How Long Is The Recovery After A Tummy Tuck?

Each tummy tuck recovery varies from patient to patient. For example, whether or not liposuction was preformed in conjunction with the tummy tuck procedure as well as each patient’s personal pain tolerance and healing time. It is safe to say, however, that no patient will be up and back to their normal routines within a day or two after a tummy tuck procedure.

To help you understand the healing process, the recovery time can be broken down into four stages:

Stage One

The first stage usually encompasses the first two weeks after the surgery. Surgical drains will be in place and assessed by your surgeon for possible complications. Typically, if there are going to be any post-operative complications, such as bleeding, signs of infection, or skin loss, they will occur during this stage of your recovery. Your surgeon will schedule follow up appointments to monitor your progress, as necessary. If there is pain, patients tend to experience that in the upper abdomen and a pins and needles sensation in the lower abdomen, where nerves have been divided. Patients will usually be on narcotic pain control for the first part of this stage.

Stage Two

This second healing stage usually includes weeks two to six following the operation. At this point you will be able to begin driving and will be standing straight comfortably. Life will start to feel more normal and comfortable again. Barring any complications, surgical drains will have been removed, and the abdominal area will be checked for possible fluid collections. You should notice drastic changes in swelling and fluid accumulation and be able to start wearing your regular clothing again.

Stage Three

This third stage generally runs from six weeks to six months after the operation. Patients typically regain normal sensations in the abdomen during this time, reporting less numbness as nerves continue to recover. Patients also report an increase in energy during this stage of the healing process. At this time, patients can return to normal exercise routines and most other normal activities, including weight lighting and abdominal workouts. Of course, it is always recommended that you follow your surgeon’s specific advice.

Stage Four

This stage goes beyond the first six months post-operation. Although most patients feel fully recovered at this point, it is still important to remember that the body is still healing. That said, by this point for most patients pain is gone, abdominal sensations have been regained for the most part, and the incisions have begun to lighten and soften. Keep in mind though, that tummy tuck incisions may take up to two years to completely heal and lighten to their optimal colour. This is one of the reasons that this healing stage, as you’ve probably noticed, doesn’t have a specific end point.

The recovery from abdominoplasty, as mentioned, is slightly different for everyone. If at any point during the recovery time you are uncomfortable or have questions, please do not hesitate to bring your concerns to your surgeon’s attention. You will be scheduled for a number of post-operative appointments where your doctor will be able to assess your healing and discuss your progress and their recommendations with you.

Here at Edelstein Cosmetic, we take pride in patient comfort and satisfaction. We are happy to answer any further questions you may have during a private consultation with one of our skilled doctors.




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