Abdominoplasty, referred to as a tummy tuck, is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide. There are many factors that play into the speed and effectiveness of your tummy tuck recovery and recovery can be a long road. Consider the following tummy tuck recovery tips to help you have a smooth experience:
- Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions – Occasionally, patients will engage in activities that slow their recovery or cause complications. We make postoperative instructions for a reason — to protect the patient and help ensure they heal well and have a good cosmetic outcome. Dr. Nickodem will give you the best advice on how to heal, recover and avoid complications. It’s absolutely essential that you follow these specific instructions because doing so will dramatically decrease your risk of complications.
- Arrange for Help – It’s very important to have help post-surgery. It is highly recommended that you have someone stay with you for at least 24 to 48 hours after your procedure. You won’t be able to stand straight for a time after your tummy tuck, so you will need some help doing simple tasks like getting out of bed, removing garments and showering. Although you may not feel like getting out of bed, you’ll be encouraged to get up at least two to three times a day and move around because this helps increase circulation.
- Focus on Nutrition – Healing after surgery is a complex process and nutritional deficiencies can impede recovery.It’s important to fuel your body with nutrient-rich food during your tummy tuck recovery.Also, stay away from foods that are excessively salty, eat small portions and drink lots of water to make sure you stay hydrated.
- Quit Smoking – Since many blood vessels are cut during a tummy tuck procedure, wound healing can be compromised in some areas of the abdomen. This becomes a more serious issue in smokers because the vessels that remain can suddenly close with potentially detrimental results. It is absolutely essential that patients quit smoking for at least four to six weeks prior to surgery so it does not affect their recovery.
- Don’t Overdo It – We want you up and moving shortly after surgery because it’s the most effective way to reduce the risk of blood clot formation. It will also help keep your body from becoming stiff and tight, keep the tissues soft and relaxed and will speed along resolution of swelling. On the flip side though, don’t do too much, too early. You need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity and allow yourself enough time to get the sleep and rest your body needs during its healing process.
- Take Enough Time Off Work – Ensure that you take adequate time off from work. Patients who do not give themselves a chance to heal properly can cause needless tension on the wound and impede wound healing.
To learn more about tummy tuck recovery in Annandale, contact Anne Nickodem, M.D., today at 703-560-8711 or aestheticallyyours.com.