12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Last updated: 2 months ago
A tummy tuck helps those with a "pooch" by removing excess skin and fat around the stomach while tightening the abdominal wall. After I lost a bunch of weight, I wanted to get rid of my hanging tummy. The tummy tuck helped me feel more confident in my body, but there were a lot of things I learned along the way. This is part 1 of my Tummy Tuck Survival Guide.
1. It is going to take a long time to heal.
I went in thinking I was going to be up and running in two weeks. What the heck! I am an intelligent woman, but this was really stupid thinking. Please plan on taking a minimum of two weeks off work, or three to four if you can swing it.
2. You're going to swell.
They tell you that you'll be swollen. Whoa, that is an understatement. Hang tough.
3. Your clothes won’t fit for awhile.
Don’t think you are jumping into a pair of skinny jeans anytime soon. It's so not going to happen. I had visions of the tummy being removed, fat being sucked out of my hips, and running out to a party the next week. Dreamer.
4. Do not—and I repeat do not—weigh or measure yourself for the first eight weeks.
Your weight will most likely be up, and you will be full of fluid for at least the first month.
5. Eat a light diet the day before surgery.
Be smart about your diet. Do not eat Mexican food the day before your surgery. Totally stupid on my part. I got to the hospital and while waiting to be taken back my IBS kicked in. Holy mother of God! I really didn’t think I would stop pooping in time for the surgery. I had visions of being on the OR table, ready to be put under, and screaming, "STOP. I need to go poop."
Plus, eating a healthy diet in the days leading up to your surgery can ensure your body has the energy it needs to recover.
6. The pain meds do a number on your system, and you'll get backed up.
Post-op, constipation sets in fast and hurts like hell. Make sure you take milk of magnesia or another laxative the day after surgery. I felt like I had an army of little men with swords in my belly. It was miserable! This was the time I wished my IBS would kick in. All I wanted was a nice, easy poo.
7. Stay close to the bathroom.
Three to five hours after you've taken the laxative, your tummy will start to rumble. I was moving so slowly after surgery that it took forever to get anywhere. Well, when the rumbling started, I was in bed thinking I had time. I couldn’t run, so getting there in time to avoid an accident was a challenge!
8. Let people take care of you.
Don’t try to be a superwoman. Yes, ladies we all know we can run the show and manage everything and everyone in our life, but this is not the time. Surrender to your caretakers and focus on healing. If your spouse is not doing things the way you normally would, let it go. You can straighten everything out later. Nobody will die if you are not running the ship for awhile.
9. It's going to hurt when you laugh, cry, sneeze, take a deep breath, move, and so on.
They tell you pre-op that you will have some discomfort after surgery. That's a damn lie because it hurts like hell. Obviously, the people telling you this have probably never had a tummy tuck. As long as you don’t laugh, cry, sneeze, take a deep breath, move, poop, try to push and pass gas, or any other sudden movements you will be fine. Basically just lie in bed for about a week, and you will be fine.
10. Make sure you have all necessary supplies before surgery day.
You won’t be able to drive to get anything after.
11. Don't watch funny movies the first two weeks.
I made that mistake. You don't want any deep gut laughter. My son laughed so hard watching me trying not to laugh, I thought he was going to wet his pants. Apparently, the face of a woman in pain after a tummy tuck is quite comical to a teenager. The little shit!
12. Move your body more after two weeks.
When you begin to feel better, start with gentle walks. Don't dive right back into anything as soon as you start to feel better! You're still healing.