Dangers of getting back to work immediately after a tummy tuck
Dangers of getting back to work immediately after a tummy tuck
When it comes to surgery, whatever its goals might be, the body is faced with trauma and needs time to recover. Fatigue, pain, and discomfort can be experienced during the recovery period after any type of surgery. Generally speaking, the more complex the procedure, the lengthier the recovery period will be. However, working efficiently to have a smooth and uneventful recovery period and following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon can help you reduce the side effects that can normally occur after surgery and avoid complications.
Keep in mind that the recovery period is dependent on the health condition of the patient before the procedure and the complexity of the procedure performed. When it comes to the tummy tuck, most plastic surgeons would recommend patients to take about two weeks off from work to allow the body to heal. The procedure is a complex one that entails long incisions in some cases, so there is a need to take it slowly during the recovery period. Otherwise there is a host of complications that can occur.
In this article, we will discuss abdominoplasty and the dangers of getting back to work immediately after it.
The tummy tuck
To better understand what to expect during the recovery period after an abdominoplasty, we need to have a look at how the procedure is performed and what it entails. For patients interested in undergoing the tummy tuck, it is important to mention that the surgical plan followed for the procedure is customized from patient to patient. This means that different patients will benefit from different types of tummy tucks, depending on their anatomical characteristics and goals. For example, we have the mini tummy tuck, the complete tummy tuck, the extended tummy tuck, and the hourglass tummy tuck. The recommendation for the surgical plan is made by the plastic surgeon. This means that you will know exactly what is the procedure that will most benefit you after having the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon.
Other important information about the tummy tuck is related to the length of procedure which is around two hours if abdominoplasty is performed as a stand-alone procedure and can be up to five hours for an hourglass tummy tuck. General anesthesia is recommended for a procedure of this caliber and a hospitalization period of a few hours after waking up from the effects of the anesthesia.
The surgical plan entails an incision on the suprapubic area that will be as long or short as the amount of tissue to be removed is. The plastic surgeon will make this incision that will allow him to elevate the skin from the tummy area up to the rib cage. With the skin and fat tissue detached from the muscles, the surgeon has access to these muscles which will be strengthened and brought together with sutures to correct any gap that might be between the left and right abdominal muscles. Umbilical hernias are corrected as well and the skin is re-draped on the tummy over the strengthened muscles. The belly button is repositioned if necessary, and the excess of skin on the abdominal wall is removed. A good skin tension will be created on the tummy so the abdominal wall will look flat and firm after the procedure.
Because of the length of the incision and the fact that the surgery addresses all the tissues of the tummy (muscles, fat, and skin tissue), a recovery period of about two weeks is advised. During this time, the patient needs to take time off from work to avoid complications.
Recovery after the tummy tuck
In some cases, the plastic surgeon might recommend patients a longer recovery period. This can happen if the patient is over a certain age or has preexisting conditions that we know will make the recovery more difficult. However, it is crucial to understand that the recovery period shouldn’t be spent exclusively on bed rest. The patient needs to get off the bed and take short walks every couple of hours. Not following this recommendation can result in deep vein thrombosis, a severe complication that involves the formation of blood clots and also muscular atrophy. Some patients will have a tendency to spend most of the time in bed as a protection mechanism after the surgery. Keep in mind that this attitude is not a healthy or correct one and can lead to a more difficult recovery period after the tummy tuck.
The main objectives are to manage pain efficiently and to reduce the inflammatory process that naturally follows after a surgery. The patient needs to increase his resistance to effort slowly and in time to be able to fulfill all responsibilities. Each patient will take a specific amount of time to be able to resume work or other tasks at home, and there are no two recovery periods alike.
Dangers of getting back to work immediately after the tummy tuck
The plastic surgeon will ask you to make sure you can take two weeks or more off from work for the recovery period. In a vast majority of cases, not being able to take time off for the recovery period can mean you are not an eligible candidate for the procedure.
There are patients who don’t understand why they need to stop working and consider that they can continue to work, even during the recovery period. Here are a few dangers associated with getting back to work immediately after a tummy tuck:
- Opening of the incisions
The tummy tuck entails an incision on the lower part of the tummy that can be from one hip bone to the other. Such a long incision will take some time to close and heal fully. Immediately after the procedure, the patient is advised to rest in a bent forward position and to keep the same position when walking to avoid putting too much pressure on the incisions. Any type of pressure applied on the muscles of the tummy needs to be avoided, even if we are talking about laughing, coughing or sneezing. If you get back to work immediately after the surgery, you might find it difficult to keep the right position and avoid all potential pressure factors. As a result, you might be confronted with an opening of the incisions, which is a severe complication that could lead to other even more severe complications such as an infection. In the first few days post-op, you will be experiencing tiredness, irritability and a considerable amount of discomfort, and this is normal after any type of surgical procedure. To avoid opening of the incisions, avoid all pressure on the tummy.
- Intense pain
Sitting down on a chair and working or even working in bed on your laptop can sound like something totally doable after the tummy tuck. However, patients need to understand that for a few days there will be a struggle to adjust to how you feel post-op. This means nausea, dizziness, and other discomforts might be present, as well as a certain level of pain. The plastic surgeon will give you instructions on how to reduce the intensity of pain, but work and intense physical exercises can certainly make the pain more intense.
- Prolonged recovery process
Most patients tend to believe that if they get back to work immediately after the tummy tuck, this will speed up the recovery process, but the reality is actually the opposite. Not giving the body enough time to heal when it needs it most can result in a prolonged recovery process and also more potential complications. In other words, the recommendation is to allow two weeks for the recovery process and during this time to take things slowly and gradually to avoid the need to spend more time at home recovering later on.
The tummy tuck is a complex and major plastic surgery procedure that should only be performed by a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon in an accredited medical facility or hospital. The procedure entails a recovery period of approximately two weeks, and during this time the patient is advised to take a break from work and focus exclusively on healing and recovering from the surgical trauma. Not following the plastic surgeon’s recommendations for a work stoppage after the tummy tuck can lead to complications that could otherwise be avoided. The incisions can open due to physical efforts, and the patient can also experience intense pain and a severe sense of discomfort. The recovery process can be prolonged if the patient doesn’t take time off from work and also there are more risks associated with it.