Publishing note: We originally published this post on March 28, 2014, and updated it with the latest information available on March 1, 2016.
If you’ve been reading up on tummy tuck surgery, you probably have a good handle on the basics: No smoking before surgery, back to work after a couple of weeks, and exercise lightly during the recuperation period. But what about the little details? Here are a few of my favorite, lesser-known tips I like to share with my tummy tuck patients in Albany.
- Don’t ditch your larger sizes yet. Tummy tuck surgery can create a lot of swelling, and your favorite “everyday” clothes likely won’t be comfortable or practical. Keep plenty of soft pajama bottoms, yoga pants, and other loose-fitting or stretchy clothes on hand. Patience is key — you’ll be showing off in a curve-hugging cocktail dress or even a bikini before you know it.
- Stock up. You probably already know that it’s a good idea to have your prescriptions filled before your surgery. But having a strong supply of other items, such as lotion, gauze, cotton underwear, and healthy, ready-to-eat meals and snacks will do wonders to enhance your comfort and peace of mind while you rest at home. Don’t forget your favorite books, magazines, and movies, too!
- Get help. Although light exercise, such as walking, is important to reduce blood clots, I advise against anything too strenuous for at least several weeks. You’ll need a friend or family member who is willing and able to lend a hand with chores both large and small. The bending and lifting required for showering, laundry, cleaning, shopping, gardening, childcare and other responsibilities can harm your results. If you’re not comfortable enlisting someone you know, consider hiring a housekeeper or helper for assistance during this time.
- Put on your best poker face. Laughter may be the best medicine for some things, but not when it comes to abdominoplasty. The muscles affected during surgery may be quite sore for a few days, so laughing will likely cause discomfort. Crying, coughing, sneezing, and even yelling can yield similar results. Do your best to keep your emotions stable during your recovery, including by avoiding funny or sad movies. A calm, stress-free environment is also great for healing.
Anything else you want to know? Leave us a comment below!