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Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:22 pm

Hello Everyone,

We thought we would put together a must-have list of recovery tips for patients. This post focuses on swelling tips. Most patients who have plastic surgery are worried about post-operative swelling and how they can minimize this unsettling symptom. As swelling can remain for days, weeks or longer, being prepared and knowing the key recovery tips will greatly help to minimize swelling.

Below is a must-have proactive list for anyone having plastic surgery who wants to take the air out of swelling:

Chill Out: 20 Minutes On, 40 Minutes Off

Many patients ice constantly (day & night) during the initial days of post-op. Apply a cold compress for 20 minutes on swollen area, then 40 minutes off, repeating hourly. Don’t put a cold compress directly on skin, as you should put a paper towel or thin, soft cloth on the swollen area to protect it. You can use specialized cold therapy compresses, frozen peas or blueberries in ziplock bags, or gauze pads soaked in water and ice.

Compresses We Recommend:

1) Cold & Hot 10"x9" Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10367

2) Cold & Hot Deluxe Compress - 11"x14": http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=39953

3) Standard Size Cold Therapy Pack: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13120

Slip Into A Medical Compression Garment

Following a tummy tuck, wearing a medical compression garment becomes crucial to your healing. A compression garment accelerates the healing process and allows you to return to daily life sooner by minimizing swelling, improving blood circulation, providing support and comfort to surgical areas, and by flushing the body out of potentially harmful fluids. By applying pressure, a garment helps the skin fit better to its new body shape with less likelihood of skin sagging. It is important that the garment be made specifically for plastic surgery recovery.

Depending on the doctor, you may need to wear both a Stage One garment for the first 1-2 weeks of post-op (garment is designed to be less tight and bigger due to your swelling and has zippers for ease) and then switch to wearing a Stage Two garment (smaller and tighter since you have less swelling) during 2-8 weeks post-op or longer. Wearing garments for both stages gives you continuous compression, which speeds recovery. Some doctors may ask you to wear one garment.

Choosing the right garment can have a significant impact on your healing. It is not recommended to sacrifice your cosmetic results by wearing a non-medical garment from your local store that is not specifically made for a cosmetic medical procedure (such as over-the-counter girdles, athletic shorts, body suits, tights, shapewear, sports bras) because they are not designed for continuous wear during recovery. Wearing a non-medical garment can be bad for healing, as you can slow down your recovery, worsen your swelling and other symptoms, and increase your post-op discomfort.

Here is the link to see all the tummy tuck compression garments:

http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product/t ... 1&catid=55

Most Popular Tummy Tuck Compression Garments: Then, there is a great post that was put together by Make Me Heal that lists all the most popular garments for patients based on years of experience and it lists some tips on compression garments.

Here is the link to the post:
http://messageboards.makemeheal.com/vie ... hp?t=55694

The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies such as Arnica Montana and Bromelain can shorten your recovery and lessen the swelling that you experience.

Arnica Montana:
Arnica Montana is a homeopathic herb that can shorten recovery by reducing post-op swelling and bruising. Arnica comes in both pill and topical form. The pill form can be taken several days before surgery and up to a few days post-op. The topical form can be applied on the affected swollen areas once the incisions have been closed.

Arnica Montana Products We Recommend:

Pill-form Arnica:

1) Sinecch Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10369

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15740

Topical-form Arnica:

1) Boiron Arnica Montana Gel: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=11537

Bromelain is a natural pineapple enzyme that helps reduce post-op swelling and pain, and accelerates healing. Taken a week to several days before surgery and up to 1-2 weeks post-op.

Bromelain Products We Recommend

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Post-Op Formula (w/Bromelain) -

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana & Bromelain Kit:

Healing Multivitamins designed specifically for recovery are popular with patients, as they enable you to get all the essential healing vitamins, supplements, and minerals in one product.

