So to wrap up this series, I’m going to give some last minute advice/things to know. These are mostly things I wish I’d known. Again, please note that this is my experience. Everyone is different and heals differently. Also, I am not a medical professional. If you are considering this procedure, please discuss everything with your surgeon.
1). About a month after the surgery, the abdominal muscles start contracting and releasing. It doesn’t hurt, but your stomach will tighten and release on its own. It can be uncomfortable. If you’ve had children, it’s a lot like Braxton-Hicks contractions. It happened to me mostly in the morning as I was waking up.
2). If you have the breast job, it doesn’t really hurt. Or at least it didn’t for me. There was a lot of pressure, and it felt a lot like when your milk comes in after having a baby (sorry if this is TMI!). In fact, much of the recovery from each procedure reminds me of how your body feels after having a baby, except you come out looking better. Full disclosure: I did not have any augmentation. I had a lift. Recovery with augmentation will be different.
3). Everyone heals differently. My scarring is so minimal, but I have other friends with puffy scars or scars that come up higher on their stomach than they would like. Some of it is just genetics, but there are things you can do to reduce the scarring. Using the SkinMedica cream and the silicone tape helps. I also had a few skin pen procedures done on the scarring. This is basically getting a tattoo without the ink, and helps promote healing.
4). Some tummy tucks require not only the hip to hip incision, but also a small vertical incision. I didn’t need this, but almost did. Make sure you ask your surgeon if you will need this.
5). You will want some liposuction done while you are having the procedure done or you will hate the results. The liposuction will usually be in the back on the hips.
6). You will need support. Your spouse, family, kids, parents, siblings, friends, etc., will all need to be on board. You WILL need help. I don’t like to ask for help, but I really, really needed it. If I hadn’t had the help of my husband, sister, mother-in-law and friends, my recovery would not have gone so smoothly.
7). Along with #6, follow your doctor’s orders to a T. Rest as much as possible. Do not work out for 7 weeks or until you get the approval from your doctor. This is an invasive procedure and you need to let your body heal. Go to all your follow-up doctor appointments.
8). You get your muscles sewn back together! This is awesome! Many women who have had babies (especially multiple babies), have a separation of their abdominal muscles. I’ve had friends who have had such bad separations they could put their hand between the space. When you have a tummy tuck, the doctor sews them back together. This has helped my posture, my workouts, and just generally helped me look better.
9). Take your drugs! Stay on top of the pain and it will be so much easier. Yes, you need to ween off of them, and you will. But the first week you will feel so much better if you take the pills before you need them, even if you think you don’t need them yet. Week two you can take as needed. By week three, you should be able to only take them at night.
10). Enjoy your new body! Be prepared to be willing to show it off to everyone. I am a rather modest person, but I was willing to show off my surgery and my new stomach to everyone. Love it! And if you don’t, make sure you work with your doctor to get it to the point that you do.
11). Remember the first 24 hours are the worst. Again, this is probably TMI, but I couldn’t pee for a LONG time. It was the worst! The worst! I never appreciated how well my body works until it didn’t.
12). Finally, talk to a lot of people who you know have had the procedure. Investigate surgeons. Talk to people who have seen the scarring (like waxers or estheticians). Consult with several surgeons. Do your research!