A couple of weeks ago we posted a blog about self-care after liposuction – well, guess what? Caring for yourself after a tummy tuck is just as important! We find that most of our patients need a lot of guidance about how to take care of themselves post-surgery, but it’s best to be clued up and prepared before you even have the surgery! This way, you can make sure that everything is prepared for you before you even get home.
So – tummy tucks. Not the easiest of procedures to undergo, there are a number of things to bear in mind after you have a tummy tuck. Of course, the information below is general – if your surgeon or nurse tells you something different, do what they say!
Your doctor may give you medication to ease the pain and swelling that you will likely feel after a tummy tuck. Acetaminophen is a common choice of medication for tummy tuck patients, though most will need something stronger. Pain pumps, anti-nausea drugs and intravenous fluids are all regularly used in treating post-surgery tummy tuck patients. Most patients are advised to take antibiotics after surgery to reduce the chance of infection.
Drains and Bandages
Surgical drains are often used to speed up the healing process – they keep blood and fluid from building up between abdominal muscles and skin. Compression garments are very commonly recommended to patients after a tummy tuck; these improve blood circulation and support the abdomen. Most patients wear these for around a month after a tummy tuck.
Of course, resting is always important after any surgery. For the few weeks following surgery, it’s a good idea to bend forward a little to ease the pressure on the incision. You can start taking short walks straight after the tummy tuck, but avoid strenuous exercise, which can prolong swelling. Hopefully, you’ll be able to return to work around two to four weeks after your surgery!
Stick to these essential tips and you shouldn’t have any problems in your recovery! And remember – always do what the doctor orders!
Today I woke up to a wonderful email from a special lady that is in Poland at present. She had her procedure a week ago it said:
I can’t knock the service Secret Surgery has provided. I feel like a completely new person, and I mean that honestly! Angela you have made it so easy for me to do and I sincerely thank you for your help, guidance and support. I will defo be doing extra bits and you will b top of my contact list!
Tell us where it all began. My story started in March 2007 when I had a RNY Gastric Bypass surgery for super morbid obesity. At my heaviest I weighed 26st 10lb or 180 kg. I struggled to walk, move around in general and my life had come to a stand still at 38 years of age.
And where does Brett come into it? I have two children and I noted my son Brett was also starting to put weight on and I blamed myself as a parent for poor food choices resulting in my son ballooning to 17st 10lb and a size 44 waist at 16 years of age. When my son saw the weight dropping off me following my surgery, he too took drastic action and started dieting and exercising. In 6 weeks he dropped to 10 stone 12lb and a size 28 waist. Within a year of my surgery I had dropped 84kg but both my son and I were left with a large apron of skin. We both applied for funding in 2008 to our local PCT for cosmetic surgery but were refused funding.
How did you find Secret Surgery? Six appeals and four years later I came across Angela Chouiab, the managing director of Secret Surgery, via a discussion group on Facebook. Angela had experienced weight loss surgery and funding issues herself in the UK and had gone to Poland for her own surgery in 2009. From the onset of talking to Angela you knew she was a genuinely caring, empathetic person who was eager to help.
What convinced you to go with us? I initially got a quote from Angela for myself in 2012 but was anxious about going abroad for surgery because of the media portrayal of surgeries abroad. However after further discussions with people on the secret surgery group and the outstanding support Angela offered to patients, I decided to book for my son and I go to to Poland on the 6th February 2013.
Was it difficult making all the arrangements? Angela arranged everything for us down to the last detail and was available night and day for any questions or anxieties I had. My son and I flew to Wroclaw on the 6th February and was met by our driver Jack who spoke perfect English. He took us to our apartment that Angela arranged for us. Having somebody to sort out every detail for you takes the stress and pressure out of trip.
How did everything go once you had arrived here? The apartment was lovely, clean and tidy. We received a call from Aga who was the translator and support for us in Poland and arranged for us to cone into hospital on the 7th Februrary 2013 for our surgeries. Obviously I was doubly anxious because my son was having surgery too and I wanted everything to go well for him. Aga was lovely and beautiful with it and introduced us to DR Waclawawowicz who looked at our tummies and gave a realistic and honest account of what was achievable through the procedure. He advised that my son would also benefit from vaser liposuction to his hips to achieve an amazing result.
