So you are planning to undergo abdominoplasty, and you want to know the details about the preparation before and after the procedure. You have researched about the cost and the surgery itself, but do you know what would happen after the operation? Here, we will give you information about tummy tuck recovery and what you need to expect during this recovery period.
Tummy tuck recovery: How is a tummy tuck performed?
Before knowing what to expect after the tummy tuck procedure, you must first understand how the surgery takes place and what it does to the body.
Under general anaesthesia, your plastic surgeon makes 1 or 2 incisions depending on the type of tummy tuck you and your doctor agreed upon and the extent or amount of fat and skin to be removed. He makes a horizontal incision on your lower abdomen along the bikini line, and another around your navel to free it and reposition later. Excess fat gets suctioned out using liposuction, and the weak and overstretched muscles get stitched together to tighten it up. The reduced abdominal skin gets sutured up after successfully repositioning the navel to suit the new shape and form of your tummy. Sutures to close the horizontal incision ends the procedure.
Tummy tuck recovery: What to expect after the procedure?
Immediately after the surgery, your abdominal area will be secured by compression bandages, and drain tubes for wound drainage are expected to be placed. Your sleeping position may need some alteration as your upper body needs to remain raised and your knees and legs a bit angled for the first few days. Early ambulation, with the aid of nurses in the hospital and relatives at home after discharge, is recommended to prevent blood clot formation. The drains may be removed once your surgeon determines that wound drainage has been facilitated.
You may feel pain and discomfort around the surgical site, and that is normal a few days after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to alleviate such symptoms and to make your recovery as painless as possible. Swelling can also be detected within most of your recovery period.
Week 2 to 3
Slow and steady movements with or without assistance can be expected. Swelling and tenderness around the abdominal area may still be present, but these should not hinder you from performing light exercises and movements that help you get back to your normal activities. Abdominal bandages may still need to be used to add support to your operative site, and your surgeon will give you a list of light exercises that you can do so you can gradually and safely recover. Feeling tired and sleepy within the first few weeks is understandable as the surgery you underwent is rather extensive. Rest as much as you can so you can regain the strength to continue with your daily activities.
Week 4 to 6
Your surgeon needs to see you a few more times after the surgery to make sure that everything is going well as planned. He may also need to determine if you can return to work as early as after six weeks to 2 months. If you are, then he may allow you to return to work with strict limitations and restrictions so as not to cause any complications. Light activities with no heavy lifting (preferably a desk job) may be approved as early as 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery.
Now that you know what to expect after the tummy tuck surgery, you may now be ready to take the next step and schedule your procedure. Have a loved one or relative help you for the first few weeks until you are prepared to cope and perform your daily activities, so your tummy tuck recovery can go smoothly without any unwanted complications.