#1: You Won’t Heal Overnight
You are not going to bounce right back from this surgery.
Plan to take at least two full weeks off work
I’d say three to four weeks is even better if you can swing it.
Just don’t expect an instant recovery.

#2: It’ll Be Swell
Prepare to swell.
Swelling is normal — and there’ll be lots of it.
Typically swelling is about two sizes for the first four to six weeks.
And the swelling is worse later in the day.
Embrace sweatpants and baggy T-shirts. They are your friends.
Honestly, you’ll love anything loose and comfortable.

#3: Stay Away From the Scale
Wait to check your weight!
Stay away from the scale for at least eight weeks after surgery.
It’s tempting but don’t do it!
You’re going to be so swollen with excess fluid that whatever number you get will only bum you out.
Seriously, give it at least eight weeks!

#4: Keep Things Light
No heavy foods the day before your surgery.
Eat light the day before.
Under no circumstances should you chow down on Mexican food — trust me.
Try lean and unseasoned chicken or fish.
Protein shakes are good.
So’s low-fat dairy.

#5: Will It Hurt?
There’s no way around it: Your tummy tuck is going to hurt.
This is a major invasive abdominal surgery we’re talking about here, people!
If laugh, cry, sneeze, or even go to the bathroom post-op you are going to have some pain.
My advice? Do as little as possible.
Kick back. Relax.
Read magazines.
Binge-watch a new show.
Start planning a dream vacation to show off all of your hard work.

#6: Take Your Meds
The best way to fight the pain is to take your medication.
You might try a little milk of magnesia the day after surgery too.
It, um, softens things up — if you know what I mean.
Get all of your supplies ready before surgery.
Stock up on everything you’ll need: meds, food, entertainment. Everything.

#7: Hit Pause on the Comedies
Add this to your list of must-gets for your tummy tuck: dramas.
Anything but a comedy!
Why? Because you already busted a gut. No need to do it again.
Laughing’s going to hurt for awhile!
So avoid it.

#8: Let People Take Care of You
There’s no need to be a superwoman.
We know, we know. You’re a multi-tasking mama…
But you’ve just had major surgery!
So let your loved ones dote on you for a bit.
If anything, do it for your health!

For more tips from those who’ve been there, read thousands of first-hand experiences on RealSelf.

Tummy Tuck: 8 Tips I Wish I’d Known Before Surgery

Planning for a tummy tuck in your near future? The RealSelf community shares eight tips to help you know what to expect.