13 Things to Know for Your Tummy Tuck Recovery
Though weight loss patients and others seeking removal of excess abdominal skin are often very excited at the prospect of undergoing abdominoplasty, worry about the tummy tuck recovery period often lessens their excitement. Fortunately, the more you know ahead of time, the better off you’ll be.
Here are 13 tips to know as you approach your recovery time for tummy tuck surgery.
Top Tips for a Safe and Smooth Tummy Tuck Recovery Time
1. Follow your surgeon’s instructions.
First and foremost, always adhere strictly to your surgeon’s post-operative instructions. Although rare, there is still a slight risk for complications for the first few weeks of your recovery. You also want to optimize your results, and following your post-op guidelines will help.
2. Recruit a support system.
If possible, surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends during your recovery. Request help from those who can hopefully assist with daily tasks and provide emotional support during your recovery.
3. Manage discomfort and pain effectively.
During the recovery time tummy tuck patients may experience pain and soreness for a week or more. Don’t wait for pain to become severe before taking medication. You can take prescribed pain medications as directed by your surgeon to ensure a more comfortable recovery process.
Also remember to allow your body ample time to rest and recover by getting sufficient sleep. During sleep is when your body heals, and you’ll need extra during the recovery period.
4. Attend your follow-up appointments faithfully.
Be sure to keep all scheduled follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon. They will be monitoring your progress and addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
5. Refrain from strenuous exercise, and return gradually to physical activity.
Be cautious with movements such as bending and lifting during your initial recovery. You must avoid putting any strain on your surgical sites.
As you improve, you. may slowly reintroduce physical activities as approved by your surgeon. Start by incorporating short, gentle walks into your daily routine. This should help promote blood circulation and prevent complications such as blood clots.
6. Wear your compression garments.
Be sure to wear your abdominal support garment (compression garment) as advised by your surgeon. This piece of clothing is meant to help reduce swelling, minimize excess fluid buildup, and support your newly contoured abdominal area.
7. Treat your incision sites with care.
Adhere to proper wound care practices to minimize the risk of infection and support the healing of your incisions. Your plastic surgeon will tell you how to bathe, clean and redress the area (if needed), and apply scar care.
8. Maintain a healthy diet.
During your recovery, eat a well-balanced that is diet rich in nutrients. Plenty of protein will give your body the energy it needs during recovery.
Avoid foods that may cause bloating or digestive issues, as this can impact your comfort during recovery. You should also avoid tobacco and alcohol.
Finally, drink plenty of water to support the healing process and prevent dehydration, which can hinder recovery.
9. Avoid sun exposure.
Protect your incisions from sun exposure to prevent hyperpigmentation and ensure proper healing. If you must be out in the sun, always wear sunscreen and protective clothes.
10. Consider scar care.
You may discuss scar care options with your surgeon as soon as your consultation appointment before surgery. Always follow their recommendations, but do start scar treatment as soon as possible to minimize the appearance of unsightly scars over time.
11. Communicate openly with your plastic surgeon.
If you experience any concerns or unexpected symptoms, do not hesitate to speak openly with your surgeon about them. Stay vigilant for signs of complications, such as excessive bleeding, infection, or unusual swelling. Be sure to report any concerns to your surgeon immediately.
12. Track your progress, but also have patience.
Tracking your progress can help you stay positive and motivated that things are on the right track. Take pictures, and record your physical and emotional sensations in a notebook that you can look back on as you progress.
At the same time, understand that full recovery takes time. Be patient and avoid rushing back into your normal routine prematurely.
13. Motivate yourself with a positive mindset.
A positive mindset can contribute to a smoother recovery, so focus on the improvements and the outcome of the surgery. Keep uplifting notes around your house, stay in touch with friends and family, and speak kindly to yourself as you heal. All of these small things can matter greatly to your progress.
FAQ: Tummy Tuck Recovery
How painful is a tummy tuck?
Most patients will experience some pain during recovery from a tummy tuck procedure. The worst pain tends to be concentrated over the first few days of recovery, but it may take a few weeks (perhaps four to six weeks) for all soreness to dissipate. Taking pain medication prescribed by your surgeon can help keep you more comfortable, as can wearing your abdominal pressure garment.
How long is recovery from tummy tuck surgery?
The initial recovery period after tummy tuck surgery will likely last at least two weeks and sometimes longer — up to three months. It may take six months to a year to see your full tummy tuck results.
What will I look like after tummy tuck surgery?
Depending on the extent of your procedure, you will likely have a surgical dressing and an abdominal binder compression garment around your abdomen right after surgery. Swelling, bruising, and redness around your incision site is normal. Take a look at some tummy tuck recovery week by week pictures to see examples of what tummy tuck recovery progress looks like.
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
The average cost of tummy tuck vary widely because plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospitals/surgical facilities charge different fees. Likewise, patients have different goals, so every surgery is different. Book a consultation appointment for an accurate quote on the price of your tummy tuck.
Does tummy tuck surgery leave a scar?
Yes, tummy tuck surgery will leave at least one lower abdominal scar, placed laterally from hip to hip below the bikini line. Patients will frequently have an incision and subsequent tummy tuck scar around the belly button as well. However, this should become rather invisible with time.
Finally, certain patients may require a more extensive lower abdominal incision and sometimes an additional incision from the lower abdomen up to the belly button. Browse tummy tuck before and after photos to see examples of tummy tuck scarring.
Request a Consultation Appointment
Are you thinking about tummy tuck surgery?
Tummy tucks can totally change the appearance of your abdomen by removing loose skin and unwanted fat and tightening separated abdominal muscles. Although the recovery period is more extensive than with some other plastic surgeries such as liposuction, patients who undergo tummy tuck surgery are overwhelmingly happy with their decision.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck procedures, the recovery experience, who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery, and more, please call our office today to schedule your consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham.