I’m starting this blog because I just had a tummy tuck one month ago, and I want to share my experience. This is the first time I’ve had plastic surgery, and it’s been a long recovery process for me.
Since April 2017, I’ve lost 60 pounds and have been at a healthy weight for 5 months. I’ve maintained my new weight by eating well and exercising 6 days a week, but even with all of these efforts, there was still a large amount of skin on my abdomen that was loose and sagging. It was getting in the way of my workouts and causing back pain.
My doctor recommended that I have a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin. At first, I was hesitant. Would people judge me or think that I was vain? Would it hurt? Would it be expensive? Was it safe to do surgery on someone who was overweight in the past?
After some research and conversations with my doctor, I felt confident enough to move forward with the procedure. Here’s what you need to know:
A tummy tuck surgery is meant to remove excess skin from your abdominal area once you have achieved your ideal body weight through diet and exercise. The procedure can also tighten separated abdominal muscles (abdom
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on 1 month after tummy tuck, tummy tuck recovery stages. Read on to learn more. We at collegelearners have all the information that you need about 3 weeks post op tummy tuck swelling. Read on to learn more.
1 month after tummy tuck
When considering a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, you’ll more than likely envision the end result right from the very start. Convey these goals to the board-certified plastic surgeon during your consultation. From there, the two of you can discuss how to effectively achieve them. It’s also essential to understand what recovery will look like, and how long it will take. This helps ensure you’ve set realistic expectations.
The timeline for tummy tuck recovery varies, based on the individual patient and factors such as age, general health, type of tummy tuck (extended or mini), and level of post-surgery care. After the procedure, your surgeon will discuss your specific road to healing, but patients typically see results and feel fully recovered eight weeks later.
Long Island’s premier plastic surgery practice Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery developed a useful timeline explaining the various stages of recovery following your abdominoplasty. For more specific information, contact your surgeon.
Immediately After Surgery
Your abdomen will be secured with an abdominal binder, which is later exchanged for a compression garment. A mesh strip surgical dressing will be placed along the incisions, and small tubes around these, to drain any built-up fluid.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure you are adequately prepared for a successful recovery. You’ll be told how to care for your drain tubes. The secured mesh over the incision will not require any daily maintenance. You will be instructed on the types of physical activity to avoid, how long to wear an abdominal pressure garment, and more. You won’t be able to drive yourself home, so make the proper arrangements.
Several Days After Surgery
Because you’ll have limited mobility for a few days following the abdominoplasty, you’ll need to recruit help. You’ll have difficulty bending, lifting, and standing for long periods, so having someone around to provide assistance can be beneficial to your recovery.
You may feel some pain and tenderness at the site for several days. Most surgeons will prescribe antibiotics and anticoagulants for patients to take. An abdominal support garment should also help with swelling and discomfort.
Patients may want to keep their diets light in the days following surgery to ensure they’re not straining their stomach muscles. Try to eat low-sodium foods to reduce inflammation, and increase fiber intake to decrease strain during bowel movements.
Alcohol, smoking, and excessive sun exposure should be avoided for at least three months post-surgery.
One to Three Weeks After Surgery
It’s also essential to understand what recovery will look like, and how long it will take. This helps ensure you’ve set realistic expectations.
During the follow-up visit with your surgeon, he or she will decide if it is the right time to remove your mesh strip bandage. At this time, you should already notice a significant change in your stomach’s contour.
After the checkup, you’ll need to continue wearing your support garment, based on your surgeon’s instructions.
If you have a sedentary job, you can likely return to work. However, if it requires heavy lifting and constant standing or bending, you may not be able to resume work for two to three weeks.
Those looking to jump back on the treadmill or elliptical machine will need to wait about three weeks. Although ultimately determined on a case-by-case basis, it will commonly take approximately six weeks to return to weight training. When you resume either of these activities, keep an eye on your incision. If you notice any swelling, limit your activity and contact your surgeon.
One to Three Months After Surgery
Many will still experience swelling in the months following a tummy tuck. You may also feel a numbness, pulling sensation, or experience bruising in your abdomen area. The incision should be fully healed, but it’s possible your remaining scar will still appear red and raised. This will eventually become flat and fade.
One to two months after surgery, it’s generally safe to resume normal activities, including strength training or a profession that involves physical activity. However, your surgeon will make the ultimate determination.
One Year After Surgery
One year later, your abdominoplasty should be fully healed, and results visible. Your inflammation should be gone, and your scar faded. Although the latter will never completely disappear, it should be nearly invisible, and hidden beneath your underwear line.
