A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in America. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimate that there are more than 100,000 abdominoplasties done each year—that's a lot of tummy tucks.
Although the tummy tuck is a fairly easy procedure, most of the success lies in the recovery. If you are thinking about undergoing the knife, keep these simple do's and don'ts in mind:
In order to heal quickly, you should follow these don'ts:
- DON'T Smoke: Most surgeons recommend that you stop smoking at least 20-days prior to the surgery. You should also avoid smoking for at least 20-days following the surgery. Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes are extremely bad for the skin; they also hinder blood flow, which prolongs healing.
- DON'T eat junk food: After surgery, it is important that you follow a healthy and well-balanced diet. After all, your body has undergone some major changes and it needs proper nutrition to heal. Your surgeon will likely give you a list of post-op approved foods, which may include salmon, chicken, spinach, kale, apples, and berries.
- DON'T take showers: Getting clean after a major surgery is important, but it is also tricky. After the surgery, you will have stitches that need to remain dry—and showering will only get them wet, which can lead to infection. If you want to get clean following the surgery, use sponge baths; this will allow you to stay clean without causing complications.
By following these don'ts, you will help ensure that you heal quickly and properly. It will also help you to avoid any possible complications.
You can also help speed your recovery by following these do's:
- DO wear firming support garments: You will likely have swelling following the tummy tuck procedure. Although swelling is normal after most surgeries, it is something that you want to minimize. You can reduce the swelling by wearing a firming support garment on your mid-section. The firming support will also help shape and smooth the skin on your abdominals.
- DO stay hydrated: It should go without saying that your body needs water after a major surgery. Staying properly hydrated helps your body flush out toxins and repair skin cells. Your surgeon should recommend a daily water intake for you; but in general, most doctors advise drinking at least 2 1/2 liters of water before—and after—the surgery. You should also be sure to drink plenty of water the days following the surgery.
- DO sleep in an inclined position: It may not be the most comfortable sleeping position, but it will help to speed recovery. By sleeping in an inclined position, you will reduce the strain in your stomach—it will also help prevent blood clots.
By following both the items in the do's and don'ts field, you can help ensure that you recovery quickly—and smoothly—from your tummy tuck procedure. Remember, if you are in doubt about anything at all, ask a surgeon such as Body Spectrum Plastic Surgery Center - Bruce R Barton MD. He or she will able to give you more direct answers and point you in the right direction.