Q) I’m 55 years old and I’m having a tummy tuck with some liposuction done next month. I was told that I should move around after surgery as soon as I can get out of bed and that moving around encourages healing and assists in a shorter recovery time. I would think rest after surgery would be more beneficial. Why does moving around help?
A) There are a few reasons why I also encourage my patients to move around and walk after surgery. During surgery, massage boots are used to help blood circulate from the legs. The best way to help blood circulate after surgery is by simply walking because the muscles in your legs contract, sending blood back to your heart. This decreases the chance of blood clots that can break off and go to the lungs. We often encourage our patients to drink clear liquids the night after surgery to get them up and walking to and from the bathroom. The sooner you get back to performing your normal activities, the less sick you will feel.
I encourage my patients to walk for about five minutes, or for as long as they can, every two to three hours the night after surgery. Then the next day, I encourage my patients to get dressed in comfortable clothes and to walk around the house and even outside. It decreases the chance of pneumonia, blood clots, and other symptoms when patients are as active after a tummy tuck as they were before. Most of my patients also do not simply have the time to lie around; they have responsibilities or work that requires their attention. I also recommend that you use as little pain medication as possible due to the associated side effects.