Tips and timeline for the hourglass tummy tuck recovery
Tips and timeline for the hourglass tummy tuck recovery
Abdominoplasty is the plastic surgery procedure used to help patients get rid of the excess of skin folds that can be present on the inferior part of the tummy. The procedure aims to confer a beautiful, harmonious line of the body by eliminating saggy skin, strengthening loose abdominal muscles, and making the abdomen firm and flat.
Despite the expectations of most patients, the classic tummy tuck doesn’t aim to and can’t deliver a wasp-like waist. To achieve this result and a considerable improvement in the aesthetics of the body, patients should resort to the hourglass tummy tuck.
In this article, we will discuss tips and timeline for the hourglass tummy tuck recovery.
Timeline for the hourglass tummy tuck recovery period
The tummy tuck can be a good option when the abdominal muscles have become loose and relaxed and physical exercises are not helping. Also, the procedure can deliver spectacular results and a significant improvement in the appearance of the body for mothers who had one or multiple pregnancies that affected their overall body shape, especially the midline.
Abdominoplasty is a major plastic surgery procedure, and this is why it is important to know all the details about what the procedure entails, the post-operative consultations, and the risks before starting the process of getting a firm and flat tummy.
During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will assess your candidacy by taking into consideration details about your general health condition, the condition of the tissues of the tummy, the localization of the fat deposits, the dimensions of the hips, and skin elasticity.
The procedure is performed under general anesthetic in many cases, and it requires just a short period of hospitalization. For most patients, the procedure takes between two and four hours, depending on the amount of skin to be excised and the amount of fat to be removed. There are different techniques that can be used to perform the tummy tuck, and the timeline for the recovery process can depend on the complexity of the procedure.
Most often, the plastic surgeon will make an incision on the line over the pubis, in between the two hip bones and use it to separate the skin from the abdominal wall. The muscles of the abdomen are pulled together and sutured to correct a potential gap that was in between them. The navel can also be repositioned if the sagginess is more severe. Aside from the classic tummy tuck techniques, the plastic surgeon will also use liposuction on the flanks and the abdominal wall to reduce the thickness of the adipose layer in the area and to make the waist smaller. The fat harvested with liposuction will go through a purification process, and some of it will be reinjected into the hips to create more alluring curves and the beautiful hourglass shape. The patient can return home after a few hours.
Days 1-3 post-op
The first few days after the hourglass tummy tuck, it is normal for the abdominal area to be swollen and bruised. Edema can be present also in the other areas treated, namely the flanks and the hips. The patient will have drain tubes on and will spend most of the time in bed. However, keep in mind that it is recommended to get off the bed and take a few steps around the room every couple of hours to avoid the formation of blood clots and to have a fast recovery process. The drain tubes need to be removed when there is no longer any liquid coming through them. Make sure to schedule a visit to the plastic surgeon’s office to take care of this.
Pain and discomfort are more intense during these days as the body is recovering from the surgical trauma. However, if you are consistent in taking the pain medication as per the doctor’s advice, the pain is easily alleviated.
1 week post-op
The pain and discomfort have subsided, and the patient is able to take longer and longer walks. Some of the daily activities can be resumed by this time. The compression girdle is still mandatory to be worn non-stop. Patients are advised to care of the incisions and be wary of any signs of infection.
2 weeks post-op
By this time, most patients won’t feel any amount of pain, have gotten used to sleeping and resting on the back, and have resumed most of the daily activities. No lifting is allowed and intense physical activities are to be avoided. Most patients can return to work, but this can depend on the type of work they are doing. If no intense physical activities are involved in the job description, work can be resumed now.
1 month post-op
Most patients will notice that the swelling and bruising have completely subsided, as well as the other potential side effects that can occur =. The patient is still advised to wear the compression garments during the day.
3 months post-op
The appearance of the tummy and the body in general are very close to the final expected results. The patient needs to schedule a follow-up consultation to allow the plastic surgeon to assess how the cicatrization process is going.
9 months post-op
This is when the final results transpire. The l incisions should have turned into scars after healing. By this time, the appearance of the scars should be similar to the surrounding tissue, if the cicatrization process went on smoothly. The patient is still advised to avoid sun exposure on the areas treated.
Tips for the recovery period after the hourglass tummy tuck
– To avoid the formation of blood clots, start moving around and get off the bed as soon as possible after the procedure.
– Don’t smoke for a minimum of three weeks after the procedure to allow for a fast and smooth recovery and to avoid complications such as skin and fat tissue necrosis.
– Wear the compression garments or girdle as per the doctor’s orders. Often, patients are advised to wear them nonstop for a minimum of two to three weeks and only during the day for another few weeks.
– Take the antibiotics prescribed by the plastic surgeon. The tummy tuck is a major surgery, so the plastic surgeon will prescribe antibiotics to be taken for five days post-op to avoid the occurrence of an infection that could delay the recovery process. Make sure to take the antibiotics as per the doctor’s orders.
– Take the pain medication even if you think you can do without it. The pain after the hourglass tummy tuck can be more or less intense, depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s tolerance to pain. Some patients consider that it would be better not to take the pain medication and wait for the pain to disappear. This is not a good idea as it can delay the recovery process. Pain management is important as it will allow you to move more and resume your daily activities gradually. Patients who don’t take pain medication can have a lengthier recovery process, which is something we are trying to avoid.
– Have a balanced diet and small and regular meals. Your eating habits after the hourglass tummy tuck are important not only to help you have a fast recovery process but also to avoid potential complications and to sustain the aesthetic results for longer. Small and regular meals are preferred, and patients are advised to avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages, refined sugars, and fried foods as much as possible during the recovery period. Also, make sure to keep hydrated.
Patients suffering due to an unsightly appearance of the tummy can resort to plastic surgery to have it corrected. While the traditional tummy tuck can improve the appearance of the abdominal wall, it is only the hourglass tummy tuck that can create a more beautiful silhouette as well as a wasp-like waist and a firm and flat tummy. The hourglass tummy tuck can significantly improve the aesthetic appearance of the patient, and sometimes the results can boost self-esteem. In this article, we have discussed what is to be expected during the recovery period after the hourglass tummy tuck, the timeline, and also some tips for a fast recovery.