Maximize your results during your tummy tuck recovery
Many patients are eager to see a tighter abdomen and taut skin immediately after their lipoabdominoplasty. However, the surgical procedure is just the first step. Patients must follow instructions during the tummy tuck recovery period to achieve the best results. Even though patients go home shortly after their surgery, thanks to the use of twilight sedation instead of general anesthesia, they should allow two weeks before returning to work. They should also postpone heavy lifting and strenuous workouts for two months.
Alan Greenberg MD has many years of experience sculpting the torsos of patients. In that light, the Frisco cosmetic surgeon and his team at North Texas Cosmetic Surgery have carefully crafted guidelines to reduce swelling, enhance healing and provide beautiful results.
Managing comfort during your tummy tuck recovery
Before the lipoabdominoplasty procedure, patients receive detailed instructions and prescriptions for pain management. Our Frisco cosmetic surgeon recommends having the following items.
- Prescribed antibiotics.
- Pain and anti-nausea medication.
- High-fiber supplements or stool softeners if the pain pills cause constipation.
- A recliner or extra pillows to decrease tension on the back and the abdomen.
- Towels or a sheet to protect furniture from minor blood spots.
- Vaseline and bandages to help heal liposuction holes after the drainage stops.
Incision care without drains
Although a lipoabdominoplasty is less invasive than a traditional tummy tuck, the procedure still requires three small holes for the liposuction cannula and an abdominal incision to remove excess skin. The tumescent solution used to numb the surgical area has the benefit of separating fat from tissue, making liposuction more efficient. The body naturally eliminates the solution through the liposuction holes. Patients are provided with absorbent maxi pads to tape over the holes until the drainage tapers off in 12 to 72 hours.
The longer incision from the excess skin removal is sealed with self-dissolving sutures, surgical glue and surgical tape. Do not stretch or disturb this area. Do not add tape to the incision. The glue will flake off and the sutures will dissolve as the skin heals.
Lipoabdominoplasty post-op compression garment
A compression garment is critical to the tummy tuck recovery process. It controls swelling, provides comfort and promotes optimal skin tightening. Patients receive one garment. A foam pad can add extra compression. We recommend wearing a tight-fitting shirt to reduce skin irritation from the foam pad and compression garment. Patients may want to purchase a second compression garment because it must be worn on the following schedule.
- 24 hours a day for the first three weeks, removed only for showering or laundering.
- Eight hours a day for weeks six through eight.
More recovery tips
To advance the healing process, our Frisco cosmetic surgeon recommends the following tips.
- Use the spirometer that NTCS provides four times per day to expand the lungs.
- Avoid using abdominal muscles for 4 weeks after surgery if you do not get your abdominal muscles tightened and for 2 months if you do.
- Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or supplements (other than fiber) for two weeks before to 2 weeks after your surgery.
- Eliminate alcohol for one week.
- Do not smoke for one month prior to surgery and for at least 6 weeks after surgery.