When it comes to recovering from a tummy tuck (or any plastic surgery procedure) I tell my Toronto patients that preparation is key. Setting the stage for a successful recovery is a great way to ease any nerves ahead of surgery and take an active role in your healing process. By crossing a few items off a recovery checklist, you can help make your recuperation as comfortable, stress-free, and speedy as possible.
A tummy tuck is often performed as part of a mommy makeover in conjunction with a breast procedure, liposuction, labiaplasty, or monsplasty. Though these procedures may have additional aftercare requirements, these prep tips will set the baseline for a smooth and quick recovery overall.
Preparing Your Body
- Eat a healthy, nutrient and protein-rich diet.
- Quit smoking and stop all nicotine product use, along with all recreational drug use, for 3 weeks before surgery and 3 weeks after surgery.
- Quit all non-prescription blood thinners 7 to 10 days pre-surgery. This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatories, omega 3 oils, fish oil supplements, ginger, gingko biloba, ginseng, garlic pills, and vitamin C and E supplements*.
- Stop all ADHD medications 10 days pre-surgery as they also tend to promote post-op bleeding**.
- If you take prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, etc., please mention this to me in advance and discuss with your cardiologist whether it is possible to stop pre-surgery and for how many days.
- Get detailed info about caring for your drains. Learn more from this previous blog post. Our Recovery Room nurses go over the drain care with you and your accompanying person, and I also provide you with detailed written instructions.
Preparing Your Space
- Set up your recovery nest. This may include moving TV remotes, phone chargers, snacks, medications, and dressings to a central, comfortable place in your home.
- Make your home recovery friendly. Move hard-to-reach items to more accessible locations, especially anything stored up high. You may not be able to stretch or stand fully upright for the first few days.
- Plan to climb the minimum possible number of stairs in the first 1 to 2 weeks. It is important, however, to walk gently and slowly every couple hours post-surgery to stimulate blood flow and minimize the risk of blood clots forming in the legs.
- Make meals ahead of time or stock up on nutritious pre-made snacks.
- Pick up your recommended post-op medications and supplies prior to surgery. Your prescription for post-op needs (pain, nausea, constipation and infection management) will be prepared several days before surgery so you can pick them up along with recommended dressings ahead of time.
Preparing Your Support System
- Ask a trusted friend or loved one to care for you the night of your surgery, and line up any transportation needed for the first couple of weeks. It is mandatory to have an adult take you home and be with you for the first 24 hours post-op (should something happen, this person can call VISAGE during daytime or myself after hours).
- You won’t be able to carry your children or pets, so it may help to have extra care around or have them stay somewhere out of the house initially.
- Have my number on hand for emergencies. Keep the clinic’s number close by and do not hesitate to call with any questions. Our staff members are committed to keeping you healthy and supported through each stage of your recovery.
To see examples of the results you can expect once your tummy tuck recovery is complete, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck options at my plastic surgery practice here in Toronto, please contact us online or call (416) 929-9800 to request a consultation.
* Examples of blood thinners to avoid (non-exhaustive list):
Turmeric, bromelain, St. Johns’ wort, evening primrose oil, Apixaban (Eliquis), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Edoxaban (Savaysa), Fondaparinux (Arixtra), Heparin (Fragmin, Innohep, and Lovenox), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), Plavix (Clodipogrel)
** Examples of ADHD medications to avoid (non-exhaustive list):
Adderall (amphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), Concerta (methylphenidate), Focalin (dexmethylphenidate), Daytrana (methylphenidate patch), Metadate or Methylin (methylphenidate), Dexedrine or Dextrostat (dextroamphetamine), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)