Even though Dr. Pollock’s drain-free tummy tuck is often easier and quicker to recover from than traditional abdominoplasty methods (as there are no drains to maintain and less possibility of post-surgery complications like seromas), it still requires adequate preparation and diligent care.
Patients who spend time preparing and getting certain aspects ready before their drain-free tummy tuck surgery find that it quickens and makes the recovery period more comfortable and less stressful.
But how exactly do you do it?
1. Get Someone to Help You Around the House, So You Don’t Strain Your Midsection
The drain-free tummy tuck is performed using the progressive tension suture (PTS) technique. While this technique eliminates the need for drains and helps with post-surgery healing, a drain-free tummy tuck still involves incisions from hipbone to hipbone through which the muscle and fat tissues are tightened, removed, or otherwise manipulated.
This means that your abdomen and core muscles will be sore regardless of the abdominoplasty technique chosen. Therefore, you will need someone to help cook, clean, and do your laundry for the first two or three days after surgery (at least).
All of these activities (while simple when not recovering from a tummy tuck) require you to bend, twist, and lift — all things that should be avoided during your initial recovery.
You also need help if you have kids — particularly if they are still young and need constant attention/interaction. Ask a friend or family member or (when all fails) hire an assistant for a few days.
Your surgical incisions will be raw and fresh during the first week of your recovery. The last thing you want to do (for safety and comfort) is put too much stress on them because you are trying to maintain a normal routine.
2. Prepare Meals in Advance, So You Do Not Need to Cook for the First Few Days
Because tummy tuck surgery does not affect your physical stomach, there are usually no dietary changes during or after your tummy tuck recovery (and you can resume your normal, albeit healthy diet). That being said, some patients experience an upset stomach following surgery as their body is healing.
If that is the case, focus on bland meals that are easy to digest. Foods such as soups, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt are usually easier on the stomach.
Prepare meals for at least a week and freeze them. This will make eating and meal preparation after surgery as easy as possible.
It is also beneficial to stock up on healthy snacks for you and your family.
3. Keep a Pillow Nearby
If you have previously undergone a C-section or other stomach surgery, you will be aware of the discomfort when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
These activities place tremendous stress on the stomach (which is weak). While it does not completely alleviate the pain, pressing a pillow against your tummy tuck incisions when you feel a sneeze or cough coming can help mitigate the discomfort.
4. Consider Picking Up Some Laxatives
Many patients experience constipation following their tummy tuck surgery, especially if they are not taking in enough fluids.
Consider picking up some stool softeners or fiber supplements to ease this process.
5. Place Daily Essentials in Easy-to-Reach Places
You will not want to be on your feet for too long, so prepare a spot where you can comfortably sit or lie down, such as a lounge chair with armrests or a bed with enough pillows.
Also, be sure that you have access to enough activities to keep your mind occupied. The television, books, magazines, or your laptop will be good friends during your recovery.
To avoid bending or stretching too much, place essentials (such as water or pain medications) where you can easily reach them.
Place them in the bathroom, next to a chair you often use, or on the bedside table.
6. Pick Out Comfortable Clothing for the First Week
Dr. Pollock recommends wearing loose-fitting clothes with buttons in the front as they are easiest to maneuver when putting on and taking off clothing. This will prevent you from having to stretch your core muscles to dress.
You will also want to select easy-to-launder clothes, as your activity and energy levels in the first week following the surgery will be low.
7. Stock Up on Essentials
Have enough ice packs, pillows, water bottles, and healthy snacks on hand. You do not want to have to leave the house in your first week of recovery.
Further, do not diet for weeks to the time of surgery or use anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, Aleve®, or Advil®. Also, do not take any herbal medication, supplements, or vitamins (other than a multivitamin and vitamin C).
Many of these medications and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with anesthetics. If you want to use Arnica Montana, do so in moderation.
A tummy tuck is serious business, and you want to rest when you feel tired.
Interested in Learning More About Recovery After a Drain-Free Tummy Tuck?
Before your drain-free tummy tuck, talk to Dr. Pollock about any medications you are taking.
Feel free to contact us at 214-363-2575 (Dallas, Texas) or 214-509-0270 (Allen, Texas) or fill our online form to schedule a consultation to learn more about your plastic surgery options. We want you to have the best possible experience and are here for you every step of the way.
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