Your seven day post-operative period is a time of rapid recovery. Think of your body as a car that has just had a major repair. It will be impossible to drive your car at top speed right away – it needs time to heal and get back up to speed.
So, give yourself the time you need to recover. In general, most patients are able to return to work after one week. But remember, there will always be some swelling and bruising present during this time, so you may not feel comfortable going out in public just yet.
It’s also important not to overdo it during this first week post-op. This means no heavy lifting (not even the kids) and no strenuous exercise or cardio. It’s best if you can take it easy for the first 7 days, so make sure you have help around the house.
7 Days Post Op Tummy Tuck: What To Expect
During your 7 days post-op tummy tuck, you should expect continued swelling and bruising as well as some discomfort. But there shouldn’t be any major issues at this time. If you do have any concerns, call our office right away so we can schedule an in-person evaluation with Dr. New
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7 weeks post op tummy tuck swelling
The only thing standing between you and a flat tummy is your tummy tuck surgery and recovery. We’ve got the surgery handled. You’ll be under anesthesia and won’t need to do a thing. Day by day tummy tuck recovery is your job. We’ll monitor you throughout the process and are available to answer any questions or concerns, but you’ll be the one putting in the time and effort to recover safely from surgery.
Day by Day Tummy Tuck Recovery
Here’s what to expect from your day by day tummy tuck recovery. We’ll walk you through the process day by day.
Day 1: Surgery Day
Many patients go home on the same day as their tummy tuck procedure. Someone will need to drive you, so arrange for a trusted adult to bring you to and from your surgery.
When you wake up from anesthesia, you’ll remain in recovery for a couple of hours. Our nurses will carefully monitor you and attend to your needs until you’re ready to return home.
Patients report feeling groggy, tired, and occasionally nauseous. You’ll feel weak and sitting or standing up may be uncomfortable on the first day of your tummy tuck recovery.
Days 2-7: The First Week
Rest and recover the first week after your tummy tuck procedure. This week you’ll be restricted in the activities you can perform and you’ll need to be off work.
- You’ll return to meet with us, usually the day after surgery. Your plastic surgeon will check on your healing, tell you more about your surgery, and answer any questions at your follow-up visit.
- You may have drains for the first few days. These drains help remove fluid from the surgical area. Drains are removed three to seven days after surgery.
- Patients wear compression bandaging or garments during the first week. Compression helps to reduce swelling.
- Start taking gentle walks as soon as you’re able.
You may feel tired and tender and will likely have some bruising and swelling after surgery.
Days 8-14: The Second Week
During the second week, you’ll start to feel much better. By the end of the week, many patients are ready to return to work.
As you resume your regular activities, do so slowly. Doing too much too soon can lead to injury or complications. It’s difficult, but don’t rush.
Keep wearing your compression garment to limit swelling and hold your new contours in place.
Days 15-21: The Third Week
By Week 3, most patients are back to work and feel much better than they did originally. Most patients will no longer need prescription pain medication. If you still have discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications can be used.
Keep wearing your compression garments. We usually recommend that patients use compression garments for about a month after surgery.
Week 4 and Beyond
By this point in recovery, you’ll be back to many activities. Most patients feel significantly better and can see the results of their procedure, a flatter and tighter tummy.
- Many patients can resume gentle exercise at four weeks post-surgery. Wait six to eight weeks before returning to abdominal exercises or very strenuous activities.
- Some residual swelling is common, even several weeks after surgery.
- Scars are usually very prominent at four weeks post-surgery but don’t worry. They will start to fade soon after. As scars heal, they become smoother and lighter.
We’ll give you specific instructions about recovery and what to expect.
After Tummy Tuck: The Exercises That Support Your Recovery
Many patients are ready to start exercising as soon as possible. For the next several weeks, you’ll make up for your body’s lack of strength with willpower. However, instead of pushing past pain, like in your pre-tummy tuck cardio or weight sessions, you’ll use it as an indicator to slow down and back-off.
The following three activities may not look like exercises, but considering you’ve just come out of surgery, they’re likely what’s best:
Week 1: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Patience, and a Few Steps
Patience? That’s not a workout! At this stage in your recovery, however, it’s the best thing. And it’s not always easy. Even if you don’t feel sore, your body needs to rest.
As soon as immediately after surgery, your doctor may want you to do some light movement, like standing or walking a few steps to get the blood flowing. During the first week, a progression from walking a few steps to walking across the room may be considered a win.
And of course, you’ll probably want to do more, and that’s where the willpower comes in. You need the patience to hold back. Plan to have a spouse or friend with you when you attempt these first maneuvers. Not to mention, you’ll need some help around the house with things like child care and anything that involves bending or lifting.
Week 2: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Short Walks
At this point, you’ll start feeling a little stronger, but be careful. Maintaining patience remains part of your challenge. If you overdo your walks or attempt a jog, you risk causing damage and slowing your recovery.
Instead, consider a slower build. Last week, a walk across the room was a good goal, this week, maybe a stroll down the hall can grow, over a few days, to a walk to the mailbox. Although these milestones may not impress your friends, given time, your flat and properly healed tummy will do that.
And around the house, continue to seek and accept help. This may even be an ideal time to train a spouse or a child to do a few more chores, as long as it doesn’t involve you bending over or lifting anything. And, once they know what they’re doing, they’ll never have an excuse not to do it again!
Weeks 3-4: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Longer Walks, Light Weights
You’re feeling better, so why not bust out a 5k run? Definitely not yet! You can, however, continue to build on your previous week’s progress and incorporate new muscle groups.
At this stage, you can SLOWLY increase the speed and distance of your walks. Don’t, however, compare what you’re doing now versus your pre-surgery cardio. You’re not looking to find the point where you have to stop.
You can also consider light weights that work areas other than your belly, like your arms. Keep in mind, almost all weight lifting uses a little bit of your core, so start light and use pain as your guide.
As for work around the house or beyond, at this stage, you’re still not 100% ready to do a marathon house cleaning session or a surprise day at the office. You’ll again need your willpower to let others do otherwise easy things for you. Really, it’s OK. You’re almost there.
Week 5 and Beyond: Business as Usual (or Better)
With your doctor’s permission, you may be able to resume your regular workouts and life as usual. Again, everyone’s body is different, so don’t assume any lingering soreness means you’ve failed. Your body may simply need more time.
Even if you feel great, try to ease (not jump) back into any of your intense pre-surgery workouts. Remember, your previous routines were likely based on having a belly and wanting it gone. Good news, with the tummy tuck, you’ve accomplished that. Actual core strengthening exercises like leg lifts, planks, or Yoga can be introduced but again, start small and build.
When you chose a tummy tuck, you made a significant decision to improve yourself. Take a look at your pre-surgery photos. That person is gone, and, with a robust recovery, the new one will feel better than ever!
Making Your Day by Day Tummy Tuck Recovery Easier
Our goal is an easy and comfortable recovery for all our tummy tuck patients. We’ll talk about simple strategies to improve your recovery experience. These options aren’t a good fit for every patient, but if you’re a good candidate, you can improve your recovery experience.
- Drain-Free Abdominoplasty – Our drain-free abdominoplasty uses progressive tension suturing to eliminate the need for post-surgical drains. Cleaning and maintaining drains are some of the most difficult parts of tummy tuck recovery. Patients find that recovery is easier and faster when drains aren’t needed.
- Pain Medications- Prescription pain medications make recovery easier and more comfortable for many of our patients. We’ll talk with you about your options and help you find effective solutions for controlling discomfort after surgery.
We are available to help throughout the recovery process. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
1 week tummy tuck pictures week by week
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
How long does it take to recover from a tummy tuck procedure? Contrary to common belief, tummy tuck recovery time is not nearly as long and painful as it once was. New surgical and treatment techniques allow patients to recover more quickly and with relatively minimal discomfort.
How Long Does It Take to Heal from a Tummy Tuck?
There are a variety of abdominoplasty and tummy tuck procedures available, and each one has a slightly different recovery time. Your treatment plan is determined by the level of correction needed to meet the desired end results.
Most patients return to work after a tummy tuck within 7-10 days and resume strenuous exercise in about 4-6 weeks. By 3 to 6 months post-op, most patients are enjoying their permanent results.
However, it is also important to note that results are only permanent when patients maintain them with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Before & After Photos
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Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos
Your Week by Week Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline
As you read the tummy tuck recovery week by week details below, understand that the healing time for every tummy tuck is different and depends upon the extent of your surgical plan. However, in most cases, there is a relatively predictable tummy tuck recovery timeline.
