to normal and ready to enjoy your newly improved waistline!
A tummy tuck can enhance your body shape and improve your waistline. By following these tips, you can have a good tummy tuck recovery and excellent results. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Spies, please call (480) 890-0600 or fill out our online contact form today.