A tummy tuck is an extremely efficient, effective, and safe way to improve your appearance, especially after pregnancy. In fact, it is one of the most popular procedures when women decide a mommy makeover could benefit them. At the head of Cosmetic Surgery of DFW for mommy makeovers in Fort Worth, TX is Dustin C. Derrick, MD, a plastic surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Surgery for over half of a decade.
How Long Is Recovery After a Tummy Tuck?
It can take your skin almost a year to heal fully from the incisions made during a tummy tuck. However, you won’t need to take nearly a year off from work to recover from surgery. Most women who undergo abdominoplasty return to work within a week of their procedure. In some cases, a couple of weeks are taken off to recover, but such cases usually occur when several cosmetic procedures are undergone or the scope of the work is physically laborious.
How Can I Recover From Surgery Faster?
Get As Much Deep Sleep as You Can
One of the best things you can do to recover from a tummy tuck faster is to get as much deep sleep as you can. It is in the final stage of each sleep cycle that most of your skin’s healing occurs. To get to this stage, you need to sleep through all of the preceding stages of the sleep cycle. If you can sleep for several hours consecutively, your body will spend longer and longer in the REM (very deep) stage of the sleep cycle.
Note that in addition to getting as much deep sleep as you can, you should take care to sleep on your back during the first couple of weeks post-op. Your incision sites will be protected by a bandage, but it is still highly advisable that you do not sleep on your stomach or side. This pressure applied to the incision sites may slow down your recovery process. You may want to practice sleeping on your back prior to surgery to make sure you don’t roll over in your sleep.
How To Sleep More Deeply
If you find yourself waking up feeling poorly rested, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders every year. You may want to experiment with different techniques for sleeping better before your procedure. Some people find that their sleep quality improves significantly when they take a 1.5 mg tablet of melatonin. Others find that they need to take 21 mg of melatonin to get a restful night’s sleep.
Others still find that they don’t need to take a melatonin supplement at all. Rather, they just need to change up their nighttime routine a bit. You may discover that you only need to avoid exposure to blue light for an hour or two before you want to fall asleep.
Drink As Much Water as You Can
You can also help your recovery process go smoother by drinking as much water as you can. You can get water from hydrating foods and beverages, like broth-based soup, produce, tea, and coffee. However, a lot of your hydration should come from the tap in your kitchen sink. If you get tired of drinking water, that’s okay. You can improve the taste of your water by infusing it with some of your favorite fruit. This will also improve its nutrition.
If you notice your urine is dark, remember that thirst is an extremely poor indicator of dehydration. It is known as a lag indicator because you have been dehydrated for quite a while by the time you notice that you feel thirsty. Even worse, people often mistake their thirst cues for hunger and reach for a salty snack rather than a glass of water. You may want to set alarms on your phone to help you remember to drink if you usually rely on your thirst to help you hydrate.
Eat As Nutritiously as You Can
Making a point to maintain a nutritious diet will also go a long way in helping you recover from surgery faster. Focus on getting your recommended daily allowance of protein and vitamin C. In addition, you may benefit from increasing your soluble fiber intake until you stop taking prescription analgesics. While there is no special post-op diet you will need to follow, you may want to focus on getting most of your calories from fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and poultry.
It is not uncommon to have little appetite after receiving general anesthesia. If you’re not hungry, you don’t have to force yourself to eat a large, heavy meal. However, you should strongly consider sipping on a nutritious smoothie. If you normally make your smoothies with ice cream or regular yogurt, consider using Icelandic or Greek yogurt for extra protein. Also, consider adding protein- and vitamin C-dense veggies to your smoothie and mask the taste with citrus fruits.
Even though it is very important to rest after a tummy tuck, it is also very important to get up and move regularly. On the day of your procedure, you shouldn’t expect to have the endurance you usually do. This is perfectly normal. Recovering from surgery requires a tremendous amount of energy, and anesthesia can make you feel extremely tired for 24 hours. Just do your best to walk around your house for a bit. If you feel up to it, go for a short stroll around your neighborhood.
The day after your procedure, you should not be surprised if you can walk a lot farther than you could the day before. Continue walking until you restore your previous strength. After just a few days post-op, you should be able to walk for at least 30 minutes at a time. This is what you should aim for every day with no more than two rest days per week. Note that the AHA and CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly for your health.
Am I a Good Abdominoplasty Candidate?
To be considered a good candidate for cosmetic surgery, you need to be fairly healthy. To be considered a good abdominoplasty candidate, you should also be concerned about your abdominal skin. You will generally be considered a good candidate for a mini tuck if you are only concerned about loose or excess skin below your belly button. If you are concerned about your upper and lower abdominal skin, a full tuck will be a better fit for you.
A full tuck will also be a better fit for you if you have concerns about the muscles in your abdominal region. For example, during a full tuck, we can tighten loose abdominal wall muscles. We can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles if you are struggling with stress urinary incontinence. During your initial consultation, Dr. Derrick will discuss all of your concerns and goals and advise you on what results you can realistically expect.
What Other Procedures May I Be a Good Fit for?
You will probably be considered a good fit for liposuction if you are concerned about a lot of excess fat near the surface of your skin. One of the greatest things about liposuction is its versatility. If there is a moderate amount of excess subcutaneous fat, there is a good chance the procedure can correct the concern quickly and safely. It is most commonly used to remove excess fat from the abdomen, buttocks, and upper arms.
If you are concerned about loose or excess upper arm skin, you may be considered a good fit for brachioplasty (an arm lift). Your upper arm muscles can also be reshaped if you are displeased with them. Furthermore, you may be considered a good candidate for a breast lift or augmentation if you are concerned about the appearance of your chest. There are other procedures you may be a good fit for, too, that will be discussed during your initial consultation.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
A full recovery following abdominoplasty can take almost a year, but you shouldn’t need to take much more than a week off from work. If you have cosmetic concerns beyond your abdominal muscles and skin, a mommy makeover may be the perfect fit for you. If you have any questions about a mommy makeover, call us today at 817-529-4314 to schedule an evaluation at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, TX with Dustin C. Derrick, MD.