Tips on Recovering from Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Recovery from a tummy tuck surgery will take time and in the early stages be rather uncomfortable. An abdominoplasty operation is serious surgery and should not be underestimated.
On awakening after the abdominoplasty surgery, you may be groggy from the anaesthetic. From my own experience, you actually probably won’t remember much of the first day or two and should take it easy over this initial period.
Post the surgery, your abdomen may be very swollen and it may be very painful to move. Don’t wait for pain to be unbearable before you request pain medication. Take the medication given at the times prescribed as you will actually use less pain medication if you take it on time than if you wait for the pain to become severe. As pain interferes with healing there is no reason to suffer unduly.
As the days post the operation pass the swelling and pain will reduce. You may have bruising, but this will reduce also with time. Bruising and swelling are to be expected with such major surgeries.
When you leave the hospital you will receive a list of postoperative instructions and advice on the recovery process This will tell you about general care of yourself, what restrictions you have to put on your movement and activities activity as well as how often to change the dressings etc. You will be given things to watch out for, such as bleeding, an elevated temperature or from the tummy tuck scars and information on how to contact the surgeon in such cases.
The skin of your stomach area will be numb in areas. This is normal as some nerves were cut in the re-attachment of skin in the abdominoplasty procedure. Sensation to this affected skin will usually come back but gradually over several months. There is the possibility that sensation in the skin will not come back completely and is one of the risks in having this procedure done.
It is wise to take your temperature regularly in the recovery period to ensure it is a normal reading. If it rises to an elevated state then this could mean an infection is present and your body is fighting it. If antibiotics are prescribed, take them and ensure the full course prescribed is taken to ensure a cause a drug-resistant infection doesn’t occur.
It is a good idea to sleep with your head and shoulders elevated for the first week to 14 days or how long your surgeon suggests. Use of pillows to keep your head up or perhaps a wedge-shaped pillow will assist in this. Wedging your mattress up is also an alternative.
Your body will be tired and will use a lot of energy in the healing process after the operation. This will make you feel sleepy and in the early stages post the operation sleeping is actually good for you while you heal. Getting up and down from a sitting position or in and out of bed will be hard and will hurt. One trick you will be told is to get out of bed by first rolling on my side close to the edge of the bed. Then let your legs drop over the side of the bed at the same time pushing your upper body upright with the arm that is underneath you. This way you spare your abdominal muscles the strain to pulling you up. Movements like this will continue to get easier as the days and weeks pass. Full recovery after tummy tuck will be several weeks.