How to Make Your Tummy Tuck Results Even Better
The tummy tuck recovery process can seem scary from the outside, and it may feel like a long journey between the day of your surgery and the day you confidently bare your new stomach. But at Princeton Plastic Surgeons, we are here to make your recovery as easy as possible — we know in just a few weeks after your surgery, you will be back on your feet and feeling like it was all worthwhile.
If you’ve opted for a tummy tuck in New Jersey this fall, our team at Princeton Plastic Surgeons is here to make sure your surgery and recovery are smooth and straightforward.
Post-Surgery Diet and Exercise
Eating a healthy, balanced diet after your surgery is the best thing you can do to start off on the right foot. Not only will it be a first step towards keeping yourself healthy in the long run, but it can also have an impact on how comfortable you are during your recovery.
We recommend avoiding foods and beverages that can cause excess fluid retention, bloating or gassiness — especially foods high in sodium or carbonated drinks. During your recovery, your abdomen will be extremely sensitive for at least the first two weeks and somewhat sensitive for the first four to eight weeks. Eating foods that cause swelling and rumblings in that part of your body will only result in unneeded pain and discomfort.
Unnecessary physical activity of any kind (including walks or lifting light objects) is not recommended during the first two weeks of recovery. Most patients are cleared for light exercise after four weeks, and moderate exercise after eight weeks. Since you won’t be able to rely on exercise to burn calories gleaned from fast food or sweets, it’s best to avoid junk foods until you are up and moving. We know how tempting it can be to order a pizza or reach for the leftover Halloween candy, especially when you have limited mobility post-surgery; we recommend stocking up on healthy snacks and easy-to-prepare meals so that you have nutritious choices within arm’s reach when you get hungry.
Bumps on the Road to Recovery
Your post-surgery body promises to be slimmer and sexier, but recovering from a tummy tuck surgery is anything but glamorous. Recovery from any surgery will have its awkward moments, and a tummy tuck comes with its own set of unexpected complexities.
One of the most common recommendations we offer our tummy tuck clients is that they take a laxative along with their prescription pain medications.
Heavy pain medications are known to cause constipation, which, in the case of a tummy tuck recovery, can be even more painful or uncomfortable than usual due to abdominal sensitivity. Additionally, in your first two weeks, be sure you have a trusted friend or relative to assist you at all times; you will have very limited mobility even without the added wooziness from your pain medications.
For a while, you may need assistance using the bathroom, showering or even just standing up.
Finally, talk to your surgeon about what to expect in terms of bloating and swelling. It may take several weeks for your tummy to appear “tucked” due to post-surgical swelling in the area. This is your body’s natural reaction to a serious surgery and is nothing to worry about; rest assured that it’s common to be frustrated by the fact that your body feels more like a round pumpkin than a curvy summer squash.
Long-Term Lifestyle Changes
We always remind our tummy tuck clients that their results will not last a lifetime on their own. A tummy tuck removes extra skin and fat, but as your body bounces back, continued unhealthy habits will start the process of weight gain and skin stretching all over again. A healthy diet and regular exercise can bring benefits to your life beyond keeping your tummy trim — they can improve your energy levels, decrease your risk of a host of serious illnesses and continue to change your body for the better.
If you are a prospective candidate for a tummy tuck surgery, we recommend starting to live a healthier lifestyle as soon as you can instead of waiting until after your procedure. It’s much easier to stay in shape after your surgery if you already live a healthy lifestyle. There is no secret potion or spell that can make your tummy tuck results last: it takes dedication to your long-term health and the determination to keep your body in its best shape.
At Princeton Plastic Surgeons, we are dedicated to our clients’ comfort and confidence during their recovery and beyond. If you have questions about your recovery, would like to find out if you are eligible for a tummy tuck surgery or wish to learn more about our services, contact us today at 609-910-1114. We are available to help you learn more about tummy tuck surgery and recovery or to schedule your consultation.