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What To Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery: Timeline & Tips

If you’re thinking about getting a tummy tuck, also known as, abdominoplasty to reshape and define your stomach, then it’s crucial to understand how a proper post-tummy tuck recovery may help you get the best outcomes.

First and foremost, the recovery process can vary from one person to another. Your recovery time depends on your age, wellness, weight, and surgery type.

It’s also important to allow your body sufficient time to recuperate properly. After the surgery, you will have to stay in the hospital overnight, and your surgeon will provide you with post-surgery guidelines to aid in your recovery.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

You should plan your recovery to give your body enough time to heal before going back to your usual activities. Make sure you’ve made all of the necessary preparations and are ready for your time to recover.

On the Day of Your Surgery

After the surgery, the surgeon will cover the incisions with bandages and insert small tubes to drain any excess fluids.

Depending on your condition after surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. While moving around may be difficult after a tummy tuck, you will need to get up and move your body to help prevent blood clots from forming.

Your doctor will prescribe pain relievers and blood thinners to reduce pain and discomfort and lower the risk of blood clots.

First Two Weeks After Surgery

Avoid standing for prolonged periods, carrying heavy objects, and strenuous activities during the first two weeks. Since your abdominal muscles will be healing, you should be cautious when moving around. Avoid putting pressure on your incision by bending or performing stomach workouts because any unnecessary pressure on your incision could cause it to open.

You should maintain a healthy diet and avoid overeating to prevent straining your abdominal muscles. You can help prevent infection by eating low-sodium meals and increasing fiber consumption to relieve bowel movement discomfort.

After the procedure, you will most likely have scars that will take some time to disappear. Don’t be concerned; your body will recover at its own rate. The key to reducing scarring is getting enough rest, following the surgeon’s orders, and avoiding smoking.

One Month After Surgery

Many patients will still experience soreness weeks after surgery. You might also have a tingling or pinching sensation, or swelling in your abdomen. Although the incision should have healed completely, the scar will probably remain red and visible, but it will ultimately disappear on its own.

You should be able to resume your usual activities by the third and fourth week of your recovery, but you will still have to avoid extremely rigorous workouts like sit-ups or weightlifting for a few more weeks. By the sixth week, you will likely be able to go back to all sorts of physical activities.

One Year After Surgery

It is relatively usual in the months following a tummy tuck to feel numbness, and it can take up to one year to go away and is often accompanied by stomach discomfort cramps. Moreover, swelling might last for months following the operation, and compressing garments are considered the best approach to relieve these persistent sensations.

The result of your tummy tuck should be evident within a year, and your scars should have started to fade.

You can sustain your results by following a nutritious diet and engaging in physical activity. Weight gain or loss can cause flabby skin in the abdomen, which is one of the main reasons why patients are advised to postpone the surgery till they reached a healthy weight.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

People who have had a tummy tuck should get proper rest and abide by their doctor’s directions which include:

  • Keeping the incision area clean and dry
  • Replacing the gauze daily and taking the prescribed medications
  • Applying therapeutic lotions to the abdominal incision


Your abdomen will be wrapped in a supporting garment to stop inflammation and pain.

Patients must not smoke or drink alcohol for at least three months after a tummy tuck.

In addition, there are a few suggestions that can help you recover better and heal faster from your tummy tuck, such as:

1 – Pain medications

Don’t let pain restrict your movements or keep you from sleeping! The medications provided by your doctor can relieve pain and discomfort.

2- Ice packs and cold compresses

Applying cold compresses to your abdominal incision can help reduce irritation and redness, allowing them to heal more quickly; these compresses may also help to relieve inflammation and pain.

3- Abdominal binder

One helpful technique to alleviate pain and stiffness after a tummy tuck is to use belly binders or compression garments. These garments can spread pressure evenly across your stomach, reducing cramps and irritation after a tummy tuck and protecting your incision from inflammation.

It’s advised that you wear an abdominal compression binder every day and night for at least 4-8 weeks post-op.

Everyone’s recovery process is unique, so even if you’re taking baby steps or big strides, embrace it all in peace.

If you’re thinking about getting a tummy tuck or other cosmetic surgery, we’d be pleased to help you. Contact us today to learn more about your options and set up a consultation at your convenience.

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