A tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck offers a number of potential benefits – from improving the appearance of the stomach, to reducing back pain when the core muscles are weak, and increasing your exercise tolerance.
If you are considering a tummy tuck or have one planned, you should know that there are ways to speed up the recovery process following the procedure. In this blog, we will run through some of the important aspects of recovery – but first, let’s ensure we understand the ‘tummy tuck essentials’…
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck – also known as abdominoplasty – is a cosmetic procedure which involves surgery to enhance the abdomen’s appearance. The procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdomen, and the tightening of fascia (connective tissue in the abdomen) with sutures, before the remaining skin is relocated to produce a look which is more toned.
Is a tummy tuck right for me?
There are several reasons why you might be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. In general, people who have a tummy tuck want to address poor skin elasticity, excess fat or weakened tissues in the abdomen. These features may have developed due to pregnancy, significant weight changes, ageing, or abdominal surgery. In other cases, they may be due to your natural body type.
Note that while a tummy tuck is able to remove excess fat and skin while tightening the fascia, it is not a solution to get rid of stretch marks.
You may not be suitable for a tummy tuck if: you are considering pregnancy in the future; you are planning to lose a lot of weight; your body mass index is over 30; you have a severe chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease; you have undergone abdominal surgery previously and have a large scar; or you are a smoker.
How can I prepare for a tummy tuck?
The boxes you need to tick for a tummy tuck aren’t just limited to the recovery. They also concern preparation. Before you suitability for the procedure is confirmed, you would typically talk to your plastic surgeon, and allow them to review your medical history, tell them about any medications you are allergic to, and explain your reasons for wanting to have a tummy tuck. You would usually undergo a physical exam to identify the best treatment options.
In preparation for a tummy tuck, you may be advised to: avoid specific medications; stop smoking; maintain a stable weight; and make plans for your first days of recovery, including arranging the help of a family member, partner or friend to drive you home and stay with you for the first night following the procedure.
What can I expect during the tummy tuck recovery process?
So let’s get to the crux of this article. What can you expect during the recovery process, and which steps do you typically need to take?
It is important to remember that recovery is different for everyone and will depend on factors such as your age, body weight, and overall health, as well as the type of tummy tuck you have had.
You’ll be given clear instructions for your home recovery, and following these closely can help to speed up your recovery. Advice is likely to include:
– Ways to avoid infection.
– How to care for the incision site and drain tubes which are fitted for a few days to flush away excess fluid.
– How to manage your physical activity, including activities to avoid.
– How much rest you should aim for.
– What you should eat.
– Dates to attend future appointments with your plastic surgeon.
Those are some of the key elements to recovery from a tummy tuck. Remember – following recovery steps is vital to healing your body and bouncing back after recovery!