The tummy tuck is consistently one of our most requested procedures at our London cosmetic surgery clinic, which is not surprising as it can transform the appearance of the abdomen in a way that diet and exercise alone often fails to do. Although very popular surgery, though, it’s still a major operation.
One of the most important factors in getting great tummy tuck results is ensuring that the recovery process is as smooth as possible. Here is the advice from our experts – the Karidis Clinic nurses – on how to deal with the downtime.
Tummy tuck recovery tip #1: Dealing with the pain
Many of our tummy tuck patients are women who have been pregnant before and often have undergone a C-section which has impeded their ability to tone up their abdomen once they’ve completed their family. Reports vary on whether a tummy tuck or C-section is more or less painful but, regardless, it’s important you manage any pain or discomfort to ensure as smooth a recovery as possible.
“It’s best to take pain medication with food so keep biscuits or similar snack on your bedside table in case you wish to take anything during the night,” Suzi Noble, Senior Nurse Practitioner at Karidis Clinic explains. Another useful tip: “Make a note of any pain medication you’ve taken and at what time in a notebook, as it can be difficult to keep track of in the first few days after surgery.”
Tummy tuck recovery tip #2: Have your support system in place
This is particularly important if you’re a mum looking after young children, as your automatic response is to scoop them up, but lifting even a very young toddler too early could put stress on your incisions, possibly delaying your recovery and affecting how well your scars heal. “There should be absolutely no heavy lifting for the first two weeks minimum,” Suzi explains. “If you have young children, make sure you have some help!”
Tummy tuck recovery tip #3: Get moving
“Take it easy – but not too easy,” is Suzi’s advice. “The quicker you are up and about the better you will feel in the long run. Make sure you rest at regular intervals in the first few days, but you should be pottering around to get the blood flowing around the body.”
Tummy tuck recovery tip #4: Be prepared
Take time before your procedure to plan your recovery and you won’t regret it. Suzi recommends reviewing your loungewear and stocking up on comfy joggers or pyjamas. “You’ll want to wear clothes that don’t rub or put pressure on the abdomen area in the first couple of weeks and that are easy to take on and off without too much bending.”
Tummy tuck recovery tip #5: Eat well to heal well
Suzi’s advice is to embrace smoothies and juices in the first few weeks after surgery. “The nutrients from the fruits and vegetables will aid with healing and they can also help with the less pleasant side-effects of surgery – bloating and constipation – which will make your recovery much more comfortable!”
If you wish to read a more in-depth article on foods to aid your recovery process, click here to read a blog by our Karidis Clinic nutritionist Yvonne Wake. For more advice on all aspects of tummy tuck surgery, call 020 7432 8727 to arrange a consultation.