A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries out there. With over 100 thousand people getting tummy tucks every year in the United States, the surgery is far from uncommon and is generally quite safe. Its phenomenal belly-flattening results draw in many people who have gone through major weight loss or pregnancy and are left with sagging skin and extra fat.
The tummy tuck surgery itself is relatively uncomplicated and involves removing extra skin and fat from your abdominal region. Additionally, surgeons tighten the abdominal muscles to give you a tighter midsection. Once the surgery is over, however, it’s up to you to follow all the instructions for a smooth and speedy recovery.
At Women’s Health Institute in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia, our cosmetic surgeon Nnaemeka Umerah, MD, makes sure you’re well-versed in the recommended recovery instructions before you undergo your tummy tuck. That way, you can make the necessary accommodations ahead of time and return home after surgery knowing how to care for yourself.
Here’s what you need to do to heal effectively after a tummy tuck:
Our experts give you a compression garment to wear during the initial phases of tummy tuck recovery. This is a snug-fitting item that goes around your belly that you wear at all times except when you bathe or shower. It provides support for your muscles as they heal up after the surgical repairs and reinforcements.
Initially, you use what’s called a stage one garment. This garment helps reduce swelling around the abdomen by helping promote fluid drainage through the drains placed by your surgeon. They also increase circulation for faster healing. You should wear a stage one garment for one or two weeks before progressing to a stage two garment.
Stage two garments are supportive for your newly contoured midsection. You wear this one for two to eight weeks according to Dr. Umerah’s advice.
While you’ll probably be able to safely return to work roughly two weeks after a tummy tuck, you’ll need to refrain from any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for even longer. For four or more weeks, you should be gentle on your body and try not to do much physical labor or exercise.
Everyone heals at their own pace after a tummy tuck, and it’s important to make time for your follow-up appointments at Women’s Health Institute. Dr. Umerah can give you the go-ahead on when it’s safe to return to the gym or to resume your daily jogs.
Self-maintenance after a tummy tuck involves managing the incision site and the drainage tubes. The drainage tubes stay in place for a week or two before you must come back to Women’s Health Institute to have them removed.
Dr. Umerah may give you antibiotics and anticoagulants to avoid complications and topical ointments or creams to apply around the incision site. It’s important for you to follow the instructions for their uses closely so they work for their intended purposes.
If you’re thinking about getting a tummy tuck and would like more information before you commit, don’t hesitate to call one of our offices or book an appointment online at Women’s Health Institute today.