Recovery and aftercare of a tummy tuck

Recovery and aftercare of a tummy tuck

Recovery and aftercare of a tummy tuck

Your doctor will explain your recovery and follow-up appointments to you, based on the surgery performed. 

There are certain things that can be expected after your surgery:

Directly after surgery

  • As the anaesthetic begins to wear off, you are likely to experience dizziness, nausea and feel disorientated.
  • The extent of your procedure will determine how long you will have to stay in the hospital. It may be up to a night or two.
  • Your abdomen will be very tender and sore, you will be given pain medication for this.
  • You will require a week of rest, this will typically be bed rest.
  • You will wear a compression garment in order to provide support to the skin, reduce swelling, as well as dressings on the incision site. The dressing will most likely be taken off in a week or so, whilst the garment must be worn for a few weeks. You cannot wet the dressing, so bathing should be done with sanitary wet wipes, a facecloth or sponge.
  • If you have a drain, which is used to drain the excess fluid, this will be removed in roughly a week to two weeks (depending on the amount of excess fluid your body produces).
  • You will commonly experience bruising, redness and swelling in the areas around the incision, abdomen and hips.

Recovery after an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

Full recovery from an abdominoplasty is usually experienced after a time of roughly six months and in some cases, it may take longer. The first few days’ post-op should be dedicated to pain management and complication avoidance. Your first week is likely to be the most painful. You will only gain better mobility after two weeks or more. After which your surgeon will instruct you on a light fitness and movement regime – this is vital to ensure the best results. 

The following steps should be followed when recovering:

  • Ensure you have plenty of help at home, you will be surprised at how little you can do.
  • Rest is very important.
  • Do not take any aspirin as this may increase bleeding.
  • Do not smoke.
  • If your children are small and need extra assistance and help, someone else will need to look after them for about two weeks.
  • After five days to a week, you will normally have a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
  • Plan on taking two weeks off from work and longer if you have a physical job.
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