Many of my patients worry about doing too much following a tummy tuck and “hurting” the operation. This is harder to do than you think. Of course, life is a balance. I don’t want you over doing and washing your floors the day after surgery. It is important, however, to be up and walking. This will actually help with the discomfort and you will bounce back much quicker. It also helps prevent your muscles from getting stiff and tight. You need to be up walking and then resting. Wondering what you can and can’t do? Here are some Tummy Tuck recovery tips.
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Eat all of your meals at the table and not in bed. Eating meals in bed psychologically makes you think you are sick and discourages movement.
After a few days, as soon as you are starting to feel better, get someone to take you out for a drive or go for a walk outside of the house. This will help you bounce back. Remember, you are not sick, you are just recovering from surgery.
Allow yourself to take naps and to rest up. You will recover quicker this way.
What do I have to clean?
There is no point in cleaning the steri strips. The only the sutures without steris covering them are around your belly button and in the rare case where I place a drain. Don’t be concerned if the steris fall off prematurely. Clean around and inside your belly button with dilute hydrogen peroxide and a thin coat of antibiotic ointment, twice per day.
What if there is a bit of bleeding or drainage from part of the incision after surgery?
It is normal to have some drainage after surgery, especially the first day and night. This is especially common if you had liposuction at the same time. It is also common to have some light oozing or bleeding from the incision or from the umbilicus, especially the first day or first night. Just put some extra gauze and hold pressure for ten minutes. If you are concerned, send me a text. It will stop and is rarely anything to be concerned about.
When can I have sex after a tummy tuck?
When you feel up to it. Again, use common sense and be cautious.
How long after a tummy tuck can I shower?
I let all of my patients take a shower after surgery. You don’t need to cover the incisions with anything. Use whatever soap you want (no taking baths until I tell you that you can). Of course, remove any gauze on your incision but leave the steri-strips.
How soon can you walk after a tummy tuck?
You absolutely can walk up and downstairs immediately after surgery. Once again use common sense. If you need someone to help you on the stairs then do so. In my experience, almost everyone can do the stairs, as soon as the anesthesia effect has worn off.
When you walk, walk with the spine straight. It is totally erroneous that you will come apart if you walk straight. I know some people have been told that by other surgeons, but this is nonsense. You will just get a sore back!
What should I do if I am concerned about something?
If it is during office hours, please call my office at 703-406-2444. If it is after hours or on the weekend, I give all of my post op patients my personal cell phone. Do not hesitate to text me with your questions. You are never bothering me – and it is easier for me to reply to a text than a phone call.