When patients come to me and ask about tummy tucks, recovery is always one of their biggest concerns.
One of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures is the tummy tuck. This surgical procedure works to contour your abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin commonly left over after weight loss or pregnancy. The tummy tuck currently ranks at number one in patient satisfaction.
A tummy tuck procedure, or abdominoplasty, is often performed on an out-patient basis, meaning that patients do not get admitted to the hospital and can frequently return home on the same day. Depending on the severity of the procedure, some patients may need to spend a night or two in the hospital on rare occasions. However, the intensity and scope of the procedure may certainly impact the recovery period and the length of the healing process.
After a tummy tuck, some patients spend the night in the hospital and then return home under the care of a friend or loved one. It is normal for there to be some swelling around the area, which may be addressed with special post-surgical garments, ice packs and prescriptions. There may also be some pain, which can be managed with medication.
It is important to take it easy for the first few days following your tummy tuck, and avoid activity for the first five to six days. Many patients are able to return to work or normal activity (without any heavy lifting) after 10-14 days. Vigorous exercise is often achievable in a month or so. The true results of the tummy tuck procedure are generally not visible for two to three months, but the initial results can be dramatic. Incision lines will continue to fade and flatten out for around 12 months.
If you think that now would be a great time for a tummy tuck, find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area and begin talking with them about how you can finally shed the extra baggage around your belly. I would love to chat with you about your procedure if you are ever near Portland!