Q:

How do you ensure complete recovery after a tummy tuck?

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After a tummy tuck, it is important to care for the bandage placed on the abdomen while sitting and lying down in ways that do not aggravate the area, states WebMD. While strenuous activity is forbidden, patients should engage in light activity to prevent blood clots, according to DocShop.

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A patient must avoid putting stress on the incision for at least two weeks, notes DocShop. The surgeon may provide the patient with a special support garment that helps prevent fluids from accumulating.

Nicotine can be extremely harmful to the healing process, according to DocShop. Nicotine causes the blood vessels to narrow, preventing the red blood cells from delivering oxygen to needed areas, which in turn delays the healing process. It also prevents white blood cells from eliminating bacteria as efficiently, compromising patients' immune system while healing. As such, patients should be willing to detox from cigarettes and abstain from smoking entirely afterwards.

Tummy tucks always leave scars, says WebMD; however, the surgeon can prescribe ointments and creams for the patient to use to minimize or heal the damage. If the tummy tuck does not heal sufficiently, it can leave scarring or loss of skin and may require a second surgery to correct.

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