Tummy tuck after care
1. Sleeping position
The first few nights after your tummy tuck you will be more comfy if you have your back elevated and a pillow under your knees so as to be in a lawn chair position. This will relax your stomach muscles and you will have less pain. However, it is more important for you to get a good night’s rest than to follow this recommendation. If you are more comfortable in another position, that is fine!
2. Early ambulation
Early movement of the body and legs in particular is imperative after any surgery but particularly after tummy tucks. Abdominoplasty tends to be one of the longer procedures a cosmetic plastic surgeon performs. The longer operating time means there is more chance for clotting of blood in the veins in the legs, and if that is combined with prolonged lying around the bed in the days after surgery, the risk of more clots forming and leading to pulmonary embolism is much greater. It is literally “deadly to lie around,” especially after abdominal surgery. Movement the first night to and from the bathroom is sufficient. You may actually need some help to do this the first few times but should learn how to lift your body using your arms to push yourself off your bed. Do not be afraid to move—you will not open the wound or break the sutures unless you are trying very hard to do so! In the days following abdominoplasty, increase your activity gradually. By the third day after surgery you should be able to go for a walk outside your home. No exercise of the central body (abdomen) is allowed for a month; no stomach crunches for six months; you can work out your legs and arms, though, as soon as you feel up to it.
3. Use your abdominal binder
It is very important in the first two weeks after a tummy tuck to wear your abdominal binder or another firm elastic garment that compresses your abdomen. During the surgery, your skin is lifted from the underlying muscles as it is pulled down. This creates an “open space” that will be filled with fluid unless the skin adheres back down to the muscles. A compression garment or, in some cases, a drain can help achieve this adherence. Not wearing a binder after a tummy tuck leads to fluid accumulation under the skin of the abdomen, which will put undue pressure on the circulation of the skin and lead to skin loss.
For more information on abdominoplasty, please see here: