I am 7 days post op from a tummy tuck, lipo and breast augmentation with lift. I still can't stand up straight, which I know is normal. My back pain is extremely intense because of this. Last night I forced myself to lay a bit flatter while sleeping to stretch my tummy out. Today I forced myself to stand straight a few times for just a few seconds each. Is this something I should avoid and let my body do it on it's own?
Should You Force Standing After a Tummy Tuck?
Doctor Answers (7)
Don't force standing straight up too early
Your last statement is a big key after any surgery. If it feels uncomfortable back off. I try to get the tummy as tight as safely possible, so a stooped over position for a few days is better. Everything stretches over time. Your back pain can also be contributed to by the breast augmentation. Many surgeons prescribed muscle relaxers for that reason. You shouldn't mix muscle relaxers with pain medicines however. Above all walking is highly recommended. It has been shown without a doubt, early ambulation leads to quicker recovery and fewer complications. Again do everything in moderation.
Posture after Tummy Tuck
Patients usually assume a straight posture anywhere from 5-14 days after surgery, depending on how tight they are. Back pain is always an issue until posture improves to normal. Listen to your body and gradually get straighter and straighter over the next week. Muscle relaxers can help the back pain in the meantime.
Standing up after a tummy tuck
Standind up straight is really dependent upon the elasticity of the skin and the amount of skin excised. This should gradually improve and you should follow your doctor's recommendations.
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I would first consult with your surgeon, However, in my practice, I generally prefer that patients stand upright by 5 days to minimize spasm and contraction.
Standing Straight after a Tummy Tuck
Regarding: "Should You Force Standing After a Tummy Tuck?
I am 7 days post op from a tummy tuck, lipo and breast augmentation with lift. I still can't stand up straight, which I know is normal. My back pain is extremely intense because of this. Last night I forced myself to lay a bit flatter while sleeping to stretch my tummy out. Today I forced myself to stand straight a few times for just a few seconds each. Is this something I should avoid and let my body do it on it's own?"
I truly do not mean to rain on your parade, but it is not "normal", expectable or unavoidable for all women undergoing a Mommy Make Over set of operations to be hunched over for days. The days of the "L's" or the Groucho Marx hunch are over. The vast majority of my patients are NOT hunched over but walk straight immediately after a Tummy Tuck..
By numbing the abdominal muscles during surgery with a long acting local anesthetic, the tummy muscles never go into spasm causing contraction of the tummy muscles and pulled back muscles. Although my patients have no pain in the hours after surgery, they feel tightness the day after. But because spasms never take place they do not slip into the vicious cycle of tummy spasms and stretched and painful back muscles.
There is nothing wrong with trying to stretch your back. Your surgeon planned your surgery with a view of you walking straight, not hunched over. You may find it easier to stretch and break the spasm after taking a muscle relaxant or while taking a hot shower.
Dr. Peter Aldea
Standing up straight after a tummy tuck isn't easy at first
You are correct that what you are experiencing is completely normal at this early stage. Back pain is very common after a tummy tuck because you are walking hunched-over and aren't sleeping normally either. A muscle relaxer like robaxin may help with this. Ask your surgeon about it and whether she recommends it for you.
Meanwhile, gentle stretching is absolutely fine at this point. Just don't "strain" yourself trying to get upright--you'll get there with a little more time.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.