Performing daily activities after the tummy tuck
The tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure to contour the abdomen by removing the excess skin and fat and tightening the separated abdominal wall muscles. There are many factors that can cause the abdomen to become saggy, such as pregnancy, weight fluctuations, genetics, aging, and gravity. You may consider the tummy tuck if your abdomen has become saggy.
The tummy tuck surgery is not an end in itself. In fact, it is the way to an end. The results of the procedure will not be achieved if you are not careful during the recovery period. There are certain conditions you must follow when it comes to life after the surgery. One of the common question plastic surgeons get to hear pertains to the daily activities after the tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck
The tummy tuck is a major procedure. In order to understand why it is important to be careful when performing daily activities after the tummy tuck, you must know what the surgery involves and how severe the post-operative trauma can be.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis. After the anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will place incisions on your abdomen. The type and size of the incision depend on your aesthetic goals, the aesthetic flaws in your abdomen, the surgeon’s recommendations, and your overall health.
After placing the incision, the plastic surgeon will access the separated abdominal wall muscles through the incisions and tighten them. If the muscles are not separated or loosened up, this step will be skipped. In the next step, the plastic surgeon will change the position of the belly button. The belly button will be moved to a higher and more youthful position.
In the next step, the plastic surgeon will remove the excess, saggy skin from the abdomen. This is the most important and most traumatizing step in the whole operation. After removing the excess skin, the surgeon will remove the excess fat from the abdomen, if there are any. In the last step, the plastic surgeon will re-drape, suture, and close the remaining skin.
The patient may be allowed to go home, depending on her health. The result of the tummy tuck will gradually emerge over the next few weeks. Afterwards, your abdomen will be firmer, youthful, and toned. As a result of the physical improvements, you will experience a boost in your self-esteem.
Recovery after the tummy tuck and daily activities
Recovery after the tummy tuck surgery is one of the most important phases of the whole surgery. In fact, the surgery does not end with the procedure. You must go through a complete recovery process to achieve the desired aesthetic results and avoid health complications.
When it comes to performing daily activities after the tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon is your best resource for advice on it. You will not be allowed to perform your routine activities that involve physical activities for a certain time period.
The tummy tuck involves extended downtime. The patient must stay in bed and take sufficient rest for at least 2-3 weeks. As such, you should take this point into consideration when scheduling your operation. You will not be able to resume work for at least two weeks post-operation. This time period can be different for different patients, depending on how well they heal, but the minimum downtime is two weeks.
After the procedure, you will not be able to move around and do physical activities. As such, you won’t be able to resume work. Be sure to take at least two weeks off work for recovery after the tummy tuck. After two weeks, you may be able to resume work; however, if your job involves physical activities, you should take more time off work. Physically demanding activities can cause the incisions to open up, leading to bleeding and poor wound healing.
Running the household chores is one of the biggest concerns of women who undergo the tummy tuck. These household activities include cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, looking after small children, and other important activities. Given the surgical trauma involved in the tummy tuck, you will not be able to run your household errands for at least three weeks post-operation.
These household activities are physically strenuous, requiring physical dexterity that can apply pressure to the incisions and result in bleeding, incision opening, infection, and poor aesthetic results. The patient must make sure to arrange for someone to take care of the household activities for at least three weeks after the surgery. Also, make it certain to arrange for someone to take care of your small children. After three weeks, you may resume household activities like cooking; however, you should still avoid activities that are physically demanding. After six weeks, you can do all physical activities at home.
Tummy tuck patients are not allowed to drive for three weeks after the surgery. If you are taking medication, you cannot drive even three weeks after the surgery. Driving requires physical efforts, which can cause the wounds to open. Instead of driving, you must spend your time resting in bed so the incisions can heal quickly and properly. Given that you can’t drive for three weeks after the operation, you must ensure to arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital after the operation. Also, be sure to have someone to drive you to work after two weeks.
Since you cannot go shopping for three weeks after the surgery, make it certain to do all your shopping before the procedure. Make sure to have enough stock of foods and other essential items that can last for three weeks. After three weeks, you may start to drive; however, be careful when driving.
There are many people who ask whether they should exercise after the tummy tuck. Given that physical activities can trigger health and aesthetic problems after the surgery, you must avoid exercises for at least six weeks after the tummy tuck. Since exercises require you to do strenuous physical activities, they can cause the wound to open up and become infected.
There is no doubt that exercises are good for health, but it is never recommended right after any surgery. After the procedure, your body will be traumatized, bruised, swollen, and painful. It is not possible and not recommended to engage in exercise in this condition. However, your surgeon may encourage you to get up and take slow and short walks every few hours during the recovery period. This will help circulate your blood and avoid complications like clotting and constipation resulting from inactivity.
Physical activities like running, jumping, and lifting weight must be avoided for six weeks after the procedure. These activities are extremely strenuous and can lead to wound dehiscence, seroma, hematoma, infections, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, and abnormal scarring. It is important for patients to understand that they have gone under the knife for aesthetic purposes; however, these activities not only make the surgery futile but also lead to major and life-threatening health complications. Be sure to avoid these activities for six weeks after the surgery. After six weeks, you may resume these activities gradually. Do not go about it suddenly and engage in extreme activities.
When it comes to sleeping after the tummy tuck, you must be careful with that as well. You must not sleep on your abdomen for three weeks after the surgery. Instead, you should sleep on your back and side. While this may seem daunting to many people, it is an opportunity cost for the aesthetic results you have to achieve. When you sleep on your abdomen (which has already been operated upon), it can cause the wounds to open up and trigger bleeding and infection. After three weeks, you may resume sleeping on your front, but don’t do it for a prolonged time.
Bending and stretching
Bending and stretching your body are two common physical activities that have already caused complications for many tummy tuck patients. When you bend or stretch your body, the incisions simply fall apart, causing the wound to heal poorly and slowly, besides trigger bleeding and leading to infections. Patients must avoid bending and stretching their bodies for six weeks after the procedure.
A tummy tuck is relatively riskier than most plastic surgeries because it involves removal of the excess skin from the abdomen. As such, it is important for patients to follow the surgeon’s instructions when it comes to the post-operative recovery, especially in terms of physical activities. In this article, I have discussed what types of daily activities to avoid, for how long, and when to resume those activities and how. Be sure to follow these instructions and those provided by your surgeon. Doing so will help make the recovery process a smoother and comfortable experience for you, besides helping you achieve the desired results safely.
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