Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a major surgical procedure which you should be prepared to spend a fair amount of time recovering from.
Unlike lesser invasive procedures such as liposuction, abdominoplasty generally involves removal of fat and skin, in addition to tightening of the abdominal wall muscles. Because of this, you will need to give your body ample time to recover from the procedure to make sure that you see the maximum results from the surgery.
Recovering From Surgery – Home and Work Issues
The first step in the recovery process is to arrange for some in-home help for the first week or two following surgery. Especially if you have young children who will need to be cared for, you need someone available in your home that can lift items and assist your children in any way they might need. you will also need help around the house for the first week or two doing even simple things such as cooking and light cleaning tasks.
If you work outside the home, you can expect to be off of work for a minimum of two weeks following your surgery. if you have a physically demanding job then you should plan on being out possibly up to four to six weeks or more.
Recovering From Surgery – Surgery Day
Immediately following tummy tuck surgery you should expect to feel tired from the anesthesia. However, on the first day you will likely not experience much pain and discomfort due to the anesthesia and pain medication used during your procedure.
On the day of your surgery, or the day following it, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around. this is necessary to keep your body from forming blood clots and it is also necessary to help your circulation which is required to help speed the recovery process.
Recovering from Surgery – the First Week
The second and third days following surgery you can expect to have the most pain and discomfort from your tummy tuck. you can help to control any pain and discomfort you may feel by being very vigilant about talking your pain medication as described by your doctor. Pain medication works best when you keep a steady dose of it in your body rather than to wait until you actually feel severe pain. by keeping a steady dose of pain medication in your body at all times you can lessen your pain overall.
When you have your tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will likely insert some small tubes called drains in your abdominal area. these drains are left in after surgery and function to remove excess fluids from the surgical area. they will be removed between a week and three weeks post-operation.
Full Surgical Recovery
You will likely have a few appointments with your plastic surgeon after your tummy tuck surgery to check on your recovery process. these appointments are very important because they allow your plastic surgeon to evaluate your recovery process and let you know when it is safe to resume different levels of physical activity.
Generally full surgical recovery is reached at about 6 weeks for movement issues, and at about a year for scars to have faded and become less noticeable.