Wednesday, March 13, 2013

10 Things to Expect After a Tummy Tuck

There are certain things that people don't think to tell you. Chances are your doctor and nurses haven't had the procedure done so they really don't know to tell you these things or they don't want to scare you. But I think these are things to know and be prepared to deal with because they will happen and being surprised by them makes it worse, in my opinion. So here goes...
  • I was told that I would have some discomfort after surgery. This is a joke! I awoke thinking I had a 100lb weight on my chest. I couldn't breath and the pain was excruciating. Now I am not telling you this to scare you. I simply want you to be expecting it and prepared to handle it. 
  • Showering will be a spectacle. It will take a long time and you have to be willing to throw modesty out the door. Your care takers should be people you feel comfortable letting it all hang loose with. 
  • DO NOT watch funny movies or shows. I made the horrible mistake of doing this once and what started out as a chuckle turned into a crying fest. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. 
  •  If you generally have a weak stomach for pain killers, mention this to your doctor. I got really sick to my stomach on the Hydrocodone and if you think the laughing hurt I don't even want to tell you about dry heaving. Also, make sure you eat at least 20 minutes prior to taking the meds.  
  • Let your family and friends know that you appreciate their concerns but no visitors for at least two weeks after surgery. Have them contact one of your caretakers for updates. You will be in and out of sleep and in no mood to entertain or speak to anyone. 
  •  Healing takes a very long time. Much longer than I had anticipated. I am 5 months post-op and I still have swelling. Be prepared to be patient.  
  • You will not fit into jeans for probably 6-8 weeks. It is very uncomfortable. Make sure you have enough comfortable pants or shorts to get you through. 
  •  I was afraid to look at myself after surgery. I'm not sure if this is common or not but it took me about 4-5 days to finally work up the courage to look. I was worried that I would be one of the horror stories or that I wouldn't like the outcome. I'm glad that this wasn't the case.  
  • The first time you begin having sensation in the abdomen it will hurt and literally feels like jump starting a car, if you can imagine what that would feel like. 

  • If you're not telling people you had the surgery, be prepared for what you will tell them because they will notice. Even those you don't know very well will comment on your new appearance.  

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