Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty) Recovery Time & Tips

Tummy tuck surgery can be a highly rewarding experience for patients who are troubled by excess fat and sagging skin around their midsection. And while most find the recovery process tolerable, don’t be surprised that you will also have some difficult moments.  Expect to have some pain, swelling and bruising that will gradually disappear in the coming weeks.

For most patients, it takes about six weeks before they are fully back to their old routines, but you are usually feeling a lot better after two to three weeks.

To aid you in your recovery, here are some tips to help you heal:

Take your pain medicine as scheduled

Even if you don’t feel like you really need it right then, the pain will worsen the longer you wait. This is not the time to be tough. Too much pain will only interfere with the healing process, so take your meds as prescribed.

Follow your surgeon’s advice

After your surgery, you will be given instructions on how to care for yourself at home during your recovery. This will include information on how to change your bandages, whether it’s ok to bathe etc. He will also provide you with a list of symptoms to look out for and what to do if you experience them.

Take your antibiotics as prescribed

Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics in order to help prevent infection, but these will only work if you actually take them.  They should be taken on time and in full. Even if you are feeling better, it is important to take the complete prescription until they are finished.

Get lots of rest

In the first few days after the procedure, getting rest should not be too difficult as you will not feel like moving much anyway. For the first three or four days, you want to sleep flexed at the waist.  You can do this by sleeping on your back with your head and shoulders elevated and a pillow under you knees, or by sleeping on your side in a “fetal” position.

Physical activity should be restricted for several weeks. That being said, you’ll still have to walk around a bit each day to help prevent blood clots.

Do not smoke

Smoking interferes with blood flow and wound healing.  For most patients, any sutures that need to be removed (usually around the belly-button), will be removed within the first two weeks of recovery. At a minimum, you should refrain from smoking until your sutures are removed and your incisions are healing well.

Wear an abdominal support garment

Your surgeon will advise that you wear a special post-surgical garment to compress your abdomen and help with swelling. This should be worn day and night until your surgeon advises otherwise (usually it is worn for three weeks day and night, and then only during the day from three to six weeks).

Empty your drains a few times each day

While not every patient will require drainage tubes, you will need to know how to properly manage them if you do have them. You should empty them up to three times each day, depending on how much they fill up.  The liquid inside may be clear, yellowish, red or brownish, but if you ever notice bright red blood continuously filling the drain, or if the liquid is foul smelling, you should contact your surgeon immediately.

During your healing process, your surgeon may give you additional instructions on how to care for yourself. It is important to listen to his advice to help your recovery go as smoothly as possible.

Consult With Us

Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery Canada procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon. Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-4194 or by clicking here.

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    Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon.
    Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-5614 or by filling in this quick form.

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