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In every surgical procedure, whether cosmetic, reconstructive, or functional in nature, there will always be downtime to help the body adjust and heal. Here, let us know more about what to expect during the tummy tuck recovery time, what a patient should and should not do, and other reminders that can help them cope up during their surgery’s recuperating period.


Tummy tuck recovery: Every patient’s experience is different


Not everyone is on the same pace when it comes to healing. Your tummy tuck recovery would greatly depend on your age, your overall health condition, and the type of abdominoplasty you have undergone. Give yourself an ample amount of time to adjust to your body’s changes until you are able to bounce back to your usual self again.



Tummy tuck recovery: One week after the surgery

Immediately following your surgery, your abdominal area will be wrapped with gauze dressings and supported by a compression bandage, also intended to protect your surgical area and prevent further swelling. Draining tubes are placed to facilitate wound drainage of excess bodily fluids. Your plastic surgeon may allow you to return home a few hours after the surgery if your vital signs are stable and no further monitoring is needed for the meantime. However, your surgeon can order you to stay at least overnight in the hospital if he sees fluctuations or abnormality in your postoperative status and constant monitoring is needed.

Expect the draining tubes to be removed a few days after your surgery or until your surgeon determines that your wounds have facilitated drainage well. Your surgeon may prescribe you with pain medications, antibiotics, and anticoagulants so that unwanted complications such as pain, infection, and bleeding may be avoided.


Tummy tuck recovery: Two to three weeks after the surgery

By this time, your draining tubes may have been removed. You also should have completed taking your antibiotic medications. Showering may have been allowed, but your compression bandages should still be worn as support and as a preventative way to avoid fluid build-up on your abdomen. Your plastic surgeon may have allowed you to perform exercises that help you gain back your body’s ability to return to work. Be aware that movements like walking, bending, raising your arms, and other simple gestures and actions may be allowed, but these can still affect your surgical area. Making sure that you monitor your movements carefully is vital. All strenuous activities should still be avoided during this time.


Tummy tuck recovery: One-month post-surgery onwards

If you have undergone a mini tummy tuck, you may be able to return to work by this time. On the other hand, if you have undergone a traditional or extended one, you can expect that your wounds may have healed nicely, and your activities may have gone back to normal. You may be allowed to return to work, but restrictions and limitations are strictly upheld. Your surgeon would discuss with you the activities that you can perform based on the level of recovery you may have gotten during this time. Compression bandages may still be in place but only for support. You may expect that your body can already perform regular activities, but it is still important that your surgeon signs off on these actions so that no further complication may arise.

The final results of your abdominoplasty may be visible by this time. You can expect to feel your abdominal muscles tighten up and see a flatter, firmer tummy. Your surgical scars may still look red and intense during this time; some may even notice visible swelling around the scars. These are all normal, and you can expect that this discolouration and swelling may eventually subside and fade.


Your tummy tuck recovery period would differ from other patients, whether you underwent the same procedure or not. It is not important who heals the fastest; what you should give emphasis on is that you are recovering nicely and no unwanted complications would arise during your recuperating period. This will ensure your satisfaction with the improvement of your body contour through abdominoplasty.

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