6. What is the recovery after surgery?
After a tummy tuck procedure, most doctors recommend planning on at least two weeks of downtime and up to six weeks of total recovery time before you’ll be healthy enough for strenuous activity or exercise, lifting heavy items, etc. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication as well as antibiotics to stave off infection. You can expect to have swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the incision sites, especially during the first three days.
Dr. MacArthur weighed in on the recovery period for the tummy tuck procedure stating: “The recovery after a tummy tuck is about 4-6 weeks. After this point, patients should be living their lives like normal with no restrictions. Most of the swelling is gone by the third month after surgery, and the scar continues to improve for one year.”
Your abdomen will be bandaged, and you will likely start using a compression garment – which should be worn 24hrs/day for at least the first 4 weeks. This will help reduce swelling, prevent the formation of blood clots, and aid your body in healing into the desired contour. Bandages should be changed, and the area should be carefully cleaned every day.
You won’t be able to stand up straight for a week or two due to significant tightness across the abdomen.
During your healing process, you’re going to need support. It’s especially important to have someone available to assist you for at least the first five days; you’ll continue to need help the following week with things such as sitting, standing, changing compression garments, etc.
It is also encouraged to get up and move around a few times a day in order to increase circulation and prevent blood clots. You may need to sleep on your back or in a reclined position for the first few weeks of recovery.