Physical limitations during recovery after the tummy tuck
The tummy tuck procedure can bring about positive changes in the body of the patient. It is a major and invasive type of surgery, which is used to remove the excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. Depending on what the patient needs, the surgery may be more or less extensive compared to others who had the same surgery.
Nevertheless, recovery from the tummy tuck surgery still takes time. During the recovery period, there are a few physical limitations. These physical limitations are only temporary, and the patient can go back to their usual activities after they fully recover.
The body will be physically limited after the surgery. Among the physical limitations observed by the patient are the following: not being able to stand or lie down straight, not being able to do strenuous exercises, and not carrying or lifting heavy objects. Although patients are physically limited during the recovery, surgeons still advise patients to walk as an essential exercise after the surgery.
Surgeons also suggest a timeline when activities or exercises should be done. This schedule is also in relation to the physical limitations that a patient may experience after the tummy tuck. It must be followed to make sure that the body heals.
Recovering from a tummy tuck
Recovering from a tummy tuck takes time, and everybody heals at a different rate. It is important for patients to listen to their body and know how to take care of it properly. Time is a very important factor in the process of healing, which is why the body shouldn’t be rushed to heal or do what it still can’t.
With the tummy tuck, a very large incision is made in the abdominal area. As this is healing, there are some physical limitations that would be felt by the patient. Although there can be limitations, these are not permanent, and the patient can ease back to their usual physical activities as they heal and recover.
Stretching is a bad idea
One of the physical limitations during recovery from a tummy tuck is being able to stand straight. Standing up straight immediately after the surgery will be uncomfortable and bad for the results of the surgery. This position will stretch the abdominal area where the incision is made.
Stretching also adds tension to the incision site. This can negatively affect the scar that is formed. The more stretched it is, the thicker the scar would form. Although there are also other factors that can affect the size and appearance of the scar, stretching the incision site adds to the risk of developing a larger or thicker scar.
Aside from standing up straight, lying down straight should also be avoided especially during the early days of recovery. Patients are required to sleep in a reclined position. This also helps make sure the abdomen isn’t stretched even while sleeping.
Exercising is a good thing, but it is not advisable right after the tummy tuck. Patients who have gone through the surgery should limit their exercise to mostly leg work at the beginning of the recovery. Exercises should be gradual so that patients don’t risk bleeding. Limiting the exercise also helps make sure that the tissues in the abdomen adhere to each other at a faster rate.
Some patients who had a tummy tuck also had their muscles tightened at the same time. Due to the muscles being sutured to tighten them, core exercises should also be avoided for up to 4 months. This helps make sure that the muscles are healed first before they are toned or further enhanced.
No lifting or carrying anything heavy
Many of those who undergo the tummy tuck are mothers who still have small children. It is very important to remember not to carry or lift the child or any other heavy object during recovery. Lifting or carrying is an action that involves the use of abdominal muscles. This activity could also stretch the skin and tissues in the abdomen.
It is important to find someone to help out with the chores at home during recovery. They can also help the patient move around or get what they need easily. It would be easier to recover when there is someone to help and support you.
Walk around after surgery
Although patients who went through the tummy tuck are physically limited, most surgeons will still advise them to walk around after the surgery. This is the simplest exercise they can do to help their body.
Walking around is advised not only for those who went through a tummy tuck but also for patients who went through other surgeries. Through the movement of walking, the blood circulation in the legs is ensured. This prevents blood clots from forming in the legs and lodging into different areas of the body.
Timeline of possible activities during recovery
There are some people who may be able to do other activities sooner than others. This is just how their body heals. This is also the reason why patients shouldn’t match what others can and cannot do. Although people heal differently, surgeons suggest a timeline of activities during the recovery from tummy tuck.
Surgeons cannot stress enough about not doing strenuous exercises too early during the recovery. Getting back into regular strenuous exercises prematurely can result in bleeding on the site. This can result in other complications that may also cause opening of the wound.
A day after the surgery
A day after the surgery, there will be soreness. It is possible you wouldn’t want to move because you are still recovering. Patients would be in a hunchback position at this time and sleeping would also be done in a reclined position.
Two weeks after the surgery
After a couple of weeks, patients eventually feel better because some of the soreness may already be gone. At this time, only light activity is advised. Walking is a perfect way to start easing into exercise.
Four weeks after the surgery
Activities involving light weights can be done at this time but only in moderation. If possible, it is still advised not to do any lifting to make sure the incision site is not negatively affected by the force exerted.
For those who had their muscles tightened during the tummy tuck, it is advised to avoid any lifting for up to 3 months. This just ensures that their muscles are fully healed first.
The core plays a very important part in lifting and prematurely doing so will just lengthen the healing process. Letting the body fully heal first before doing any strenuous exercise is one of the best things that patients can do for their body.
Eight weeks after the surgery
At eight weeks after the surgery, patients can gradually start with exercises that specifically target the abdomen, although it is still best to wait up to 6 months before doing them. Only start with the crunches when it feels right for your body. If it doesn’t, wait a couple of weeks more.
It may seem that you have completely healed from the tummy tuck after eight weeks, but it is still best to do gradual exercises. Shocking the tummy with too many crunches will not produce immediate results and can also negatively affect the healing.
Recovery takes time, and patients should be patient enough for it. The physical limitations push patients to wait until their body is ready. Patients should learn to listen to their bodies and gradually ease into their regular activities.
The tummy tuck is an invasive surgery that will take time before a patient fully heals. During the recovery period, patients should know how to care for themselves especially because they have various physical limitations brought about by the surgery.
The physical limitations will prevent patients from being able to stand or lie down straight, carry or lift heavy weights, and do their regular workout routine. Although there are physical limitations, surgeons will still advise their patients to walk and exercise their legs.
Surgeons also suggest a timeline for the activities that a patient can do during the recovery. This timeline also relates to the physical limitations that a patient encounters during the recovery.
Recovery takes time for all patients, and each patient may heal at a different pace. It is important for those who went through surgery to be patient with their body as it heals. There is no need to rush the body. Eventually, the body will be strong enough, but patients need to take their time and gradually add to the intensity of their activities.