If you’re planning to have a cosmetic procedure like a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or a mommy makeover, you’ll want to heal quickly and get on with your life. It can take time to recover from a tummy tuck. But if you follow your doctor’s instructions and do what you are supposed to do, your recovery will be much faster and easier.
Every patient is different, so it stands to reason that every patient will have a different recovery process. In general, it is best to take two weeks off from work. Your first week of recovery is limited to activities of daily living. During week two, you may start to drive, shop or work with limited activity. During weeks 3 and 4, you may begin walking for exercise. At 4 to 6 weeks post-op, you may resume regular activity and increase your workouts, depending on how you feel.
During recovery, it is good to have a list of dos and don’ts to help you make the best choices along the way. Here are some good guidelines for a tummy tuck recovery.
What to Do
Rest and drink plenty of fluids for the first few days. This is the most intense phase of healing. Although you shouldn’t be walking long distances during this time, you will be encouraged to get up and move around the house.
Wear your compression garment as instructed. Not only will it help keep you more comfortable, it will also help you achieve a more favorable outcome.
Get support from family and friends. Even if you are feeling great after a few days you will still need help with daily tasks, child care and other responsibilities.
Call your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns and don’t miss any follow-up visits. These visits are an important part of your recovery process.
What Not to Do
Do not pick up any heavy objects. Do not strain your abdomen until your surgeon gives you permission. You will no doubt want to pick up your child or do some chores around the house, but these things will have to wait.
Do not take a bath or shower before your surgeon clears you. It is important to keep your compression garment on and to keep your incision out of water until the initial healing phase is complete. On average, this should take around five days.
No, you can’t do it all. That includes returning to work. Even those who have desk jobs should plan to be away from work for longer than a week. Trying to get back to normal life before you’re ready will likely set your healing back even further.
Don’t try to tough it out. Take your pain medications as prescribed. A tummy tuck is surgery and it requires a full recovery time. Work with your surgeon to keep pain manageable for you.
Follow your doctor’s instructions and you will likely have a smooth recovery.
To find out if a tummy tuck is right for you, contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Skinfinite Solutions Medical Center and Laser Spa is located in Modesto, CA, also serving residents of Stockton, CA.