A flat stomach is one of most desired physical attributions, but the reality is sometimes exercise is not enough. Between the years 2000 and 2014 the number of abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck plastic surgeries, performed rose 87 percent, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
While a large majority of tummy tucks performed are for cosmetic purposes, there are some health benefits that can be gained from the surgery. Some of these benefits are urinary incontinence, better posture and ventral hernia correction.
Because of the rise of tummy tucks; the risks are often forgotten.
Board-certified Fort Lauderdale-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Wigoda, MD offers seven tummy tuck recovery tips below.
7 Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips
1. Push it…Push it Real Good!
Rent a recliner for a week with a push-up button. It lifts up and makes it easy to get out of the chair. Family Rentals offers recliner chair rentals.
2. Create Your Post Plastic Surgery Space.
Set up a table beside your bed with water, medicines, a clock and other essentials before your plastic surgery. Creating this space will prevent you from having to get up and down to retrieve items you need.
3. RX Planning.
Plan ahead and talk to your plastic surgeon about the possibility of having your medication filled up before you leave the plastic surgery center. You can have your spouse or a person of support pick it up while you are in recovery. Making a chart for each of the medications that you need to take will prevent you from forgetting or taking too much.
“We usually give the patients their prescriptions at their pre-op visit a week or two before surgery so they have plenty of time to get them, not the day of surgery,” Dr. Wigoda said.
4. Steps to Tummy Tuck Recovery Success.
Get up and walk three minutes, four-to-five times a day. Getting up and going to the bathroom would count.
“I recommend patients walk after a tummy tuck because it decreases the risk of complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT,)” Dr. Wigoda said.
DVT is a dangerous condition that causes blood clots to form in your legs.
“Clots in your legs can travel to your lungs, that’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE). PE can make it hard to breathe, in fact, if the clots are large enough, it can kill you. The clots in your legs don’t make it hard to breathe, it’s the clots in your lungs. The risk of DVT and PE after tummy tuck is very small, but it has been reported,” said Dr. Wigoda.
5. Let’s Talk About Sex.
Dr. Wigoda says no to sex for at least a week after your tummy tuck. It is important to allow your body to heal after an invasive plastic surgery procedure such as a tummy tuck; so even though sex is safe after a week, strenuous positions should be avoided.
6. Bind that Tummy.
Make sure you wear the compression garment that Dr.Wigoda gives you for the first two weeks of your tummy tuck recovery. Wearing the garment allows the perfect amount of pressure on the surgical site, which helps speed up healing. It also helps with swelling and fluid buildup. “My doctor really stressed wearing the compression garment to get the best results,” a former tummy tuck patient said. “He said some doctors don’t do it but it really helps with getting the good shape. I wore it even longer than I think was required – besides it felt better.”
7. Keep it Light.
Eat only light foods and snacks. You don’t want to eat anything high in sodium for the first week because it can cause bloating. During the second week you’ll feel like eating a bit more normal, but your stomach won’t be ready. Make sure to eat plenty of protein and fiber and don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water daily!
Total Recovery Time: Recovery for a tummy tuck is between four to six weeks, depending on the patient.
Dr. Wigoda brings his patients impeccable surgical techniques, an artist’s aesthetic vision and is an advocate for patient safety and plastic surgery standards.
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