You've made the big decision to have a procedure that is going to change your life for the better—a tummy tuck surgery. And you're committed to the ongoing lifestyle change that will help make it a major success for you and those you share your life with. Your plastic surgeon has evaluated your health status and concurs that this is the right time to go ahead with abdominoplasty, the formal name for this operation in which excess fat is removed. Now all that's left is to prepare for a recovery that's the first independent step toward the new you. By planning in advance, you'll give yourself the gift of recovering in a healthy, relaxed manner that honors the commitment you've made to look and feel great from here on out.
Post-Surgical Incision Care
When you wake up from the tummy-tuck surgery and take a peek at the incision site, you'll see that your surgeon has inserted drainage tubes. These require your gentle, thorough attention over the next few days, as their purpose is to allow the natural build-up of fluid to drain away from the surgery site. During your pre-op appointment, your surgeon or a qualified medical associate will show you how to empty the drains and care for your incision after you leave the surgical facility. Make sure you obtain the proper medical supplies for self-care well before your scheduled surgery date. Although drain care is quite straightforward, you may wish to pamper yourself by contracting with a home nursing service to come in and help.
Comfortable, Stylish Clothing
Your incision site and abdominal area will be very tender after the surgery, so you'll want to avoid any clothing that rubs, chafes, or causes pressure on the area. This is a terrific excuse to go clothes shopping. You don't have to get a whole new wardrobe. After all, any swelling and discomfort will be gone within a few short weeks. But you can pamper yourself with several cute, loose-fitting outfits. It's likely that your surgeon will have you wear a compression garment for several days after the procedure, but your family or visitors won't have a clue when you're covered with a charming, stylish track suit or a pretty, flowing gown that doesn't irritate your stomach area.
Delicious, Appropriate Food Options
You've probably been very careful with your eating for some time. One of the criteria surgeons use to assess good candidates for a tummy tuck is their demonstrated dedication to weight management before committing to surgery. Don't change your healthy eating plan too much, but do add in more fruit and fiber. This diet adjustment will help you avoid constipation that can occur after anesthesia and as a result of reduced activity during recovery. Pamper yourself by stocking up before the surgery on plump, delicious grapes, fresh berries and your favorite snacking fruits that require little more preparation than washing before you nibble.
Extra Helping Hands
You won't feel like doing any housework, cooking, or other chores for a few days after the tummy tuck. And even after you're starting to feel great again, you'll still need to follow your surgeon's strict instructions not to lift anything that weighs more than five pounds for a month and a half after surgery. This restriction is a fabulous reason to hire a cleaning service to keep your home tidy during your recovery. You'll also want to allow others to drive you—or hire a car service—when you go out and about during the time you're taking prescribed pain medications. When you've regained a full range of motion after the surgery, and your doctor says you're good to go, it's fine to drive yourself again.
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