If you are scheduled for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) at our greater Munster, IN, plastic surgery practice in Schererville or Valparaiso, you are likely excited about the prospects but concerned about the recovery. A Tummy Tuck is one of the most rewarding procedures undertaken by our patients, resulting in a high satisfaction rate. It’s true, however, that the recovery period can be challenging for many, so we’re sharing these tips to help you plan your recovery.
Tummy Tuck recovery does present some challenges but, with advance planning, you can successfully manage post-surgery concerns about pain, mobility, compression garments, and others.
Check out this list!
- Plan for your family: If you care for others, you know what we’re talking about: shopping for and preparing meals, keeping the house orderly, driving kids to and from school, lessons and practices, and even pet care.
- Assign a family member or hire a helper for the first two weeks post-tummy tuck to do the shopping and meal prep.
- Hire a housecleaner if needed.
- Create a detailed schedule of daily drop-offs and pick-ups to be sure nobody gets left at soccer practice. Share this list with family and friends (and a hired helper if necessary) and assign someone to each spot. Be sure to give each helper a copy of their schedule, including the full address of each site.
- Plan ahead for laundry help, especially if your child wears a school uniform that requires that they dress in a certain way on a daily basis.
- Fill Your Prescriptions:
- Dr. Galante and his staff will digitally order your pain meds with your preferred pharmacy or give you paper prescriptions to manage discomfort post-surgery. It’s important that you fill these prior to your surgery date so you do not have discomfort when you arrive home.
- Be sure to have a notepad handy or use your mobile phone to track your medication schedule. You don’t want to over or under-dose pain medication.
- If you have experienced nausea with pain medication in the past, be sure to share this with Dr. Galante and his staff so that an appropriate anti-nausea prescription can be given. These are available in suppositories and tablets.
- Shop for Postop Food:
- Because you will be taking pain medication, you may become constipated, so stock up on foods such as bottled water, broth, jello, and fruits such as apples, pears and kiwis, as well as citrus fruits and green veggies. If you like prunes or prune juice, add them to your list.
- Limit high sodium foods, as they can contribute to swelling.
- Dr. Galante will advise you about alcohol consumption post-surgery.
- Purchase an ice bag or a pad that stays in the freezer (buy 2 so you have a spare when one thaws out) to place over your tummy during recovery. Dr. Galante and his staff can advise you on how often and for how long you should use an ice pack or ice pad.
- Keep Notes about Managing Drains and Compression Garments
- You will have drains in your lower abdomen following your Tummy Tuck procedure. Dr. Galante and his staff will instruct you on how to empty the drains, how often to do so, and how to manage the drains during showering.
- Your compression garment will be worn 24/7 until Dr. Galante instructs you otherwise. Many of our patients purchase a second garment so that a clean one is always available.
- Make Plans for Recovery Activities
- You won’t be able to exercise, other than walking, during the first week after your Tummy Tuck and, if you’re managing discomfort well, you may become bored. Plan some easy activities that you can enjoy: stack up those books you’ve been meaning to read; make a list of TV programs you want to binge-watch and a list of people you’ve been meaning to call but never seem to have time to do so. Keeping busy is a great way to take your mind off both your boredom and your discomfort.
A successful recovery is key to both your results and your level of satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to call our office with any concerns after your Tummy Tuck surgery: we’re here for you!
To your Health & Beauty
Gus Galante, MD, FACS
NW Indiana Board Certified Plastic Surgeon