Abdominal fat can be famously hard to get rid of, even with the traditional diet and exercise methods. If you’ve lost significant weight and are struggling to lose the last few inches, then it’s important to know that the tummy tuck can be an effective option. Since the tummy tuck is an invasive surgery, however, it comes with some downtime. There are some important steps to follow to make sure your recovery is successful, so here are just a few to keep in mind as you schedule your consultation.

Do Make Post-Surgery Arrangements for Recovery

Because you’ll be under general anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange a ride home from the hospital and for assistance the first night or two post-surgery. Make sure to have an area set up for resting with everything you’ll need to relax like electronic devices, phone chargers, reading material, snacks, aftercare materials, and medication. You should also make sure you have plenty of pillows and are located in a quiet, climate-controlled area of your living space. This ensures you’ll be comfortable and able to get the rest you need.

Don’t Strain Yourself

You’ll likely have to remain in certain positions and wear a compression garment for the duration of your recovery, and it’s important to follow these instructions as best as possible. This also means no heavy activity for at least the first six weeks, which includes exercising, carrying kids or pets, and grocery shopping. You’ll need to arrange for help with taking care of kids or pets, as well as running errands. As your recovery goes on, Dr. Shienbaum will clear you for different activities based on your progress.

Don’t Stay Completely Still

While you should avoid overexertion, you should try not to be completely inactive. In fact, you may be specifically instructed to get up and do some light walking the first few days after the procedure in order to help avoid complications. Light exercise helps prevent blood clots and other complications, so make sure to take light walks around the house during the first few days.

Do Rest in a Comfortable Position

It’s important to lay down on an incline after a tummy tuck. It helps to think of sitting in a beach chair. Keep your back and head slightly elevated, and place a pillow under your knees when sleeping to decrease pressure on the surgical area. When sleeping, make sure to put some large pillows around you to make sure you don’t accidentally sleep on your side or stomach.

Don’t Neglect Diet or Healthy Habits

Tummy tucks reduce fat and reshape your figure, but they shouldn’t be treated as a weight loss procedure. You’ll have to maintain results with a healthy diet. During your recovery, make sure to reduce sodium and refined carbohydrate intake (as well as carbonated beverages) to avoid bloating. Include more fiber to decrease constipation and get plenty of protein to speed healing – that’s because protein helps fight infections and repair damaged tissues. Avoid alcohol and smoking to speed the healing process and increase blood flow.

Do Be Realistic

Your plastic surgeon will discuss the entire procedure and what to expect from each stage of recovery. Keep in mind that you won’t see results immediately or at the same rate as others, so measuring yourself daily will only discourage you. Stay positive and patient with the healing process so you don’t compromise your results. Returning to normal activity and work too soon may mean you don’t achieve the flat, toned look you’re hoping for.

Schedule a Consultation

The best way to learn more about your ideal tummy tuck procedure is by meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. To get started, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shienbaum at our Brandon office by calling or filling out our online form.