What to know about your Tummy Tuck Recovery? 

A Tummy Tuck, also known as Abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed worldwide to achieve a more youthful and toned appearance. However, finding a top-notch tummy tuck surgeon and undergoing surgery, is only half the battle won for effective results. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, for a successful tummy tuck recovery makes up the other half. 

This blog post will walk you through the whole recovery process following your Tummy Tuck procedure: From what to expect post your surgery, to tips that will help you recover from your tummy tuck as smoothly as possible. So, let’s jump right in! 

What to expect following your Tummy Tuck Surgery? 

After undergoing tummy tuck surgery, it is important to know what to expect in the days and weeks following the procedure. After your surgery, you are likely to experience some swelling and bruising. This is very normal and will resolve on its own, over due period of time. You may also have drains in place to help manage any excess fluid.  

Usually, the healing process takes 6-8 weeks and the final results would be visible in 4-6 months. Your surgeon will arrange for a follow-up appointment around 6-8 weeks post-surgery to assess surgical outcomes. It usually takes few weeks to be able to return to work and to the normal routine activities after surgery. 

Nonetheless, at first, it is important to listen to your body and take things slowly. Recovering takes time; so, do not try to exert yourself too hard too early. 

9 Simple tips for a successful Tummy Tuck Recovery: 

Your tummy tuck recovery time is influenced by many factors. Although you cannot rush on certain aspects of your recovery, you can significantly improve your healing process by following these 9 tips. Let’s take a quick look! 

Wear your surgical garment: A surgical compression garment, will be given to you along with a Velcro binder for extra compression. It is imperative that you wear this for around 6-8 weeks post-operation, as it is an integral part of the overall healing process. In addition to reducing swelling, the garment acts as great support for your abdomen. 

Do not sunbathe your scars: It is common for the scars to remain red and thick for a few months following your surgery. It is not a cause for concern, as they will eventually fade over time with a massage using Bio Oil, once they are fully healed at about 6 weeks. Also, Lipo Heal cream from LipoElastic is highly recommended. After surgery, you should not expose your scars to the sun or use sun beds for at least 12 months. 

Take prescribed pain medication: Pain is a normal part of the post-operative recovery process. Pain relief will be given to you to subside your pain. However, the use of pain relief that contains codeine can result in constipation and bloating; so, you should stop taking them, when you no longer need them to avoid unpleasant side effects.   

Ensure that you complete the course of antibiotics prescribed to you, to reduce any infection risk. Also, avoid alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen for at least 1 week after surgery, as they may aggravate bleeding and bruising.  

Take a balanced diet: Please make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids. You can also take probiotic supplements and take vitamin A and C supplements, to boost your immunity and antioxidant levels. Also, you should avoid alcohol for 1 week following surgery to prevent blood thinning and the risk of bruising. 

Avoid sitting around for too long: You should avoid sitting all day long. It is important to move around at regular intervals, to prevent blood clot formation in your legs. However, to avoid placing any tension on the scar, it is recommended to walk slightly bent at the hips for 7-10 days after your surgery. 

Keep an eye out for infections: Infected incisions can result in more prominent scars. So, keeping your wounds clean after your surgery is imperative for optimal results. It is recommended to avoid swimming for at least 8 Weeks following your surgery, as the risk of infection increases, if the incision site has not fully healed. Moreover, swimming pools can contain a lot of germs, bacteria and other harmful contaminants, which should be avoided. 

Activity and exercise: Do not forget you just had your surgery! During your recovery from surgery, keep in mind that you need to rest. Only when you allow yourself to rest, you will be able to heal at your best. Avoid high-intensity exercises or heavy lifting for at least 6-8 weeks following your surgery. Only, a gentle walk is recommended to prevent blood clotting problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 

Sleep in the right position: It is advisable to sleep with your knees bent and supported with pillows for a few weeks after your surgery. Using extra pillows or towels rolled up around your sides, helps prevent tossing and turning while sleeping. Also, a recliner is a great solution for maintaining an ideal sleeping position after your tummy tuck surgery.

Quit smoking: Do not do smoking or be around smokers for at least 3 months after surgery, as this will cause a delay in wound healing and increase the risk of infection. Nicotine reduces blood flow to the wound, causing a breakdown of the wound. So, refrain from smoking until you heal completely. 

Be optimistic: You may experience a roller coaster ride of emotions from swelling and pain. Remember that you have to deal with certain post-surgery blues as part of your recovery process. It is imperative to keep a positive attitude during your recovery period. Whenever you feel little down or frustrated, just think of your final outcome that awaits you. Last but not the least, be proud of yourself for making such a huge leap! 

In short, following these after-care tips will ensure that your recovery goes off without hitch and help you heal quickly, so that you can enjoy your new toned appearance! Remember to listen to your body, take things easy and follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. 

When to call for help? 

In case of a medical emergency, the following symptoms should be observed. Call 999 if you experience any of these symptoms: 

  • Shortness of breath 
  • Sudden chest pain 
  • Sudden bleeding
  • Spike in body temperature 
  • Signs of DVT such as calf pain and swelling 

If you have any concerns or questions about your Tummy Tuck recovery, be sure to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr Deemesh Oudit. Give us a call on 0161 989 1234 for further information.