A tummy tuck involves tightening of abdominal muscles, along with removal of loose skin and excess fat in the stomach area. A tummy tuck performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon will result in a flatter, smoother stomach as well as improved condition and appearance of the abdominal area. Here’s what to expect when preparing and recovering from a tummy tuck procedure.
Although excess fat and skin are removed during the procedure, a tummy tuck is not considered to be a weight loss procedure. It’s intended to sculpt the shape of the stomach when diet and exercise fall short. The procedure tightens and flattens the abdomen by restoring weakened or otherwise compromised abdominal muscles. When compared to more physically fit patients, overweight patients have a much higher risk for complications post-op. For this reason, sticking to a consistent exercise regimen and eating healthy in the months leading up to surgery can have a positive impact on recovery. It is also beneficial to make other healthy lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or reducing alcohol intake.
Recovering from a tummy tuck can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Individual recovery length varies depending on the physical health of the patient and the amount of skin and fat tissue that is removed. Tummy tucks are often paired with liposuction to remove excess fat from love handle areas. Dr. Whetstone typically recommends 7-10 days rest and recovery before returning to work or other light activities.
Depending on the specific case, patients are either taken home by a loved one shortly after surgery or are admitted and observed overnight. This is dependent on the pre-op health and physical condition of the patient.
For the first 24-48 hours, patients will have limited mobility but will be encouraged to walk short distances a few times a day for improved circulation. Your surgeon may place a small tube under the skin as well, which will work to drain excess blood or fluid. This tube will be removed after the first week. Bandages and dressings will be applied to the incisions and you will like be instructed to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and provide support.
As the week progresses, you should be able to move with more ease, although it is important to avoid any strenuous activity. Walking and light movement will help to avoid blood clots and keep muscles from stiffening. Inflammation and tightness in the abdomen will be noticeable throughout the first week of recovery as swelling and inflammation continue to reduce.
During the second week of recovery, bruising, tightness and pain should gradually subside, although swelling will likely take longer to diminish. The use of compression garment sis recommended for the first 2 weeks in order to reduce swelling and to support abdominal muscles as they adjust to their new positioning. Although it can be tempting to resume strenuous activity as conditions improve, it’s important to progress gradually and with moderation.
During recovery, it is important to avoid alcohol, smoking, weight lifting and abdominal exercises until your doctor has cleared you. Focus on maintaining a healthy diet and avoid foods that could cause gas. Eating small portions and drinking plenty of water will help ensure a smoother recovery.
At Las Colinas Centre For Plastic Surgery, Dr. Michael Whetstone has extensive experience performing successful tummy tucks. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Whetstone provides individual treatment plans to best fit the needs and desires of each patient. To schedule a free tummy tuck consultation, contact Las Colinas Centre For Plastic Surgery today at 972- 831-8822.
Las Colinas Centre For Plastic Surgery
7433 Las Colinas Blvd, Irving, TX