Back to Work After Tummy Tuck? 10 Quick Tips for Speedy Healing

4 Nov 2013 at 9:00am

If you poke around for a sec in the RealSelf tummy tuck community, you're going to find glowing reviews of restored self-esteem and unbelievable before-and-after pics

You'll also find getting that bikini-clad "after" can be challenging -- but having some "know how" ahead of time is half the battle.

Kim Gregson, manager of RealSelf's tummy tuck community, who transformed to svelte size 6 with her own surgery -- offers 10 quick tips on returning to work.

1. Remember, you just had major surgery.

You will be sore and swollen, so go slow and listen to your body. You'll need to ease back into activity. Consider working shorter days the first week back on the job.  Also, no bending, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling for the first six weeks post-op -- consider keeping Wonder Woman in the closet for a few weeks longer.

2.  Skip the high heels.

Do yourself a big favor and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Nix the high heels and pantyhose the first 2 to 4 weeks back to work. And, if you're wearing an abdominal binder, try wearing a soft all-cotton tank top underneath it for comfort.

3.  Elevate your feet.

Have a small foot stool under your desk. It will feel good to elevate your feet (and it reduces swelling).

4. Have a supply of mild pain meds on hand.

You may need a dose by lunchtime!

5. Pack yourself high protein snacks and lunches. 

This give you the energy you need to get through the day. Proper protein also helps in the healing process. Having the right foods on hand will also keep you out of the vending machine -- as you should be avoiding high sugar and sodium-containing foods. Lastly, don't forget to drink plenty of water.

6. Bring ice or heat packs with you. 

I needed both for my lower back. Consider purchasing one of the hot/cold herbal bags -- they work well both in the freezer and microwave. I had two, and this ensured that I had one ready to go in the freezer.

7.  Get up every hour or so.

If you have a desk job, make sure to get up and move around every hour. This will prevent stiffness (and also reduce swelling).

8. No after work plans.

For the first two weeks back, do not make any plans for immediately after work. You are going to be wiped out and swollen. Go directly home to rest -- and get a good night's sleep to regenerate for the next day.

9.  Kick up your feet when you get home.

Get comfortable and elevate your feet. Use ice packs if necessary.  When I got home my lower legs were always badly swollen. I would soak a hand towel in water, squeeze the excess and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. I'd then remove it from the freezer, and wrap it around my lower legs.  Felt like heaven.

10. Be patient with yourself.  

The total healing process takes time, but better days are ahead.  Chin up and stay positive!