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Abdominoplasty Recovery Tips


There’s no question that the results of tummy tuck will make you feel wonderful — beautiful, confident and fit. To reach that point, you must first recover from surgery and let your body heal from your procedure. Our surgical team has a number of recommendations to speed up your recovery and avoid preventable complications from abdominoplasty surgery.

Immediately following Surgery

After your surgery, you will be taken to a recovery suite where our team can monitor you for a short period of time. Then, we will release you into the care of an authorized individual (an adult friend or family member) who can take you home and stay with you for the first night of surgery.

You will probably feel groggy from the anesthesia for the remainder of the day. If you feel steady enough, we encourage you to do a little bit of walking (a few steps around your room or down the hallway) on the evening of your surgery to help your blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. This light movement will also reduce your swelling and help your overall recovery.

The First Few Days after Surgery

During the first few days of your recovery, it’s critical to get as much rest as possible. Arrange for a spouse or family member to help out with household tasks and childcare so you can concentrate on your body’s healing.

Also, before you go into surgery, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for your recovery. Put necessary items next to your bed, make sure you have plenty of food and liquids and fill your prescriptions. One of the most important tools at your disposal for healing is your post-op medications. This will include antibiotics as well as pain medications. Immediately after tummy tuck, your stomach may be quite swollen and may even throb. Time your pain medication properly so that you do not wait to feel pain before taking it.

Drains and a compression garment will be placed to help reduce post-operative swelling. You will need to keep these in place until our surgeons remove them a few days later. We will give you more specific instructions for the drains and garment prior to your surgery, so you know how to clean them. Your sutures should be self-dissolving and will not need to be removed by our team.

We will also prescribe antibiotic medications as well as painkillers. Again, time your pain medication at regular intervals, so that you don’t wait to feel pain before taking it. Don’t try to be a “tough guy” and go without meds; you may end up needing to take more over the long run. Also, take your antibiotics for the entire cycle; finish all of the prescription or else you put yourself at risk of a drug-resistant infection and complications.

Our article on preparing for aftercare is another helpful resource.

The First Few Months after Surgery

Your swelling will gradually dissipate and your results will start to reveal themselves slowly. Swelling can take up to six months to completely disappear.

Try to be as patient and forgiving of your body as possible; don’t put high expectations on yourself or your recovery. The outcome will be worth the wait.

*There may be additional instructions and warnings for post-op care from this procedure. Please be sure to get this complete list from our staff and do not rely solely on the information provided on this page.