Recovery after Tummy Tuck Surgery
You've decided to have tummy tuck surgery and now you're wondering what to expect during the recovery phase. San Antonio plastic surgeon Constance Barone offers this useful information on what you can expect during your tummy tuck recovery.
Prepare before Your Tummy Tuck to Help with Recovery
There are steps you can take before your tummy tuck surgery that will help with your recovery. If you smoke, you should stop smoking at least two weeks prior to your surgery and not resume smoking for a minimum of two weeks after your procedure. Smoking can increase your risk of complications in addition to delaying your body's ability to heal.
Other things you can do before your surgery to help with your recovery include preparing ice packs to help with swelling and installing a hand-held shower head to make bathing easier. Be sure to have a supply of comfortable, loose fitting clothing ready for the first week or so following surgery. You may also want to make arrangements for a family member or friend to stay with you for the first day or two after your surgery.
What to Expect During Tummy Tuck Surgery Recovery
For our patients in San Antonio, tummy tuck surgery does result in some side effects. The first few days after your tummy tuck surgery are typically the most difficult, which is why it is important to follow your surgeon's instructions. Here are some things to keep in mind during recovery following your tummy tuck surgery:
- Caring for your incisions: After surgery, you will be informed on how to care for you incisions and bandages to prevent infection and encourage healing.
- Compression garments: During your recovery it is advisable to wear a compression garment around your abdomen. Compression garments help support your abdomen as well as reduce swelling.
- Bruising and swelling: You will likely experience pain, bruising, and swelling following your tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Barone will advise you on what type of pain medication to take and how often. Over time, the pain, bruising, and swelling will dissipate until you are completely healed.
- Avoid strenuous activity: Immediately following surgery you must avoid such movements as bending and lifting. You must not engage in strenuous activity as this can lead to complications. Strenuous activity generally needs to be avoided for the first six to eight weeks following surgery. Most people are able to go about their normal lives after eight weeks. Be sure to check with your surgeon before you resume any strenuous activity.
- Take light walks: Though strenuous activity needs to be avoided for some time, light walking is beneficial and, for most patients, can be started after a couple of days. Walking aids in healing by increasing the blood circulation. Walking also reduces the risk of developing blood clots in the legs, something that can happen as a result of prolonged bed rest. You may consider wearing compression stockings during the first few weeks following your surgery. Compression stockings can help reduce the risk of blood clots developing while you're on bed rest.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering a tummy tuck, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barone today!