Part 2 of the Tummy Tuck discusses the most pressing of questions; the post Tummy Tuck surgery care. Just what can we expect from the surgery and how should we be caring for our new body? Dr Colin Tham shares his expertise.
Qns: What can we expect right after a Tummy Tuck surgery?
Ans: Patients can experience mild swelling, occasional bruising, tightness both from the skin and internal muscle tightening.
Qns: What are some of the post surgery care I should take note of?
Ans: There will usually be a small drain for about 2 days. Patients are to wear a pressure garment for 2 to 4 weeks.
Post-op medications will be given to the patients to decrease swelling. Painkillers are given if necessary.
The removal of stiches will be done just over a week after the surgery.
Qns: Will there be scarring, bruising or swelling? If so, how long does it take for them to go down?
Ans: There is a lower abdominal scar in similar location but longer than a caesarean scar. If it was a full tuck, there is a scar around the umbilicus, but if performed well, the scar should be buried within the umbilicus and not visible externally.
There is usually no bruising. As for swelling, it is is usually mild and is mostly gone by the 1st week.
Qns: How long before I can go back to exercising/ back to work?
Ans: Light exercises can be resumed after 10 days. However, core exercises should be avoided for about 3 weeks. As for work, most patients return to work within 3 to 5 days.
Qns: Is the result permanent after the surgery?
Ans: The result is permanent, but a degree of skin laxity can return if there is severe weight loss after.
Qns: How do I maintain the post tummy tuck surgery result?
Ans: It is essential to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Skin laxity of requiring a tummy tuck usually does not recur unless there is pregnancy or severe weight loss.
Qns: Are there any things I should avoid doing while in recovery?
Ans: Avoid overstretching for 10 days and core exercises for 3 weeks.
Qns: Are there any tips to hasten recovery?
Ans: It is good for patients to resume normal activity soonest possible, except for core exercises which should only be done after 3 weeks.
Qns: Any tips for patients from personal experience?
Ans: Unfortunately, there is no less-invasive alternative to tummy tucks for those patients who really require one. Find a plastic surgeon experienced in tummy tucks.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to revise a few tummy tucks performed by non-plastic surgeons. The plastic surgeon should be knowledgeable about the latest advances in tummy tucks, which would lead to a better result and faster recovery.