Cosmetic Surgery Tips

9 Weeks Post Op Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is a major procedure that tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess skin and fat to give you a flatter stomach. Your tummy tuck recovery time depends on several factors, including the specific type of surgery you have and whether or not you also have liposuction or another procedure at the same time.

The first few days after your tummy tuck are probably going to be the most challenging. You’ll likely have some discomfort from the incisions, stitches and the skin tightening process—but this will continue to improve over time (and we’re here to help). In this guide, we review the aspects of 9 weeks post op tummy tuck, exercise timeline after tummy tuck, post op care after tummy tuck, and How long does tummy tuck take to heal internally?

To help you know what to expect during your recovery, we’ve put together this tummy tuck post-op care guide. We’ll go over how long it takes for swelling to go down and offer tips on how to make yourself more comfortable during your tummy tuck healing process.

9 weeks post op 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.

1 Month Post Op Tummy Tuck

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

exercise timeline after tummy tuck

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that reduces and removes unwanted fat and skin in the abdominal area. It also tightens the abdominal muscles when necessary. Getting a tummy tuck is an exciting process, but what should you expect post-op? After the surgery and throughout the first few weeks of recovery, you will likely see a tremendous difference in your body and will probably be excited to resume your regular activities and workouts. But, before you jump on the treadmill or pick up a kettlebell and start lifting, it is important to follow these six steps to working out after a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck Guide

Thinking of a Tummy Tuck here in Baltimore? Get a sneak peek of what to expect. Fill out the form below and get access to our free procedure guide and learn the ins and outs of your personal transformation GET THE TUMMY TUCK GUIDE SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

1. Listen to Your Doctor

Before you do ANY physical activity, talk to your doctor about what you should expect from exercise after an abdominoplasty surgery and how long you should wait to get started after your procedure. Your surgeon’s response will depend upon your condition prior to surgery, your personal surgical experience and how your body is recovering. If you were a marathon runner before your procedure, you will most likely return to your active lifestyle more quickly than someone who spent more time on the couch. The doctors at Belcara Health will recommend an exercise schedule that aligns with your fitness level and recovery needs. The physical demands of your job will also influence your surgeon’s advice on when you should return to work; those with sedentary jobs usually return to work more quickly than those with jobs that require vigorous physical exertion.

2. Sit Up and Get Up

Immediately following a tummy tuck procedure, even the most physically fit people may need support with seemingly simple tasks like sitting up and down. It is important to move around a bit in the first 24 hours following your abdominoplasty surgery to help promote blood circulation. But, make sure to have someone present when you first begin, because you may be unsteady. Walking after tummy tuck surgery is important; each day following your procedure, you should walk a little bit longer and a bit farther, to increase your strength and facilitate healing.

3.Perform Light Cardiovascular Activity Soon After Surgery

Should your tummy tuck require tightening the abdominal muscles, as in most cases, it usually takes about 2 weeks before you will be able to begin light cardiovascular exercise. Again, it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise after plastic surgery. Once you receive approval, you can begin with light exercise activities that raise your heart rate without directly engaging your abdominal or core muscles, such as walking, elliptical or stationary cycling. If your tummy tuck is “skin-only,” meaning only the skin is excised and tightened but no tightening of the muscles is necessary, then recovery is quicker and you will be able to return to pre–surgery exercise levels sooner.

4. Strengthen Your Upper Body and Legs, but Avoid Your Abdominals

Once you are comfortable with light cardiovascular activity, most patients can begin performing light weight lifting activities about 3 weeks after a tummy tuck procedure. These should be exercises that strengthen your arms, chest, shoulders, and legs – in addition to light cardio activities. Again, it is important to avoid heavy weight lifting during this time. You will want to avoid pull ups, power lifting, planking, sit-ups or other abdominal or lifting exercises. (Who doesn’t love an excuse to avoid burpees?) This is a time when having a personal trainer is crucial to your recovery. They can provide you with targeted exercises that do not put undue stress on the abdominals, ensuring your tummy tuck recovery timeline remains as short as possible.

5. Start Working Out Those Abs

After about 5-6 weeks following your tummy tuck procedure, and once your surgeon has given you approval, you can gradually start to expand your exercise program, including pilates and yoga. Again, a personal trainer is an invaluable resource during this time. They can coach you on form, duration, and even progression of exercises as you regain strength in your abdominal muscles. You should still avoid any heavy weight lifting or exercises that target the abdominal muscles until your physician permits it. This is because ab toning exercises after a tummy tuck only lead to stress in the region, which can adversely affect your recovery.

