The recovery period following a tummy tuck procedure should be considered to be an important and integral component of the overall experience and results. Though the recuperation varies among individuals, the information below can provide you with a general idea of what to expect during recovery from tummy tuck surgery.
I virtually always recommend that you spend the first night after surgery in the recovery care center at Piper Surgery Center. There you will receive excellent, personalized care and attention that may include precise and effective pain management, nausea control and help with getting out of bed and ambulating (without disrupting your surgical repair). It is critically important that you do get out of bed and walk frequently in order to reduce the risk of developing clots in your legs or lungs (this can be fatal in rare cases so anything to minimize the risk is well worth it).
Following your tummy tuck procedure, there will be discomfort and feelings of tightness that can be anywhere in a range from mild and quite tolerable to needing pain medication around the clock for a few days. Generally, the muscle relaxant and pain medication can help minimize or diminish the symptoms during the first few postoperative days when the discomfort would be the worst. You will wear an elastic compression garment around your abdomen for at least two weeks which will provide some comfort as well as physical and “mental” support.
For a variety of reasons including avoiding the risks for blood clots, it is important that you are up and moving around several times a day, even the day of surgery. Driving a car can be resumed when you feel comfortable enough to do so and you are no longer taking any medication that could impair your senses, such as the pain medication and muscle relaxant. Heavy lifting, sit-ups and most strenuous physical activities should be avoided for eight weeks following surgery though you could do light exercising such as getting on a treadmill at around 3 – 4 weeks. Subsequently, unless otherwise informed, you are then able to resume all activities without any restrictions.
Ultimately, by closely following the specific instructions that your surgeon has provided you, which are based on your unique needs, you will have the best chances to experience a smoother, relatively uneventful tummy tuck recovery process.
Steven Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona
Contact the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
For more information about the tummy tuck recovery process, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub, please contact our office today at (480) 451-3000.