By: Dr. David Stoker
One of the most common questions patients ask me when they are considering a tummy tuck in Los Angeles is “how much will it hurt?” Abdominoplasty, like any surgical procedure, creates some discomfort as your body adjusts to your new, slimmer shape. Surgeons can prescribe pain medication to prevent discomfort, but for good results it’s just as important for patients to take steps of their own to help ensure a more comfortable recovery.
- Get pain-prevention tips from past patients. Prior patients are often an excellent resource for tips about how to recovery more comfortably. They can point out how to deal with factors that you may not have thought about – for example, where to find comfortable clothing that won’t press on your incision.
- Follow your surgeon’s directions exactly. Follow instructions to the letter to prevent the kind of problems that increase surgical pain. If you are supposed to take medications according to a schedule, take them, even if you feel great after your procedure. If you skip a few doses, you may give yourself an infection by allowing bacteria to become immune to your antibiotics.
Surgical-site infection for cosmetic procedures is an ever-present risk, but with a high-quality Beverly Hills abdominoplasty surgeon your chances of recovering safely are increased. Your surgeon can explain how to monitor your incision site to make sure any swelling and discomfort are normal.
- Watch what you eat. Stay hydrated and maintain consistent dietary habits. Most of your digestive system is located very close to your tummy tuck incisions, so you want to avoid diet-related discomfort. Some surgeons recommend a high-fiber diet to help ensure normal digestive functioning and to prevent you from over-straining your abdominal muscles before they have fully healed.
- Keep moving. Recovery is a critical time for your body to adjust to your new shape, so it’s important that you walk every so often to preserve blood flow and make sure your muscles heal appropriately. Moving around may be a little uncomfortable at first, but the movement will help maintain healthy blood flow and prevent dangerous clots from forming. Your surgeon can explain in more detail how to move safely during your Los Angles tummy tuck recovery.
- Involve your family or friends in your recovery process. Family and friends help minimize surgical pain in two ways. They can alleviate some of the strain of typical household tasks and help you focus on something other than your incisions. They also can help remind you to take medicine and perform other essential recovery tasks.