I went through 2 fully tummy tucks in 6 short months. I went all out the first time and not so much the second time. Here's what I truly felt like I needed.
Writing in order of importance ;)
1) A maternity pillow. This was not only my saving grace during recovery but even before. So comfy! It's soooo hard to sleep after surgery. Something that can cacoon you is ideal. Amazon has one for around $50 and it's worth every cent. This helped me sleep a million times better the second time around. You have to sleep on your back for a few weeks after surgery so just don't downplay the importance of the right support. Pillows just won't do.
2) Dulcolax - GET THIS, TAKE THIS. From the first day you get out of surgery. START. I didn't the first time and I was stuck trying to go #2 for nearly 7 straight days but nothing was happening and I was seconds away from going to the emergency room from excruciating pain. The second time around I took it twice a day and ZERO issues.
3) Protein shakes - I used Orgain protein shakes because they have the cleanest ingredients. They have regular and Vegan. You need loads of protein after surgery to recover and a lot of the times you can be pretty nauseous so loading up on meat is not ideal. Protein drinks make it super easy to hit a protein goal. Super important!
4) I took Dilaudad the first time and Percocet the second time. Dilaudad did nothing for my pain. Percocet did. I would ask your doctor but I'm sharing my experience. I also had Percocets after my c-section and for me, it's the best perscription pain killer for an abdominal surgery.
5) Lots of gauze/bandages/surgical tape - the recovery can get messy at times. It's important to have a lot of bandages on hand. You will also need to replace them regularly so get a couple weeks worth. 2 on each side of the drains.
6) Comfy Clothes - regardless of being "smaller" after your tummy tuck, you will be bigger initially with all the garments and swelling. I was a small/extra small and I purchased medium/large pants so it wasn't tight at all. If the pants are too tight, it will be uncomfortable.
7) Antibacterial Soap - they want you taking an antibacterial shower the night before and morning of. I liked using it afterwards as well just to be extra careful. Dial bar soap worked great.
8) Dry Shampoo - depending on your surgeon, you may not be able to take you first shower for a week. Dry shampoo will be your friend ;)
Any other suggestions are greatly welcome below!
Hope this helps.