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Pre & Post-op Forumula (w/Bromelain) -

2) VitaMedica Plastic Surgery Pre & Post-Op Program (w/Vitamins, Arnica, Bromelain & FREE Arnica cream):

Elevate Yourself

Rest and sleep on your back continuously in an inclined position (25-45 degree angle) for the initial days of post-op or as long as major swelling remains. Resting in elevation enables optimal blood circulation and helps reduce swelling. You can achieve elevation by using specialized pillows such as a wedge pillow with an incline design, or by propping yourself above 3-4 pillows, or by sleeping on a recliner.

Wedge pillows are specially designed with an incline to provide proper alignment and to keep your affected swollen areas (facial, upper, mid, or lower body areas) comfortably elevated in an angle that helps reduce swelling and enables optimal blood circulation to all the vital healing areas. There are also knee and leg wedges and lifts that also serve the purpose of keeping swollen areas (particularly the legs, thighs, calves, and feet area) comfortably elevated in an angle that is needed for reducing swelling, as well as helping to reduce tension on the abdomen. Many patients find bed wedges to be a superior and more comfortable elevation solution compared to putting oneself above pillows on a bed. The advantages of wedges compared to pillows are that they are sturdy, you do not have to worry about slipping off as you would with pillows, you have far less tension and stress on your body, and you do not have to periodically rearrange the wedge as you would with pillows that shift around and fall.

Bed Wedge Pillows We Recommend:

1) Memory Foam Bed Wedge:

2) Deluxe/Ultra-Comfort Memory Foam Wedge:

3) Bed Wedge Pillow:

4) Memory Foam Leg Wedge Pillow:

5) Leg Wedge Pillow:

Avoid Hot Showers

During the initial weeks of post-op, the water in the shower should be moderately warm because hot or steamy water can worsen swelling. Avoid having the water stream come down directly on fragile surgical areas.

Eat Right

*As salt (sodium) can worsen swelling, avoid foods and drinks containing salt during recovery.

*Eat leaf lettuce, eggs, and yogurt, which are excellent sources of Vitamin K, another possible remedy to swelling.
Last edited by Make_Me_Heal_Team on Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
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Tips For Reducing Plastic Surgery Scars

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:22 pm

Hello Everyone,

Every plastic surgery patient despises scars, as scars are tell-tale signs of having had cosmetic surgery. For this reason, patients are most preoccupied about how they can reduce their scars following surgery. Fortunately, there are various effective solutions that can significantly help you reduce your surgery scars and minimize their appearance.

Here is a list of our top recommendations for minimizing scars:

Silicone Gels & Sheets

Silicone gels, creams and adhesive silicone sheets promote scar reduction and make your scar less noticeable. These products can reduce, flatten, and soften the scar size, thickness, height, and color of all types of new and old scars, post-surgery scars, keloids, hypertrophic scars, and scars caused by injury, trauma, and burns.

Silicone scar products help reduce scar appearance by forming a protective barrier over the skin surface, increasing hydration, pressure, and oxygen tension, and maintaining the skin’s moisture.

Silicone gels are recommended for areas that are visible to the eye and places where a sheet is not convenient to use. Self-adhesive silicone sheets come in various shapes and sizes and can stick to any body area. Sheets offer the added advantage of putting pressure on the scar, which benefits scar reduction. These gels and sheets should only be applied after wounds have fully closed.

Silicone Scar Creams We Recommend:

1) Kelo-cote: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10066

2) Scar Esthetique: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15690

Silicone Scar Sheets We Recommend:

1) Biodermis 1.4"x 12" Abdominal/Tummy Tuck Scar Reduction Silicone Strip (1 Pair): http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15698

2) Scar Fx Silicone Sheet – 1" x 22": http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=22590

3) Scar Fx Silicone Belt Wrap (6"x48"): http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=22644

Electromagnetic Patch

Electromagentic patches are the latest scar reduction home treatments that send an electromagnetic pulsed signal to the wounded area and reduce the appearance of scars. An electromagnetic patch fights the inflammatory response of your body that normally leads fluids to accumulate in the scar area and cause your cells to be pulled apart and result in what is known as scarring. The electromagnetic signal sent by the patch pushes the fluids out and reduces granulation of the scar which leads to less noticeable scarring.

