Of course you’ve made arrangements for the big day, including getting a support person, arranging for a ride home from the surgery center, as well as someone to be with you for the following twenty-four hours. But have you had a chance to think beyond the first day at home? The recovery period after a tummy tuck is a critical time for your body to heal into its new shape. Without that rest, you are at risk for injury, complications, and a less desirable outcome. Happily, the work to prep your home for tummy tuck recovery is fairly simple. These few small additions and modifications to your space will help you ace the last step on your journey to a better body.
- Limitations After Tummy Tuck Surgery
- The Essentials for a Recovery Space
- Prep Your Home for Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Fuel Your Recovery with Accessible Snacks and Water
Limitations After Tummy Tuck Surgery
When setting up your home for tummy tuck surgery–also known as an abdominoplasty, you’ll want to keep in mind the physical limitations you’ll experience after the procedure. Tummy tuck is a major surgery. For the first five days after tummy tuck surgery, prioritizing rest will be especially important. This will allow the healing process to begin. Your activity should be limited to mostly resting, while doing a little light walking around the room. Getting up to walk every so often will keep up blood circulation and minimize blood clotting.
When you’re resting, you’ll need to go easy on your healing torso by keeping your back and knees elevated. It’ll also take about one to two weeks before you’ll feel comfortable standing up straight again. Straightening your torso too soon after tummy tuck surgery can cause your scar to widen. It can also put you at risk for bleeding, injury, and harming the sutures.
Additionally, it’s important to refrain from lifting anything heavier than your shoes for about three weeks.
The Essentials for a Recovery Space
With these limitations in mind, you’ll want to choose an area of your home where you’ll be able to rest comfortably and in peace! For several days after your procedure, going up and down the stairs will be hard on your stomach. Avoid using the stairs during your recovery by choosing a floor of your home to rest in that has access to a same-level bathroom. Consider purchasing a toilet seat riser to make sitting and standing less difficult.
Your recovery space should also include a private area where you can rest, read, and watch movies. Keeping books, magazines, a tv and/or a laptop easily accessible will help pass the time.
For further reading: Creating a Beautiful Place to Heal
Tummy Tuck Recovery Secret Weapon: The Recliner (and lots of pillows!)
One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself when prepping for your tummy tuck recovery is to place a recliner in your designated recovery area. The recliner will keep you in a great healing position with minimal effort. Keeping a few pillows nearby to place behind you and under your knees if needed will also help ensure comfort and safety as you heal.
The recliner is also a great option for sleeping in after your tummy tuck surgery, as it will naturally prevent you from rolling over and will help you maintain an elevated position for your tummy and knees even as you sleep.
Fuel Your Recovery with Accessible Snacks and Water
The last thing you want to be doing after your tummy tuck surgery is going up and down the stairs numerous times a day for food! Plan to keep high-protein snacks, like protein bars, fiber-rich foods like fruit, and plenty of water close by for optimal nutrition as your body gets to work repairing muscle and tissue. Constipation can be a concern after surgery, so check with your care team to see if laxatives and stool softeners should be part of your daily routine.
If you’re the one who usually does the cooking, see if you can lean on the good graces of a family member. Ask a loved one to take over cooking and delivering your meals to your room. You’ve earned the break! To ease the burden for your stand-in cook, though, you might consider preparing healthy freezer meals before your surgery. Making a meal plan for your recovery period and setting up grocery delivery will also help lighten the load. A little work ahead of time might keep your cook from quitting on you before you’re ready to head back to the kitchen!
Tummy Tucks in Madison, Wisconsin
If you have loose skin and stubborn belly fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise, schedule your consultation today with Dr. Thomas Bartell, the Madison area’s premier body recontouring expert, to learn more about the procedure and see before-and-after photos of real patients. Dr. Bartell focuses solely on below-the-neck procedures, including tummy tucks in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dr. Bartell Body Recontouring Specialist
Prep Your Home for Tummy Tuck Recovery brought to you by Dr. Thomas Bartell