10 Things to Know About Tummy Tuck Recovery

A tummy tuck is designed to reduce unwanted sagging skin to look and feel better with the shape of your body. Tummy tuck surgery can restore the confidence of people after weight loss or pregnancy—the two most common reasons people develop excess skin. While choosing a qualified surgeon is necessary for achieving amazing results, your recovery will play an important part in creating your final results. These are 10 things you should know about your tummy tuck recovery.

1. You may not feel great because of the anesthesia…

Most patients require general anesthesia for their surgery. The side effects of anesthesia can be grogginess, nausea, lightheadedness, and dry mouth. It is normal to not feel great within the first 24 to 48 of your surgery. Not only is your body trying to heal itself, but it is also attempting to shake off the remaining anesthesia in your body.

2. It’s not easy to walk up stairs...

We recommend creating a resting area on the bottom floor of your house if your bedroom is upstairs. Most people lie on the couch or in a recliner. However, while it may be uncomfortable to walk initially, moving every couple of hours will help prevent blood clots and actually help you feel better.

3. You should wear a compression garment…

A special compression garment or abdominal binder will be recommended by your surgeon, and you should wear it throughout the entirety of your recovery. The compression garment helps minimize excess swelling and promotes tissue contraction. It aids in creating the final body shape you desire.

4. You need to properly care for your incisions…

Proper incision care is important to prevent infection and reduce the appearance of possible scarring. Your surgeon will provide detailed care instructions about when and how you should care for your incisions.

5. You will have a schedule of medications to take…

You will be prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxants, and possibly antibiotics to take following your surgery. These should be taken on a strict schedule outlined by your doctor to ensure that you take them before you feel any pain and because it prevents you from taking too much pain medication.

6. You can bathe 48 hours after your surgery...

You cannot shower right away when you get home because of your bandages and incisions. While the recommendation varies among surgeons, you should be able to bathe 48 hours after your surgery. However, you shouldn’t take a bath or swim until your incisions are fully healed, which happens at four to six weeks.

7. You’ll take time off work…

You should properly plan for tummy tuck surgery, which includes taking time off from work or school. We typically suggest taking two to three weeks off from work, depending on the level of physical activity associated with it, but talk with your surgeon about what he recommends.

8. You cannot exercise for three weeks…

While you should get up and walk around within the first several hours of your surgery, you need to avoid any strenuous movements and heavy lifting for at least three to four weeks. Your body is healing, and you don’t want to affect the integrity of your incisions. Your surgeon will recommend when you can resume your exercise routine during a follow-up visit.

9. Your follow-up appointment with your surgeon is important...

Don’t forget to go to your follow-up appointments. You will have several appointments spaced out throughout your recovery. Your follow-up care is important to answer any questions you may have and to ensure your incisions are healing properly and your results are developing the way they should.

10. Don’t judge your results until you are healed...

People are prone to judging the quality of their results while they are still healing. You will experience bruising and swelling initially, which impacts the quality of your results. It’s important that you don’t base how happy you are on what you see right away, but rather wait until all swelling has subsided, which can be several months after your surgery.

 

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Meet Dr. Austin

Originally from California, Dr. Austin practiced in Mt. Vernon, Washington before relocating to Salem, Oregon in 1996. He was educated at Stanford University and UCLA School of Medicine, and received his residency training at the University of Washington, Seattle, and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Austin’s practice encompasses a broad range of aesthetic cosmetic surgery, as well as reconstructive surgery following cancer surgery, trauma, and congenital anomalies.

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