Post OT Care of Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the abdomen.
During a tummy tuck — also known as abdominoplasty — excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen. Connective tissue in the abdomen (fascia) usually is tightened with sutures as well. The remaining skin is then repositioned to create a more toned look.
A tummy tuck isn’t for everyone. Your doctor might caution against a tummy tuck if you:
- Plan to lose a significant amount of weight
- Might consider future pregnancy
- Have a severe chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes
- Have a body mass index that’s greater than 30
- Are a smoker
- Had a previous abdominal surgery that caused significant scar tissue.
You might choose to have a tummy tuck if you have excess fat or skin around the area of your bellybutton or a weak lower abdominal wall. A tummy tuck can also boost your body image.
Once your tummy tuck surgery is completed, you must follow all the instructions given to you in order to heal properly and have a good outcome. Use this as a checklist of progress as you heal. Included are normal post-surgical experiences and key health considerations that may be a cause of concern.
POSITION: Because abdominoplasty involves removal of the extra abdominal skin and usually tightening of the abdominal muscles, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for a week or two or even longer. During this period, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow or two under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempt to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first two weeks of healing. You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots.
DRESSINGS: Occasionally, we will place an elastic abdominal binder around your tummy after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling. If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss! You may also remove it temporarily for laundry.
EVERY PATIENT DOES NOT GET AN ABDOMINAL BINDER.