After the initial relaxation phase, tummy tuck recovery is not an easy task. Multiple factors must consider and plan to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are some tips on what you can expect after a tummy tuck and what you need to know to ensure your recovery goes smoothly. Abdominoplasty is one of the most popular surgeries, with a quick and easy recovery.
However, there are still things you should consider before undergoing that procedure. While it’s true that most patients find little difficulty in returning to normal activities after their surgery, there are some things you should know about the recovery process beforehand.
Read on to understand the details of the recovery period so that your post-op days will go more smoothly.
What is included in a tummy tuck procedure?
A tummy tuck procedure is used for cosmetic purposes to reduce the appearance of excess skin and fat in the abdominal area. That is the most common operation for patients who have children and suffer from excessive sagging skin in their stomachs.
The tummy tuck operation will include different elements, as the surgeon may see that you need liposuction to remove belly fat. It’s also common for the surgeon to make a “belt line” tightening, which involves making an incision around the belly button and lifting the skin above it.
In some cases, the surgeon may also need to make a small incision in the belly button to remove excess skin in that area. That is known as umbilicoplasty.
Recovery times vary
The recovery period length will vary according to the extent of the surgery and the patient’s overall health. However, in most cases, the healing process will be complete within one month. In terms of the length of stay in the hospital, a tummy tuck procedure will typically require one to two days.
Why the type of tuck matters
The type of tummy tuck performed will determine the recovery time and level of discomfort. A standard tummy tuck will involve the removal of excess skin, as well as fat deposits in the abdominal area.
That procedure will not include the removal of muscles in the region. A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, involves an incision on the lower portion of the abdomen.
However, unlike a standard tummy tuck, it does not include skin removal over the incision. That tummy tuck will result in a shorter recovery time and less pain.
What to expect during tummy tuck recovery Stages
The first few days after surgery will include a lot of rest and care for your wounds. You will likely experience some side effects, such as:
You may also experience some swelling, which is normal after surgery. Swelling can cause the appearance of your incisions to change and may also cause the wounds to feel more sensitive. Keep the wounds clean and pressure them off to reduce swelling and speed healing.
The abdomen will be sore for the first week after surgery, and the stomach skin will often be numb for several weeks. After that, the feeling will return slowly. But you may have a small area in your lower stomach that is always numb.
Pain is a very individual experience, so you may find that the pain levels will vary. Pain can also be managed and reduced through medication.
You should avoid strenuous activity, including sex, for at least two weeks after the surgery.
1. Immediately after surgery
Immediately after surgery, you should expect to be required to check into the hospital for a couple of days.
- You will be observed and monitored for the first 24 hours after surgery.
- You may be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics, so follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
- Try to rest as much as possible, and keep the wounds clean.
- If the incision was made in the abdominal area, you should avoid straining as much as possible.
- It would help if you also refrained from bending over and lifting heavy objects, and that will help reduce the risk of infection.
2. When you’re home
After a few days, you will be allowed to go home. But, again, you will likely experience discomfort and stiffness.
- You should find ways to reduce pain by resting and applying cold compresses to wounds.
- You can also take pain medication.
- If you have stitches, you should carefully monitor them throughout the recovery process. You should also thoroughly clean the incisions and check them for signs of infection.
- You should contact your doctor immediately if you notice redness, swelling, or pain in the incisions. These are signs of disease, and you must be treated as soon as possible.
3. Daily maintenance
It would help if you continued to rest for several days after the surgery. In addition, you should stay away from strenuous activity and avoid lifting heavy objects.
It would help if you also continued to clean the wounds and keep them dry. In addition, you should consult your doctor regularly to monitor the healing process.
4. Resuming normal life
After a few weeks, you should be able to return to most of your normal activities. But, of course, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions and take it easy.
- It would help if you continued to rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities.
- You should also avoid sexual intercourse for at least two months after the surgery.
- You should maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and sleep. That will help you recover more quickly, and it will also ensure that you don’t run the risk of infection.
- You should also follow a proper cleaning routine and avoid putting strain on the wounds, which will help reduce the risk of infection.
|Surgery Time||2-4 hours||Washing||Shower fully after 1 day keeping area completely dry|
|Reasonably Mobile||24 hours||Exercise Including Gym||30-40 days|
|Time Off Work||1 week||Sexual Activity||Restricted activity after 2 weeks|
|Hospital Stay||1-2 Days||Full Recovery||6 – 8 Weeks|
|Sleeping Position||Sleeping on back recommended for 2 weeks|
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When can you shower, and when should you not shower?
After your surgery, you can shower in a few days if you don’t feel any pain or notice any signs of infection. You can use a low-pressure shower spray to make the shower more comfortable.
If the incisions were made in the abdominal area, they should not be submerged in water. Instead, cleanse the area with a sponge or cloth.
