Women who chose to have a tummy reduction surgery are amongst our most happy and joyous patients. The saggy skin, stretch marks, and the “baby pouch” are removed , giving a firmer and flatter tummy. Getting a tummy tuck(abdominoplasty) or any cosmetic surgery for that matter of fact, includes a recovery period. A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery with a real recovery period of 1-4 weeks. Anybody trying to sugar-coat this fact is definitely not making you aware of the reality.
If you are among those people planning to undergo tummy reduction surgery, you might be a little concerned on the recovery experience after a tummy tuck. You probably have a bunch of questions bothering you , like –
- How long will the pain last after the surgery?
- How will I take care of my children after the tummy tuck ?
- How much time will it take to return to normal?
- How many days of leave will be required from work ?
Each patient has a different recovery timeline, the idea of this article is to explore some of the general tips for recovery after an abdominoplasty. This will give an idea to patients on what they can expect after a tummy reduction surgery.
The Day After a Tummy Tuck
The first week of recovery after a tummy tuck is the toughest one. You might also feel that if getting an abdominoplasty was the right decision or not. Not to worry, the body will heal itself and get better in couple of days. Once patients get through the first week of recovery, they are excited with the outcomes and the decision to opt for a tummy reduction. In fact, many women think that they should not have waited for so long to get a tummy tuck.
When you have an abdominoplasty, you are anesthetized so you will feel little groggy and confused when you wake up from surgery. As soon as you wake up, you will notice that the abdomen is throbbing slightly, feeling sore and swollen. The skin on your abdomen might feel numb but not to worry the sensation will come back gradually in couple of weeks. There will be restricted mobility and pain which varies from person to person. Do not wait for the pain to become unbearable, instead take the pain relief medication prescribed by the surgeon before the pain gets too bad. Taking pain medication on time ensures that the pain does not interfere with the healing process. The surgeon will also prescribe a few antibiotics to help you stave off from any kind of infection.
Sometime the surgeons might place small drain tubes to minimize the collection of fluid under the abdominal flap. The drains also absorb any residual blood and allows the flaps to stick together. Drains are most likely to be removed after 2-5 days but you should continue wearing the compression garment suggested by the surgeon day and night.
Tips to a Speedy Recovery After a Tummy Tuck
- Use ice packs on the surgical incisions to decrease pain. Keep ample of clean towels handy to place on the skin so that you do not end up freezing the skin with ice packs. It is better to have a layer of 3 or more towels on the skin and then place the ice pack and another towel layer on top of that.
- Your abdominal muscles and the incision areas are vulnerable after a tummy tuck, so it is better to avoid heavy lifting or any strenuous work-out for at least 21 days. Your surgeon will give you the say-so on when to resume your workout regime.
- You can feel ready to get back to work and other routine tasks in 7-10 days after your tummy reduction surgery. However, if you have had a tummy tuck as a part of mommy makeover that involves lipo, breast augmentation, or any other cosmetic procedure, you will need little extra time to get back to work.
- If you were a habitual smoker before tummy tuck and want to resume the habit, we suggest you wait for few weeks before doing so. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol immediately after a tummy tuck as smoking can intervene with the blood circulation affecting the ability of incisions to heal faster.
- Rest is equally important during the first few days of healing but that does not mean that you need to take complete bed rest. You should be ambulatory every 3 hours to improve the circulation in the first week after the surgery.
- Do not forget to wear the compression garment 24x7 or as instructed by the surgeon. This is extremely important because it helps for a speedy recovery by reducing welling and also provides proper support and protection to the abdomen during the healing process.
- Drink plenty of fluids after surgery to avoid dizziness, nausea and constipation due to dehydration.
- 8. Stick to a high fibre rich and nutritious diet.
Last but not the least, follow the advice given by your cosmetic surgeon before seeking any advice from “Dr. Google” or any other forums. Every surgeon has his own guidelines regarding postoperative care so consider your surgeon advice as he or she knows better about you and the scope of the abdominoplasty.
The recovery time after a tummy reduction surgery is dependent on your genetics, skin quality, age and other factors. Most of the patients resume their day-to-day regular activities after 4th week. However, it is better to recover at your own pace instead of trying to duplicate somebody else’s recovery timeline of a tummy tuck.
If you are on the lookout for a tummy tuck surgery in Delhi, we encourage you to give us a call. Dr. Ashutosh Misra has 15+ years of experience performing tummy reduction surgeries for both men and women. At a personal consultation, he will provide you all the details of a tummy tuck procedure and help you make a decision on what is right for you to achieve a firm and flatter belly.