What did you think of the hospital? The hospital was AMAZINGLY clean to a standard I have never seen in the UK. I was shown my room and Dr Waclawawowicz agreed to come and visit us later to answer any questions. Aga Poprawska and the staff all made us very welcome including the lovely Hanna Gregorowicz who booked us in and made us both feel welcome.
Did you feel supported during your stay? Yes! Angela also put me in touch with other ladies from the UK prior to flying out so that we could all meet up and support each other. This was really useful for me as both ladies Cara and Carolynn were at different stages post op which helped me see what my son and I would be experiencing very soon. Our room was 120% clean and beautifully welcoming.
How did the surgery itself go? We spent the day settling in and were told every step of the way what would happen. My son opted to go for surgery first and he was told when, how long this would take, that he would be put in recovery next to me which reassured him. I was also reassured by Dr Waclawawowicz prior to my surgery that Brett’s surgery had gone well, which reassured me prior to going into surgery. I woke in recovery next to my son and we were both cared for overnight by a lovely nurse overnight who came hourly to change dressings, empty drains and administer pain killers.
And after the op? We then returned to our room the following day to recover. Throughout this time Aga continued to visit and support us night and day and Angela rang daily to check how we were and to update the support group of our progress. On day two post surgery Jack collected us and took us back to the apartment collecting medication from the pharmacy for a small fee.
How are you doing now? We are now on day 4 post op. we have had a trip back to the hospital for dressing changes and met by Aga and Dr Waclawawowicz who were pleased with our progress. We are overjoyed at the results so far and are so thankful to everyone at Secret surgery for everything they have done for us.
Oh, lovely! Anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Dr Waclawawowicz and Aga even came and sat with us in the patients lounge for 30 minutes just talking about our experiences, where would you get that service in the UK? Although our journey is still ongoing I can honestly say that I would not hesitate coming back to Poland through Secret Surgery for any future surgery. Angela, Aga, Hanna and Dr Waclawawowicz are now my friends and I hope to remain in touch once back in the UK. You have all contributed to positively changing my son and my lives and feel overwhelmed at the life changes this surgery will bring to our lives. Thank you so much!
If you undergo liposuction to get rid of some extra fat, then you’ll want to make sure you don’t put it back on straight after your operation! This doesn’t have to be difficult, though you do need to take caution when exercising post-surgery; gentle, simple exercise which don’t wear you out or slow down your healing are the best ways to ease you back into a healthy exercise regime after undergoing something like liposuction.
Just a few days after you’ve had the lipo, you can get your body moving around by making an effort to walk relatively short distances. If you’ve got access to a gym, you might feel brave enough to use the elliptical machines gently – but don’t wear yourself out too much on them, and don’t be tempted to use any machines which require more movement or flexibility than this.
More important is the approach to exercise you take in the long run. Liposuction isn’t a quick fix, and it isn’t something that will keep the fat off you for good. As with any other kind of weight loss, you need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to stay slim post-lipo. Swimming, running, and cycling are all cheap, easy ways to keep your body in top shape post-lipo – but wait until you’re fully recovered to start on any of these!
We always say, at Secret Surgery, that not everyone is right for plastic surgery. All of our consultants make sure that you’re ready to undergo surgery before they OK you for an op, and this is to do with more than just your physical health. It’s true, you do need to be in decent shape to go under the knife, but you also need the mental stamina and readiness to see your surgery through.
Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as it sounds! If you’re having trouble figuring out just how ready you are to undergo cosmetic surgery, then don’t worry! We’ve prepared a few simple assessment questions to help you to asses how good a candidate you are for surgery.
- How long have you wanted cosmetic surgery? If the answer to this is ‘a week’, come back and see us in a few months. Generally speaking, the longer you’ve had your heart set on surgery, the more committed you will be to it.
- How much research have you done? Before you decide what procedure to have and where to have it, make sure you know everything there is to know about both of these things. Knowing the risks of your procedure and the realistic outcome of it are two of the most important things you need to find out.
- Why do you want surgery? Is it for you, or someone else? The most important thing about surgery is knowing that you’ll be happy with the results; not your partner, your family, or your boss. It’s all about you!
