Tips to Make Your Tummy Tuck Recovery Stress-Free

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Tummy tuck recoveryThe decision to have tummy tuck surgery can be life-changing. When performed by an experienced and skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, tummy tuck can provide beautiful and long-lasting results. Still, tummy tuck is a serious surgical procedure and there are some important steps you must take to ensure a successful and stress-free recovery.

In this blog post, Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson shares must-know tips to make your tummy tuck recovery as smooth as possible.

Prepare Your Body for Surgery

Make sure your weight is where it should be. Diet and exercise can bring you closer to your desired look, and then surgery can be the “icing on the cake.” Patients with good “core” strength experience less pain and a better recuperation, so work to get those tummy muscles strong prior to surgery. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) below 30 have a much lower risk of complications like wound healing problems or infection. Losing a few pounds to get your BMI into the below 30 range is one critical step you can take to make your surgery safer. Avoiding tobacco is also critical to avoid complications and reduce post-operative pain.

Clear Your Schedule and Enlist Help

Most patients will need to take two to four weeks off of their normal activities, including work. Patients with sedentary jobs will be able to return to work sooner than those with more physically demanding jobs. While it is very important to be up and walking frequently after surgery, you want to avoid any heart-pounding, breaking-a-sweat kinds of activities for at least two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will let you know when you can return to cardio and ab workouts.

Plan on four weeks off work. You might be able to go back sooner, but it is wise to “bank” at least four weeks if your recuperation is a bit slower. It is also wise to enlist the help of a loved one to help with childcare, chores and other household duties.

Go Shopping Ahead of Time

It will be a week or so before you will feel comfortable driving. Be sure to stock up on easy-to-prepare meals before your surgery, but avoid high-salt foods to reduce swelling. Don’t forget to have plenty of water to stay well-hydrated at all times.

Listen to Your Doctor’s Orders

The Internet is filled with tips and guidelines to follow after surgery. But ultimately, the only instructions that you should follow diligently should come from your doctor. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions and guidelines that cover factors such as when it is safe to return to work and exercise, and when to take your medications. Not following your doctor’s orders could lead to a longer and more stressful recovery, or even worse, complications and subpar tummy tuck results.

Ask Questions!

No question is too insignificant to ask when it comes to preparing for your tummy tuck recovery. Here are a few questions to ask prior to your surgery:

  • When can I shower? (Note: Dr. Johnson offers “drainless” tummy tuck, which allows patients to shower right away)
  • When is it safe to resume exercise?
  • When can I continue taking regular medication/vitamins/supplements?
  • When can I go back to work?
  • Who do I contact after hours?
  • When will the final results become visible?

To learn more about tummy tuck, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson. Contact her office by calling (916) 929-1833 today.