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    Post Operative


    The next morning following your surgery, you will return to Dr Motykie’s office for your first post-
    operative visit. You should leave all dressings and drains intact overnight and until you reach
    the office the following morning. Upon arrival to the office you will be escorted to a private
    examination room where your dressings will be changed and your operative site and incision will
    be evaluated. After your examination, you will be placed back into your compression garment
    and you will be allowed to return to your recovery retreat or back to your home. All of your
    questions will be answered and you will be given instructions for the following week that will
    include the following:


    Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with
    your body type and weight. The final results may initially be obscured by swelling and your
    inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Sometime within the first week or
    two after surgery you should begin standing upright and begin moving about your home without

    Some people can return to work after a week, while others take three or four weeks to rest and
    recuperate. Most patients can drive their vehicles within 5-7 days after surgery, but plan on
    having someone drive you to your one week post-operative visit. If you are in good physical
    condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty may be somewhat
    easier and quicker for you.


    If you are still feeling a bit tired during this time don’t worry because it will take you a few
    weeks or months to feel completely like yourself again.Hopefully you allowed a week or two
    of recuperation time before returning to work. Depending on the amount of physical exertion
    required to perform your expected duties, you should be getting back into your normal rhythm
    around this time in your post-operative course. Swelling of the abdomen can last for several
    months and many patients may actually increase in weight over the first month after surgery
    due to swelling and retained “water weight.” Don’t worry, this weight gain and swelling is only
    temporary and it will begin to drop off as the healing process progresses.

    Vigorous exercise and workout routines should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery
    or until you are cleared by Dr. Motykie. Pain is your ultimate guide and any activity that is
    causing discomfort and/or pain in your abdomen needs to be avoided until further along
    in your recovery process. During this period, sensory changes of the abdomen are normal
    and temporary. Typically the area from the belly button to the incision will have some loss of
    sensitivity for several weeks following the surgery but normal sensitivity will return slowly over
    time. Lastly, as sensation begins to return some patients experience an “itchy” sensation in the
    abdomen. This itching is completely normal and it is often relieved with an over the counter anti-
    histamine such as Benadryl or Claritin.

    Many women are hesitant to have a tummy tuck because they are worried that it is a “major”
    surgery that has the possibility of scarring after the surgery. There is definitely a trade-off in
    order to get your pre-baby body back, but you also must remember that there are now many
    treatments available to prevent, remove and camouflage scars that were not available many
    years ago. Some currently available modalities that can smooth out and lighten possible scaring
    include steroid injections, intense pulsed light, resurfacing lasers, lightening topical creams, scar
    therapies and silicone sheeting. While the abdominal scar may not completely disappear over
    time, it will continue to fade and improve as it heals and it will often take 3-12 months before the
    scar looks its best.

    Over the next several months many of the benefits of you abdominoplasty will begin to
    materialize. You will notice you abdomen shrinking, your swelling decreasing and your weight
    dropping. Although the good days are increasing in numbers expect some days of tiredness,
    and recuperation as your body continues to heal from surgery. You must keep looking forward
    and realize that over the next several months you will begin to be able to enjoy your new body
    and its dramatic transformation from surgery.


    All patients vary in their ability and speed to recover after surgery. Most commonly patients
    can expect their final result to be evident around six months after surgery. Some patients
    have continued improvement up to one year after surgery. Most importantly, I advise all of
    my patients to plan on committing to lifestyle changes including diet and exercise programs
    after their surgery. Using your abdominal contouring surgery as a springboard to a healthier
    lifestyle will not only improve your results from surgery, it will also improve your overall physical,
    emotional and mental well being.

    To find out more about abdominoplasty please contact us at 310-246-2355

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