Wednesday completed my first week post-op tummy tuck.
Wednesday morning I saw Dr. Grover, had my (one) drain removed, and had my one week exam.
I was very happy to get rid of the drain – they’re so gross.
I’ve received a lot of questions from readers, and I’ll do my best to address them.
First of all,
I’m doing well – much better than I expected to be doing at the one week point.
Second, I don’t want to minimize the pain and discomfort of a tummy tuck because for most people, it would be a VERY BIG DEAL.
I am not most people.
I’ve been through a unique type of hell from my car accident and the tummy tuck pain does not compare.
I took pain meds the first three days post tummy tuck and then I was done.
(I know some people take pain meds for a few weeks post op.)
My recovery is, in part, a tribute to the skill of my surgeon.
Also, I’ve experienced something really terrible pain-wise and I have *that* to compare an abdominoplasty to.
Many women say the pain from a tummy tuck is much more severe than from a C-section.
I haven’t had a C-section, so I can’t say.
For me, the tummy tuck hurt most during the second night after surgery.
(I think I was too drugged up the first night, I didn’t notice anything.)
Since the second night, each day has been better than the previous.
I found the first week to be more a sense of discomfort than pain …
My abs hurt as if I worked out way too hard.
I had absolutely no appetite and my stomach was a bit upset from the anesthesia.
(My appetite returned exactly one week after surgery.)
My incision felt tight and a bit sore, just like any cut would feel.
If I cough or sneeze it does, quite simply, hurt.
(I think the coughing/sneezing pain lasts for many, many, months.)
I’m moving slower than normal.
I’m in no hurry to do a lot of bending and/or reaching/lifting.
A tummy tuck recovery is long.
If you’re considering it, you should give yourself at least two weeks of “do nothing” time post surgery.
You probably won’t get clearance to exercise for 6-8 weeks.
(Walking is fine. I’ve already gone for some short outdoor walks.)
You should also know you will have very little stamina and be short of breath for quite some time – months upon months, in fact.
In other words, it’s not a bounce back surgery and we live in a bounce back society.
Most people have a lot of swelling of their tummy, hips, and thighs (!!) for 3 – 4 months, but for some people swelling persists past the six month point.
(In other words, you go through a surgery and don’t really get to see the final results for several months.)
I wore a medical compression garment for the first week,
My doctor has asked me to continue to wear it (or Spanx) for another couple weeks.
At my one week check-up, I was given the okay to use my camera … beginning, of course, with lighter lenses.
I am not physically able (yet) to shoot the way I normally do … climbing up on
cliffs rocks, laying down on floors, etc.
It will take time before I’m ready to be physical when I’m shooting.
I didn’t expect to feel as well as I do a week later …
I didn’t expect to get the okay to shoot for a few more weeks.
Overall, I have to say everything recovery-wise is going much smoother than I expected.
Even at the one week point, my post-op (very swollen) tummy looks so much better than my old tummy looked.
The excess skin is gone.
I can “see” my future tummy even through a lot of swelling.
My surgeon did an excellent job on my incision – it’s remarkable, really.
I know I have several weeks of recovery ahead of me, but I’m happy with my so-far result.
At the one week point, I have no regrets.
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