- Have you had many procedures before? Most people will say ‘no’ to this question; if you keep having procedures and you’re still not happy with yourself, you need to start thinking about why that is. But don’t worry – lots of our patients have two or three procedures – that’s OK!
- Are your expectations in check? Make sure you know what’s going to happen, and what you’re going to gain from the surgery. This really can’t be stressed enough!
If you can ‘pass’ all of these questions with the right answers, then you’re definitely on the way to being ready for cosmetic surgery! Don’t worry – our consultants aren’t there to say ‘no’ to you; but they are there to make sure you’re making the right decision, and to help you on your way to cosmetic surgery readiness.
This week, Gwyneth Paltrow was featured in Harper’s Bazaar magazine spouting her secrets on looking so young. The 40-year-old actress has supposedly tried just about anything to keep her youthful looks in tact, and Botox isn’t excluded from the list. When asked whether she’d have Botox again, though, she said “I looked crazy”.
That doesn’t mean that she’s ruling out all plastic surgeries, though. “I would be scared to go under the knife, but you know, talk to me when I’m 50. I’ll try anything.” Gwyneth seems to have hit the nail on the head, here; a lot of our patients are scared about going under the knife! It’s probably why Botox is a popular treatment – it offers a quick-fix solution without the grisly thought of scalpels and surgery.
However, we hope Gwyneth knows that plastic surgery – when done by the right people – is no more risky than Botox. Maybe when she’s 50 we’ll put a good word in her ear and she’ll decide to come to us at Secret Surgery. Not that she needs it – Ms. Paltrow is absolutely gorgeous, and we’re sure that at 50 she’ll look better than I did at 30!
Today, Carole is here to tell us about her experience with Secret Surgery. Carole came to us for a tummy tuck first, and then came back for liposuction to complete her new look. You can read her story below.
How did it all start? After having a tummy tuck 5 weeks prior to my lipo it was time to go back to Poland for round two of my transformation. I had lost 8 stone in weight and my legs were a baggy, saggy mess!
And what did you want to have done? I was due to have lipo on the front, inside and rear of my thighs as well as around my knees. The first stage (front & inside of thighs) was supposed to have been done 5 days after my tummy tuck but due to my blood levels falling below a safe limit for surgery, I had to reschedule for all the Lipo to be done in March. As much as I was disappointed, I was also pleased that the surgical team were not willing to gamble with my health.
That’s good, and what about when you got here? March came and we arrived in Poland to 5 inches of snow, my medical was at the hospital on the same day and my bloods were normal… Phew! The morning of my operation Dr W came and asked me to show him exactly where I wanted the fat taken from, I showed him the areas that were a problem to me and he drew on these areas.
How were you feeling before the op? I was an emotional wreck before I went to the operating theatre, I couldn’t stop crying. I don’t know why I got myself so worked up, maybe it was because I knew it was an epidural and I wasn’t going to be asleep. After a few deep breaths and a good talk to myself I managed to calm down and was taken to the theatre.
How did it go? After my pre-med and sedation, I suddenly found that I had slept 2/3rds of the way through the operation. When I awoke Dr W was finishing off my legs and I was shown the fat they had taken out.. Yuk!! but it was very interesting to see.
Oh wow! And afterwards? I was taken to recovery where I stayed overnight, I was extremely sore and very swollen and thank God I had pain killers to help me cope with the pain. The next few days were very painful and I found myself walking Like John Wayne, sitting was difficult especially on a hard surface like the toilet! I didn’t sleep for long intervals for as soon as the painkillers wore off, I need more.
Did you heal quickly? It’s incredible that after about 4-5 days I was walking slowly into the town square, although still in pain I was able to cope with it. I found the recovery for this procedure was a lot quicker than the tummy tuck and I was able to get back to work a couple of weeks later. My legs are still a little bruised and swollen in places 4 weeks post op, but my support wear helps keep my legs secure and I can cope quite well with everyday life and work.
Excellent. Any final comments? I am just beginning to get back to exercise and although taking it slowly, I am getting there. I have had a great experience with secret surgery and the staff from the company and the medical staff in Poland. I am now saving for my 3rd procedure next year. Thank You to everyone concerned.