Certainly, undergoing a tummy tuck is probably every mother’s fantasy procedure. Same goes for most women over 35 and adults of all ages who have lost a substantial amount of weight from their midsections. Got stubborn belly fat that’s resistant to dieting and exercise? There’s a tummy tuck for that! As miraculous as the results are, we must not forget that it’s still surgery and in order to ensure the best recovery, you have to take proper care of yourself before and after the surgery.
1. Eat right before and after. As much as we’d like to have surgery fix everything and make us automatically skinny, we can’t ignore our diet (before and after). Before surgery is not the time to go nuts and consume loads of sugar and foods filled with salt and unhealthy fats. We recommend eating a diet rich in fresh produce, fish, unprocessed meats, eggs, nuts, and dairy beforehand. Do not attempt to lose weight before the procedure and do not take any medications or supplements that act as blood thinners before the surgery.
2. Take an anti-infection bath. Before the procedure, we recommend bathing with a chlorhexidine solution, which decreases the bacterial counts. In effect, this reduces the chance of a bacterial infection.
3. Take a stool softener. The pain medication given for the surgery usually causes post-surgery constipation, which is uncomfortable. To prevent this from happening, we recommend taking an over-the-counter stool softener before the surgery. We can also give you a prescription well-before the surgery to ensure it’s filled and ready for you at home.
4. You may need more time off work. While most patients can return to work within one week, sometimes they need more time to recover. We advise patients that if one week is not enough time, they may need to wait two weeks before returning to work. Of course, a lot of it has to do with transportation and the type of work they do. If you can work from home during that second week, it could be a huge plus.
5. You’ll need help moving around. Expect that in the first three days, you’ll need someone to help you get around. Even though you’ll need help getting off the couch, walking across the room, and getting into the shower at first, don’t let this keep you from moving. We always encourage patients to walk around and pump their legs in order to prevent a blood clot from forming.
6. Restrict abdominal activities for three months. With a tummy tuck, we ask patients to restrict activities that involve the abdominals for three full months. In order to preserve the internal corset-like effect of the surgery, avoid abdominal exercises, planks, weight lifting, running and Boot Camp type exercises. If this advice is not followed closely, you could experience a bulge in the abdomen, which could require a second surgery to correct it.