Tummy Tuck recovery tips from San Diego top plastic surgeon Gilbert Lee, M.D.

Woman with her hand on her face

Even though I was hesitant about having a tummy tuck, I made sure I had a good recovery plan and in the end, it wasn’t bad at all!”

eciding to have a tummy tuck is usually prefaced by a great deal of research. You might have consultations with several surgeons. You may even be encouraged to lose weight before having the procedure. Time off from work must be arranged and childcare if you need. Then there is the mental preparation of proceeding with an elective surgery. Needless to say, it takes a person awhile to get to the “let’s do it” stage. With all of these considerations even before you get to the operating room, have you given the same attention to the recovery? Here are a few tips to help you in your tummy tuck recovery.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

It is highly recommended that you have a family member or nursing service assistant to stay with you for at least 24 to 48 hours after your abdominoplasty. Although you will not be able to bathe until your incision is completely healed, a warm shower will feel nice and soothing. You may shower after the bandages are removed which is generally three days after your tummy tuck. Placing a chair in the shower is advised since you may experience light-headedness.

Drains, which look like plastic balloons will be in place after your procedure. Accumulated fluid from your tummy tuck surgery will collect in these drains and you’ll need to monitor the amount of fluid. Your companion can help you to read these amounts so you can relay the information to your surgeon at your post op visit.

You’re going to be unable to stand straight for a time after your tummy tuck. Having someone help you to and from the bathroom is recommended and they can help you in removing any garments. Although you may feel like you don’t want to get out of bed, you’ll be encouraged to get up at least two to three times a day and move around to increase circulation.

Rest in bed with 2 to 3 pillows behind your head and a pillow under your knees. Putting pillows beside you is also comforting. Get out of bed by sitting up first, then move your legs over the edge of the bed and stand from there. You might need to rely on your caretaker for the first day or so to help you out of bed.

What you eat can help in your tummy tuck recovery. Immediately after your surgery (for at least 24-48 hours) you’ll be instructed to maintain a liquid diet to avoid being nauseated from the anesthesia. Certain foods can actually help you to heal faster. Dark leafy greens, Vitamin C, pineapple are all good to eat. Avoid foods that might cause gas like cabbage and beans. Food high in fiber is not a good idea, although a fiber supplement will help you to avoid constipation. Eat small portions, avoid salty foods and stay hydrated.

Abdominoplasty with Liposuction of the Back 21508 (2)

Even though I was hesitant about having a tummy tuck, I made sure I had a good recovery plan and in the end, it wasn’t bad at all!”



Designations 2016


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