6. Resume Your Normal Workout Routine

Congratulations! At around 7-10 weeks after your tummy tuck procedure, you should be cleared to ease into your normal exercise routine. You can begin doing crunches, sit ups, and planks, as long as you progressively increase your repetitions. We recommend focusing on performing these exercises with impeccable form. Be sure to pay attention to your body as you resume your routine. Start slow, set reasonable goals, trust your body, and listen to what it needs.

Every patient is unique and every recovery process is personal; your recovery will not be the same as your sister’s or your friend’s. Your genetic makeup, pre-surgery fitness level, nutrition habits, environment, and support structure all play a part in your recovery time – and your surgeon’s advice takes these and many other factors into account. In order to achieve the results you desire, it is critical to follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions for care after a tummy tuck with precision. Trying to skip recovery steps or pushing through the recovery process too hard not only yields frustration, it can undo the results you have already achieved.

post op care after tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a common plastic surgery procedure that has remained popular for years. In fact, the most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that this was one of the top five cosmetic procedures performed for men and women last year.

Despite the popularity of this surgery, many people often don’t know what to expect during their recovery. Understanding the recovery process and timeline can help make the tummy tuck an easier journey for many patients.

Recovery Times Vary

There is no single answer for how long it will take to recover from a tummy tuck. Like any surgical procedure, there is a general time frame, but individual recoveries are based on a variety of factors, including the following:

After the procedure is complete, your surgeon will discuss a more specific timeline for your recovery, but generally speaking, most patients begin feeling more normal around the eight-week mark.

Why the Type of Tuck Matters

There are several types of tummy tucks that can be performed. You can get a full or more involved “extended tummy tuck,” or you can get a “mini” tuck, which only focuses on a small area in the lower abdomen.

The more extensive your abdominal contouring is, the longer it may take to recover fully. This is especially true if you opt for an extended tummy tuck because these can involve the flanks, lower back and lower chest.

What to Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery

The most important thing to remember during this process is that you should follow your surgeon’s instructions closely. Don’t hesitate to contact the doctor’s office if you have questions or concerns.

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck is always recommended because he or she has met stringent training and safety requirements that other surgeons have not. Your board-certified plastic surgeon can offer recovery advice and assistance throughout the healing process.

1. Immediately after surgery

Directly following a tummy tuck, your abdomen will be covered with surgical dressing. In many cases, there will be thin, small tubes placed around your incision in order to drain any fluid that builds up around it. This is common and shouldn’t cause you any additional discomfort.

You will need to rest at an angle for the first few days of recovery and will be given instructions to move about to help prevent any blood clots.

2. When you’re home

It’s important to line up help for at least the first day or two that you’re home following surgery. You will be prescribed pain medications and have somewhat limited mobility, so you will not be able to drive yourself home.

Once home, you will likely have difficulty with bending, lifting or standing for prolonged periods of time, so having someone to help around the house during the initial period after tummy tuck surgery can make recovery significantly easier.

3. Daily maintenance

Your doctor will teach you how to properly care for your incision and drainage tubes for the duration of your recovery.

Most patients are given antibiotics and anticoagulants to take for a certain length of time, and some are given topical creams to apply around the incision site.

You will have an abdominal support garment or wrap that will help with swelling and discomfort during recovery, so it’s important to wear it for the recommended amount of time each day.

Smoking and drinking alcohol can seriously inhibit your recovery, so they should be avoided for at least three months post-surgery.

4. Resuming normal life

If you have young children, you will want to enlist help to assist with childcare, as squatting or picking up children (or heavy objects for that matter) for the first few weeks is strongly advised against. However, driving, cooking or shopping is often manageable after a week or two.

Most people opt to take up to a month off work for recovery. If you have a physically demanding job, it’s especially important to take plenty of time off so that you don’t jeopardize your recovery. You will also want to avoid exercise during this time for the same reasons.

5. Long-term effects

Some people experience numbness or a pulling sensation for weeks or months after a tummy tuck, but this is typically normal and often fades with time. It can take up to three months for the swelling and bruising to go down completely, and it may take longer than that for your scar to fade.

Leave a Comment