Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

The recovery period after a tummy tuck in Omaha may take several weeks.  Here are some tips to help make your recovery as comfortable and short as possible.

1) Take all prescribed medicines. Your surgeon will prescribe postoperative pain medications and antibiotics which you should take as directed, especially in the first 24 to 36 hours.  Strict adherence to the pain medication regimen is necessary in order to avoid severe discomfort as the doses “wear off.”  Many patients also find that stool softeners are helpful because of the constipating effect of the narcotics.

2) Get plenty of rest.  Don’t expect to be “up and running around” for the initial phase of the postoperative course.  For the first several days, “quiet time” is recommended.  However, patients will avoid problems if they ambulate every several hours during this time frame.  After the first several days, most patients begin routine light activity. Patients are recommended to sleep in an inclined position for the first five or six days.  Many patients stay home for at least 10 to 14 days after surgery to avoid any shearing effect on their operative sites.

3) General Exercise.  Although you should be relatively quiet after your abdominoplasty, it is important to begin walking as soon as you can after surgery.  Every few hours, be sure to walk around for the first 24 to 48 hours postoperatively. Afterwards, many patients will take “long walks” or begin using their treadmill. Such effort will help increase your circulation, reduce leg swelling and other postoperative risks. During the first two weeks, a ten-pound weight limit is recommended.

4) Record Drain Volumes Daily.  Most of our abdominoplasty patients have two drains placed at the time of surgery. The drains help to avoid any accumulation of fluid between the layers of the muscle and the skin, which will help minimize wound healing abnormalities. Each patient needs to measure the drainage volume daily and record the amount discarded.  Patients have the drains in place for approximately seven to ten days.

Many abdominoplasty patients are eager to view their surgical results within days of their actual procedure.  At times, they may become discouraged with what seems to be a long recovery process.  However, one must remember that an abdominoplasty involves removing a large section of skin and tightening of loose abdominal muscles.  The body must be given ample time to properly recuperate from the surgery.  Usually, this time interval is not any different than recovery from a hysterectomy or hernia repair.

As with any surgical procedure, each patient should discuss the recovery period in detail with a board certified plastic surgeon.  All the surgeons at ASI are board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  To schedule an appointment to learn more about a tummy tuck, Contact Us today!

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