A tummy tuck at our Washington, DC, area practice can create transformative results. It removes excess skin and fat and tightens weak abdominal muscles and lax skin to create a toned midsection. However, because so many issues are being treated at once and the incision runs from hip to hip, the recovery period is a bit longer than other procedures.
Failing to follow a proper healing process and your surgeon’s instructions can result in complications, injury or lackluster results. This is why it is essential to make your health and safety a priority while you recover at home. Here are a few things to keep in mind during this time.
#1: Get Plenty of Rest
Let your body get the rest it needs after something as taxing as surgery. You will need to take time off from work and may require help around the house when it comes to chores, child care, and meal prep. Avoid overexerting yourself as this can delay your recovery.
#2: Sleep Bent at the Waist
You will feel swelling and tension around your midsection after tummy tuck surgery. Sleep bent at the waist for around a week after the procedure to ease any discomfort. You can achieve this by propping yourself up with pillows (behind your back and under your knees) or by sitting in a reclining chair.
#3: Follow a Healthy Diet
Giving your body the fuel it needs will help you heal as quickly as possible. Eat nutritious foods with plenty of protein and iron to support proper blood flow.
#4: Wear Your Compression Garment
You will be given a specialized garment that puts gentle pressure on the midsection during recovery. This compression helps reduce swelling and prevents excess fluid buildup from gathering around the surgery site. Your doctor will let you know how many hours per day you will be required to wear the garment.
#5: Limit Physical Activity
While you may be eager to get back into your workout routine, limit strenuous physical activity for at least 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. After 5 to 10 days, you can try light walking to promote blood circulation and help you heal quicker.
#6: Take Care of Your Incisions
Tummy tuck surgery involves a hip-to-hip incision placed below the bikini line. You will need to clean this incision each day with gentle soap and running water in order to prevent infection. Be sure to gently pat it dry after each wash.
#7: Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Your doctor will give you specific guidelines regarding recovery, medication, special garments, drains, and more. Follow any directions provided by your surgeon, and they will help you stay safe and comfortable throughout the recovery process. You can ask any new questions you may have at your follow-up appointment after surgery or call your surgeon’s office.
As results from our past patients show, final tummy tuck results are worth the wait and effort. If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and you’re in the Chevy Chase and Bethesda, MD, area, please request a consultation online or call (703) 560-2850 to schedule an appointment.