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Help! What is the Recovery Time for a Tummy Tuck?

Help! What is the Recovery Time for a Tummy Tuck?

If you have stubborn belly fat that you’d like to get rid of, a tummy tuck can firm and sculpt your abdomen. However, since this is major surgery you have to be prepared for the recovery period and understand that it will take some time before you feel like yourself again.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that is designed to tone the midsection and give you a flat stomach.

Typical Candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Abdominoplasty is a procedure that is done by both men and women, but typical candidates are moms that have found it difficult to get back in shape after childbirth. They eat well and go to the gym regularly, but can’t seem to shake that post-baby pooch. The problem is often due to the separation of the tummy muscles during pregnancy. Exercise won’t help these cases, only surgery can bring the muscles back together.

The Procedure

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon will remove excess skin and fat between the belly button and bikini line. After the excess is removed, the remaining skin is pulled over the entire abdominal area, and this is what makes the stomach flatter reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

The incision for tummy tuck surgery is usually made within the bikini line, so the scar is well-hidden after the operation. In some cases, liposuction is done at the same time, in order to provide a more pleasing aesthetic outcome.

What is The Recovery Time?

Patients considering tummy tuck surgery should prepare for at least 4 weeks of recovery. A tummy tuck is an extensive surgical procedure, so the healing process can take some time, and if you don’t know what to expect it can be difficult to handle. Patients should carefully follow the post-operative instructions of their surgeon, to ensure optimal healing.

All activities should be limited for the first 2-3 weeks. You won’t be able to clean the house or lift the kids for at least two weeks, so be sure you have someone available to help you out with the chores. Doing too much early on can cause bleeding, and this will adversely impact the results.

If you work at a desk job, you can probably return to work by week 3, but if you have a job that requires a lot of activity and exertion, you’re going to need more days off work.

Patients should be aware that the recovery time won’t be the same for everyone, and a lot will depend on the extent of the tummy tuck surgery. However, if you are in good physical condition, your recovery will be faster.

What is The Recovery Like?

Patients can expect to experience some pain, swelling and bruising. The pain can be intense for the first few days but is alleviated with pain medication, which should be taken as prescribed. The swelling can take several months to resolve, but most of it should be gone by about the 3-month mark.

There may also be some numbness at the incision site because the sensory nerves are disturbed when the skin of the abdominal wall is separated from the muscle below. This may last for several months.

Bandages are applied over the incision, and a compression garment may be necessary to minimize swelling. Drains put in place to get rid of any excess fluid that may accumulate are removed after about 1 week. Most surgeons require a follow-up visit 3-4 days after surgery.

While getting tummy tuck surgery is a great way to eliminate stubborn belly fat, don’t expect it to remain that way. You will have to eat healthy and workout regularly, in order to maintain the results.


Dr Kyle Song at Song Plastic Surgery.





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