7 Things about Tummy Tuck Recovery Doctors Won’t Tell You!
Have you recently celebrated your baby’s 1st birthday and the mommy pooch just does not seem to go away despite all of your fitness efforts? Or perhaps you have lost a lot of weight to be left with folds of skin unappealingly hanging over your bikini line? An increasing number of women in their 20’s and 30’s are seeking plastic surgery to regain their looks after a major life-changing event. Tummy tuck sounds like an ideal solution to obtain that flat tummy, however the extensive tummy tuck recovery phase might sound intimidating.
A tummy tuck, professionally referred to as abdominoplasty, involves several variations depending on the extent of corrections needed, amount of loose skin, abdominal wall separation and amount of excess fat. There is a lot of confusion about the tummy tuck and its recovery stage among the potential candidates that we will try to set straight.
Chances are your doctor will not tell you these seven things about tummy tuck recovery.
1. Long Painful Recovery. To say that the tummy tuck recovery is painful is to say nothing. Some dishonest plastic surgeons trying to get clients to undergo a tummy tuck, try to make a tummy tuck recovery look easy, however, this procedure is definitely not a walk in the park and is considered a major abdominal surgery. It requires at least 10-14 days to return to somewhat normal activities. Some patients confessed that the pain during the tummy tuck recovery was so intense that they could not even get out of bed for days after surgery. Most patients have to be on hefty doses of narcotic pain medications that may be habit forming after all. In addition, patients do not anticipate the inability to drive for as long as they are on pain medications.
2. Tummy Skin is Overtightened. Your surgeon will definitely not mention to you that your skin will be over-tightened over your tummy to account for future sagging and stretching. Some patients reported great levels of discomfort over this, forcing them to walk bent over for almost a week and not being able to lie down. One female patient’s skin was so taught that she was unable to sleep in a reclined position and had to resort to sleeping seated for several days.
3. Drainage. While your doctor may have hastily mentioned something about post-surgical drainage, the extent of it may be more that you have hoped for. After the surgery, 2 thin tube are inserted in the abdomen on both sides to allow excessive blood, fluid and puss drain from the surgical site. All the drainage gets collected in small pouches that will have to be emptied several times daily. The volume of drainage output must be carefully recorded for doctor’s review. Some patients may need to ask family members’ assistance with this task due to high levels of pain and discomfort.
4. Loss of Sensation. With such extensive incisions all the way across the abdomen and invasive pulling and stretching of the muscles and skin, peripheral nerve damage is sometimes an unfortunate outcome of this type of surgery. Many patients report the loss of sensation around the belly button and near the incision site for up to 6 months following the procedure, however some patients experience permanent numbness in certain areas of the abdomen.
5. Scarring. The highly anticipated image of a perfectly flat stomach might be marred the first time you see your surgical scar. The scar after the tummy tuck is usually very graphic immediately following the procedure starting at the hipbone going across just above the pubic area the other hipbone. It will gradually fade overtime but never really disappear. Surgeons do their best to position incisions low enough so patients are able to cover them up with bikinis. But regardless of their efforts post surgical scars continue to remain one of tummy tuck recovery problems.
6. Not a Miracle. Many doctors do not admit that this plastic surgery is not a miracle that can bring your 18-year-old tummy back. Some patients are going into surgery hoping for a magic fix that simply does not exist. Having realistic expectations and working on maintaining proper workout regimen recommended by your doctor will help make your stomach as perfect as it can be.
7. Revision Tummy Tucks. Some surgeries do not go as planned and the possibility of a revision tummy tuck is always a reality, though doctors do not openly admit this fact to their patients. If abdominoplasty recovery is associated with infections, excessive scarring or sagging of the skin, a revision surgery may be recommended.
The abdominoplasty cost varies from doctor to doctor depending on their expertise level and clinic fees. Many additional techniques could be added onto the traditional tummy tuck like an ultrasonic liposuction, a SmartLipo or a liposculpture to further enhance the final look. The average cost for a tummy tuck varies from $5,000 to $10,000.