Tummy tuck surgery offers cosmetic transformations that dramatically enhance a patient’s confidence and body contours. And while the results are well worth the means, the days and weeks following your surgery will present a series of unique challenges. During this time, regular exercise and heavy lifting are prohibited, soreness and tiredness are expected, and everyday things like laughing and coughing will suddenly become things you worry about because of the tightness and discomfort they bring. Fortunately, all of these side effects are short-lived and will continue to improve until you feel as though you can return to an active lifestyle. To help speed your recovery along, it is essential that you start preparing for it long before your surgery.
Recovering from tummy tuck surgery is just as much of an emotional journey as it is a physical one. Even though patients choose cosmetic surgery to improve an area that is bringing them emotional discomfort, not every patient is prepared for what cosmetic surgery means for their body. During a tummy tuck, your abdomen faces significant trauma that results in bruising, swelling, redness, and scarring, and after these subside, there is a noticeable change in your physical appearance. Even though it is a change that you desire, it is still something that you need to prepare for. Cosmetic surgery is a long-lasting or even permanent change, and you must be ready for that. Have a look at our photo gallery to see just how dramatic the change can be.
Health and Diet
Candidates for tummy tuck surgery are commonly instructed that they should be close to their ideal weight before undergoing the procedure. This is important for two reasons. The first is cosmetic—the closer your weight is to where you want to be, the better your results will be. The other reason is to help in your recovery. Patients who are physically healthy will heal at a quicker rate than someone who is not. Sometimes it is better to postpone your procedure a few months so that you can get your body in better shape than to rush into surgery.
Following a nutritious preoperative diet will help you achieve better overall health and also help your body get ready for the recovery period. A diet that consists of protein (and a lot of it), mixed with nutritious vegetables and fiber-rich foods will prepare your body for what is to come. Staying hydrated is equally, if not more, important. Proper hydration before and after your tummy tuck will aid in your recovery and help you feel physically and emotionally healthier.
Tummy tuck candidates must stop smoking around the time of the surgery. Smoking affects all aspects of your body, including its ability to heal. Tobacco use also inhibits blood flow, which is important during and after any surgical procedure. If you continue to smoke, you will increase the risk of complications during the operation and lengthen your recovery period.
Establish Your Recovery Space
Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure, but you will not be able to return to your normal activities right away. You will need a comfortable, stress-free area to relax and sleep for the initial days of your recovery. This area should have easy access to everything you may need, including nutritious snacks and entertainment. It is best to have this recovery space prepared before you go in for your procedure so that it is waiting for you when you get home.