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Get Prepared: Your Ultimate Guide to Tummy Tuck Recovery

Posted June 15, 2022 in TUMMY TUCK

4 Minute Read:

All plastic surgery recoveries (whether it is body sculpting, breast enhancement, or facial rejuvenation) take time and require some changes to your normal day-to-day routines. 

Of these plastic surgery options, tummy tuck surgery presents one of the longer recovery periods. 

Woman framing her stomach with a heart made with her hands.

The reason for this is simple. Tummy tuck surgery is an invasive procedure that addresses and manipulates the core muscles. And, as anyone who has had a sore core can relate (or those who have undergone a previous stomach surgery, such as a Cesarean section or gastric surgery), a sore midsection is no small thing. 

That being said, tummy tuck surgery offers some of the most desirable and confidence-enhancing results there are. And when done well, the short recovery period associated with this body contouring feat is nothing compared to the significant long-term benefits it offers.

What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is a procedure that targets the lower midsection to address loose skin, excess fat, and weakened or separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti).

This surgery is accomplished by making an incision low across the abdomen (just above the pubic area). From here, excess skin and fat are removed. If needed, separated abdominal muscles can be tightened and sutured back together for a stronger looking and feeling core.

The incisions are closed, and the healing process can begin.

The length of this incision will vary depending on the extent of correction needed.

So, What Does Tummy Tuck Recovery Entail?

You can expect it to take up to six weeks to reach what is considered to be a full recovery. This time can vary (some patients get back to normal sooner; others require additional time) depending on the amount of surgical correction and other patient specifics, such as age, weight, and general health.

The length of recovery may be longer if your tummy tuck is combined with other procedures into a Mommy Makeover. This is because multiple areas need to recover simultaneously.

It is important to follow all of your surgeon’s recommendations for recovery during this time. These instructions will likely include the following:

Get Enough Rest

During your tummy tuck recovery, your body is working at full strength to heal. This process will drain your energy. The best way to compensate for that is to ensure that you are getting adequate rest. 

Usually, this isn’t too big of an issue since you will not feel up to doing much for the first few days, but it is a concept that is still important to stress.

Sleep when you feel tired and sit down if you are feeling fatigued.

Be sure to sleep on your back, preferably in an upright position bolstered by several pillows. 

Check, Empty, and Monitor Your Drains

While not always required, most tummy tuck patients will have drains put in place to remove excess fluid from the treatment area. These drains are often removed after a couple of days; however, until then, they must be monitored and kept clean. 

You will be provided with instructions on caring for your drains before you leave the surgery center.

Move, But Not Too Much

Close-up of woman's feet as she walks along the path.

It is very important that you do not exert too much energy during the initial days of your recovery. That being said, this period is not an excuse to stay bedridden. 

Patients who get up and walk (preferably the night of or the day after their surgery) are known to recover far quicker than those who remain still. Additionally, walking will promote blood circulation, which will help reduce inflammation and the formation of blood clots. 

Although blood clots are rare, they are possible if your body does not have proper blood circulation.  

Patients should avoid all rigorous activity for up to six weeks or when cleared by their plastic surgeon at Specialists in Plastic Surgery.

Eat Well

It is true that the nutrients you put into your body will either help or hurt your recovery. 

You are undergoing tummy tuck surgery to improve your physique and health. Why choose foods that are going to do the direct opposite. 

Following your surgery, focus on healthy food options with proper nutrients, protein, and fiber. 

Although it may be easy to reach for a sweet treat or a fast-food meal, try to refrain from doing so. These options (while satisfying a craving) will not help your recovery or your figure. 

Drink Plenty of Water

Young woman drinking a glass of water.

Much like the above, drinking water is essential for your recovery. Staying hydrated will help your tissues heal faster, and the faster they heal, the sooner you will be back on your feet.

Take the Stress Off of Yourself

You’ve just had surgery. No one can expect that you will jump back to normal overnight. And that’s okay.

Don’t feel bad if you need to take a few naps throughout the day. Your recovery period is your time for yourself, and the more care you put into it, the better off your results will be.

Interested in Starting Your Tummy Tuck Process?

If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery in Raleigh, North Carolina, and its surrounding areas, contact Specialists in Plastic Surgery by calling (919) 785-0505 or filling out our online contact form.