The amount of time required for tummy tuck recovery can vary considerably from patient to patient based on a number of factors, including a patient’s age, overall health, and degree of abdominal skin elasticity. Prior to undergoing surgery, a tummy tuck patient will have ample opportunities to discuss the recovery process in detail with his or her surgeon. If you are gathering preliminary information for the purpose of learning more about the procedure, Dr. Daniel Greenwald can offer some general guidelines about tummy tuck recovery. Dr. Greenwald is a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon at Bayshore Plastic Surgery who performs abdominoplasty and other cosmetic procedures for patients in Tampa, FL.
To prepare for tummy tuck recovery, you should arrange to have someone drive you home and be available to help you out during the first few days after your procedure. While it is likely that you will be unable to stand up completely straight, you will be encouraged to start taking short walks right away. Walking is important to increase your circulation, which can enhance the healing process. Your surgeon will also recommend an appropriate compression garment for you to wear during the first two weeks or so to prevent fluid accumulation, which is common after surgery, and to help your new body shape to heal smoothly and evenly. You’ll need to avoid activities like lifting, bending, and twisting until you receive final clearance from your surgeon (typically for four to eight weeks).
Prior to your surgery date, you can also make some preparations at home to increase your comfort during your tummy tuck recovery. Here are some things you can do beforehand:
- Arrange for the necessary amount of time off from work
- Purchase all prescribed medications, compression garments, and other necessary items
- Make sure everything you will need is easily accessible and positioned at hip level or lower (so you won’t have to reach)
- Gather some items to help keep you entertained as you recover, such as a laptop, books, movies, video games, music, etc.
- Shop for food and snacks, and prepare and freeze some meals in advance
- Prepare comfortable bedding with extra blankets (you might feel a bit chilly after surgery due to the lingering effects of the anesthesia
- Sleep in a room that is close to a bathroom, and install nightlights (some medications can make you feel a bit disoriented upon waking)
- Plan to wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as pajamas, sweatpants, and oversized t-shirts
- Arrange for the care of your pets, if any
- The night before your surgery, shower and wash your hair
Throughout your tummy tuck recovery, you should remain in close contact with your surgeon and report any complications promptly.
If you are interested in learning more about a tummy tuck and the recovery you might expect, call Bayshore Plastic Surgery at 1-888-840-3199 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenwald at his clinic in Tampa, Florida.