Cosmetic Surgery Tips

One Week After Tummy Tuck

One week after surgery, you may be feeling a bit sore and stiff. You may also have some swelling, bruising and numbness in the area around your incision line.

You will also likely have some drainage from your wound. This is normal as your body heals and it should stop after a few days.

The most important thing you can do right now is rest. Take it easy and allow your body to heal on its own schedule.

If you are having any problems with your incision line or need assistance with anything else, please contact us immediately by phone or email so we can ensure that you get the best care possible!

Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on one week after tummy tuck, Faster Recovery after Tummy Tuck, Recovering After a Tummy Tuck and Abdominoplasty, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

One Week After Tummy Tuck

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. 

tummy tuck recovery

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.

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.

Faster Recovery after Tummy Tuck

f you are considering a tummy tuck for flattening your tummy, it is important to consider the best recovery after tummy tuck.

First things first, recovery will look different for everyone. Your recovery will depend on your age, health, body weight and type of tummy tuck. It is vital to give your body enough time to heal effectively. You will be required to stay at the hospital for a few hours or even a day after the surgery. Dr Carmen will also give you instructions to adhere to after the surgery. You will be well prepared.

GUIDE Tummy Tuck

Dr Carmen’s SIX Recovery Best Practices

Post-surgery is always a time for investing in your own healing, this will give you a faster and more effective result – less swelling or pain, better movement, and more effective scar reduction.

  1. Swelling is very normal; this will cause difficulty with muscle movements and general stiffness of gait.
  2. Daily showering is OK during the hospital stay once the drain tubes have been removed. Showers should always be brief and warm (but not hot).
  3. Scar minimisation tapes encouraged for 2 – 4 months then change to silicone cream or tape.
  4. Driving is discouraged for up to 3 weeks post-surgery.  Often due to several factors – pain or stiffness, use of strong painkillers, lack of concentration and strength.
  5. Gentle short walks can commence 7 days post op, as tolerated. Distance should be no longer that 15 minutes unless advised by the clinic. Walks can be daily or even twice daily, again as tolerated, this will also depend on how sore or swollen you feel.
  6. Wear your Support Garments – Dr Carmen firmly believes in fitted shapewear post-surgery and is insistent that it is worn for the first 6 months post op, both night and day.

Timeline for Recovery after Tummy Tuck

Immediately after the surgery, you will be taken into a recovery room. A healthcare professional will monitor and check your incision, and you will usually be allowed to go home the day after surgery. Surgical drains will usually be removed before leaving hospital.

During your time in hospital, Dr Carmen will guide you regarding the recovery time, incision care and when to resume work, activity etc. 

First Few Days after Surgery 

You will need someone to drive you home so arrange for it in advance as you won’t be able to do it yourself. Most likely, you will have drainage tubes that will drain the fluid from your tummy. 

You also need to arrange for someone to help you around the house for the first few days as you will have limited mobility. Tightness around the tummy area is very common during the initial few weeks. It is advised to walk in a hunched-over position for a week or two. 

It is common to feel sore in the stomach area, which will be accompanied by pain. Make sure to take the pain killers prescribed by Dr Carmen on time.

Week 1-2 After Surgery 

During the first two weeks, avoid standing for longer durations, lifting heavy objects and excessive movement. It is advised to take a month of work for optimal rest and recovery.

If you have a lot of responsibilities around the house, it is wise to arrange for some house help for a couple of months post-surgery. Do not resume physical activity until Dr Carmen gives you permission. You can resume driving after two weeks and slowly ease yourself into daily chores. You will experience scarring after the surgery that will take time to fade away. Don’t panic, and let your body heal at its own natural pace.

Bathing is also a struggle for the first week or two. Opt for sponge baths or use a chair while showering for the first two weeks post-surgery. 

After two weeks, you will be able to walk straight. This is the time to introduce light walking into your routine. Remember not to exhaust yourself.

One Month After Surgery 

Constipation is very common around the one-month marker. Eat fibre rich meals to avoid constipation. You can also use over-the-counter stool softeners to help you. Also, drink loads of water. 

Visit Dr Carmen for follow-up appointments to ensure everything is running smoothly. Never skip on those even if your recovery is going great. It prevents any complications and takes care of any unforeseeable risks. 

Most patients can go back to work after a month marker. However, if your job is physically demanding, consult Dr Carmen’s team before resuming work.

8 Weeks/2 Months Post Surgery 

Avoid taking baths and jumping into swimming pools for eight weeks post-surgery or till your incisions are fully healed. Most patients can also resume exercise eight weeks after the surgery. Always consult with Dr Carmen prior to resuming any physical activity. 

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Guideline to Recover Quickly After the Surgery 

It is important to give your body enough time to heal after the surgery. First things first, take plenty of rest after the surgery. Make sure you take the specified time off work, so you can give your body adequate time to recover. Your drains will be left in a few days after the surgery to empty out any excess fluids. You will most likely be asked to take antibiotic and anticoagulant while the drains are in place. Wearing an abdominal binder is critical for recovery as it supports the abdomen, avoids fluid build-up and reduces swelling after the surgery. 

Avoiding strenuous activities for a period of six to eight weeks is critical. It includes everything from lifting heavy weights to working out excessively. Mild walking is permitted and recommended after the first two weeks. 

Make sure that you arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and maybe help you around for the first 24 to 48 hours. 

Your drainage tubes will most likely be removed 48 hours after the surgery. After that, you can take a sponge bath for three to five days or until you can shower. You might need to use a chair while showering for the first two weeks post-surgery. 

Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking as it hinders the healing process and causes excessive bruising and other complications. Avoid taking any over the counter medications and herbal supplements without consulting Dr Carmen first. 

