One of the biggest concerns many of my tummy tuck patients have is recovery. At my plastic surgery practice in Downers Grove, IL, I have found that the patients who do best during this time period are those who are well prepared.
While recovery does take some downtime and patience, ensuring you’re ready with the proper materials and mindset will help it run smoothly. To make this time as comfortable as possible and ensure you’re back to your daily routine quickly, I’ve created this checklist of 10 essential things you’ll need for your recovery.
- A comfortable space: Make up a bed or recliner with pillows and blankets that will ensure you’re completely comfortable. This space should be peaceful and serene, out of the way of excited children and pets who can jump on you or demand attention that you’re not ready to provide.
- Entertainment: This is the perfect time to catch up on your favorite TV shows or dig into that stack of books on your nightstand. Have your laptop or tablet nearby, or grab anything else you’d like to keep you occupied. Remember you may be a little drowsy during the first few days after your surgery, so keep it light.
- Healthy snacks and meals: You may not want to eat full meals right after your surgery, and that’s OK. But you should try to eat some snacks to keep your energy up and encourage healing. When you are ready for meals, it’s great to have some prepared in your fridge or freezer. Stick with low-sodium, nutritious options.
- Lots to drink: Staying hydrated is one of the most important keys to your recovery. Drink water as much and as often as you can.
- A loved one to help you out: Whether a close friend, a family member, or a significant other, make sure there is an adult to help you out around the house, prepare food, and assist you with medications and other needs. Taking the time to relax and accept the help will help ensure your recovery runs smoothly.
- A babysitter: If you have children or pets, you should hire a trusted friend, family member, or babysitter to watch them while you’re recovering. It’s imperative that you rest for the first few days after the procedure and refrain from bending over and moving around for another few days after that. You won’t be able to pick up children or pets for a few weeks, so having help when you need it is important.
- Prescriptions: Be sure to pick up prescriptions before you go in for your surgery. Also, ensure you understand the dosage, frequency, and all other instructions before you head home from the office. It’s best to have these directions written down.
- A reliable driver: You won’t be able to drive immediately after your procedure, so you’ll need someone you trust to help you go home and settle in.
- Time off: Most patients take at least 7 to 10 days off work or away from their other activities after their surgery, so make sure you have vacation time available to rest and relax.
- Comfortable clothes: Sweatpants, sweatshirts, and baggy clothing are the best things to wear during your recovery. Make sure they’re made from soft material to prevent irritation to your skin. You’ll also likely have a compression garment that you’ll need to wear frequently.
If you feel a tummy tuck may be a good option for you, take some time to look through my online photo gallery of patient photos. To learn more about tummy tuck recovery, contact us for a consultation. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit my blog post about some of the lesser-known benefits of this procedure and the Tummy Tuck FAQs page of my site for my answers to some of the most common question I receive as a plastic surgeon.