Have you thought about getting a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin and fat in your abdomen, but are fearful of the recovery time? We hope that by giving you a timeline of the recovery process after a tummy tuck, you will see that it really is a fast recovery. Many of our patients have remarked that, while the recovery wasn’t overnight, the results of the procedure are definitely worth it.
Bed Rest for the First Few Days
In those first few days after your tummy tuck surgery, it is best if you spend as much time as you can in bed resting and relaxing. It’s a good idea to keep your head elevated and your knees slightly bent. Be sure to use lots of soft, comfy pillows to help you accomplish this. This position helps you breath better, relaxes the skin on the belly and relieves any tension on the surgery area.
Try to drink lots of fluids and avoid walking around as much as possible during these first few days.
As with almost any surgery on the body, a tummy tuck will most likely include pain medications during the recovery stage. Pain medications are for you to use as you need them. Don’t be afraid to take medication if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.
Many patients use pain meds to help them sleep, get good rest, breathe easier, and to be able to get up and down to use the bathroom with less discomfort.
After the First 5 Days
By day six after your surgery, the muscles are definitely working to re-form and knit together. They aren’t quite ready for normal use yet, but they are getting stronger. You will probably be ready to leave the house for short trips and light walks. Hold off on long or vigorous walking until 2 weeks after surgery.
It’s important to start moving at this point, but you don’t want to over do it. You might consider wearing a compression garment to help reduce swelling and for added support you might need.
Your first post-op visit typically occurs 5 to 7 days after the surgery. This is when sutures are removed. Any long distance traveling by plane, car or train should be avoided until this first post-op visit.
Dr. Richard J. Brown recommends that a person who is having a tummy tuck plans on being away from work for about 10 to 14 days. This gives you plenty of time to heal and gain strength before jumping back into your normal daily routine. By week 2, you’ll begin to feel comfortable resuming some of your normal activities. You may still experience some discomfort with motion, but it should be minimal.
Swelling and Bruising
Any swelling or bruising you might see after a tummy tuck surgery is actually a good sign. It means that your body is working to heal itself. Swelling typically peaks at about 48 hours and then rapidly decreases. 50% of the swelling will be gone by the end of the first few weeks and almost all of it will have disappeared by week 6.
It’s important to remember that you will have both Dr. Richard J. Brown and his staff to rely on during the recovery period. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact the office at 480-947-2455.