Recovering from any surgical procedure is a balance act between providing your body the time it needs to heal properly, and getting active as soon as possible.
Rest: Try to mostly stay in bed or on the couch with your head comfortably elevated, and a few pillows under your knees. This will help to keep your chest slightly elevated and reduce the stress on the skin of your belly.
The skin in the tummy area will have been stretched at the end of your surgery, so reducing the tension on the incision will help with blood flow and further reduce the chances of any complications.
Exercise: During these first few days you should be very careful when moving around. While walking is recommended, too much movement this early in your recovery can cause friction between the skin and underlying muscles, rather than them knitting together. This can lead to fluid or blood build-up beneath the skin, known as seromas and hematomas. The purpose of the drains is to help pump the fluid out of the body, but if you move too much, fluid will build-up despite the drains.
Diet: You’ll most likely be able to return to your normal diet, but be sure to drink a lot of fluids, including juices or isotonic beverages, especially during the first 72 hours.
Compression garments and drains: During these first few days of recovery you’ll probably be instructed to wear a compression garment. This helps to reduce swelling and prevents harmful fluid build-ups. You should wear the garment 24 hours a day during this initial recovery period.
Don’t remove it for at least the first five days, except when showering. If it causes itchy or uncomfortable sensation, you can wear a thin tight cotton shirt underneath it. Your compression garment should fit snugly but not impede your breathing or be painful. If it is, please tell your surgeon. They may provide you with a different one.
If one or two drains were placed during surgery, you will need to take care of them. The drain bulb will need to be emptied as it fills, and the amount of fluid should be measured and recorded. This information is important for your surgeon to assess how you’re healing and to resolve any problems before they become serious. This process will have to be repeated several times until the drain can be removed, which may be a few days to a week or more.
Pain management : After abdominoplasty it’s normal to have pain and discomfort. Don’t be afraid to take your pain management medication as prescribed by your surgeon. Some patients might be given a pain pump designed to treat the area with a local anesthetic. Be sure to discuss about pain medication with your surgeon, but you should be able to combine approved pain pills with the pain pump without any problems. These two types of pain medication are very different, so they won’t react negatively with one another, and combining them can help speed up your recovery.
Follow-up appointments : Some time within the first 5 days or so you’ll most likely have your first post-op follow up appointment. Most people will have their drains and pain pumps removed during this meeting. Once all the tubes, drains, and pumps are fully removed you’ll feel a bit better, and a lot more mobile. Your surgeon will then discuss the plan for the rest of your recovery with you.
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery