Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty is a procedure that aims to correct the abdominal area by removing excess skin, fat and tightening the muscles. A tummy tuck can be done as a stand-alone procedure or in combination with other procedures including breast lift/reduction and liposuction.
Post-operatively patients can expect swelling and bruising of their abdominal area. Swelling can take up to 6 months to resolve, although it will be minimal after 2 weeks. Patients are required to wear a compression garment for 3 weeks post-operatively which will help reduce swelling and provide support to the abdomen. The first week after a tummy tuck is the most uncomfortable and requires rest, with light activity resuming from day 7 onwards.
Dressings are removed on day 5 post-operatively where you will then shower as normal. Sutures do not need to be removed unless they are dissolvable, in which case they will fall out by themselves over the first few weeks post surgery. Lymphatic massage is recommended from day 7 post-operatively which can be performed by a physiotherapist for best results.
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2 week post op tummy tuck
Tummy Tuck Recovery Details
The procedure will take approximately 2-3 hours.
After you return home from your tummy tuck surgery, you may feel groggy and want to sleep. The following day, we encourage you to walk around the house.
Returning to work can be somewhat variable depending on your job. If your job is sedentary you will be able to return to work in 10 to 14 days. If your job is labor intensive it may take up to 6 weeks to return.
You may resume light exercise that does not require abdominal activity at approximately four weeks. Abdominal activity, however, should not be attempted prior to 8 weeks and should only be done when there is absolutely no pain.
The majority of the bruising and swelling from the tummy tuck will have subsided by 3 weeks, but complete resolution will take at least 6 months to occur.
Typically, scars heal in a very methodical manner. For the first 6 to 8 weeks the scar becomes red as the body heals. After that stage, however, the scar becomes much less red and thinner. By one year, the scar is usually very light and easily hidden by underwear or a bikini.
- Get plenty of rest and limit yourself to light activities the first 10 days after surgery. When resting or sleeping, your head should be slightly elevated for the first 3 days.
- You may take a cool shower the day after surgery. If you don’t feel up to it, sponge bath until you are ready. Make sure you have someone helping you. Use a shower chair. Let water run gently over the drains exits. Dab dry. Place gauze over drain exit. Put your binder back on.
- Walk every hour while awake for the first day and then every 2 hours. Avoid stairs.
- Take all medications as directed. If you need a refill on pain medications call the office.
- Empty drains every 8 hours or when they become full and write down the amount of drainage.
- Do not be concerned if the fluid from the body comes around drain. If the drain clogs you will need to milk it. If you are not sure how, call the office for instructions.
- At one week start wearing a girdle under the binder. The girdle should be snug but not too tight. Wear both items for 6 weeks.
- At 2-3 weeks after surgery take your steri-strips off. Apply ScarLess®, allow it to dry and then re-apply silicone sheets twice a day for two months.
- Sutures will dissolve on their own.
- Do not drive for the first week or while on pain medications. Do not do heavy housework (this includes vacuuming). Do not work out at all for the first 3 weeks, and once you resume working out, do not do abdominal exercises for at least 8 weeks.
- Avoid lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds for 2 weeks.
- Please avoid exposing the incision to sunlight for at least 6 weeks. This will help the scar to heal without being noticeable.
- After 6 weeks, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) to the area of the incision, if you will be in the sun for extended periods of time.
- Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
- Do not use aspirin-containing products for at least 1 week. You may take Tylenol or pain medication as prescribed.
- You may apply ice or frozen peas or corn on the abdomen for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling. Do not apply it directly on your skin.
- It is not uncommon for a small part of incision to open up and look like a pimple at 4-8 weeks. This is called a Stitch Abscess – it is caused by a suture which is expelled by the body. Simply wash it with soap and water and apply Neosporin or Polysporin on it. If the redness is larger than a dime call the office.
- Remember it may take up to 3-4 months to completely get your energy back. Do not get frustrated if you get tired easily.
WHAT TO EXPECT AS YOU RECOVER
- Immediately after tummy tuck surgery, some patients feel groggy or nauseous. These feelings normally subside by the next day.
- Many patients experience some pain for the first 3-4 days and soreness for the first 2 weeks
Standing straight will be difficult for about 1-2 weeks. You may also experience some temporary lower back pain due to this bent posture.
- Swelling and bruising usually clears up within 2 weeks.
- The scar may become thick and puffy as it heals. It will also look bunched up. The scar will flatten out within 6-12 months. After one year, if the scar is more noticeable than desired, you may discuss scar revision with the doctor.
WHEN TO CALL US
Post surgical complications are rare and are often easily solved by the doctor if you notify us. Call us if you experience any of the following:
A temperature of 101 F or higher, increased local redness or warmth, chest pain, shortness of breath, legs swelling, calf pain, if you have continuous discharge from the incision line or if you feel anything else might be wrong. Please call the office during normal business hours@ 949-644-4808 or after hours page Joseph T Cruise, MD @ 714-304-8050 .
