Taking Care of a Tummy Tuck After Surgery

It has been said that the recovery period following a plastic surgery procedure is just as important (if not more important) as the surgery itself. In the case of a tummy tuck recovery, healing will go more smoothly if the patient is informed and willing to comply completely with the post-operative instructions we provide. Here are a few things to keep in mind as your recovery progresses: 1502-PremierPlasticSurgery-BAImage-TummyTuck-KK-A-02

Right After the Procedure

A degree of swelling and bruising in the affected area should be expected. This is common, normally subsiding a few weeks after surgery. Immediately following the procedure, you will leave the surgical center with drain tubes in place. These will remain in place for about a week. These tubes help to prevent fluid buildup. Post tummy tuck patients are also given a special compression garment to help reduce swelling and fluid retention. The first few weeks after your surgery it is critical to keep the treated areas compressed as the skin is conforming to your new shape. You post-operative instructions should be closely followed to take care of the tubes, the garment, and the treated region.

Dr. Franckle also provides prescriptions to take. Medications typically include pain management drugs as well as antibiotics to avoid infection. A laxative may also be recommended to maintain healthy bowel function. Alcohol should not be consumed with these medicines.

In most cases, it’s not necessary to be bedridden, but physical activity should be kept to a minimum. Avoid any strain on the incision sites, but feel free to walk around and carry out simple daily tasks. This is a healing period, so take it easy and get plenty of rest.

The First Eight Weeks

Avoid strenuous activities and exercises, including lifting heavy objects, during those critical six to eight weeks following surgery. During the recovery period, it’s extremely important to abstain from smoking or using any nicotine products.

There are three types of tummy tucks: mini, standard, and extensive. Depending on which procedure was completed, a patient will receive different instructions and different recovery times.

The incisions should heal after about two weeks. Depending on an individual’s job and its physical requirements, it can be anywhere from one to three weeks before you are given the green light to return to work. This will all be discussed with Dr. Franckle prior to your surgery so you can plan ahead.

Ask Questions

If at any point you have questions about your tummy tuck recovery, be sure to contact our office. We are here to help and happy to address any concerns and clarify any confusion.

 

Top 3 Tummy Tuck Questions to Ask your Plastic Surgeon

An abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a body contouring procedure that has gained popularity among men and women due to its ability to provide great results for a variety of issues in the abdominal region.

We see patients everyday interested in this procedure and three common questions are almost always asked during the consultation:

What does the procedure entail?

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure used to improve the appearance of the abdominal area. Stubborn deposits of fat, lax abdominal muscles, and loose skin can cause a change in shape and size of the abdomen. Each and every procedure Dr. Franckle performs is tailored to the individual patient in order to address that person’s issues, preferences and medical history. Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck are looking to tighten the abdominal muscles, remove excess skin, and remove the fat that has not responded to diet or exercise.

What is the difference between a mini and a full tummy tuck?

It is important to note that both forms of an abdominoplasty entail the removal of loose skin and the tightening of the abdominal muscles. The main difference between the two lies in how much of the abdominal area is adjusted. A mini tuck is confined to the lower abdomen (the area below the belly button) while a full tummy tuck will address both above and below the belly button.

What should I expect during a tummy tuck recovery?

After the procedure, drain tubes will be left in place for a week to facilitate attainment of the desired results. Swelling and bruising around the treated area is common and generally subsides a few weeks after the tummy tuck procedure. Dr. Franckle recommends that patients avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, for at least 6–8 weeks post surgery to ensure a healthy healing process. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to pay close attention to the instructions provided about plastic surgery recovery.

These are just a few of the crucial questions that may be rolling around in your head if you are interested in a tummy tuck procedure. If you are looking for every more information, be sure to check out our Tummy Tuck FAQs post as well as your Tummy Tuck Before and After Photo Gallery

 

Tummy Tuck FAQs

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 111,000 people opted to undergo a tummy tuck in 2013. That is surprising, considering that almost half that amount of people (62,713) underwent that procedure back in 2000. This statistic is evidence to the fact that tummy tuck procedures are providing the results that patients are looking for. If you’re among those considering this procedure and desire a slimmer, more toned abdominal area, you’ll most certainly want to learn more. You have questions and we have the answers to the FAQs about tummy tucks here:

What is involved in the procedure?
During a tummy tuck, unwanted fat and skin can be removed from the abdominal area. If needed, depending on the patient, we can go a step further to strengthen and reconnect weakened or separated muscles. This results in a smoother and firmer abdominal area.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate?
Generally speaking, the best candidates are those who have an overall healthy body weight yet remain unsatisfied with the appearance of their abdominal area. Sagging skin, excessive fat, and/or stretch marks resulting from a dramatic weight gain and loss (such as that experienced during pregnancy) are common complaints we hear from patients requesting a tummy tuck procedure. Changes in your abdomen may also be hereditary in nature or a natural result of the aging process.

Will my tummy tuck results be affected by future pregnancies?
Your tummy tuck results will be affected by a future pregnancy, so women who are likely to become pregnant in the near future should opt to wait until after childbirth to undergo a tummy tuck. However, having gone through the procedure in the past will not negatively affect any future pregnancies.

What is the recovery like?
Patients generally experience mild discomfort for a few days immediately after surgery. We recommend one week off from work in order to allow the body to heal, though some regular activities can be resumed during that period. Intense physical activity can resume after about six weeks.

 

Better Nutrition is Key Following Tummy Tuck Procedure

Tummy Tuck Patient - Premier Plastic Surgery ArtsYour tummy tuck procedure is complete and recovery is going fine. It’s likely that you’re wondering how life will be different following the procedure. While there will certainly be changes in your appearances, there should also be changes in your lifestyle. We love it when our patients tell us that they finally feel comfortable in their favorite swimsuit and turn heads at the beach. However, there are a few caveats to keep your new body in great shape. After all, you didn’t come this far to end up back where you started. Follow these basic nutrition guidelines to help maintain your new look after your recent tummy tuck procedure.

Portion control should be at the top of your list. The rule of thumb is to eat meals that are approximately the size of your hand.
Eat scheduled meals throughout the day. Do not skip meals.
Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar.
Choose foods that can be digested easily. Keep your food high in protein and low in salt.
Pay attention to your body and learn to stop eating when you are full.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It is suggested you drink half your weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds you should drink 60 ounces or five 12 oz glasses of water.
Consult a nutritionist to create a custom eating plan that fits your lifestyle and will help you reach your goals.

We hope you love your new look and will do your part to stay healthy. While a tummy tuck procedure will help you achieve your desired body shape, there is still no substitute for a balanced diet and exercise routine. A great way to stay on track is to enlist a family member or friend to help you stay accountable to your health goals. We also suggest that you reward yourself with non-food incentives for staying on track and accomplishing your objectives. Most importantly, enjoy your new look and celebrate the results of your new tummy tuck procedure.