The first week after a tummy tuck
Most patients interested in undergoing the tummy tuck want to find out all the details about the first week after the procedure. During the first week, there are certain recommendations to be followed to the letter as they are important in avoiding certain complications. For example, the patient is advised to take short walks around the house as soon as he recovers from the effects of the general anesthesia to avoid the formation of blood clots. Smoking should be ceased three weeks before the procedure and the patient should remain non-smoking for at least three more weeks after.
It is natural for the patient to experience a certain level of discomfort and pain during the first week following the tummy tuck surgery. The procedure is a major one that dissects multiple tissues of the tummy such as the skin, fat and even the muscles when muscle diastasis is present, and the plastic surgeon needs to correct it by using sutures. To alleviate the pain, the surgeon will prescribe medication to be taken at regular intervals for the first week. It is not a good idea not to take the pain medication as the body is still recovering and there is no point in subjecting yourself to more pain than necessary.
During the first week following the tummy tuck, the patient will also need to go see the surgeon again for a follow-up consultation. During this consultation, the surgeon will remove the drain tubes if there are no more liquids draining through them and will also check for any signs of infection. The patient is advised not to sleep on the tummy, and if the hourglass tummy tuck was performed, sleeping on the sides should be avoided as well to not put too much pressure on the operated sites. Also, you might find it helpful to fill the bed with pillows that you can rest your upper body on when lying in bed. This way it won’t be as difficult to lift your body from the bed.
For the first few days after the procedure, it is essential to avoid any pressure on the surgical incision, so lifting and getting your body in bed should be made with utmost care. Also, keep in mind that you might be advised to keep a slightly bent forward position of the upper body when walking or standing up, and even when sitting on a chair. This is again not to force the incisions open.
During the first week post-op, it is important for the patient to keep the incision site clean and dry and check for signs of infections every day. If symptoms such as fever, pus, redness of the incision site and pain in the tummy occur shortly after the procedure, your doctor should be contacted immediately.