Best Gifts to Celebrate Recovery After a Tummy Tuck Surgery

Back in the day when plastic surgery wasn’t that common, getting a tummy tuck was considered taboo. However, nowadays, tummy tucks are one of the most common procedures done in the cosmetics and plastic surgery field. 

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery where the appearance of the abdomen is improved. Excess fat and skin are removed and certain areas are tightened with sutures to eliminate excess skin.

It’s important to note that a tummy tuck is not recommended for everyone. 

Some reasons why doctors might not recommend a tummy is if  the patient smokes, has a body mass of more than 30, plans to lose a lot of weight after the surgery and plans to get pregnant in the near future.

Before getting a tummy tuck, there are many things the patient must go through to prepare for surgery. 

Having a good support system during this time is important. 

To prepare for surgery, caregivers should help with reviewing the patient’s medical history and gathering all the paperwork needed.

The caregiver should also accompany the patient to the physical exam in case the doctor asks about any symptoms or concerns that the patient isn’t aware of. 

Also, the caregiver should encourage the patient to stop smoking if needed and discuss the expectations that the patient has for the surgery. 

Furthermore, other things that can be done to help out are exercising with the patient to maintain a controlled weight prior to the surgery and reminding them to take any medications needed beforehand as well. 

The surgery can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient private clinic, depending on the doctor who will do the procedure. 

Recovery

It is highly important that when the patient comes out of surgery the caregiver is there in the recovery and discharge area to help out.  

Anyone taking care of the patient should know that after the surgery, the doctors may leave a temporary tube, which is inserted under the skin of the patient to drain any excess blood or fluid from the surgery site. 

Additionally, the patient will probably be wearing a garment for compression purposes. 

Both the patient and caregiver should look out for any complications as well, such as infections, excess drainage, purulent leakage from the incision site or tubes, bad odors, sutures that have broken or gotten out and persistent skin numbness or pain that won’t go away. 

Risks that the patient should also look out for are scarring, loose skin, skin numbness and asymmetry. 

This type of surgery requires a lot of rest for the patient and help from the caregiver. 

However, keeping those factors in mind, there are still a lot of things that can be done during the recovery period that can be fun and helpful.  

Once the patient is discharged, be sure to bring a gift when picking them up up from the hospital. Visitors can bring flowers, balloons, a special card with a message inside, some homemade brownies or cookies, candy, a small gift basket with some of their favorite things, or even a warm blanket for the patient to use. 

Other more personalized gifts include a custom made post-operative shirt with a fun message, a custom coffee mug, pajamas, a gift card so the patient can buy anything they want, or even customized jewelry or accessories with the date of the surgery as a reminder of its success.

The patient will go through many emotions during this period, and having close family members and friends around will make this journey easier. 

Here are some activities to do together are.

Relaxation activities 

There are many activities that help with relaxation, and every patient is different in what they like. Some activities to try include reading magazines and good books, performing mild household chores, mild yoga exercises that do not require too much stretching, and listening to music or audiobooks.  

Close communication

Having great communication with family and friends and socializing about different topics gives the patient the opportunity to enhance their relationships and bring them closer together. Also, it is important to communicate any concerns or doubts in case there is an emergency and the patient needs to go to the hospital. 

Starting a healthy diet

Not everyone likes to start a new diet. After a tummy tuck, the doctor will usually recommend a protein-rich diet. If the patient hates dieting, why not do it as a team effort? Friends and family can do the diet with the patient, because this will encourage them to follow through with doctor guidelines and requirements. 

Stop smoking

A risk factor for all types of surgeries is smoking. If the patient smokes, a great idea would be to stop smoking. Not only will it help in their longevity in life, but it will lower risks of any complications and blood clots in the future. A team effort to stop smoking could be something to think about. 

Movie nights  

The patient will require rest, so bring the entertainment to their home. Have movie nights that the entire family can enjoy.  

Massages at home

A lot of emotions are exhibited during surgery. Getting a relaxing massage at home will help relax any tense muscles and will lift the patient’s mood up if they’re feeling down. 

Caregivers can show their support by helping around the house with chores such as cleaning, doing laundry, making sure that no cords are loose on the ground and helping with any pets if needed. Also, they can help with cooking meals and prepping for the week. 

Furthermore, informal caregivers can also show their support by taking the patient to their doctor appointments or even taking them grocery shopping when needed. 

Although surgery is important, the post-operative period is a very crucial part of the entire surgical process, and the patient needs to feel optimistic and maintain a positive outlook on their recovery. 

Whether we want to admit it or not, a good support team will help the patient with their progress. 

Overall, a tummy tuck will result in a flatter stomach and a more toned body. 

Even if the recovery goes well, it is important for the patient to maintain their weight and continue with a healthy and balanced diet. 

One should remember that a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is not for everyone and is more appropriate for patients that are overweight, have lost elasticity in their skin over time and or have loose skin from previous pregnancies. 

Additionally, it is important to consult with a doctor prior to any surgeries to see if all the requirements are met and if the patient counts as a possible candidate. If chosen for the surgery, the patient should build and choose a great post-operative team to help them through the process for a successful recovery. 

References

  1. Chowdhry, Saeed, et al. “Safe Tummy Tuck: Anatomy and Strategy to Avoid Injury to the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve during Abdominoplasty.” Eplasty, vol. 15, no. 22, July 2015. PubMed, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280125391_Safe_Tummy_Tuck_Anatomy_and_Strategy_to_Avoid_Injury_to_the_Lateral_Femoral_Cutaneous_Nerve_During_Abdominoplasty.
  1. Kita, Natalie. “What You Need to Know About a Tummy Tuck Surgery.” Very Well Health, 29 Jan. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/tummy-tuck-surgery-what-you-need-to-know-2709990.
  1. McCluskey, Paul. “10 Things to Do and Not to Do to Prepare for Tummy Tuck Surgery.” Paul McCluskey MD Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta, Paul McCluskey, 2020, psiatlanta.com/10-things-to-do-and-not-to-do-to-prepare-for-tummy-tuck-surgery/.
  1. “Tummy Tuck.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Education and Medical Research, 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tummy-tuck/about/pac-20384892.

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