Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Recovery Week 4

How long does it take to feel normal after a tummy tuck? This depends, but most patients begin to feel “normal” after tummy tuck surgery around the fourth or fifth week of recovery. At this point, you’ll be able to return to your job or school, and you may even be able to start exercising again.

Four weeks post-op tummy tuck will see you feeling stronger and more restored. During this time, you’ll likely find: Reduced pain and swelling. A healing ridge or hardness may form around the wound.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Week 4

Whether you want to know what happens 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery or immediately after your procedure, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll be going over the entire recovery process — explaining the most important symptoms, milestones, and potential warning signs after tummy tuck surgery.

While this procedure certainly offers some absolutely amazing transformations, the recovery process is extensive, so it’s important to know what to expect. 

Before we begin, however, let’s cover some basics — starting with what tummy tuck surgery actually entails. 

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

The goal of a tummy tuck is to rejuvenate the midsection. It’s a procedure that’s often chosen in mommy makeovers for moms who want to get rid of the loose skin they acquired during pregnancy. It’s also a favorite for patients who’ve lost a lot of weight and have remaining loose skin as a result. 

During surgery, the extra skin is removed, the abdominal muscles are tightened with internal stitches, and excess fat is often removed as well (via liposuction). The entire procedure can have life-changing effects for many patients.

Is Tummy Tuck Recovery Painful?

While the tummy tuck surgery itself is not painful (anesthesia will be used, and you will be kept comfortable), patients will experience some mild to moderate pain after the procedure. In some cases, there will also be numbness, especially around the incision sites. This should go away after a few weeks or months, although some sensory abnormalities may persist for longer.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Week by Week

Below, we’ll go over the tummy tuck recovery stages, week by week. But first, let’s talk about what to expect immediately after surgery.

Most surgeries take around two to three hours to complete. General anesthesia is used, so you’ll be entirely asleep for the procedure. After surgery, you’ll still be sleepy when we take you to a recovery room. From there, we will monitor you and help you stay comfortable until you can go home with a trusted friend or relative.

4 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck Exercise

You should still avoid any particularly strenuous workouts, as well as exercises targeting the abdominal area, such as sits ups or weight lifting. Walking or stationary cycling can be a good place to start, with more vigorous exercise not recommended until the 6-week mark.

If you are used to exercising regularly, the prospect of being unable to indulge in your favorite sport can be daunting. Many active men and women opt for a tummy tuck to fix excess skin or weakened abdominal muscles, and a common question at tummy tuck consultations includes how soon exercise can be resumed.

1 Week after Tummy Tuck

For the first week after your procedure, you should still be avoiding exercise. During this early healing phase, you’ll still be experiencing some pain or discomfort, as well as swelling and post-op fatigue, so it is important to allow your body sufficient time to recover.

2 Weeks after Tummy Tuck

By now, your recovery may be sufficient that you can return to work, depending on what you do for a living. Your compression garments should still be worn and, while you may now take short walks to aid recovery, your tummy tuck is still too recent for exercise to be allowed.

tummy tuck recovery week by week

4 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck Pain

Patients who are considering a tummy tuck want to know more about what to expect during recovery from surgery.

Along with our tummy tuck survival guide, we have compiled this recovery timeline so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your procedure. 

What to Expect After a Tummy Tuck

Aftercare

After your tummy tuck, your surgeon will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions, 

including information on how to manage any drains and dressings. 

Your surgeon will also book you in for several follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and ensure that your body is healing as expected. At the CREO Clinic, you can expect at least three aftercare appointments: one week, six weeks, and six months after your tummy tuck. 

Rest & Recovery

You will need to give your body ample time to recuperate and heal after your tummy tuck. In general, patients are usually able to resume most light, daily activities 1-2 weeks after their tummy tuck, including a return to work. 

However, patients must wait to begin light exercising after tummy tuck for at least 3-4 weeks and should avoid more strenuous activity until they are fully recovered, which can take up to 12 weeks. 

Pain & Discomfort

Like any surgical procedure, we understand that patients may have concerns regarding how painful a tummy tuck is. That’s why our surgeons are experts in pain management and will ensure you have the most comfortable recovery possible.

During surgery, you will be under general anaesthetic (asleep) or local anaesthetic (numbing the abdomen) with sedation. As a result, you won’t feel any pain during surgery. You may experience side effects such as soreness, bruising, and swelling after your tummy tuck. You will be provided with any necessary prescriptions for pain relief and will be advised on how best to manage these side effects before heading home.

Abdominal Pressure Garment

For the first six weeks after your tummy tuck, you will have to wear a compression garment around your abdomen. This will help to reduce post-surgical swelling and support the skin to prevent sagging and provide additional comfort. 

Day 1 After Tummy Tuck

On the first day after surgery, you may experience bruising, soreness, and swelling around the abdomen. Surgeons may use drains remove excess fluid from the surgical site. You will be shown how to empty and maintain any drains before going home.  

To manage discomfort at this stage, you may be provided with short-term prescription pain medication. Your surgeon will provide you with important information on how to take this medication correctly.

Alternatively, you may find it possible to manage pain with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and by applying a cool compress to soothe the area.

Week 1 After Tummy Tuck

During the first week after your tummy tuck, side effects should gradually dissipate, including any discomfort you may be experiencing. 

You can expect to have a follow-up appointment a week after your tummy tuck, where your surgeon will remove any drains. However, you must continue to wear your compression garment to reduce swelling. 

In addition, you can reduce swelling further by having a lymphatic drainage massage to help move excess fluid, starting in the first week after your tummy tuck. 

You will also be advised to get mobile as soon as possible to promote circulation and healing. You should start slowly and go at a pace that feels right to you and your body.

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