Tummy Tuck Recovery Basics
Many people decide to get a tummy tuck without understanding what to expect from the recovery period. It will take several weeks for you to heal from this surgery, and you should have an idea of what is expected of you during this time.
Most people find that they need to take one to two weeks off work, so decide whether you will want some extra time to heal or if you would rather get back to work as soon as possible. The first few days after the procedure, you will probably notice lots of swelling and pain, but your doctor should supply you with enough medication to last a few days at least. Just remember that if you take any narcotic medications you should not be driving, so plan to get a ride home from the surgery. Also, make sure that you have everything you need at home for the first week since you should not be driving for a few days following the procedure, either.
You will have some stitches put in after the procedure to help the incision close up, which will be removed about a week afterward. Until then, you will need to follow your doctor's instructions for bathing, as well as changing the dressings around your stomach. You may also be sent home with a drain for the incision area, as some liquids will need to drain from the area for the first few days after surgery.
Though you will likely feel like lying down for quite a while after the tummy tuck, you should get up and walk around as soon as possible. You are still advised to take it easy, but a short, slow walk around the neighborhood may help you heal faster than relaxing for several days. Keep in mind that you should not usually do any exercise other than walking until your doctor says so; if you have a strenuous job, you will likely need to take a few weeks off.
Your surgeon should go over the recovery period expectations with you before the procedure, but it is good to know what to expect before you even decide whether to get a tummy tuck. If you do not foresee yourself being able to take at least a week off work to heal, or being able to take it easy and follow your doctor's instructions, you may want to choose another way to get a flat stomach.
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