Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the belly. It can also restore muscles that have been weakened or pulled apart, as sometimes happens during pregnancy. A tummy tuck can be a good cosmetic option for problems that are not solved through diet and exercise. However, a tummy tuck does require surgery, which is followed by a period of recovery. The initial post-op recovery phase is about two weeks. That’s the point when patients can resume normal activities like driving. However, it may take 6 months to a year or more for scars to fade and numbness to go away. The following are some tips from doctors and former patients for managing recovery time for tummy tuck.
Recovery Time for Tummy Tuck Tip #1: Stay on top of your pain medication
The doctor will prescribe a pain medication, and it’s important to take the medicine on schedule rather than waiting for the pain to get bad. Most patients find that they are able to take less pain medication and recover more quickly if they stick to a schedule. Most patients are free of pain meds, at least during the day, three to four weeks after abdominoplasty surgery.
Recovery Time for Tummy Tuck Tip#2: Don’t skip the antibiotics
With any surgery, infection is a risk, so it’s important to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed and be aware of any possible signs of infection. These could include an elevated temperature and chills, pain and redness at the incision area, pus drainage, and possibly a bad odor. Patients who are concerned about an infection should contact their physician right away.
Recovery Time for Tummy Tuck Tip #3: Wear a compression garment
A compression garment is a binder that wraps around the abdomen, like a girdle. The pressure helps to reduce swelling and speed the healing process. The compression garments can be found at medical supply stores and pharmacies, and the surgeon will most likely recommend a particular style. It’s a good idea to have two or three of them on hand so that they can be washed regularly.
Recovery Time for Tummy Tuck Tip #4: Do a little walking each day
Doctors recommend getting up and moving around to advance the healing process. Being upright helps to prevent blood clots in the legs that could go to the lungs and cause breathing problems. However, patients should follow their doctor’s advice in terms of how much walking to attempt.
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