Recovering from a tummy tuck operation not only requires the physical element of healing. There is, as with any operation, an element of mental recovery which needs to occur to help the patient and improve their attitude towards recovery on the whole.
Initially, consultations with the surgeon before and after are helpful to resolve and questions or queries, as well as to build a relationship of trust. This can be very beneficial in reducing pre-operation anxieties and fears which many patients may consider, as well as providing a forum for discussion about the procedure and the best methods of preparation and after care. It is also crucial for patients to understand fully their motives, and to be realistic in their ambitions and expectations. The surgery will not change someone as a person, and as such is not a suitable option for those with deeper rooted insecurities. It is important to consider the magnitude of this surgery, and the ever prominent potential for complications and risks.
Upon completion of the surgery, patients may be retained in hospital for anything up to a few days provided there are no complications with the surgery, or apparent side effects. This time should be spent for resting, and patients should consider reading as a suitable, non-energetic way to pass the time. It is also important for regular visits from family and friends to maintain morale and ultimately help your path to recovery. Befriending other patients may also be a good way to pass what can be a frustrating and boring time for many patients.
After release from hospital, it is again vital to refrain from over exertion and strenuous activity. For those with active lifestyles, or those with young families, this may prove problematic. It is a good idea to arrange childcare for the first few weeks, as caring for children may be too physically demanding for some patients. During this period of recovery, it is important psychologically to begin some mild exercise – perhaps in the form of walking short distances. It is critical that any exertion is of a minor form to avoid the potential for further injury. Furthermore, patients may find that reading or watching films with family and friends as a good social activity to maintain good humour.
In the proceeding weeks and months it is important to increase physical activity both in terms of physical recovery as well as for psychological reasons. This will let you know you are firmly on track, and give some hope as to the progress of your recovery which can otherwise feel slow.
The mental healing process is almost as important as the physical aspect. Keeping on top of morale is vital to ensuring a speedy recovery. The key is simply to remain mentally active, and this depends largely on support from family and friends. They may or may not have experienced your feelings, however it is vital you ask for the support you need to keep you happy and on course for a full, complication-free recovery.