If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, also known as an abdominoplasty, you’re not alone. At Rios Center for Plastic Surgery, we have used this procedure to help many of our patients achieve a firmer, more toned abdominal area and instantly drop pant sizes.
However, undergoing a tummy tuck is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and preparation, including understanding the recovery process. Keep reading to learn everything you should know about tummy tuck recovery, including a few expert tips for the best results.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a type of plastic surgery that involves removing excess skin and fat from around the abdomen. A tummy tuck may also be used to tighten separated abdominal muscles and create a smoother, firmer tummy contour.
Whether you struggle with loose skin or stubborn localized fat deposits, a tummy tuck may help you achieve your ideal stomach. Tummy tuck surgery is a popular choice for new mothers who want to regain their pre-baby body after pregnancy.
What to Expect After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Since everyone’s body is unique, the healing process after an abdominoplasty procedure varies from person to person. The intensity and extent of your recovery period will depend on several factors, including what kind of abdominoplasty you get.
For example, a mini abdominoplasty has a shorter recovery period. However, there is a general recovery timeline you can expect to follow after your tummy tuck surgery.
Immediately After Surgery
After your tummy tuck procedure, we will monitor you in the recovery room for a few hours before we discharge you to go home. You may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the abdominal area. This is completely normal and manageable.
The First Week
During the first few days after your abdominoplasty surgery, it’s important to get as much rest as possible. You’ll likely need assistance with basic activities like standing up, walking, and navigating the bathroom, so it’s important to plan to have someone nearby who can help you. You should also continue to wear the compression garment we provide.
By the end of the first week, you may start feeling more comfortable and independent.
The First Month
After two to three weeks, you’ll likely notice gradual improvements in your mobility and energy levels. As long as you follow our postoperative guidelines and instructions, most of the swelling and bruising should be gone by the end of the first month.
You may be able to resume light activities during this time. However, you should still avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities until your body makes a full recovery.
How Long Does It Take to Fully Recover After a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
The full recovery period after an abdominoplasty will vary depending on individual healing factors and the extent of the surgery. Most people can expect to fully heal and feel back to normal in two to three months. It may take up to one year to see the final results of your abdominoplasty surgery.
Simple Tips for Optimal Abdominoplasty Recovery
Whether you receive a full or mini abdominoplasty, there are a few simple guidelines you should follow for the best results.
Tend to Your Incisions and Drains
Proper care of your incisions is essential for optimal healing. Before going home after your procedure, we will review how to properly care for any incisions or drains you may have. In general, you should keep the incision area clean and dry, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or soaking it in water.
Drink Plenty of Water
After any surgery, your body needs plenty of water and proper nutrition to heal. It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water per day.
You should also eat a healthy and balanced diet during your recovery. It may be tempting to order takeout and relax in bed, but consuming healthy, whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals supports your body’s healing process.
Many people believe that they should remain in bed as much as possible until their body is fully healed. Although it’s true that activity should be restricted the first 48 hours after surgery, after day three, it’s important for you to start incorporating basic physical activity into your daily routine.
You should aim to walk around 10 to 15 minutes per day to encourage proper healing and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
Attend All Your Abdominoplasty Follow-up Appointments
After your tummy tuck procedure, we will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery. It’s crucial that you attend all your appointments to ensure that your recovery is progressing as it should. Follow-up appointments also provide a chance to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have.
What Is a Tummy Tuck Consultation? Is It Necessary?
A tummy tuck consultation is the initial appointment where we meet with you to determine whether you’re a good candidate for abdominoplasty treatment. This step is necessary because tummy tuck surgery isn’t right for everyone. A consultation allows us to get to know you, your situation, and your unique medical history to decide whether a tummy tuck is right for you.
Experience the Best Care in Edinburg, TX
If you’re interested in a tummy tuck in Edinburg, TX, experience the best care in town by scheduling a consultation at Rios Center for Plastic Surgery. Give us a call today or contact us online to learn more about abdominoplasty or to schedule your personalized consultation.