If your tummy tuck was a partial one, you must wait for the doctor’s instructions before bathing or showering.
Generally speaking, you should ask your doctor before you start doing anything that may result in the water splashing on the incisions.
Read More: a Full Guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tips For a Speedy Tummy Tuck Recovery
While every person’s body heals at a different speed, you can do a few things to help the healing process.
First, make sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully:
Eat Foods High in Protein & Drink Plenty of Water
One of the essential tips for a speedy recovery after a tummy tuck is to consume plenty of protein-rich foods and fluids. Your body will use all of its resources to repair the damage done during surgery.
So, give it the nourishment it needs to speed up the healing process. Protein-rich foods are a great source of amino acids required to produce new cells and repair damaged tissue.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you have enough protein in your diet is by consuming plenty of protein-rich foods, such as eggs, fish, nuts, and beans.
Another essential thing to remember is that you should be drinking plenty of water.
Drinking at least 2 liters of water daily during your recovery period is a good idea. That will help keep you hydrated and help your body flush out any toxins that may have built up during your surgery.
Consider Receiving Lymphatic Drainage Massages
Another helpful tip for a speedy recovery from a tummy tuck is to consider lymphatic drainage massages. Many people don’t realize that the lymph nodes are located in your body’s armpits and other areas.
These nodes are responsible for removing excess water from your body, which is why swelling is an average side effect after a tummy tuck.
If swelling persists, you should consider receiving lymphatic drainage massages. That massage effectively reduces swelling, so it is a great option.
Get Plenty of Rest
Another tip for a speedy recovery after a tummy tuck is to get plenty of rest. After undergoing surgery such as a tummy tuck, you must allow your body to heal correctly.
That means you must restrict your activities and rest as much as possible. That will allow your body to focus entirely on healing, ensuring you heal as quickly as possible.
It’s also essential to make sure that you are getting enough quality sleep while you are recovering. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your body’s ability to heal, so you should aim to get at least 7 hours each night during your recovery period.
Additionally, it would help if you tried to eliminate as much noise and distraction from your sleeping environment as possible.
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What happens if you don’t wear a compression garment after a tummy tuck?
If you don’t wear a compression garment after a tummy tuck, you could experience increased swelling and a longer recovery. After surgery, most patients need to wear compression garments to help reduce swelling and speed up their recovery.
Wearing compression garments is essential, as they can help reduce swelling and prevent blood clots from forming. However, not wearing compression garments after a tummy tuck could lead to increased swelling and a longer recovery.
It could also cause the skin to be more prone to developing infections and slower healing.
How long does the tightness last after a tummy tuck?
The tightness you feel after a tummy tuck will last a few weeks. However, it’s important to note that the tightness will gradually get less and less over time.
However, it will not go away completely. The tightness is due to the tissues around your abdomen getting pulled together during the surgery, and it will take several weeks for those tissues to loosen up and return to their normal state.
The tightness you feel after a tummy tuck is normal and is nothing to fear; it is simply the result of your body’s healing.
How do you get out of bed after a tummy tuck?
The first step in getting out of bed after a tummy tuck is to ensure that your drains are properly positioned and working correctly. Once you are sure nothing is getting clogged, you can slowly sit in bed.
Next, you can prop yourself up using pillows and gradually lift yourself out of bed. It would help if you also changed positions throughout the day to help reduce swelling and prevent blood clots from forming.
You may also want to take a hot bath or shower daily to help with pain and swelling. You should also avoid bending or extending your stomach muscles for the first few days after surgery.
How soon can you drive after a tummy tuck?
You can start driving again after about a week. However, you should make sure that you have your doctor’s permission before getting behind the wheel.
Driving too soon can increase the chance of blood clots, so follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. You will likely be prescribed bed rest a few days after your surgery.
When you can begin driving again will depend on your doctor’s instructions, and they will likely have you wait at least a week after surgery.
Why are my thighs so swollen after a tummy tuck?
After undergoing a tummy tuck, swelling is common. However, it is important to note that the swelling is not only limited to the abdominal area; It can also occur in the thighs and legs.
The procedure involves removing fat tissues from these areas; the surgeon will use these to reshape your abdominal region. Swelling is a normal part of the recovery process.
However, it is essential to note that you should contact your doctor if the swelling does not go away after two weeks.
After surgery, you may also notice discoloration or itchiness in your legs and thighs. That is also normal and will resolve itself over time.
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure used for cosmetic purposes. It is a very common procedure to reduce the appearance of excess skin and fat in the abdominal area.
That procedure is often used on patients who have had children and are experiencing excess sagging skin in their bellies. The tummy tuck procedure will include a few different elements.
Combining this procedure with liposuction can remove excess fat from the abdominal area. It’s also common for the surgeon to make a “belt line” tightening, which involves making an incision around the belly button and lifting the skin above it.