Many people fantasize about getting a body makeover. Just about every person over the age of 30 – and especially women who have had children – include a tummy tuck into this make-believe plan to makeover their body. More and more, studies are showing that belly fat is one of the most prevalent and difficult challenges to overcome as we age. While abdominoplasty is not an answer to excess weight (nor is liposuction, by the way), there is value in this procedure as a complement to healthy lifestyle habits.
Abdominoplasty is a leading procedure sought by more than 125,000 men and women each year for the past several years running. As advantageous as it is, tummy tuck surgery is still surgery. Having surgery means that there will be a recovery period. Here, we want to discuss a few strategies that can help you make the most of your tummy tuck journey.
Experienced cosmetic surgeons agree that healthy dietary and exercise habits before tummy tuck surgery translate into an easier recovery. Patients who are interested in losing weight should do so well before abdominoplasty. Losing a substantial amount of weight quickly to prepare for surgery may deplete the body of the nutrients that will help it recover. Before a tummy tuck, think healthy; think whole foods; think fresh. This is a great way to prepare for your recovery.
Plan for the Unexpected
Try as we might, many patients still feel surprised by certain aspects of their tummy tuck recovery. One important point we stress is that help will be needed during the first week or so after surgery. Here’s what we mean by help: you will need someone to bathe you initially; you will need someone to assist you when you go to the bathroom, or at least keep a close eye on you. These are some of the most fundamental ways that we normally care for ourselves so it makes sense that the temporary loss of this ability can feel surprising.
Another unexpected event that should be expected after abdominoplasty is constipation. After a tummy tuck, comfort is maintained with the regular use of prescription pain medication. The most common side effect of medication is constipation. Constipation is never pleasant but is even worse after a major abdominal surgery. Plan for constipation by taking a laxative or stool softener either before your surgery or alongside your pain medication.
Take Your Time
Many patients are able to return to work after one week of tummy tuck recovery. Just because some can doesn’t mean you will, though. Our recommendation for all patients is that they take two to three weeks leave from their job and other activities to allow healing to progress at its own speed. Doing too much too quickly after abdominoplasty can prolong the process.
This is the time of year when more people are thinking about the benefits of a tummy tuck. To learn more about body contouring procedure, contact us online or call our Englewood, NJ office at 201-567-9595.