Don’t Let Your Results Go Belly Up:
Recovery Tips for After Your Tummy Tuck
If you’ve been sticking to your diet and exercise plan, yet still have difficulty getting rid of extra abdominal skin and fat, a tummy tuck procedure (abdominoplasty) could be the right option for getting the right fit. By removing excess fat and loose skin, and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall, this cosmetic procedure is extremely beneficial for creating the look of a tighter, flatter abdomen. However, as with all surgeries, your doctor’s orders should be followed closely to achieve the optimal results.
It’s important to speak with your surgeon about what to expect during your recovery period, as each person’s healing experience is unique. After most tummy tuck procedures, dressings and bandages will be applied to your incisions and a compression garment (called an abdominal binder) will reduce swelling and provide comfort and support for up to six weeks following your procedure. Along the incision site, small tubes will drain any excess fluid or blood that has built up. Because they’ll be inserted for several days, your doctor will advise you about how to safely and properly empty them at home. Also, keeping your incisions clean will greatly reduce the appearance of the scars they leave behind.
In addition to an antibiotic (to deter any detrimental microorganisms), an anticoagulant will often be prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots. It’s very important to get plenty of shut eye following surgery to speed up the recuperation process; however, your doctor will most likely recommend that you sleep at a slight incline and with your knees at an angle.
Years ago, rest was strictly enforced with the understanding that sleep equals recovery. However, being stagnant can result in a myriad of other problems – weakness, less ability to fight infection, gas pains, blood clots, and lung issues – due to the body’s systems being slowed down. Find a happy medium and get moving within limits; you’ll recuperate, while preventing postoperative complications. While most people are anxious to get back to life following surgery, it’s important to take care with your daily movements for six weeks following a tummy tuck procedure. Mayoclinic.org states that this is especially true for movements involving bending at the waist, which can result in reopening of the wound.
Your doctor will most likely recommend avoiding the shower for up to five days following a tummy tuck procedure. However, you will be able to freshen up by washing your arms, legs, and face; just be sure not to remove your abdominal binder garment.
Here’s some food for thought: what you eat can help you heal. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, our food choices and nutritional health greatly influence the rate at which our wounds heal. For many wounds to heal, a boost in vitamins, minerals, and proteins is required from what you’d normally consume; this is because the fluids lost from them emit nutrients that we’d otherwise absorb.
First things first – drink plenty of water following surgery. Stay well-hydrated and avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages, which can thin your blood. Upping your intake of vitamins A & C will fight infection, while zinc – which is found in nuts, grains, and certain meats – can increase cell turnover to ultimately speed up your recovery. Salty snacks and junk food, while never a wise nutritional choice, are particularly taboo during this time, as they increase bloating (the last thing you want after a tummy tuck!).
Are you wondering if you’re a candidate for this procedure? Tummy tucks are not a quick fix or a substitute for proper diet and exercise programs. Therefore, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises that you shouldn’t have an abdominoplasty if you’re planning to lose a significant amount of weight following surgery, or if a pregnancy is in your future.
You’ll always want to select a reputable and board-certified plastic surgeon to conduct a surgery of this magnitude. Dr. Louis Iorio of Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa is double board certified in plastic surgery and general surgery, and will make both your surgery and recovery as seamless as possible. Dr. Iorio shows much dedication when it comes to researching the most cutting-edge technologies and staying up-to-date on innovations in cosmetic medicine.
Are you experiencing sagging skin because of aging, heredity, pregnancies, or a major fluctuation in weight? If so, are you interested in learning more about the benefits of a tummy tuck procedure? Call Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa in Colts Neck, New Jersey at (732) 780-9191 or Brick, New Jersey at (732) 458-7400 to speak to a knowledgeable medical expert. Call or schedule an appointment online, and we would be happy to go over the various cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures and techniques we employ.