Following on from my previous post, Mummy Makeover (Part 1) – What you Need to Know, this post will provide an overview of Recovery and Aftercare once you have a Mummy Makeover procedure. If you haven’t read Part 1, it’s a good idea to go back and read it.
Mummy Makeover Recovery
The important thing to remember, with the Mummy makeover procedure and all cosmetic and plastic surgery, is to pace your recovery – don’t rush it. Two steps forward too soon can set you back a number of steps, ultimately delaying your recovery or leading to less than desirable results. Make sure that you have a dedicated support person/people to help take care of not only the kids, but you as well. It is our experience that patients recover better when they have their support organised before surgery.
For the most common Mummy makeover procedure combination, ie breast augmentation and/or breast lift and abdominoplasty, the recovery can take up to 3-4 weeks before you are back to work (unless you feel up to it and it is non-strenuous), and 6 weeks before you are back at the gym doing regular exercise.
After surgery, my patients can expect, amongst other things:
- to wake up with drains, which either come out during your hospital stay or the next day after discharge, depending on how much fluid is collected (which should minimal);
- to be prescribed with medication such as antibiotics, anti-nausea and adequate pain relief if required;
- to keep the dressings dry and intact until the dressing appointment (7-10 days after surgery). You can bathe as long as the dressings are kept dry;
- you will need help to wash your hair in the first 1-2 weeks, depending on how you feel;
- to wear the compression garments around the clock for at least 4 weeks, except when showering or being laundered;
- to feel tired easily in the first couple of weeks – your body is working overtime trying to heal itself. It is important to acknowledge this process and not rush your recovery. Keep yourself busy with a good book, TV, or anything that doesn’t involve strenuous activity.
- eat a well balanced diet, and if you cannot tolerate food, try to stick to a clear diet for the first couple of days, but it is important that you replenish your body with food and fluids. Lots of fibre to avoid constipation.
- to be placed on a scar management protocol, usually at the 3 week mark. Scars are an inevitable part of having surgery, however, there are steps that we take to help you minimise and flatten scars;
- to start gentle exercise at approximately 2-3 weeks after surgery, building up to regular exercise at 6 weeks;
- to have our full support and assistance as required, including after hours access. We don’t place any limits on how many times you come back to see us or call us. We provide a full 12 months of aftercare and follow up, which is all included in the cost of your surgery.
Rapid Recovery Approach
Together, my experienced Anaesthetic team and I specialise in what is often called the ‘rapid recovery’ approach to tummy tuck and breast surgery. This doesn’t mean that the healing process is fast tracked – this is something that your body do in it’s own time – but it refers to increasing your comfort level immediately after surgery.
The way it works with the tummy tuck procedure is via trans-abdominal anaesthetic blocks (TAB’s), and pectoral blocks for breast surgery, which are administered during your surgery in most cases.
I want my patients to feel as comfortable as is possible after surgery. The use of TABs intraoperatively for tummy tuck patients has shown to be successful in helping achieve that goal.
My patients experience the following advantages:
- Rapid mobility and recovery – usually up within 24 hours
- Require less time in hospital (usually 1-3 nights)
- Less use of opioid analgesia, intraoperatively and post-op
- Minimal use of PCA pump
- No need for physiotherapy or rehabilitation after surgery
The administration of TABs is a team effort and and is performed by an experienced Anaesthetist who sub-specialises in regional block anaesthesia.
Mummy Makeover Aftercare
Before your surgery, we will provide you with information on how to look after yourself after your mummy makeover procedure. As surgeons, we rely on our patients to ensure that they follow our post op orders and recommendations. We find that patients who adhere to the post-op protocol, have a better experience after surgery.
Some important things to remember, and there is more than is listed here, are:
- Make sure your support person/people is/are available to discharge you from hospital, and to stay with you at least for the first 24-48 hours. The hospital won’t discharge you unless you have someone to drive you home. This person must also drive you to your first dressing appointment which is usually 7-10 days after surgery.
- No smoking or being around second hand smoke.
- It is important to move as soon as possible after surgery, which is facilitated by the TAB and PEC blocks, to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis
- Check your wound site daily and your overall health. When in doubt, you should stay in touch with your plastic surgeon’s office.
- Don’t drive for at least 1-2 weeks after surgery, or until you feel well enough.
- Don’t overdo it! Ask for clearance from your surgeon before going back to the gym. We can tell if you have overdone it (there’s no fooling us!). The gym, housework and other strenuous exercise can and must wait until you recover.
- Eat healthy and try to get enough sleep. If you cannot sleep because of pain – everyone’s pain threshold is different – you need to let your surgeon know as soon as is practicable. Rest is essential for good recovery.
Golden Rule: If you have any questions after surgery, resist turning to websites or forums which offer answers to medical questions. These sites are meant to provide generalised answers, not specifics, because the advising doctors are unable to examine you, know your medical history and your unique circumstances.
Please remember: Your plastic surgeon is the person you trusted to perform your surgery, and should be the first port of call for any questions or concerns if you have a good relationship with him/her. I always advise my patients to contact me with any concerns, even after hours. That is one reason we are here – to help guide our patients to a successful recovery.
All the best, and if you want to know more, please visit my website : Mummy Makeover Surgery
Want to talk about it? Please contact our office on (02) 9389 9065 – Sydney or (02) 6260 4882 – Canberra, or complete the contact form below.