Electromagnetic Patch We Recommend:

1) ActiPatch Large Square Healing Patch With On/Off Key Tab: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=34823

2) ActiPatch Medium Rectangle Healing Patch: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=34825

Massage ‘Em Down

Massaging scars may help reduce their appearance, although it should only be undertaken once the skin is no longer vulnerable to pressure.

No Toasting or Taking A Drag

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for 2-4 weeks pre-op and 2-4 weeks post-op because this can lead to poor scar healing.

Protect Scars From The Sun

Once incisions have closed, a sunscreen should be worn at all times during the first few months of post-op. Sun exposure can prolong the period your scar remains red and may cause scars to hyperpigment and darken.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
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Don't Let The Black & Blues Get TO You

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:27 pm

Hello Everyone,

Many patients relate to us how they are concerned and disturbed by bruising discolorations after surgery which can be quite unsettling visually and span all kinds of colors (black, blue, gray, and purple, to yellow and brown) until they disappear.

Fortunately, there are a few effective tips which you can follow to speed up the disappearance of the bruises, as follows:


Once swelling has gone down, you can switch to warm compresses to help reduce bruising. Although the benefits of icing in regards to bruising is not agreed upon by all doctors, some believe that the “20 minutes on, 40 minutes off” icing technique (the technique used for swelling) may also keep the level of your bruising to a minimum. The Cold & Hot 10"x9" Compress and the Cold & Hot Deluxe Compress - 11"x14" can be used for both hot and cold therapy.

Compresses We Recommend:

1) Cold & Hot 10"x9" Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10367

2) Cold & Hot Deluxe Compress - 11"x14": http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=39953

The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies

Arnica Montana & Bromelain are homeopathic remedies that can help reduce post-op bruising.

Homeopathic Remedies We Recommend:

1) Sinecch Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10369

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Post-Op Formula (w/Bromelain) -

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana & Bromelain Kit:

Vitamin K creams and pills help reduce post-operative bruising and internal bleeding. Some vitamin K creams also include Arnica, which decreases bruising when applied topically.

Vitamin K Creams We Recommend

1) Cosmesis Bruise Away Cream (with Vitamin K & Arnica):

2) Life Extension Vitamin K Healing Cream

3) Revision Vitamin K Cream

Cover Them Up

If your bruising is not disappearing as quickly as you need it to, you can use professional camouflage makeup to hide your bruising. The best product for this is Dermablend Cover Crème which is recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, make-up artists and even actors! Set the Cover Crème with the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder for all day coverage!

Dermablend Cover Creme Camouflage Makeup

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder

No Vitamin E

Avoid using or taking products (skincare, hair products, foods, supplements) containing Vitamin E (tochopherol) for 2-3 weeks before surgery and for 2-3 weeks afterwards because it is an anticoagulant that can worsen bleeding during surgery and increase post-op bruising.

Take It Easy

Take it easy during your initial recovery, as excessive activities and movements can raise your blood pressure and lead to greater bruising.

Avoid Bending or Leaning Down

Avoid bending or leaning down, lifting anything above 10 pounds, vigorous activities, and exercising until 3-4 weeks after surgery.

Gentle Massaging

Once surgical areas are not fragile, gentle massaging may help disintegrate the bruises.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
Posts: 1934
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:43 am

Supply List

Postby YourOwnChoice » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:35 am

From 1962 Barbie:


I have one month to go, so I thought I'd go over my supply list.

