To have a body makeover means something different to every person we meet. In many cases, though, the abdominal area is a primary area of focus. Almost every adult who has reached their thirties expresses a desire to have a tighter midsection. The abdomen is an especially vulnerable area for women due to the stretching that occurs during pregnancy. The accumulation of fat around the midsection may be relatively easy to deal with, but stretched or separated musculature is another story. This is why abdominoplasty is such a popular procedure.
Statistics tell us that more than 125,000 people have had abdominoplasty (also referred to as a tummy tuck) each year for the past several years in a row. The numbers reflect two things; first, that many people want to love their physique and, second, that abdominoplasty works. Still, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure. That means there is a need to plan for recovery. Here, we discuss how to do that in a way that prevents unnecessary stress.
Get a Head Start
Patients interested in abdominoplasty are encouraged to develop healthy lifestyle habits as soon as surgery is on their radar. Eating well before surgery sets the stage for optimal healing. This, in addition to regular exercise, sets the stage for long-term results from a tummy tuck.
Expect the Unexpected
Surgeons are careful to discuss the details of recovery with patients so there are no surprises. We also provide detailed post-op care instructions. Still, there are patients who are caught off-guard by one thing or another. A few things you need to know:
- Your natural instincts will cause you to bend slightly forward after abdominal muscles are tightened. This subsides over a few days but will cause you to need help getting up and moving around for a short time.
- Many people who have surgery, as exciting as it can be, feel the blues afterward. This should be expected and understood as a natural side-effect of the physical toll of any surgical procedure. Stay upbeat with good company and good entertainment.
- Pain medication can make initial recovery much more comfortable than you imagined. It can also cause constipation. Plan ahead by obtaining a stool softener or mild laxative before surgery.
- You may need up to three weeks to feel well enough to return to work. Some patients are quite mobile after one week, and most can move comfortably after two weeks. However, three weeks may be the sweet spot for some.