Whether you’re undergoing a reconstructive, cosmetic or functional surgery, downtime will be required. If you have been considering a tummy tuck for some time now and have finally scheduled one, this is what you can expect during your recovery period.
Tummy Tuck Recovery – A Timeline
Every patient heals differently, which means their recovery will be different too. Your age, your health and the type of tummy tuck that you receive will all play a role in your recovery.
According to top abdominoplasty surgeon Dr Anh, here is a basic idea of what you can expect week by week.
Your abdominal area will be wrapped with dressings and supported by a compression bandage directly after your surgery. Draining tubes will be inserted in order to get rid of excess bodily fluids, but they will be removed several days after your surgery. Most patients are free to go home directly after their surgery but if your surgeon is concerned about fluctuations and abnormalities, you may be asked to spend a night in the hospital. Your surgeon will provide you with pain medication and antibiotics to use during your recovery.
By the start of week three, the plastic surgeon will have removed your draining tubes and you will have completed your course of antibiotics. Even though showering will now be possible, it’s still important to wear your compression bandages to avoid fluid build-up and swelling. Your surgeon will also tell you what you can do to start strengthening your body again. Simple movements such as walking, bending and raising your arms should be allowed. Strenuous activity should still be avoided.
If you’ve chosen to receive a mini tummy tuck, you will be back at work a month after your surgery. Traditional tummy tucks tend to require a slightly longer recovery but you should be almost completely back to normal after a month. Most patients are back at work in week five regardless of the type of tummy tuck they received. Your compression bandages may still need to be worn for support purposes. You may want to clear any planned activities with your surgeon before you go ahead with them. During week five, you should also be able to see the final results of your surgery and your abdominal muscles will feel tighter. Your scarring will be quite visible at this time but they will fade as your body continues to heal.
This is just a brief guide on what you can expect during your tummy tuck recovery. It’s still important to carefully follow your surgeon’s specific aftercare instructions to ensure the best results.
The healing process is not one that should be rushed. Everyone heals at a different pace so it’s important to approach your recovery period with realistic expectations and above all, patience. A good surgeon will ensure that you are fully prepared for your recovery and know what to expect in terms of your results. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family for help during this time.