Rest and Recovery Post Tummy Tuck 

You need to sleep on an incline for at least the first two weeks after surgery. It is important that your body is slightly raised and your knees are bent. Taking a little bit of care while sleeping will minimize swelling and take the pressure off your abdomen. You can also put some pillows under your knees for added comfort. The goal is to find an optimal resting position that makes you feel comfortable. 

Once the initial two weeks are over, it is advised to walk a little bit around the house to promote blood flow. It aids healing and reduces the chance of getting blood clots. 

Remember, it will take a minimum of seven to eight weeks before you feel like yourself. Stay calm and give your body enough time to heal. Avoid any demanding physical activity, including exercise, for eight weeks. Always consult Dr Carmen before resuming exercise and going back to work. 

Additional Ideas to Speed up Your Recovery after Tummy Tuck

Apart from doing all the essentials mentioned above, follow these tips to give your body the an added boost: 

  • Take vitamin A and C supplements regularly.
  • Adding green tea to your daily routine will boost your immunity and antioxidant levels.
  • Taking a probiotic supplement always helps.
  • Eat fruits such as pineapple and papaya as they help reduce swelling. 
  • Take arnica as it helps reduce swelling, bruising, and pain.
  • Use staphysagria supplements as they are known to help heal your incision faster.
  • Drink ginger tea to relieve symptoms of nausea.

Tummy Tuck Do and Dont’s

What are the dos and don’ts after a tummy tuck?

  • Here are a few dos and don’ts after the surgery:
    • Do’s
      • Eat a fibre-rich, healthy diet to avoid constipation.
      • Keep your knees bent while sleeping. 
      • Wear the compression garment for at least eight weeks. 
      • Walk slowly and regularly. 
      • Take your medications on time. 
    • Don’ts 
      • Do not walk with your back straight for two weeks. 
      • Avoid laughing, coughing and sneezing. 
      • Do not take hot baths and swimming pools. 
      • Avoid doing any strenuous exercises. 
      • Do not skip on medications
Recovery after Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos - Dr Carmen Munteanu - Best Tummy Tuck Surgeon Melbourne

Tummy Tuck Recovery FAQs

How long does it take to heal after abdominoplasty?

  • On average, it takes about eight weeks for a person to heal and feel like themselves after abdominoplasty. 

How long does tightness last after abdominoplasty?

  • For most patients, the feeling of tightness will last for 6 –12 weeks after the surgery. 

What is the fastest way to recover from a tummy tuck?

  • Wear an abdominal binder for a minimum of six weeks after abdominoplasty. Avoid exercising and any strenuous activities. Take plenty of rest, sleep, eat a healthy diet and take all the medications given by your doctor on time.  

How bad is the pain after a tummy tuck?

  • Most people experience mild to moderate pain during the recovery period. Dr Carmen will prescribe you painkillers to counter pain and have a comfortable recovery. 

Why is my stomach still big after a tummy tuck?

  • Well, your stomach will be swollen for the first few weeks after the tummy tuck. Once the swelling goes down, your stomach will not appear bigger. 

What happens if you don’t wear a compression garment after a tummy tuck?

  • You need to wear a compression garment. Otherwise, it can lead to over-stressed sutures, breakage, tearing, seroma formation and progressive tension. 

How do I get my stomach flat after a tummy tuck?

  • Here are a few tips that will help you; eat a healthy diet, consume loads of water during the recovery phase and continue to eat well-balanced meals after recovery to avoid weight gain.

When can I sleep on my side after a tummy tuck?

  • You should be able to sleep on your side three weeks after the tummy tuck. 

How long should I wear my Faja after a tummy tuck?

  • It is advised to wear your Faja for at least eight weeks after the surgery. 

Why is my stomach not flat after a tummy tuck?

  • The reason why your stomach is not flat is that it’s swollen. Once the swelling goes down, your stomach will appear flat. 

Does a tummy tuck lift your pubic area?

  • A tummy tuck focuses on the belly region, hence do not expect a dramatic pubic lift. In some cases, it gives a slightly lifted appearance to your pubic area as well. 

What hurts worse, C section or tummy tuck?

  • C section is considered to be a far more painful procedure than a tummy tuck. 

Do you eat less after a tummy tuck?

  • It is common for people to have a smaller appetite for the first three to five months after the surgery. 

What hurts more, lipo or tummy tuck?

  • A tummy tuck is considered to be more painful as compared to liposuction. Keep in mind that Dr Carmen will use anaesthesia during both procedures, so you don’t feel anything when the procedures are performed.  

How long is the stomach swollen after a tummy tuck?

  • Most patients experience swelling for three months after the surgery. 

Can you gain belly fat after a tummy tuck?

  • Yes, if you gain weight after the surgery, you will also gain belly fat. 

How long do you walk hunched over after a tummy tuck?

  • It is advised to stay hunched over while walking for a period of two weeks after the surgery. 

What are the dos and don’ts after a tummy tuck?

  • Here are a few dos and don’ts after the surgery:
    • Do’s
      • Eat a fibre-rich, healthy diet to avoid constipation.
      • Keep your knees bent while sleeping. 
      • Wear the compression garment for at least eight weeks. 
      • Walk slowly and regularly. 
      • Take your medications on time. 
    • Don’ts 
      • Do not walk with your back straight for two weeks. 
      • Avoid laughing, coughing and sneezing. 
      • Do not take hot baths and swimming pools. 
      • Avoid doing any strenuous exercises. 
      • Do not skip on medications. 

How long does it take for the lymphatic system to heal after a tummy tuck?

It will take about two to three months for your lymphatic system to heal fully after the surgery. 

Can you climb stairs after a tummy tuck?

  • Climbing stairs is permitted after a tummy tuck. If it hurts, take some help or avoid climbing the stairs altogether till you are comfortable doing so. 

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