POST-OP VISITS AND CARE SUMMARY
|Blood Clot||It is important to walk at least every 2 hours while you’re awake to prevent blood clotting- do not over do it. Right after surgery you will be instructed to walk around every 1 hour.Pay specific attention to Leg Swelling. If you notice swelling on only one leg or calf pain contact the office.|
|Drain Function||Make sure that your drains are functioning.Empty drains every 8 hours or when they become more than half full and write down amount of drainage.Do not be concerned if the fluid from the body comes around drain.You may need to milk the tube if it appears to be clogged.Drains come out at about 2-3 weeks, depending on the amount of drainage.Note – the drain is always uncomfortable but it is absolutely necessary to prevent fluid accumulation.|
|Constipation||If you are constipated at day 2 stop taking Vicodin or Darvocet.Encourage walking, drinking a lot of fluids, consider laxative (Ex-lax or Correctol).|
|Fever||Make sure to cough and breath deep as fever is usually in lungs for the first 3 days after surgery.|
|Garment Placement||ADJUST GARMENT/ BANDAGE EVERY 2 HOURS. This may mean undoing and repositioning the binder. You should have gentle compression. If you cannot put your finger in between the garment and your body, it means it is too tight. If the garment is too tight it will prevent proper blood flow.At one week start wearing a girdle under the binder. The girdle should be snag but not too tight. Wear both for 6 weeks.|
|Activity||Walk in a flex forward position for the first 2 weeks.You can take a cool shower the day after. Hold drains in shower and allow clean water to run over drain entrance into the body. Dab dry. Make sure you have someone helping you.Walk every hour while awake for the first day and then every 2 hours.Sleep at 45 degree angle for the first 3 nights.It is important not to move or rotate abdomen for 4 weeks. Bend with knees don’t bend with abdomen. Turn entire body do not rotate abdomen. Do not walk too much.You can exercise areas other than your abdomen at 4 weeks.You can start working out your abdomen at 8 weeks if there is no pain.|
|Wound Care||Your gauze will be changed at your follow up visit.Make sure your garment is placed correctly.Keep surgical area clean and dry at all times.At 1-2 weeks after surgery take you steri-strips off. Apply ScarLess®, allow it to dry and then apply silicone sheet twice a day for two months. Make sure to keep compression on.|
Possible Tummy Tuck Complications
Outlined below are the most common and significant complications associated with abdominoplasty.
- Poor scar – All people heal differently. It is possible that a poor scar can form even if the incisions are sutured together properly.
- Blood clot formation after abdominoplasty is more common than with other cosmetic surgery procedures. This can be minimized by wearing compressive stockings and making sure the patient walks around immediately after the operation.
- Pulmonary embolism – This is related to the blood clot issue. If a blood clot forms in your leg, it may dislodge and then travel to your lungs. This can make it difficult for you to breathe. Therefore, it is critical to let your surgeon know if you have one sided leg swelling or shortness of breath after surgery.
- Infection and wound healing problems
- Fluid or blood collection within the wound
- Asymmetry and/or contour irregularities
2 weeks post op tummy tuck pictures
Many women who think about getting a tummy tuck procedure are hesitant about going through with it when they take a look at tummy tuck pictures two weeks post op. Losing your excitement is understandable, but it will probably also help you ensure your expectations are realistic. This includes weighing all your other options so you are sure that surgery is what you really want.
Weigh your options
Exercising and sticking to a healthy diet is probably the best alternative to surgery as it saves you the discomfort as well as the cost of surgery. However, for many people, the abdominal area does not improve despite their best efforts to eat healthy and exercise regularly. For instance, women who have been through multiple pregnancies often have overstretched and separated abdominal muscles, and there is little that can be done to fix it. You may also be dealing with an excessive amount of abdominal skin, and this will not go away regardless of exercise or healthy diets.
Tummy tuck patients should be well prepared for the recovery period. You will probably experience pain, bruising, tightness and swelling in the treatment area. Drains may also be necessary for the first few days to remove excess fluid from the incision area. Bandages should be replaced and the incision site cleaned every two days, and pain medication should be taken as prescribed.
By the second week following surgery, the treatment area will probably still be swollen. The bruising, pain and tight feeling will begin to fade, but the incision area will still be visibly red. You can start massaging the treatment area lightly to encourage blood flow and enhance healing. Scar treatments may also be helpful at this point to minimize scarring.
Wearing compression garments up to 2 weeks after surgery will help you get the best possible results. Many patients are able to resume work about 10 days after surgery, but you may need more time if you had a combined surgery. However, activities such as exercising, drinking alcohol and smoking should be avoided for a couple of months. Drinking plenty of water and taking short walks during the day to get your blood flowing should significantly improve your recovery.
Tummy tuck pictures, two weeks post op will likely look worse than you do right now and you might think that the surgery results will not be worth it. However, most abdominoplasty patients look worse before they look better. The healing process will take a considerable amount of time, but the scar should slowly fade and eventually be concealable. For an ideal patient, the surgical scar is too small a price to pay for a flat, well-toned tummy.