Updated September 2018
It can feel frustrating to undergo a tummy tuck with the purpose of slimming down your waistline only to be met with post-operative swelling that obscures your new look. But you don’t have to let the puffiness win! There are a few things you can do to combat pesky swelling after a tummy tuck.
Icing the affected area is most helpful during the first five days after a procedure, but can reduce swelling for several weeks after surgery. Be sure not to put ice directly on the skin, or apply for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
2. Rest, Rest, Rest
After surgery, rest is paramount. Refrain from over-exerting yourself while your body is recovering or you could cause more swelling to occur. That said, mild activity like walking helps promote healthy circulation that may encourage swelling to dissipate more quickly.
3. Wear Your Compression Garments
Compression garments can’t stop swelling, but they may help limit the amount of swelling that occurs and keep you comfortable as you heal. These garments should mimic the feel of support stockings, and not be so tight as to restrict blood flow.
4. Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements like arnica montana are used by some patients to reduce post-op swelling and bruising, but significant scientific testing has yet to be done. If you are interested in natural solutions to swelling, check with your surgeon about which herbal supplements might work for you.
Swelling after a tummy tuck usually increases for the first five days and then decreases over the next several weeks and months. Most patients see swelling improve by about 80 percent by the eighth week, but the above tips may help speed up the recovery process even more.