Now that you’ve scheduled your Tummy Tuck procedure, we’d like to offer you a list of postop plans you can employ now to make your recovery period as pleasant as possible. We know that nobody enjoys recovering from any kind of surgery and we also know that tummy tuck surgery recovery can be especially challenging because you’ll find it necessary to walk bent over and sleep either on your side with your knees up—a position unnatural to some patients—or even in a recliner.
Read Your Postop Instructions
Dr. Gerut will provide extensive postop instructions for you when you arrive for your final pre-op appointment. Be sure to read through these instructions and, by all means, fill the pain prescriptions in advance. You will want them and there’s no benefit to wait until after your procedure to get them.
One of the first tips for a good recovery is to make sure you can get extra rest. This includes good sleep, of course, but also the ability to “lay low,” and relax in front of the TV, with a good book or whatever you enjoy that doesn’t require you to be up and moving about. Too much activity too early on raises your heart rate, which can result in increased swelling.
Hydration is always important but it’s super important during recovery. Avoid all alcohol and keep caffeine to just one cup a day. Focus instead on lots of water, adding fruit to your water if that makes it more appealing.
A healthy diet is always important but even more important after any surgery. You may not feel like eating much, so stock up on easy treats like Jell-O, yogurt, and soups. These can be both comforting and contribute to your need for hydration.
Post Recovery Shopping List
Here is a list of items that you may wish to have on hand after your Tummy Tuck:
- Pain and antibiotic meds
- Stool softener: pain meds can make you constipated
- Baby wipes are refreshing for those days before you can shower
- Sanitary wipes for use after bowel movements
- Ice packs, which can be as simple as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel
- Entertainment items: books you want to read, movies you’ve been waiting to watch can all alleviate the boredom of recovery
The Bottom Line
Recovery from any surgery can be boring and, at times, challenging. Plan ahead for recovery and you’ll find yourself in better spirits and actually enjoying your recovery time!
Zachary Gerut, MD, FACS
Board Certified NY Plastic Surgeon