Successful and speedy tummy tuck recovery generally requires a set of guidelines to follow. If you have just undergone the operation and are at a loss of instructions, here are some important things to remember.
Once you arrive home after the surgery, it is important to get some rest. Lie on the bed with pillows placed under your knees and backside. Do not stretch out your torso or waist area—keep it bent. You may lie either on your back or sides. It is advisable to move your feet while in bed to help increase the blood circulation in your legs. Expect a small amount of blood seeping through the bandage—don’t panic, it’s normal. Do not shower until after your doctor gives you the green light; sponge baths are okay.
It’s best to start walking as soon as possible because this will help reduce the swelling and prevent blood clots. However, if you feel like you’re still too weak to do so, do not force yourself. Driving is prohibited if you’re still taking pain medications and your arms are still not fully functional. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects (weighing 5 pounds or heavier). In terms of sexual intercourse, it can resume two to three weeks after the operation. Other strenuous activities and exercise is a big no-no! Avoid putting too much pressure on your abdominal muscles for two months. And lastly, you can go back to work two to four weeks after the operation.
Caring for the Incision
Avoid exposing your incision scars to the sun for at least twelve months; if you really must do so, apply a strong sunblock. Keep the incision and surrounding areas clean at all times and inspect it daily to check for possible signs of infection. You also have to keep your compression garment on for at least six weeks after the surgery. Placing soft dressing over your incision and around the drain sites daily will help prevent irritation and keep you comfortable.
Post-surgery care is not something to be ignored—if you want to avoid infections, you have to strictly follow your physician’s instructions. In order to maintain your new tummy, stick to a healthy diet and exercise once you’re allowed to do so.