A tummy tuck can help you feel more confident by creating a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your abdomen, but many people have concerns about recovery after this procedure. With my surgical approach, tummy tuck patients from Fort Myers and Naples are able to get out and enjoy their results sooner, and with less discomfort, making the decision to have the surgery an even more positive one.
While my team and I provide support every step of the way, there are a few things you can do before and after your surgery to make recovery even smoother. In this blog post, I’ll share a few ideas for steps you can take to make sure your experience is as comfortable and brief as possible.
My Tummy Tuck Approach
There are 2 major steps I take during surgery to set the stage for a speedy and effective recovery.
To help my patients manage discomfort, I apply EXPAREL®, a non-opioid medication that provides long-lasting relief without the need for pain pumps or heavy prescription medications.
To negate the need for post-op drains, I use a “no drains” technique that involves anchoring the skin to the underlying tissue with progressive tension sutures. This minimizes discomfort and inconvenience, speeds up the recovery process, and allows you to stand upright in just a few days.
The steps you can take ahead of your procedure to promote a healthy recovery include:
- Meal prepping: Eat foods that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and zinc. Foods to avoid include salt, soda, and alcohol.
- Planning: Plan to take 2 weeks off work. You won’t be able to drive right away, so you’ll need to arrange for transportation. Child care and pet care arrangements for the first couple of weeks is highly recommended.
- Creating a healing space: Set up a comfortable space that’s close to the bathroom. Make sure water, snacks, and sources of entertainment are nearby.
- Setting up the bathroom: Prep your bathroom with a toilet seat booster that will make sitting and standing up easier. Keep a stool softener on hand.
- Quitting smoking: Stop smoking a few weeks before your surgery to lower the risk of complications.
Once your tummy tuck is complete, you can enhance the healing process at home by:
- Wearing a compression garment: This helps keep the swelling down.
- Caring for scars: We now offer the Silagen® Scar Refinement System, which creates dramatic improvements in the appearance of scars. Learn more about caring for scars in this blog post.
- Sleeping: Sleeping in a recliner is best since you’ll want to have a slight bend at the waist to prevent strain on your incision. Also, getting up from a recliner is easier than from a regular bed.
- Walking soon: I encourage patients to get up and walk immediately after surgery. There’s no need to wait for several days. Thanks to EXPAREL, you’ll be able to take brief walks that will greatly reduce your risk of developing blood clots.
- Being patient: You may not see the final results for several months. Rest assured, your swelling will continue to subside and my team and I will make sure your recovery is right on track.
Once your recovery is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy the much-anticipated results. To see real patient examples of the transformation you can expect, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery at my Naples-Fort Myers practice, please contact us online or call (239) 262-5662 to request a personal consultation.