Patient counselors usually hear concerns from tummy tuck patients who are anxious about the prospect of suffering pain during or after an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure.
Both men and women want to remove sagging skin and protuberant abdominal muscles as well as reduce the number of stretch marks that remain after weight-loss and pregnancy.
The Wrong Way to Look at It
But some patients become so scared by the perceived “painful” recovery period that they postpone scheduling the procedure for months and, at times, even years. But procrastination is a huge mistake.
A few weeks of discomfort should not dissuade an individual from the future of a flat, sleek, and defined stomach area.
A successful recovery for the patient depends on understanding the truth about pain, taking advantage of modern pain management, and setting themselves up with sufficient recovery time and support.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey provides tummy tuck surgery to patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and surrounding communities.
More about the Pain
The pain during abdominoplasty recovery does not outweigh the beautiful outcomes that manifest afterwards. It is important to remember that the human mind is quite masterful at dramatizing a painful recovery scene before the event even occurs.
However, in reality, there is nothing excruciating about tummy tuck recovery.
The discomfort after abdominoplasty does not occur from the incision (which will actually remain numb for some time), but from the muscle tightening.
Patients find routine activities such as walking up stairs, standing straight, and rising from a seated position or bed uncomfortable as the core muscles are sore after being sewn together from the breast bone to the pubic bone.
Effectively, a tummy tuck is akin to a military boot camp for the abdominal muscles. Those stubborn muscles previously had the roominess of a loose abdomen. They retaliate by acting tired and sore.
Those muscles quickly become fatigued and angry from the layers of stitches placed to keep them tight. The muscles soreness reduces after a week and becomes less at the mind’s forefront. Most patients are walking upright and performing their daily activities after only two weeks.
Patients resume exercising at four to six weeks after a tummy tuck procedure. Some patients report small muscle “zingers” with yoga or exercise, which is entirely normal. But the surgeon may advise patients to resume exercising slowing and stop if it hurts.
Many patients who are extremely active return to working out sooner and report stronger core strength as an added benefit of undergoing the procedure.
Additional Considerations for a Smooth Recovery
The patient should allow themselves to recover completely for two weeks. The surgeon will counsel the patient about assuming a “recovery mindset.” A majority of modern women are overscheduled and busy.
Women take on so much and often like to believe that they are superhuman. This idea can make them feel frustrated and anxious during the recovery process as they are not able to keep up with the responsibilities and demands of “normal” life during the initial two weeks after the surgery.
In a few short weeks, the patient will feel better and their energy levels will return to normal. But they will not be able to undertake household or work-related tasks during this period.
It’s prudent to seek help from friends and family to assist with meals, cleaning, running errands, and watching the kids in this situation.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and nearby areas for tummy tuck.
Serving patients in and around Atlanta, Buckhead, Roswell, Marietta, Georgia and surrounding areas.