I have:

compression hose for thigh lipo areas-got ace bandages instead to wrap thighs

Flushable wipes - for down under the first few days when I can't shower

Dial Antibacterial hand soap- bar soap carries bacteria

Latex gloves (no powder) - for when I handle my drains

X strength Tylenol- 2 weeks before, that's all we can take

Hand sanitizer- for when I handle my drains and incision

Vitamin E and B-12 - PS says vitamin E after sx, girls say b-12 to help with energy

Pectin throat drops- throat may be sore after intubation

Arnica Montana 30c- bruising

Arnica gel- bruising

Bromelain- swelling

thermometer- didn't have one in the house

Antibacterial wipes- wiping down germy surfaces

disposable undies (coming in the mail)- don't want to ruin mine (tks hipbones?)

water bottle- lots of water needed for flushing sysem after sx and for swelling

stool softeners- anesthesia meds clog your ducts

wife beaters- makes it easier to wear binder

u shaped travel pillow- just in case I need it to sleep

maxi pads- better and cheaper than gauze for all the draining and such

gauze and paper tape- on PS's list

disposable bed pads- don't want to gross the whole family out with drainage

xtra pillows- for comfort while sleeping and just laying there

disposable camera-just in case I can talk them into OR photos

pill organizer- gotta keep track of meds in a medicated state

True lemon- powdered lemon for water to reduce swelling/ I won't take this off the list, but I don't like how it tastes, it's a substitute. Get real lemons if you can, much better!

Only after incisions are healed:

Vitamin E oil- for scar care

Mederma scar cream- thanks Robi, got my package Very Happy

Cocoa butter w/Shea and Vit E lotion - for scar after incision heals & stretch marks.

I need:

stage 2 garment- gonna need something after the binder

grabber thingie- can't be bending down and twisting around, now!

more loose clothing- will be swollen and jeans? Not!

shower chair- showering will be difficult enough, easier to sit

frozen fruit bars- for throat

Dancing chocolate- Why not, right ladies!!

Anything else (besides groceries)? Let me know.


http://www.makemeheal.com/pictures/view ... bumid=4525
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From 1962 Barbie

Postby YourOwnChoice » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:36 am


Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 1827
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:28 pm Post subject:


We did edit this list to remove the hydrogen peroxide (should not be used - can harm living skin tissue) and any topical ointments unless specifically prescribed by your own ps.

Just a quick note: it's not a good idea to self-diagnose when you have a problem. The best route is to call your own ps and follow your surgeon's specific instructions. Your surgeon is the one responsible for your care and knows your individual circumstances. After all, that 's the expert you paid. We are certainly here to offer support, advice and share our experiences. But bottom line - for anything related to postop care and healing, it's your surgeon who provides the list of instructions for you. And if you don't get one, ask him!

When in doubt, check it out!
AL, BL, TT, WL D & P Board Moderator

320 lbs down to 155 lbs by diet and exercise
AL - 10/14/2005
ETT/MR - 1/6/2006
BL - 10/27/06
BL revisions - 6/13/2007
Lipo 3000cc- 2/29/2008

album links by pm request
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recovery list

Postby dixiepeep » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:35 am

I took your list to heart and I am so glad I did!! My surgery was the December 16th. I had a tt and breast reduction and lift. I am doing very well so far. I am so glad that I was able to be prepared by purchasing many of the items you listed on this site. The only other thing that I wish that I had on hand was some straws that bend because I could not lift myself to take my medications. I waited to take the Bromelain until bleeding concerns were not an issue. It does wonders for swelling!! I am still watching my salt intake because once I ate something salty and I felt HUGE and miserable. I am back at work and taking it as easy as I can.
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Postby n3w_xtina » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:19 am

This list is extermemly helpful. The only thing that I found I needed once I got home was a saline nasal spray. After TT stomach muscles are obvioulsy very tender, so I found blowing my nose almost impossible. The saline nasal spray helped to wash everything out without blowing (too hard). Careful the first few times if youve never used one before- so you don't sneeze from the wierd feeling- that would be really bad!
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Postby jazminerose007 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:52 am

A netti pot is a great old fashioned way to keep sinuses clear. Takes a few minutes to get used to but very soothing & cleansing. My GP highly recommends it. I have terrible sinuses & got addicted to nasal sprays. I was able to kick the habit via the netti pot. I was so congested on rebound that I had to take sudafed for a couple of days just to open up enough for the saline solution to flow but now netti is all I use.
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby nucathy » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:14 pm

Thanks for the information and supply list. I'm not having surgery until the end of November, but I am trying to get as much information as I can beforehand.

