One of the most complex body sculpting procedures in plastic surgery is abdominoplasty, better known as a tummy tuck. Because the abdominal region is a trouble spot for many people, tummy tuck surgery has become a popular aesthetic enhancement to address body image concerns and a sagging belly.
Because the target area is considerable, and the work involved can be extensive, you must take abdominoplasty recovery seriously by following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions. To help you in this process, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sara Yegiyants offers a list of post-surgical instructions to perform and things to avoid.
Tummy Tuck Do’s
Here is a list of what you should expect to find in your aftercare instructions.
Constipation is an issue that could occur after tummy tuck surgery. While this condition is typically not severe enough to need medical attention, it could be challenging to manage discomfort after your abdominoplasty.
Constipation can lead to excessive contracture of your abdominal muscles, which is the pressure you should avoid for the first few weeks of recovery. To prevent constipation and bloating, eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water.
Sleep With Your Knees Bent
Lying flat while sleeping or relaxing could be uncomfortable after your abdominoplasty. This position can pull your incisions and cause your sutures to rupture. Instead, you should sleep with your knees bent during the initial weeks after surgery. Also, elevate the upper part of your body with several pillows to prevent pressure on your surgical wounds.
Wear Your Compression Garment
You will have a compression garment after your tummy tuck to reduce swelling, minimize bruising, and ease discomfort. In addition, this garment can enhance your surgical benefits while protecting and supporting your incisions.
Dr. Yegiyants suggests taking a gentle walk as soon as you wake up from the general anesthetic. Then, as you heal, you should walk slightly more each day. For example, start with a few steps around your bedroom, then around the house, and lastly, venture out for a brief walk in your neighborhood. Walking helps reduce inflammation and prevents blood clots.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Don’ts
Dr. Yegiyants also lists things to avoid during tummy tuck recovery.
Walk With a Straight Back
Tummy tuck incisions often extend from hip to hip. After Dr. Yegiyants eliminates excess skin and tissue, you may feel your skin is too tight. She will advise you to walk slightly hunched over for a week or two after abdominoplasty to avoid straining your incisions.
Laugh, Cough, or Sneeze
Excessive pressure on your abdomen can cause pain and may rupture your incisions, so try not to laugh, cough, or sneeze for the first few weeks after surgery.
Take Hot Baths
A relaxing bath may seem like the reward you need while recovering from a major surgery. Still, we ask you not to submerge your incisions in water, no matter the temperature. You should take showers instead. In addition, hot water promotes infection and bleeding, so shower with lukewarm water.
Don’t do any strenuous activities for six to eight weeks after your tummy tuck. Stretching, twisting, and lifting weights will cause discomfort and slow the natural healing process. After that, Dr. Yegiyants will let you know when you can increase your activity level above a gentle walk.
Partner With Santa Barbara’s Best Tummy Tuck Surgeon
Dr. Yegiyants is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in surgical and non-invasive procedures. To learn why you should choose her for your tummy tuck or other cosmetic enhancement, schedule a consultation by calling (805) 682-1731 or by contacting us online.