Tummy Tuck Recovery - See the Steps You Need to Know

Posted October 05, 2021
Recovery after having a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, which is also known as abdominoplasty, is performed to remove excess skin and fat in the treated area as well as tighten muscles so you enjoy a smooth and firm abdomen. The recovery time depends on several factors such as the tummy tuck technique that was performed and your overall health. Interested in learning more about what is involved in the recovery period for abdominoplasty? Check out the informative article below for all the details.

Tummy Tuck Recovery - What to Know Right after the Surgery

Immediately after the surgery, the doctor will leave some drains in for a few days to help the body get rid of excess blood and fluid. You might need to take antibiotics or anticoagulants while the drains are in place.
You will need to wear a binder around the abdomen for around six weeks to avoid any fluid backup and to provide support to the abdomen. In general, you will have to wait around six weeks before you able to engage in any strenuous activities including heavy lifting or impactful exercise.

Tummy Tuck Recovery - What to Know When You Get Home

It is necessary for you to have a friend or family member drive you home after the procedure due to the anesthesia that will be administered at the start of the surgery. You will also require some help caring for yourself during the first few days after the abdominoplasty. 

Once the drainage tubes are removed, it is necessary to wait 48 hours before you shower. You can take a sponge bath until that time. 

Do not drink any alcohol if you are taking pain medication and do not smoke after the surgery. Smoking can hinder the healing process and it can also cause some post-surgery complications as well.

It is necessary for you to sleep on an incline for the few days after the surgery. By keeping your upper body slightly raised, with your knees bent at an angle, you will be able to reduce the amount of swelling your experience. In addition, putting pillows under your knees will help to reduce the amount of pressure that is placed on your abdomen.

While strenuous exercise is not recommended after the tummy tuck, it is suggested that you walk a bit to keep your blood flowing. A regular walking schedule also decreases the chance of a blood clot in your legs and helps in the overall healing process. 

It is important for you to rest as much as possible during the healing process as you may find yourself tired for several weeks. You will not be able to drive for a few weeks and any demanding physical activity or impactful exercise will not be recommended for four to six weeks. Be sure and consult with your doctor if you are not sure if the activities or exercise you have in mind will have a negative impact on the healing process.

Tummy Tuck - Possible Side Effects

  • You will likely feel some intense pain during the first few days after the procedure. Pain medication can help control the pain and keep you comfortable while at home. The tummy might have a feeling like it is being pulled when you attempt to stand up straight.
  • There will be some bruising in the abdominal area.
  • There could also be some numbness in the treated area for several months or years.
  • There is a chance you will experience some swelling for two to three months after the treatment. You might see some swelling above the scar that is filled with fluid, but this will resolve on its own. In addition, any red and raised areas on the scar will eventually fade on their own.

Tummy Tuck - Recovery Tips

Consult with the surgeon before the procedure so you can plan ahead and have everything you need at home ready to go during your recovery period.

Create a comfortable space at home where you can relax and take any medications you need after the procedure. You will need to allow yourself at least two weeks of resting at home so do not try to physically hurry the process. 

Follow a healthy diet that includes drinking plenty of water as well as green tea to boost your antioxidant and immunity levels. Eating fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin A and C supplements will keep you healthy and help to keep any inflammation to a minimum.

There are many steps to follow in order to properly recover from abdominoplasty surgery. Taking the time to follow the post-op instructions from your surgeon will aid in keeping you on the right track when it comes to recovering from surgery. 

Keep in mind that the results of a tummy tuck should last a decade (or even longer). The final results will provide a better tone to the abdomen along with a smoother look to the contour of the body. You will also likely enjoy an increase in your self-image.

- MA


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