NIGHT AFTER SURGERY
Temporary bruising, swelling and numbness are common the first night after surgery. You may need to go to the bathroom frequently during the night because of the IV fluids you were given during your liposuction surgery. Drink a lot of fluids in order to keep up with this fluid loss. As your body begins to balance itself out, it will rid itself of this extra “water weight and everything will return back to normal. You will be given pain medications to control your discomfort overnight and all other medications do not need to be taken until the following day after surgery. All dressings will be left in place until you see Dr Motykie and/or his staff the morning after surgery.
ONE DAY AFTER SURGERY
The next morning following your surgery, you will return to Dr Motykie’s office for your first post-operative visit. You should leave all garments and dressings 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 sites 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:
- Dressings: You will be given special instructions for showering and changing your dressings. You will most likely have sticky tapes covering your tiny liposuction incisions that will not require dressing changes. You will be asked to keep this tape dry and intact until the one week post-operative visit at which time it will be removed.
- Diet: Mostly patients start with a liquid diet the night after surgery. Usually by the next day most patients are back to a normal diet.
- Medications: Some swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal immediately following surgery and it is typically controlled with your prescription pain medication. Do not take any other pain medication including Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen in combination with your pain medications unless you are given permission by Dr Motykie. You should begin you prescription antibiotics the morning following surgery and continue them for one week after surgery. A combination of Arnica Montana and Bromelain are encouraged after surgery in order to promote your healing process.
- Surgical Garments: A fitted compression garment and/or abdominal binder is worn for the majority of the first week following your surgery and then it is slowly weaned out of use during your second week after surgery (Garments should be worn for 24 hours/day for the first 7-10 days, and 12 hours a day for the next 7 days). You may remove the support garment to shower as long as you replace it within one hour. Light compression clothing such as Spanks or a Spandex type garment can be worn for an additional two weeks following surgery depending on patient preference, comfort and desire.
- Bathing: Showering and bathing are permitted the very next day after surgery which requires removal of your compression garments. Please do not get the sticky tapes overlying your incisions wet because it may cause them to peel off prematurely. If the tapes do get wet you may dry them with a hair dryer as long as you careful since the treated areas may feel numb at this point and you do not want to create a burn.
- Activity: Light activity is allowed and encouraged including moving about your house and going for walks outside in order to aid the circulation in your lower extremities. However, no heavy lifting or strenuous activity should be attempted during your first week of recovery.
ONE WEEK AFTER SURGERY
After one week, the results of your surgery will typically be obscured by swelling and bruising. In fact, you may even notice during the first week or two after your surgery that your weight has actually increased and some of your clothes may feel even tighter than they did before surgery. Do not be alarmed, this is completely normal and is due to swelling and added water weight. All of this water adds temporary extra weight and volume to your body. For this reason, during the first week after your surgery you will notice yourself going to the bathroom frequently until your body begins to slowly reach equilibrium and shed all of the extra “water weight.”
You will need someone to drive you to your first few post-operative visits. If you are in good physical condition, your recovery from surgery may be somewhat easier and quicker. Each surgeon has his or her preference and philosophy in regards to wearing compression garments after surgery. The purpose of wearing a compression garment after your Mommy Makeover is to minimize bruising and swelling during your recovery process. Some post-operative patients may notice bruising for several weeks after surgery. It can take anywhere from a week to several weeks to go away completely, but in almost all instances it is harmless and is not a cause for concern. Avoid sun exposure, because it can promote darkening of the areas of bruising and delay the lightening process.
- Dressings: During this appointment, the surgical tapes placed during your surgery will be removed and a second set will be placed over your incisions. These tapes will not have surgical glue underneath them and they need to remain dry for a few days following your one week follow up appointment. After several days, allow the tapes to get wet in the shower and simply fall off over the next few days. Once the tapes fall off, you should apply an antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin and/or Neosporin) to the incision line once a day.
- Surgical Garments: You will be weaned out of your compression garment over the next week. You may remove the support garment to bath and take a break from it for several hours at a time. You should look into purchasing a less aggressive compression garment such as spanks or something similar to take the place of the surgical compression garment after the second week of recovery.
- Medications: Some continued swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal and they are typically controlled with your prescription pain medication and muscle relaxants. You should also be finishing your prescription antibiotics at this time. Arnica Montana and Bromelain may be continued for another week in order to promote your healing process.
