• 16 April 2018

tummy tuck recoveryOne of the major concerns that abdominoplasty patients have is tummy tuck recovery time.

They often ask questions like, “How soon can I go back to work?” or, “When can I drive again?” Many are also concerned with the types of activities and exercises that they can do every week as they strive to maintain the results of their tummy tuck.

To help you out, here’s a nifty guide that details your tummy tuck recovery week by week:

Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

Knowing what to expect after your tummy tuck can help you prepare for what lies ahead. Check out the following tummy tuck recovery tips to help you breeze through your healing process:

Week 1

You’ll experience a lot of swelling, bruising, soreness, and pain one week post-op. It’s important to have your pain meds within arm’s reach as you’ll need to take them regularly. You might also be prescribed antibiotics to stave off infection.

You might also have drains on your operative site to remove excess fluid from the body and control swelling. You’ll also be asked to wear compression garments to help your body maintain its new figure during recovery.

You can take a shower a day or two after your tummy tuck.

Because you’re in the early part of your abdominoplasty recovery, make sure that you drink lots of water and limit sodium-rich foods to prevent swelling. Eat foods that are high in protein to promote better healing.

To avoid straining your abdominal muscles, you should always be in a semi-reclined position when resting and slightly bent at the waist when walking. You should also try to walk around to improve blood circulation.

Week 2

tummy tuck recovery weeksIf all goes well, you might be able to get your drains and stitches removed. However, the swelling will persist, although pain and bruising will significantly diminish. Still, you might experience fatigue and soreness. You may start massaging your treatment area to promote healing.

Once your wound has dried, you may start applying scar treatments like vitamin E and silicone sheets.

Most patients get to return to sedentary work two weeks post-op, although you should still keep your activities light. You may also resume driving.

Weeks 3-4

You’ll be able to go back to your normal activities, although you’ll still feel a little sore. However, swelling now starts to subside a little bit.

You may also gradually go back to exercising, although you should still focus on doing light exercises. Avoid lifting weights, sit-ups, and abdominal exercises until you’re fully healed.

Most plastic surgeons ask their patients to stop wearing compression garments one month post-op.

Weeks 6-12

You may start going back to your regular exercise routine but remember to introduce each new activity gradually. You should still avoid abdominal exercises until about six months post-op.

You might be able to see your initial results on your third month post-op, with the final results becoming more and more visible as time goes by.

One Year Post-Op

By this time, your recovery after tummy tuck should be complete. Swelling should have completely subsided, and scars should have considerably faded. Still, scars will never completely go away.

Weight fluctuations may affect results and give you sagging skin. Make sure that you maintain your weight to continue enjoying the results of your tummy tuck.

free consultationDo you still have questions about tummy tuck recovery? Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our reputable and double board-certified plastic surgeons, and we’ll answer any concerns that you may have.