An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, removes excess fat and skin while tightening abdominal muscles, resulting in a slimmer and more fit appearance.
Recovery time is determined by the surgical technique, age, and overall health. However, while most patients return to work in about three weeks, it’s essential to understand that recovery from a tummy tuck can take several months. The following information is a guide for tummy tuck recovery so you can heal well for optimal results.
Follow all post-operative instructions
Dr. Stephens will provide post-operative instructions for your tummy tuck procedure. You must follow these instructions as best you can for an easier recovery. Some examples of what is included in these instructions are:
- Limit your activities for the first 24 hours
- Prepare to have someone drive you home from surgery and provide assistance, such as with going to the bathroom
- Take prescribed pain medication as needed, but do not take it on an empty stomach
- You may shower after 48 hours, but no baths
Wear your compression garment
Most of our tummy tuck patients in Baton Rouge and Lafayette will need to wear a compression garment for several weeks to help with swelling and reduce discomfort. Dr. Stephens will advise you regarding how many hours to wear the garment per day and the days you are recommended. You must wear your compression garment as directed for the smoothest, flattest tummy possible.
Self-care is essential
You’ll need to avoid strenuous physical activity for four to six weeks after your tummy tuck, as intense physical activity can reopen your wounds and delay healing. However, light exercise such as walking or stationary bicycling is recommended after approximately ten days because it promotes blood circulation to help you heal quicker.
An essential part of post-operative self-care is getting plenty of rest. Take time off work and ask for help around the house to avoid overexerting yourself. Overexertion can prolong your recovery and place you at higher risk for complications.
Additionally, eating well to give your body the necessary nutrients can speed up your healing process. Choose healthy foods rich in protein and iron, and stay hydrated with consistent water intake.
Choose Dr. Stephens for the best tummy tuck recovery
Dr. J. Anthony Stephens is board certified in general and plastic surgery by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgery, putting him alongside worldwide leaders in cosmetic face, body, breast, and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Stephens is passionate about ensuring his tummy tuck patients are educated about their procedures and guides them through recovery to provide the best experience possible.