A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a popular cosmetic plastic surgery that flattens the abdomen by removing fat and skin and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall. As a surgery often sought after by mothers who’ve had their bodies stretched out after one or more pregnancies, it’s often also used by those who have experienced massive weight loss through a gastric bypass procedure or stringent dieting.
Although the results of a tummy tuck are theoretically permanent, gaining significant weight after the surgery can have a detrimental effect on long-term outcomes. That’s why it’s so crucial for patients to maintain a healthy weight and stay in shape after their tummy tuck.
As a surgeon expert in abdominoplasty, Dr. Jeannie MacDonald at MacDonald Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, BC, has the following advice on maintaining your tummy tuck results through following a healthy lifestyle.
Rest and Recover After Surgery
You shouldn’t be concerned about getting back to exercising or being active immediately after surgery. You need to make sure you’ve given yourself ample time to rest and recover from the bruising and swelling to diminish. Continue wearing your pressure garment over the treated area as suggested by Dr. MacDonald to control the swelling and help with the healing. Allow yourself at least a two-week, mostly sedentary recovery period, during which you’ll be checking in with Dr. MacDonald.
Know Your Limits When Starting to Exercise
Exercise is essential for getting and staying fit and establishing a healthy lifestyle after your tummy tuck. Unfortunately, the side effects of your surgery can make it challenging to get your exercise program started.
However, once your recovery period has drawn to an end, you can start getting back in shape, even though the most routine tasks like getting out of bed and changing your clothes can feel like a marathon. During this time, accept all the help you can get from those around you, and ease into your exercise routines to see how your body responds.
Start by walking as soon as possible—even around your home—since this improves blood circulation, essential in reducing inflammation (swelling) and preventing blood clots. Gradually, over a week or so, increase the distance and speed of your walking. Doing this several times a day will help strengthen your leg and abdominal muscles. Once you feel up to it, start walking longer distances, progressively increasing the amount of time and distance you walk every few days.
Avoid any exercise that is more strenuous than simply walking for at least six weeks or until Dr. MacDonald gives you the go-ahead.
When you feel ready to expand your exercise regimen, start with low-intensity exercises such as yoga, water aerobics, incline walking, and moderate cycling.
Develop a Healthy Diet
As you will learn, even the best exercise routine won’t reverse the effects of a poor diet. After your tummy tuck, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. These healthy foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and provide the nutrients you need to help your body heal and maintain your health into the future.
A tummy tuck might seem like a permanent fix, but eating the wrong foods can hamper your results, especially during your recovery. Avoid fried, greasy, convenience, and highly processed foods, along with foods and beverages loaded with sugar and sodium.
If you’re feeling self-conscious about your midsection, then a tummy tuck might be a great way to regain a flat, toned stomach and improve your self-confidence. Remember, these few tips serve as a general guide; never push yourself to do anything that feels uncomfortable or painful, and always follow your doctor’s advice.
Dr. MacDonald understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful-looking body. Regardless of the type of procedure you are seeking, or the aesthetic goal you have in mind, getting the proper treatment is only possible through the support of an expert such as Dr. MacDonald.
With expertise in cosmetic surgery, scar removal, and more, Dr. MacDonald will understand your goals find the best procedure for you. To begin your journey to your ideal appearance, contact us at (604) 288-8517 or request a consultation today.