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Tummy Tuck

Awesome, you’ve made an exciting decision. You’re about to get slimmer with the flat abs you’ve been dreaming of by having an abdominoplasty (referred to as a tummy tuck surgery). And now, you might be wondering what you can do to enhance your experience before and after. You obviously want the best results and the most comfortable healing process.

That’s why this is so important; your procedure’s success has much to do with how you prepare for the day of your surgery ahead of time and what you do in the following weeks.

Preparing for Your Abdominoplasty

There are things you can set up and take care of before your surgery date, so things run smoothly. No one wants to scramble at the last minute if you can avoid it. Start by arranging a ride. Have someone drive you to and from surgery and ask someone to stay with you the first night following your tummy tuck surgery (or even longer if possible).

Don’t skip any pre-op appointments. That’s when you can go over the following:

  • Where and when to have lab testing or evaluation
  • If there’s a need to take certain medications or adjust your current ones
  • Ways to help you stop smoking before and after surgery
  • When to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and specific supplements that increase bleeding

You’ll also need to prepare for your initial post-op life. Since you’ll have difficulty running errands immediately following your surgery, you’ll want to stock up on everything you need for at least the first week of recovery. Your surgeon will help you with your list of medical supply needs.

Get Your Household and Life Ready

Set up your home with necessary items you should have around the house and also the ones you need within arm’s reach, which might include:

  • Extra over-the-counter pain and laxative medications
  • Nutritious foods, snacks and liquids
  • Clean bandaging for quick and comfortable changing

Preparing ahead of time means telling your family or those you live with what they can expect. It also includes: meal planning, child or pet care arrangements, filling prescriptions and securing transportation to your initial follow-up appointments.

It helps to go through your daily routine and what might be affected by a lack of ability to drive, lift heavy objects, bend down or stretch with a full range of motion. But don’t stress about it! You can’t prepare for every single scenario that might occur. Simply preparing for the expected will help you stay calm – which significantly aids in therapeutic healing.

Plan for a Healthy Tummy Tuck Recovery

Recovering from abdominoplasty isn’t always the easiest. And you’ll likely have so many questions. For the first few days, you’ll find yourself puffy and tender and unable to move as easily. But soon, you’ll need to move around a bit, so how much? When? How often?

At your pre-op consultation, you should ask your surgeon those and these other questions:

  • What medication will I be prescribed?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • When will the stitches be removed?
  • How will I bathe?
  • How long will I wear the pressure garment?
  • When can I resume normal activities?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Your First Week Post Tummy Tuck

You need to rest and move as little as possible in the days and the first week after your surgery. Take one to two weeks off from work and typical daily responsibilities to fully rest during the most critical healing period. Ask a trusted friend or family member, or even consider hiring a nurse to help you with everything from showering and changing to getting enough meals and liquids.

Your mobility will be reduced, and you’ll likely be taking prescription pain medications for the first few days, so you shouldn’t be driving, cooking or doing house chores. Do what you can ahead of time and get support to help you during your abdominoplasty recovery.

Caring for Surgical Wounds

During the operation, dressings or bandages are applied to your incisions. You may be wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling and for support as your abdomen heals. You also might have drains, tiny tubes placed under the skin to drain fluid at the incision sites. These are temporary and will require proper home maintenance to avoid infection.

Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully, which may include the following:

  • How to care for the surgical site or drains
  • Medications to aid healing and reduce the possibility of infection
  • Specific concerns to look for
  • When to schedule follow-up appointments

Your surgeon will share post-op tips through years of training and personal experience. This is customized to how they work and your situation, specifically. Even if some of their recommendations feel unnecessary, remember that you’ll still do well following what they ask of you. Feel free to ask questions about your instructions if you have any. This is also critical for the long-term success of your tummy tuck and overall health.

Your Second Week Post-Op

By now, you should be able to manage pain with your over-the-counter medications, and the swelling has gone way down. You can run simple errands and be independent, but despite how good you might feel, please try to maintain as much downtime as possible since you’re still in the early stages of healing.

Overextending disrupts your body’s healing processes and risks changing your final results. Consider more rest and have someone help with errands and household chores.

Communicate with your surgeon if anything seems strange. We’re here to support and guide you through every stage of your tummy tuck surgery and recovery. That includes ensuring you recover properly and understand what’s going on. Let us reassure you when something isn’t problematic or if it is time to seek additional care.

Your follow-up appointments are also crucial opportunities to talk to your surgeon about any concerns you may have, no matter how small. Whether you want to find more comfortable compression garments, ask about dietary restrictions or are worried that your swelling is not receding, your surgeon is your first point of contact.

Post-Surgery Three Weeks Later

At this point, you should be able to return to your typical schedule. Depending on what you do for work, you may go back to the old grind. Stay tuned to your body, and remember you’re still going to be slower than before your tummy tuck as you keep recovering. But things only get better from here.

Everyone will notice the difference and might be sharing compliments with you. Or you may be online shopping for a bikini or crop top. You can finally plan your tropical vacation! Whichever way you celebrate, don’t forget to give yourself credit for being prepared for the before and after of your abdominoplasty.

And for choosing South Shore Plastic Surgery to guide you through every step.

Book Your Appointment

Call South Shore Plastic Surgery today at 856-784-2639 to schedule your complimentary consultation with the esteemed New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Bhupesh Vasisht.