What’s the Recovery Time for a Tummy Tuck?

It can be a challenge to get rid of excess skin and fat in your midsection. Even if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you may find it difficult to improve the appearance of your abdominal area. That’s where a tummy tuck comes in. 

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, can tighten the lower and upper regions of your abdomen so you can begin to feel more like yourself again after pregnancy and childbirth, or after major weight loss. If you’re wondering what the recovery time is like for a tummy tuck, keep reading.

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*Individual results may vary*

How a Tummy Tuck is Performed

During a tummy tuck, I make one incision along your lower abdomen (placed low between your hip bones) and a second incision to separate your belly button from the surrounding tissue. If you have muscle separation – known as diastasis – I’ll use sutures to bring your ab muscles together, which tightens up the abdominal area.

I’ll trim away the excess skin and fat, then reposition the abdominal tissue. At Brown Plastic Surgery, we specialize in creating the most natural looking belly button for a seamless final result. At the end of the procedure, I’ll close your incisions with sutures and apply a sterile dressing.

Recovering From a Tummy Tuck

I always advise my patients to plan ahead for any surgical recovery period. Make sure you have a comfortable spot to rest and that it is easily accessible. Have someone around to help you with daily activities for the first few days. Arrange childcare ahead of time, if necessary. This will make your recovery period much smoother.

After a tummy tuck, you can expect some swelling and soreness in your abdomen, which can be alleviated with prescription pain medication. Most of my patients are able to switch to over-the-counter pain meds after a couple of days. While I’ll encourage you to go on short walks so that you can prevent blood clotting, I will discourage you from engaging in any vigorous physical activities for at least six weeks to avoid causing any strain to your mid-section.

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Generally, I place drains at the surgical site to help your body eliminate fluid buildup and facilitate the healing process. You (or your caretaker) be responsible for emptying these drains and measuring how much fluid they collect – it’s an easy process. Depending upon how quickly your body is healing, I’ll remove these drains at the Brown Plastic Surgery office within a week to ten days.

While every case is unique, most of my patients are able to return to their desk jobs within about 10 days. Those with physically strenuous jobs need to wait a bit longer.

Good Candidates for a Tummy Tuck

If you are at or near your goal weight and have had no luck flattening your stomach through healthy lifestyle choices, you may benefit from a tummy tuck. I often recommend abdominoplasty to women who have had one or multiple pregnancies, as pregnancy can expand their skin and stomach muscles. It can also be an excellent option for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and have a lot of saggy, loose skin.

If you are a smoker who is unable to quit or are seeking a weight loss procedure, you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes before undergoing a tummy tuck. I can help get you started in that process.

“From beginning to end I knew I found a doctor that listened and gave me his honest opinion. I came in wanting a breast surgery, as I had undergone breast cancer treatment. Dr. Brown explained that the surgery was not recommended for me, an explained why. His complete professionalism, honesty and sincerity made me realize he is a true doctor who cared about ME. It wasn’t the answer that I wanted but it was the truth. After some consideration I decided to have a tummy tuck. My results were fantastic, I feel like a new woman and I am happy about me again. His entire staff is compassionate, caring and friendly. You know you are number one with them. I trust Dr. Brown completely and I will definitely refer to him.”

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Take the Next Step

If you’re wondering if you would be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, I encourage you to schedule a consultation at of Brown Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, Arizona today. Call us at ​480-568-3804or fill out our convenient online contact form, and we will get back to you within two business days.