After abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, swelling is part of recovery, with the majority going down after two months. However, in some cases, swelling can last up to six months after the procedure. When recovery begins, it is essential to follow the post-op instructions provided by your plastic surgeon. These additional tips can help minimize swelling after your tummy tuck and make your recovery time a little more bearable.
Wear Your Compression Garment
After your tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon is likely to recommend wearing a compression garment. While wearing this garment may seem uncomfortable at first, the mild pressure it applies to your abdomen helps to reduce swelling and aids in the healing process. Talk to your surgeon before your procedure about compression garments and make sure you have one at home before recovery begins.
Stay Hydrated and Drink Plenty of Water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking water is essential for healing and will help to reduce your swelling.
Drinking water and making sure your body stays hydrated is essential for good health. It is even more important during tummy tuck recovery. While you may think that an increase in water will contribute to swelling, the opposite is true. Water helps to flush out your system and reduce tissue swelling. In addition, increased water intake can help reduce the risk of bloating and constipation associated with pain medications after your abdominoplasty.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Eating a healthy diet after your tummy tuck helps promote healing and a manageable recovery. But what you eat, or don’t eat, can also help minimize swelling after a tummy tuck. Sodium, or salt, causes your body to retain water. After a tummy tuck, you should avoid adding salt to your foods, but also avoid processed foods as they typically have high sodium levels.
Recovery Should Include Rest and Moderate Exercise
The first few days after your tummy tuck, focus on rest. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to help reduce your swelling. While your regular exercise routine is out of the question for a while, walking throughout the day can help reduce swelling. This doesn’t need to be a long hike. At the start of your recovery, a simple walk around the house every hour is often enough to reduce swelling. As your tummy tuck recovery continues, you can increase your walking to around the neighborhood or more. Do not engage in more physical exercise until your plastic surgeon gives you the green light.
If you have questions about your tummy tuck procedure and recovery or would like to learn more, contact Dr. Scot Martin today.