How to Ensure Optimal Tummy Tuck Results

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Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


How to Ensure Optimal Tummy Tuck Results

A tummy tuck is one of the most transformative cosmetic procedures. Different people have this surgery for varying reasons. Some are looking to reverse adverse cosmetic changes resulting from pregnancy and childbearing. Others are looking to get rid of sagging skin after significant weight loss. Similarly, some people have this surgery in order to get rid of excess fat after gaining substantial weight. Regardless of your reason, choosing a seasoned plastic surgeon is the first step towards ensuring that you get a satisfactory procedure outcome. Preparing well for the treatment is also important. Here are some additional post-operative tips to make sure you get the most out of your abdominoplasty treatment. 

Focus on a proper diet 

Taking the right foods before and after surgery is crucial to tummy tuck recovery. Your body will need all the nutrients it can get to facilitate proper recovery. Make sure to focus on a balanced diet to ensure that you are giving your body what it needs. High-fiber rich foods, fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins are particularly important. has a very good list of foods to eat and foods to avoid after surgery. It is absolutely essential that you stay hydrated after surgery. This helps prevent some of the common complications of surgery such as vein thrombosis. Phoenix AZ plastic surgeon Dr. LaBarbera recommends that you set a timer to prompt you when it is time to drink. There are many smartphone apps that can help you with this. When it comes to staying hydrated, focus on water and healthy drinks. Stay away from sugar-rich beverages and caffeine. 

Setup a rest area 

Rest is an integral part of the recovery process, particularly after surgery. You need to give your body ample time to regenerate and heal itself. Many plastic surgeons recommend that you take a light walk as soon as you are able to after the surgery. This is only to prevent blood clots from forming and does not mean that you should over-exert yourself. Make sure that you have a comfy resting area with plenty of pillows. Some patients consider hiring a recliner to make it easier to rest during the tummy tuck recovery process. Be very gentle when getting out of bed/recliner to avoid injuries. You will also need to have all your recovery supplies in your resting area to help you pass time. These may include your favorite TV shows, magazines, or novels. 

Get someone to help 

A tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure where patients are allowed to go home on the same day as the surgery. Still, you will need someone to drive you home and help out with chores. Keep in mind that it will be hard to accomplish anything on your own during the first week or so. Things can get even more complicated if you have kids and pets. Having someone you trust – could be a friend or relative – is instrumental so you can focus your energy on the recovery. They should be able to help you take care of kids and pets, as well as perform routine chores such as prepare meals, get dressed, wash, and get in and out of bed. 

Manage your emotions 

Many patients experience emotional swings during the recovery process. These may range from feeling sad, depressed and regretful, to having feelings of unattractiveness and feeling frustrated by the healing process. Given that abdominoplasty is a huge surgery, and factoring in the narcotics, and feelings of pain and soreness, it is easy to understand these emotional swings. There is nothing wrong with you if you experience a range of different emotions in the span of a few minutes. While these are temporary, you need to take action to ensure that these feelings do not get into the way of your recovery and wellbeing. If you have a spouse or significant other, make sure to let them know that this is a normal part of the recovery process. Keeping them in the loop is also important so they can be there for you when you need emotional encouragement and support. 

Take it easy 

Being forced to stay almost inactive for weeks can be nerve-wracking for most people. This is more so true if you are an active individual who is used to a hectic way of life. You may feel the boredom trickle in and you may be tempted to get back to being productive. Despite this urge, your body still needs the time and space to recover after the tummy tuck procedure. Resist the urge to work for hours, lift heavy objects, or engage in any form of strenuous activity until after you get the go-ahead from your surgeon. 

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Weight gain after this procedure?