A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes loose, excess skin and fat whilst also tightening your stomach muscles or fascia. It is clear to see why so many people want this procedure, especially women due to the constant changes in their body from ageing, pregnancies and other life experiences. Despite being one of the most popular treatments, it is surprising that not many people know what to expect after having a tummy tuck. In this article, we will do just that, as well as give you some tips on how to recover properly.
What To Expect With Recovery Times With A Tummy Tuck
There are many things to consider in terms of what to expect with a tummy tuck recovery so there isn’t one answer for all tummy tuck procedures. Of course, there are average recovery times but for individual patients, there is a range of factors that must be considered including:
- What The Age Of The Patient Is
- The Type Of Tummy Tuck They Are Having
- What The Patient’s General Health Is
- The Type of Post Surgery Care They Need
Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will discuss what to expect after having a tummy tuck in terms of recovery and the type of recovery you will need. As a general rule of thumb, you are going to be looking at around 8 weeks before you feel normal again. At first, your drains from the surgery will be left in for a couple of days in which you will be shown how to clean and empty the drains.
Why Does The Type Of Tummy Tuck Matter For Recovery?
What to expect after a tummy tuck in terms of recovery can be difficult to determine due to the range of different tummy tucks available for people with different needs. You can get a full tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck and you can also get a fleur de Lis tummy tuck which all focus on different areas and purposes.
The more extensive the tummy tuck, the longer the recovery, which is especially the case for an extended tummy tuck as this involves the flanks, back and lower chest which shows why it is difficult to determine what to expect after a tummy tuck.
What To Expect After A Tummy Tuck?
The thing to remember when having a tummy tuck is that the surgeon knows best. If you don’t follow their instructions, you will not get what you would expect after a tummy tuck in terms of recovery and appearance. If you have any concerns or questions about the healing process, you should contact your surgeon immediately.
Choosing a surgeon who is certified with a board certification for your tummy tuck is a must. They have a lot of experience and have had to go through rigorous training and safety requirements that other surgeons don’t.
What To Expect Immediately After A Tummy Tuck
What to expect after a tummy tuck immediately is pretty straightforward. The abdomen will be covered with surgical dressing meaning you won’t be able to see it immediately after the surgery. A common practice for a tummy tuck is to have drainage tubes around the incision so that built-ups of fluid can be safely removed.
You may have to rest on an angle for the first couple of days so that the wound heals correctly. You will be given further instructions on how to clean the tubes etc.
What To Expect After A Tummy Tuck When At Home
For the first couple of days, it is best to get someone to help you with basic tasks. This is due to the fact you will be prescribed painkillers and you will have very limited mobility meaning you will not be able to drive. Once you are home, you will start to realise that you are sore and that you can’t bend, lift or even stand for long so it is key to have someone help around the house, especially if you have children.
What To Expect For Maintenance After Tummy Tuck Surgery
To understand what to expect for maintenance after a tummy tuck, you will be able to consult with your surgeon as they will explain all you need to know, such as how to keep your incision and drainage clean as well as the duration of the recovery.
During recovery, the patient should expect to be given antibiotics and anticoagulants for a duration as well as some creams to apply around the incision too due to this helping with infections and inflammations.
For the first part of your recovery, you will have to wear a support wrap or support garment of some sort as it will help with the swelling and aches. So it is essential that you keep this on for as long as you can. Another thing to remember is that you still can’t smoke and drink as it can seriously increase the recovery time.
What To Expect Long Term After A Tummy Tuck?
Long term effects are minimum after the duration of the main recovery stages. Some experience a tight pulling sensation or numbness for a couple of weeks which could extend to a couple of months. This will fade over time but it can take up to three months before the swelling and bruising go down completely, and it will take longer for scars to fade but you can get designated cream to help reduce scarring. The plus side of this is once you have recovered you will start to improve your core strength and mechanics.
Tips for Recovery:
- Set Up A Comfortable Space To Relax
- Allow Yourself To Rest And Recover For At Least 2 Weeks
- Don’t Push Yourself Too Much
- Drink Plenty Of Fluids
- Keep Your Diet Healthy
- Take Vitamin A and C Supplements
- Drink Green Tea
- Take Probiotic Supplements
- Eat Pineapple and Papaya
If you have any questions on our tummy tuck procedures or any other treatments you can contact us on 0161 401 4064. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form today and we will be in touch as soon as we can.