How Long is the Recovery from a Tummy Tuck?
Published on May 6, 2019 by Andrew Barnett
Tummy tuck procedures (abdominoplasties) are highly sought after among both men and women. The one-time procedure effectively contours the abdomen in a way that diet and exercise alone cannot. If you have an unwanted belly bulge or excess skin that simply won’t go away, it might be time to consider enlisting the help of surgical intervention.
Through advanced surgical techniques, I’m able to minimize blood loss and other potential complications while also facilitating a speedy recovery. Tummy tucks are highly customizable, making the healing process unique to the individual patient. However, most patients can expect to return to work in 10 days and most normal activities within 2 weeks. Full activity, including crunches and high impact activities like running, require 6 weeks.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect during tummy tuck recovery.
*Individuals Results May Vary
Abdominoplasties are done as an inpatient procedure under general anesthesia. You’ll stay one night in the hospital then be discharged the following morning.
Week One: Recovery
During the first several days, you can expect discomfort and swelling to be at their worst. However, cool (not ice) packs and prescription pain medication are typically enough to keep discomfort to a minimum. Although rest is your primary goal, you’re encouraged to take short walks around the house every several hours to increase circulation and blood flow.
I generally ask that you come in for a follow-up visit and exam about 1-week post-op. Drains are generally NOT used, and sutures are the absorbable type (except around the belly button). I place a special clear dressing over your incisions at surgery, and I will change those dressings at your first appointment. The dressing, called Tegaderm®, protects the incision, promotes healing, and minimizes scarring. Tegaderm® is as thin as Saran Wrap® so it is invisible under your clothing.
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Week Two: Recovery
Much of swelling should subside within about 2-weeks. Most patients feel good getting back to their normal routine with restrictions. You can gradually incorporate more strenuous activities including light exercise as your energy levels increase. Although full recovery can take much longer, the majority of men and women feel much better after 2-weeks.
Full Recovery from a Tummy Tuck
Full recovery from tummy tuck procedures can vary dramatically from patient to patient. In most cases, you can expect gradual improvement over the course of several weeks to several months. Heavy lifting, swimming, hot tubs, and high impact activities like running should be avoided for approximately 6-weeks following your procedure.
At the time of your initial consultation, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about your upcoming procedure in-depth. I’ll then create a customized procedure to suit your goals along with an individualized recovery plan. I’ll be at your side throughout every step of your procedure to ensure an optimal outcome with minimal pain, side effects, and downtime.
Great, great and great. Dr Barnett is an artist. I trust his work and judgement. He knows how to turn your clock back naturally. The absolute best
Take the Next Step
Ready to look and feel your best? Schedule a consultation with Andrew Barnett M.D. to discuss your options today. Consultations are available in both our San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices. You may schedule for either location by calling (415) 362-1221. Renee or Laurie will help you and answer any pre-consultation questions you may have! *Results may vary