Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect
If you have excess skin or fat on your abdomen, you may consider undergoing a tummy tuck. There are three types of tummy tucks offered by cosmetic surgeons: mini, traditional, and extended. Which you choose is what will determine your recovery period along with your age, general health, and post-surgery care. Your cosmetic surgeon will provide details specific to your surgery during the consultation but listed below will help to give you a basic idea of what to expect during the tummy tuck recovery process.
Recovering at Home
Upon being sent home, you will have a surgical dressing on your abdomen and possibly some small drainage tubes which are there to remove fluid, so it doesn’t build up around the surgery site and cause complications. You will also have a support garment that you will wear to reduce discomfort and swelling. Your cosmetic surgeon will tell you how long you will need to wear it each day. It is important to closely follow these instructions to prevent complications and possibly decrease your recovery time.
You will feel sore for two weeks after the surgery and should get plenty of rest. However, you will need to walk to keep your blood moving and prevent blood clots. Don’t try to walk around the block at first, though. Do some light walking around your house to promote healing.
When it is time to rest, sleeping at an angle will help to reduce inflammation. Also, be sure to take special care to protect your surgical site when sleeping.
Your cosmetic surgeon will likely send you home with medication to take as part of your recovery. This might include anticoagulants, antibiotics, and pain medication. Also, if you go home with drain tubes, your surgeon will provide instructions for caring for them.
Adding More Activities into Your Routine
After the first couple of weeks, you should begin feeling much better. Bending, walking, and resting will be more comfortable than they were for the first week or two. However, even though you feel better, keep in mind that your body hasn’t completely healed yet. You’ll be able to resume many of your normal activities, such as cooking, driving, and shopping, but lifting heavy objects is still off-limits. That includes lifting your children, so if you have small children at home, have someone stay with you to help.
Returning to Work
If you have a sedentary job, you should be able to return to work within two weeks of having tummy tuck surgery. But if your job is physically demanding or if you’re on your feet all day, you might need a full month to recover before going back to work.
The Final Stages
You should be able to resume your normal activities after four weeks, but some bruising and swelling may still be present. You might also notice a pulling sensation or numbness while your body is still healing. It can take up to three months for the bruising, swelling, and strange sensations to go away, but if these symptoms last longer than three months, contact your cosmetic surgeon.
If you are considering a tummy tuck procedure, call our knowledgeable staff to schedule a consultation at Clark Plastic & Hand Surgery. Dr. Clark will assess you and come up with a plan that fits your desired results.