I worked in Surgery for almost 30 years as an RN and Surgery Administrator, and after losing 65 pounds over a couple of years, I've decided to have the abdominoplasty and brachioplasty. My weight loss was aided by a medication for Diabetes [Byetta].I've been able to get some info from Plastic Surgery journals I can access, but the info at make me heal is so much better. I have learned much more this week.

Thank you to you brave souls who post your before and after pictures. They are helping me have a more realistic expectation of "after".
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby lynney » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:36 am

It is my third week post op and I am delighted with the results although I still have some swelling between scar & belly button. What I have found is that you may not be able to avoid sneezing or coughing, and following a sneeze in my first week and holding my tummy in the wrong place causing unbelievable pain, I now hold a pillow firmly across the whole of my abdomen. This does hold everything in place whilst you sneeze at 80 miles an hour! it works by distributing the pressure all over your abdomen, provides support and feels less painful. Try also to pinch your nose and tickle the roof of your mouth with your tongue when you feel a sneeze coming on. During my check up, I was reassured that I did not do any damage to my muscle repair and most important at this stage is to continue wearing your girdle. I was also advised to rub in E45 cream to bed in the scar now it's healed.
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby NYVAPhoenix » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:01 am

Thank you for this blog, this website, and especially for the doctors who check in and make occasional recommendations. I noticed the list above is dated 2005, so I thought I'd run through one for 2010.

I'm on day 6 post op, and these are the things that have helped me SO much.

Supply list for home:
cotton balls
alcohol or alcohol wipes
hydrogen peroxide
polysporin ointment
reading glasses
surgical gloves
surgical tape-the papery kind
guaze pads - lots of them
anti-bacterial wipes for countertop and faucet
anti-bacterial soap for hands, etc.
Cetaphil for sponge baths
Baby wipes
Mirror and hand mirror to see my naval as I change the dressing
compression stage 2 underwear - 2 sets
Tylenol because I'm not allowed to use Ibuprofen 2 weeks before or after operation
Delsyn both because I managed to contract bronchitis 2 days before operation
LOTS of pillows or a wedge to sleep on
a TV in the bedroom
moisture-wicking night gown because I am menopausal and they are awesome
Protein powder (Lifetime Fitness Peak Performance Whey Protein has no other forbidden additives/herbs/supplements)
frozen fruit
chicken soup - low or no sodium
a pick-up thingy. What a great idea. wish i had one. bending down ain't easy.

That's the list for the first week. My doctor gave me stage 1 compressionwear, so I only need to have stage 2 on hand for when the PS removes the drains.

ABOUT SNEEZING: As a professional who has had to sneeze during the most horrible moments on stage, I can testify that pressing your index finger just below your nose will kill a sneeze instantly.

ABOUT COUGHING: The pillow helps, DM and Sudafed saved my belly, I hope. (still have a lot of recovery to do)
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby greymatter » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:55 pm

arnica montana 6c-10c is great post op
ImageThe Healer :)
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby JavaSkull » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:50 am

I have a "Deluxe Gopher 2 Pickup & Reaching Tool" that has been a HUGE help (Amazon, about $15). It helps me reach things from the floor or overhead without stretching or twisting. Great for picking things up, or hanging clothes in a closet.
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby twinmamamaven » Sat May 14, 2011 2:17 pm

Thank you so much for these lists! So nice to have a list from actual people who have been there done that! I will join all these lists together and start shopping in a couple months for my TT list stash! :D
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Re: Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide & Tips & SUPPLY LIST

Postby GoGetEmSS » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:48 am


http://www.makemeheal.com/pictures/lipo ... ait-a12860
PW Soon

29Y/o 256 Lb down to 145 PO pic updated 8-07-11
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