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A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure that can help you with getting your abdominal area flatter and smoother, especially after pregnancy or weight loss. Although this surgery can have outstanding beneficial effects, it is definitely considered a fairly invasive procedure. This means that there are a few activities to avoid after a tummy tuck to get through the recovery period as seamlessly as possible.
A tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off, but you have to be careful after surgery since the recovery period can last up to 12 weeks. As your abdominal muscles heal, you must abstain from doing certain activities for the time being. Since patients sometimes tend to overestimate themselves, it is crucial to keep in mind that you have to allow your body to recuperate after a tummy tuck to reduce the risk of complications on your way to recovery.
Therefore, you might have to make some changes to your daily routine for a few weeks. Read on to find out what you should avoid doing after a tummy tuck surgery – and for how long.
Avoid Driving After a Tummy Tuck
You will most likely be put into general anesthesia before the surgery to ensure you do not feel any pain or discomfort. However, when you wake up after the procedure, the anesthetic might make you feel a bit lightheaded and woozy. That is why you should not attempt to drive after the surgery for some time (and especially soon after the surgery!). So…
Do not drive yourself home after the surgery
Your surgeon might give you the green light to go home on the day of the procedure. However, it is best if a family member or a friend drove you home. If you decide to take a taxi home, it is still recommended that you have someone to stick by your side. Since you might be too out of it after the tummy tuck, they can help you put on your clothes, get in the car, and arrive home safely.
Keep in mind that you can also choose to spend the first night at the surgical center if you feel too weak to head back home immediately.
Do not drive for a few weeks after the surgery
It would be best if you did not attempt to drive your car even after the anesthetic wears off completely. You will probably have to take strong pain relievers for some time after the procedure, which is why you want to wait until the pain and the swelling go away. Even if your surgeon does not prescribe painkillers, you will not be able to drive for quite some time. Either way, be sure to consult your surgeon every step of the way.
Avoid Eating Salty Foods
Surgeons usually prescribe a strict diet their patients are required to follow after a tummy tuck. Since you will experience swelling in the abdominal area, salty food is not allowed, especially in the first week after the procedure.
Salty, processed, and frozen food makes your tummy bloat, making the healing process unnecessarily painful.
Exercising Is One of the Activities to Avoid After a Tummy Tuck Surgery
So, although you might have gotten used to exercising prior to the surgery, it is best if you do not attempt to go to the gym several weeks after the procedure. Simply put, your muscles are entering the process of repair to ‘fill in’ the space left empty after fat and skin have been removed from your belly. Since your core muscles are recovering, weight-lifting or aerobic activities will disrupt the healing process, which is why you should avoid working out at least two weeks after the surgery.
For this reason, be sure to avoid activities that might strain your core muscles excessively. For instance, if you have to lift your baby, be sure to do it while you are sitting down. Also, activate your arms and thighs, so you do not hurt your stomach muscles when you are doing it.
When it comes to other activities that involve lifting bulky items, such as relocating to a new home, it is best if you leave the heavy lifting to those who have the experience and strength to do this for you. No matter how strong you might feel, hiring professionals to help you with your move is definitely a better option than risking disrupting your muscle repair.
Keep Your Body Active by Walking After the Surgery
However, this does not mean you shouldn’t move your body at all. Sometimes patients take this recovery guideline too literally and stop engaging in a physical activity altogether. Although you shouldn’t exercise vigorously, it is essential to walk after the surgery. Succumbing to the pain and turning into a couch potato is also not suitable for your recovery process. You need to start activating your stomach muscles by walking normally a few days after the surgery.
Walking after surgery is also crucial for a bowel movement. When you do not move at all, gastrointestinal gases can pile up and increase the amount of post-op pain the patient feels. Additionally, light exercise increases blood flow, which speeds up the healing process.
So, although you might experience pain when you move or even stand up straight in the first few weeks, it is important to endure the pain and engage in short walks as often as possible.
All in all, we hope this short article on activities to avoid after a tummy tuck surgery has helped you visualize what your healing process should look like. We wish you a quick recovery!