- Bathing: You may bath and shower freely during the second week after surgery. The surgical tapes placed during your surgery will be removed during this visit and a second set will be placed over your incision. These tapes will not have surgical glue underneath them and they will need to remain dry for a few days following your one week follow up appointment. After several days, allow the tapes to get wet in the shower and simply fall off over the next few days. If the tapes do not fall off on their own during the next week, remove them yourself. Once the tapes are removed, you should apply an antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin and/or Neosporin) to the incision line once a day.
- Activity: Exercise of some sort is very important, even if it is just walking around your house. Physical activity will help your healing process as well as reduce your swelling, lower your chance of blood clots and increase muscle tone. Having said this, rest is also important to the healing process and heavy lifting and strenuous activity are still restricted during the first month after surgery. You will be able to return to more strenuous exercise/heavy lifting at 3-4 weeks after surgery.
ONE MONTH AFTER SURGERY
If you are still feeling a bit tired during this time don’t worry because it will take a few weeks or months to feel completely like yourself again after surgery. Depending on the amount of physical exertion required to perform your expected duties, you should already be back into your normal rhythm at work. Post-operative swelling 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 once all of your swelling has disappeared you will begin to notice a decrease in your weight.
Exercise and workout routines may begin at this point in your recovery process. Pain is your ultimate guide and any activity that is causing discomfort and/or pain needs to be avoided until further along in your recovery process. Please use common sense and pain as your guide; if it hurts, simply don’t do it! If you are returning to some exercise, whether sit-ups or weights, and it is still very sore, then I would advise you to wait several more days or possibly even a week until returning to the same activity. When you return to the activity, start at half speed and increase to your normal routine as long as you do not feel any pain during and/or the day after your workout. Although exercising will not adversely affect your end result, it may temporarily cause more swelling after the exercise that will subside over the next few hours.
During this period, the areas where surgery was performed may continue to have some temporary numbness that will return to normal sensitivity slowly over time. Lastly, as sensation begins to return some patients experience an “itchy” sensation as the nerves begin to “wake up.” This itching is completely normal and it is often relieved with an over the counter anti-histamine such as Benadryl or Claritin.
- Surgical Garments: At this point in time you are no longer required to be wearing any surgical compression garment. However, many patients choose to continue some sort of light compression clothing during this time period including spanks or similar spandex type clothing.
- Healing Process: There are some procedures/ treatment modalities available that can support and/or may accelerate your healing process such as Endermologie, Ultrasound and/or Radiofrequency treatments.
Over the next several months many of the benefits of your Mommy Makeover surgery will begin to materialize. You will notice your body shrinking, your swelling decreasing and your weight dropping. Expect some days of tiredness and recuperation as your body continues to heal from surgery. This period is often called the “rollercoaster” time period because you will go through mixed emotions of excitement, frustration and happiness as you come to grips with your new body and the overall recovery process. Almost all patients go through this period of discovery, learning and healing. You must keep looking forward and realize that over the next several months you will begin to enjoy your new body and its dramatic transformation from surgery.
LONG TERM RESULTS
As your healing progresses, your “good” days will increase and your tired, recuperating days will decrease. Many patients get frustrated during the healing process because they want to get out and enjoy their new body and new “look.” All patients vary in their ability and speed to recovery after surgery. Most commonly patients can expect their final result to be evident at six months after surgery although some patients have continued improvement up to one year after surgery. In some patients, there is a role for Endermologie or deep tissue massage since they can often help to reduce swelling and speed recovery after surgery. Also, radiofrequency skin tightening devices can sometimes achieve additional improvement in certain areas, such as the abdomen, inner thighs, and arms. These sorts of interventions are not necessary in every case and Dr Motykie will help guide you in order to determine if and when these types of modalities may be of benefit to you during your recovery process.
After having a Mommy Makeover procedure, I advise all of my patients to plan on committing to lifestyle changes including diet and exercise programs. Using your Mommy Makeover 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 wellness. As your swelling subsides, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop. The fulfillment you feel from the results of your surgery will continue as long as you control your weight and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. You long term results from surgery will hopefully not only enhance your bodies, but also your health, relationships and lives.
- The Consultation
- Pre-Operative Period
- Day of Surgery
- Post Operative 1 day | 1 week | 1 Month | Long Term