What should I expect during tummy tuck recovery?

May 29, 2012 Comments Off on What should I expect during tummy tuck recovery?

A tummy tuck procedure can be a great way to get rid of fat and take on a slimmer, more youthful appearance. However, those looking into abdominoplasty need to consider all of the factors that go into a major surgery, including tummy tuck costs and the recovery period.

The first thing to remember is that a tummy tuck is done under general anesthesia. It's very common for patients to feel tired, groggy or nauseous for the first day or two following a tummy tuck. In fact, some patients may not even remember much at all about these first few days. Just keep in mind that this is normal and it may require you to stay overnight at the hospital. Some surgeons allow patients to go home on the same day as their procedure, but you'll need plenty of bed rest and someone to drive you and look after you.

Bed rest is the typical course of action for the next few days as well, possibly as long as the first week. Most surgeons recommend patients take approximately two weeks off from work to allot for a full tummy tuck recovery, but this may be longer depending on the extent of the surgery and demands of the job. Be sure to talk with your plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action for your recovery.

The main issues you'll be dealing with during recovery are pain and swelling in the abdomen region. The pain can usually be managed with medication, and patients should be sure to take their prescribed drugs as soon as they begin to feel discomfort in their abdomen.

Swelling may be a bit more difficult to control and can vary depending on the patient. Water, rest and a low-sodium diet are all good ways to keep the swelling down during the initial recovery period. In addition, many patients opt to wear certain garments on the abdomen that can help keep the tissue close to the chest and allow the skin to adjust to the new contours. Wearing this garment may be uncomfortable, but can shorten the recovery time.

After several days, you'll likely head back to your doctor to get sutures removed. This doesn't mean you're free to get back to a normal lifestyle just yet. You'll likely need bed rest for at least another week after the sutures are removed, if not more. From there, most feel fine to resume normal activity, although strenuous exercise and anything that can hurt the abdomen should be avoided for up to six weeks.

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