A tummy tuck at our Sacramento plastic surgery center can give you the flat, smooth midsection you’ve always wanted. The tummy tuck before-and-after pictures, below, show just how dramatic the transformation can be.
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But before you get to enjoy your new body, you need to recover from your procedure. Proper healing is necessary for achieving your desired results.
What is the fastest way to recover from tummy tuck surgery?
Some aspects of tummy tuck recovery can’t be rushed, but you can greatly influence the quality of your healing by following these 10 tips:
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully. This is essential to a smooth and speedy recovery and well-healing tummy tuck scars. Your surgeon has your best interest in mind and is also an expert when it comes to abdominoplasty. Failure to listen to your surgeon’s advice can not only affect your results but also be detrimental to your health.
- Have good communication with your surgeon. You may have some special post-op tasks, such as caring for a tummy tuck drain. If you have any questions about post-op care instructions, do not hesitate to call your surgeon. As stated above, your doctor’s post-op instructions are non-negotiable, so if you do not understand them, it is important to get clarification. Additionally, you should call your doctor immediately if you experience excess bleeding, shooting pain, foul odor from your incisions, or fever—these may be signs of infection.
- Ask a loved one to help you around the house. You will need a family member or close friend to drive you home from surgery and assist you during the first few days post-op. If you have combined your tummy tuck with another procedure as part of a Mommy Makeover, this help around the house is even more vital. You will have limited mobility, so it is important to have someone with you if you need anything.
- Make sure you have the right clothing. Have plenty of clean, comfortable, and loose-fitting clothing to wear on the day of surgery and throughout your recovery. Uncomfortable clothing is not ideal for getting the rest you need. To minimize swelling, it’s a good idea to purchase shapewear, such as Spanx, in addition to high-compression stockings and compression shorts.
- Stock up on any supplies you might need. We will provide you with Maxi Pads, gauze, and binders. We can also help you order compression garments. Before your surgery date, it is important to purchase other supplies like a toilet seat booster, cane, ice packs, no-slip socks, and a neck pillow.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated will help flush out your system and assist with bowel movements. Medications may hinder your digestive system and can contribute to bloating and discomfort, so drinking plenty of water is essential.
- Eat a balanced diet. Pack your diet with dark leafy greens and vitamin C-rich foods—these will help heal tissue and fight infection. Try to stick to lean protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Stay away from salty and processed foods. Also, avoid any foods that might cause gas, such as cabbage and beans.
- Quit smoking. Nicotine causes your small blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow, which can be dangerous post-op. You must not smoke for at least a few weeks before and after your procedure. This can be a great opportunity to quit altogether.
- Take it slow. Ease back into your normal routine. Start by simply walking around your house. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to start doing full aerobic activity. Always listen to your body.
- Have a positive outlook. Try to stay positive during your recovery. Keep your final results in the back of your mind whenever you get frustrated or impatient. To get a good idea of your potential with a tummy tuck, take a look at our patients’ tummy tuck before-and-after photos.
Originally published June 2018. Updated February 2022.