Tummy tuck, clinically called abdominoplasty, is a major cosmetic surgery procedure involving a considerable recovery period. Patients should follow the surgeon’s post-op care instructions in a committed manner in order to have a safer and faster recovery. The surgeon will explain about all aspects related to tummy tuck, including its estimated recovery, at the time of initial consultation.
Recovery time is particularly critical for working patients and busy moms who want to return to their normal routine as quickly as possible. Dr. Jacob Bloom is a board certified plastic surgeon providing tummy tuck and other procedures to patients in Chicago, IL and surrounding locations. Dr. Bloom will provide all details about recovery process and expected downtime in order to help the patient make a well-informed choice.
Staying Home after Surgery
Following tummy tuck plastic surgery, the patient will have to stay home for a few days and rest adequately. The downtime in case of a full traditional abdominoplasty can last for about 10 to 14 days. If the procedure does not involve tightening of the abdominal muscles, the downtime will be reduced by a few days.
Working people should ideally apply for leave from work beforehand so that they can go through a stress-free initial recovery at home. From the second day of surgery, the patient should start light activities and perform short walks at home in order to promote the blood flow in incision areas. They should stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, avoid bending or lifting heavy weights and not indulge in any vigorous activities or exercises in the first few weeks.
Early Recovery Phase
Temporary drain tubes will be placed beneath the skin in the incision areas for about a week or 10 days. The patient should maintain the drain as instructed, empty it daily and measure the fluid collection. They should also wear a compression garment at all times during the recovery phase as directed by the surgeon.
Mild bruising, swelling and discomfort in the incision areas are expected in the first week. The surgeon will prescribe mild pain meds to keep the patient comfortable. The patient may consider hiring a help or having someone over for assistance with household chores in the first few days. Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL and nearby areas for tummy tuck.
Mitigating Scar Appearance
Some degree of scarring is unavoidable in any surgical procedure. But it is possible to minimize the scar appearance with careful incision placement in discreet locations. The patient should protect the incision areas against sun exposure during recovery. Silicone sheets or a cream, or petroleum based jelly may be applied to mitigate the scar tissue appearance.
If the patient is a smoker, they will be required to refrain from smoking for a few weeks before and after tummy tuck surgery. Nicotine in tobacco smoke can restrict blood flow and interfere with the healing process. Infection risks, scarring, and other complications can arise if the patient continues to indulge in smoking in the days following the tummy tuck surgery.