Ensure you’re maintaining your results with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Gaining or losing weight may change the appearance of your abdominal area, and produce sagging skin. This is one of the reasons why patients should wait until they’ve had all their children before undergoing the procedure. If you maintain your weight, the results of an abdominoplasty by a board-certified surgeon will last a lifetime.
Tummy tuck recovery stages
If you’re considering having a tummy tuck or have one planned, it’s important to consider what the recovery will involve. Your recuperation will depend on several factors, including your age, health, and body weight. It will also depend on the type of tummy tuck you have.
It’s natural to want to bounce back to normal after your surgery, but it’s important that you give your body time to heal. You may only need to stay in the hospital for a few hours after the surgery, or your surgeon may have you stay for one night or longer. And once you leave the hospital, the real recovery begins. Here’s what you need to know.
Timeline for recovery
You’ll want to figure out a time frame for your recovery so you have ample time to heal and can take a break from certain aspects of your life. Make sure you make the proper arrangements and are fully prepared for your recovery period.
Your drains will be left in for a few days after the surgery. You’ll be shown how to take care of and empty the drains. You’ll likely need to take an antibiotic and an anticoagulant while your drains are in place.
You’ll wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks. This helps to avoid fluid buildup and helps to support your abdomen.
While the recovery period is usually shorter for a mini-tummy tuck, you’ll still need to avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks. This includes any vigorous exercise or heavy lifting.
What to expect after your surgery
Your surgeon or nurse will properly brief you about how to recover at home.
You will be told:
- how to care for incisions and drain tubes
- what to be aware of in terms of infection or overall health
- what to avoid in terms of physical activity that affects your incision line for six weeks
- when you need to see your plastic surgeon again
- how long to wear the abdominal pressure garment
- how much to rest
- what you can eat
You’ll need to have someone who can drive you home from the hospital and help take care of you for at least the first few days after your surgery. You can shower 48 hours after you remove your drainage tubes. You may want to take a sponge bath until you can shower. You may be advised to use a chair when showering for some time.
You’ll be prescribed an antibiotic and possibly an anticoagulant. You may be given some type of medication to apply to the skin. Take any pain medication as directed. You shouldn’t take any medicine containing aspirin unless directed by your doctor.
You should also avoid alcohol if you’re taking pain medication, and avoid any form of nicotine for at least six weeks. Smoking can hinder the healing process and may cause complications.
Guidelines for at-home recovery
You may need to sleep on an incline for the first few days after surgery. Keeping your upper body raised slightly with your knees bent at an angle can help reduce swelling. Putting pillows underneath your knees can also reduce pressure on your abdomen. Your doctor will advise you on this.
Keep moving after your surgery, even if it’s only a bit of walking. This will help to keep your blood flowing, which helps with the healing process and decreases the chances of a blood clot in your legs.
Your surgeon will also tell you how to find an optimal resting position that will be most comfortable. Rest as much as possible since you may feel tired for weeks or even months.
It’ll be several weeks before you are fully back to normal. You won’t be able to drive for a few weeks. You’ll also have to limit strenuous exercise and demanding physical activity for four to six weeks. Your doctor can help you decide what activities you can perform and how long you’ll need to take off work.
Possible physical side effects
Most of the intense pain will be in the first few days following surgery. You can take pain medication to control the pain you are likely to experience. You may experience swelling for up to three months after the surgery.
Your tummy may feel like it’s being pulled when you try to stand up straight. You may feel numbness in your tummy for months or even years. It’s normal to have bruises in your abdominal area. You may have fluid-filled swelling above the scar, but this will go away. Your scar may be red and raised, but it will eventually fade.
Tips for recovery
Taking steps to ensure a healthy recovery is important. You’ll want to be as healthy as possible during this time.
Set up a comfortable space where you can relax and have your needs met. Allow yourself to rest fully for at least two weeks and make sure not to push yourself to do anything physically before you’re ready.
You’ll want to drink plenty of water to flush your body of toxins and reduce swelling. Keep your diet as healthy as possible. Include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.
Scottsdale Tummy Tuck recommends the following:
- Take vitamin A and vitamin C supplements.
- Drink green tea to boost immunity and antioxidant levels.
- Take a probiotic supplement.
- Eat pineapple and papaya to reduce bloating and inflammation.
- Use arnica to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain.
- Take a staphysagria supplement to heal your incision.
- Take a phosphorus supplement or drink ginger tea to relieve nausea.
The bottom line
There’s a lot to consider as far as tummy tuck recovery goes, but all of it is attainable and manageable. It just requires that you consider and plan for all aspects of this healing process, including the time frame.
It’s a slow process, so focus on getting better each day as you move toward your intended goal of full recovery. Be sure to check in with your surgeon or nurse if you have any questions or concerns.