Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a major cosmetic surgery procedure, which involves a significant recovery component.
Patients should take the recovery process seriously and follow the surgeon’s post-operative care instructions thoroughly to achieve safe and optimal results. During the initial consultation, the surgeon will discuss all aspects of a tummy tuck, including recovery.
The surgeon will educate the patient about tummy tuck recovery with precise information on the estimated downtime.
Their foremost concern will be to help the patient make a well-considered decision. Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery (VIPS), led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides tummy tuck to patients in Richmond, Fredericksburg and surrounding Virginia communities.
Staying Home after Surgery
The patient should be prepared to stay home for a few days after tummy tuck plastic surgery procedure and take plenty of rest. In case of a fully tummy tuck surgery, the downtime may be about one week to 10 days. In cases where abdominal muscle repositioning is not involved, the downtime will be slightly reduced.
If the patient is working, they should apply for leave from work well in advance in order to have a complete stress-free initial recovery at home.
The surgeon will encourage the patient to take short walks at home during this period to maintain blood flow, stay sufficiently hydrated, take a diet rich in lean proteins, and refrain from excessive bending, lifting heavy weights or performing vigorous activities.
Early Recovery Phase
Drainage tubes will be temporarily placed under the skin in the incision areas for the first week after tummy tuck surgery. The patient should empty the drain regularly as instructed and keep a record of the amount of fluid collected. The cosmetic surgeon will also provide a compression garment, which should be worn continuously during the early recovery period.
The patient will experience mild bruising, swelling and soreness in the first few days. Pain medications prescribed by the surgeon will help to keep the patient comfortable. If the patient has little children to look after, they may consider hiring a help for a few days until the healing has improved.
Mitigating Scar Appearance
While some amount of scarring is inevitable in any tummy tuck cosmetic surgery procedure, it is possible to minimize the appearance of scars with discreet incision placement. During recovery, the patient should protect the incision areas against sun exposure. Silicone cream or sheets or petroleum-based jelly may be applied to improve the appearance of scar tissue.
The surgeon will advise the patient to completely avoid smoking for at least two to three weeks following tummy tuck surgery. Smoking can delay the recovery by interfering with the healing process. Risk of infections, scarring, and other complications can increase if the patient continues to smoke in the weeks following tummy tuck surgery. Results will be more sustainable if the patient maintains an active and balanced lifestyle in the long run.
Set Up a Recovery Station in the Bedroom
The patient can boost healing by creating a well-organized dresser in the bedroom containing daily basics like cell phone, AV remote, tissues, small water bottles, Vaseline, and of course the important pain medication. It is sagacious to grab plenty of rest in the first week after tummy tuck surgery.
Committed plastic surgeons at VIPS receive patients from Richmond, Fredericksburg and surrounding Virginia communities for tummy tuck surgery.
Serving Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Fredricksburg, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Maryland, Richmond, VA and surrounding communities.