Day 1 of the Surgery
Tummy tuck procedures are performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Therefore, you must have someone to drive you home after surgery and take care of you afterward so you can rest for the remainder of the day. It may take several hours for the anesthesia medication to wear off, so expect to be groggy for a while.
Discomfort is also to be expected, which can be managed with medications. During your pre-operative appointment, you will receive prescriptions for oral medications to take prior to surgery to reduce the likelihood of infection as well as prescription pain medications to help you manage your discomfort.
Week 1 After Surgery
Week one of tummy tuck recovery involves getting plenty of rest and following all of the surgeon’s post-operative instructions. This will not only help heal your incision heal and reduce swelling more quickly, but it will also help to maximize your tummy tuck results.
What does a tummy tuck recovery day by day timeline look like in the first week? Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Bed rest is recommended for the first 2 days after your tummy tuck procedure. On day 3, activity is encouraged but should be limited. Any activity involving lifting and carrying, driving, exercise, smoking, and drinking alcohol should be avoided.
- A drain is a device that directs excess fluid away from the incision and out of the body. Most patients require drains for the first few days after surgery, which are removed about 5 days after surgery.
- Bandages on the incision site should be replaced, and the area around the incision gently cleaned, every other day following surgery.
- A post tummy tuck compression garment should be worn at all times during the first week following the surgery, and as often as possible for the following 6-8 weeks. It is critical to minimize swelling, support healing, and maximize results.
- In most cases, patients can take a shower a day or two after surgery.
- Patients should stay hydrated and maintain a diet that is low in sodium to reduce swelling.
Remember, discomfort, bruising, and swelling are to be expected, but if you begin to experience fever, nausea, unusual pain, or redness around the incision site, contact your surgeon.
Week 2 After Surgery
While some restrictions are lifted after week 1, it is still important to take it easy and follow your surgeon’s instructions. After coming this far, you do not want to undo all the great work you and your surgeon have done.
Ensure you make note of the following during week 2 of your tummy tuck recovery:
- Activity: Most patients are ready to return to most aspects of normal daily activities 7 days following surgery. It is important to take brief walks a few times a day to get your blood flowing and your body used to moving again. Several activities still remain off-limits, including vigorous exercise, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
- Diet: Patients may resume their regular diet the second week after surgery, but it is a good idea to continue to limit sodium and drink plenty of water.
- Care: We recommend patients lightly massage the treated area to promote healing. To help heal the incision site, scar minimizing techniques should be used, such as the application of vitamin E, silicone sheets, Scar Guard or BioCornium. Patients should also continue to wear compression garments to achieve the best possible results.
- Side Effects: Generally with the tummy tuck swelling timeline, at week 2, you will still be swollen in the treatment area. However, the pain, bruising, and feeling of tightness from your tummy tuck should begin to fade during week 2 of your recovery.
Weeks 3 & 4 After Surgery
By weeks 3 and 4 you’ll be about halfway through your initial tummy tuck healing timeline. Take into account the guidelines below to continue your quick recovery:
- Activity: Patients usually resume exercise during week 3 or 4 after a tummy tuck, once they receive approval from their surgeon. It is important to return to activity gradually. Listen to your body; if you are tired, it is important to rest. You will be able to resume your normal exercise routine when you have healed appropriately.
- Diet: Begin maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet to stay within your ideal weight range.
- Care: Continue applying scar treatments to your incision and wearing the compression garments.
- Side Effects: Your discomfort and bruising should be completely gone, and swelling should be minimal.
Week 5 & 6 After Surgery
During week 5 and 6 of your tummy tuck recovery you should do the following:
- Activity: Most patients resume strenuous exercise, with approval from their surgeon.
- Diet: Continue maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet to stay at your ideal weight range.
- Care: Continue applying scar treatments to your incision to promote healing. The compression garments should continue to be worn.
Tummy Tuck 3-6 Months Post-Op Results
Time to enjoy your flat, smooth, slim tummy! As we mentioned, each person’s tummy tuck recovery time varies, but most patients are ready to return to normal activities within 3-6 months after their initial procedure. While everyone’s tummy tuck results timeline is slightly different, it is critical for every patient to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to stay fit and well.
An abdominoplasty can rid people of the extra skin, fat, and tissue that diet, exercise, or even liposuction alone cannot address. While the tummy tuck recovery process may sound daunting, the highly skilled surgeons at Belcara Health strive to provide you with the best results and the least amount of discomfort possible.