A Post Pregnancy Surgery is certainly one of the most popular types of plastic surgery. Childbirth causes a lot of stress on the body. Therefore, it is advised to wait until your health and weight is stable prior to getting a post pregnancy surgery. This article offers top tips for recovery after this surgery in order to get optimal results.
When it comes to post pregnancy surgery, resting and recovery time is of utmost importance. You will be required to take a few weeks off from work and You will need some to help and support around the house for the first week or two.
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Recovery Time for Post Pregnancy Surgery
The actual length of the recovery will vary from person to person, based on the number and type of surgeries you have included in the post pregnancy surgery. Typically, the procedure involves breast reduction, liposuction, tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty, breast lift and may include vaginal rejuvenation / labiaplasty.
Week by Week Recovery
You can typically return back to work within two weeks after the surgery. The long term recovery can take a few months. The recovery will look different for different people. But here is a general overview of week by week recovery timeline:
Recovery Week 1 – It comes as no surprise, but the first week of recovery is certainly the most intense one. You absolutely need someone to help you around the house. You will be resting completely and doing only the essential activities; using the restroom, eating, and sleeping. You will be walking in a hunched over position for the most part and will be facing major swelling and discomfort.
Recovery Week 2 – By week two, you will significantly feel better. There will be still soreness and tenderness around your incision sites. Most patients also feel extremely tired. That is why it is advised to take naps throughout the day. At this point, most patients can start walking lightly around the house.
Recovery Week 3 – By week three, you will continue to feel exhausted, but the swelling and soreness will subside significantly. Most patients also begin to feel frustrated at this point with their recovery but rest assured, you are healing day by day.
Recovery Week 4 – By week four, most of the swelling will be gone, your energy levels will be back up. You can start with the light exercise routine and do all of the chores around the house and work comfortably from the office.
Recovery Week 5 and 6 – By week 5 and 6, you will begin to feel completely normal again. At this point, you can resume your regular exercise with moderate intensity along with resuming all your day to day activities. Make sure to check in with your surgeon prior to resuming any physically intense activities.
Tips for Faster Healing and Recovery
Now that you have a clear understanding of how week by week recovery will look like, these are some tips that will help you heal and recover faster after the surgery:
1. You Need Someone to Drive You Home
The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. You will have a lot of stitches, swelling and discomfort post-surgery. Make sure you arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. You will also help someone to help you around the house as well.
2. Rest, Rest and Rest
Rest is crucial to your recovery. It will heal your body at a faster pace. Aim at getting 8 hours per day and take smaller naps throughout the day. Arrange for someone to help you with the daily activities around the house. You should be resting all the time except for when you are eating and using the bathroom. It’s that important.
3. Take All the Prescribed Medications
After the post pregnancy surgery, you will be prescribed a handful of painkillers to combat pain after the surgery. You will also be given some antibiotics to avoid any infection. Make sure to take them regularly and never ever skip on them.
4. Avoid Lifting
Do not lift anything heavy, including your children. It will put a strain on your stitches which is not good. Avoid bending over extensively. Special care should be taken for at least two weeks after the surgery.
5. Prepare – Buy Supplies in Advance
Before you get into the surgery, make sure to get all the household supplies and all the things you will need during the recovery phase to avoid visits to the grocery store. Some common examples include stool softeners, antibiotics, soaps, crackers, low sodium dinners, other food items you might need, medications, house supplies, and any other thing that might come in handy.
6. Blood Thinners are a Big No
Do not take any blood-thinning medications such as ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory, and aspirin. Consuming blood thinners can lead to bleeding and bruising, which must be avoided at all costs.
7. Sleep the Right Way
Sleep on your back with your head and shoulders alleviated. It is best to sleep in a recliner for the first few days and then switch to bed. Avoid sleeping on your side for 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery.
8. Absolutley Avoid Smoking and Nicotine
If you are a smoker, you will have to quit smoking before and at least four to six weeks after the surgery. Smoking interferes with the healing process and slows down your recovery. Your results will be unsatisfactory if you smoke.
9. Say No to Alcohol
Alcohol has pretty much the same effect on your recovery as smoking. So, stay clear of alcohol a few weeks before and after the surgery if you don’t want to experience unnecessary bruising.
10. Attend Follow Up Appointments
Some people think of follow up appointments as an option rather than a necessity. Do not skip on the appointments to make sure everything is working optimally.
11. Eat Healthily – Good Nutrition is vital
You are what you eat, even during the recovery process. Make sure to eat plenty of fibre-rich foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, drink loads and loads of water. All of these baby steps assist your body to heal and recover faster.
12. Avoid Moisture
You need to skip baths, jumping in swimming pools and going to saunas for the first four weeks after the surgery. Moisture can lead to infections that are not welcomed by anyone. Use a quick shower to wash instead.
13. Check Your Incision Sites
After your postop dressings have been removed by a nurse, Make it a habit to check your incision sites every day for any chances of infections. If you notice any pus or blood, immediately contact your surgeon.
14. Avoid Strenuous Activities
All kinds of strenuous activities are prohibited during the recovery phase. If you are an exercise junkie, now is the time to take some rest. Similarly, if your job is physically demanding, you might want to apply for a longer leave.
15. Contact Your Surgeon or Hospital In Case of Emergency
If anything doesn’t feel right to you, it’s because it isn’t. If you feel anything unusual that is bothering you, immediately contact your surgeon and get the help that you need. Seek urgent medical attention.
Post Pregnancy Recovery FAQs
What is the fastest way to recover from a post pregnancy surgery?
- Here are a few tips that will help you recover faster after the surgery:
- Take a few weeks off from work to rest completely.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home and help you around the house a few days post-surgery.
- Do not bend down and lift heavyweights.
- Do not take blood thinners.
- Avoid smoking and drinking for at least four weeks post-surgery.
- Sleep on your back with your head in an elevated position.
- Take all your meds on time.
- Eat healthily and drink loads of water.
How long does it take to heal from the surgery?
- Depending on the procedures you get done, you can heal in a period of 2 to 6 weeks.
How can I speed up healing after a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty?
- Make sure to stick to all the post-operative instructions, pay special attention to your diet, takes loads of rest and do not skip follow up appointments.
How painful is recovery from post pregnancy surgery?
- Like any other surgery, a post pregnancy surgery comes with a bit of pain and discomfort. Your surgeon will give you a handful of painkillers to counter the pain and give you a smooth recovery.
How many hours does a post pregnancy surgery take?
- Depending on what procedures you are getting done, the surgery can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
How can I speed up recovery from surgery?
- The only way to speed up recovery is by taking lots of rest, consuming a healthy diet, taking your meds on time and sticking to all the post-op instructions.
What are the restrictions on activities after a post pregnancy surgery?
- Following are the restrictions:
- Avoid strenuous exercising till you are fully healed.
- Do not bend over and lift heavy weights till you are fully healed.
- Do not smoke and drink alcohol a few weeks after the treatment.
- Avoid baths, swimming pools and saunas.
- Do not sleep on your side for a few weeks after the surgery.
- Do not eat sodium-rich foods as they can worsen the swelling.
Do I need to lose weight before a post pregnancy surgery?
- To get optimal results from a a post pregnancy surgery, surgeons prefer you shouldn’t be more than 10kg over your ideal weight. So, if you are, you need to shed a few kgs before getting the surgery. A BMI of <30 is good, 35 is high and most surgeons won’t operate on patients with BMI > 40.
How long does post-surgery fatigue last?
- It will last for the first two to three weeks after the surgery for most people. For others, it can extend until the sixth week. The key to fight fatigue lies in a lot of naps and healthy foods.