What to expect from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) recovery

It is important to understand that it takes time to fully recover from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery.   

If you have decided to go ahead with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery, you can expect a firmer, more aesthetically pleasing abdominal area once your treatment is complete. It is important to understand, however, that the treatment is a major surgery and involves a recovery period that should be properly prepared for. The exact duration of your recovery will depend on a few factors — your age and overall health, for example, will affect your healing process. Read on to expect what you can expect from the recovery period, and what you can do to ensure that it is as smooth as possible.

How long does the recovery take?

When planning and preparing for your recovery, it is important that you set aside plenty of time to rest and recuperate after your surgery. Although each patient is different, you can expect your drains to remain in for a few days after your procedure. Your surgical team will explain how to take care of these drains properly during this time.

Most patients will need to wear a compression garment for around six weeks following tummy tuck surgery. This garment is very helpful when it comes to minimising fluid build-up and swelling, and it will also support your abdomen while you heal.

It is advisable that you avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for around six weeks after surgery.

What can you expect from your recovery?  

It is important to know that you will need someone to drive you home after your surgery, so it is best to arrange this beforehand. You may also find it helpful to sleep on an incline for the first few days of your recovery period — by keeping your upper body raised and your knees bent and supported by pillows, it is possible to reduce swelling, as well as excess pressure on your abdomen.

Although you will need to avoid strenuous exercise for a few weeks, you should keep active by walking around. This will help to promote blood flow and aid the healing process.

It is completely normal to feel tired for a few weeks after your surgery — make sure that you get as much rest as possible, and ask for help with day-to-day chores around the house.

How can you ensure a healthy recovery?

The most painful part of your recovery is likely to be the first few days after your surgery. Your surgeon will let you know which medications to take to manage any discomfort that you feel. Any side-effects that you experience will resolve with time, although it is worth noting that swelling can take up to three months to completely subside.

In order to enjoy a smooth recovery, it is important that you take plenty of time to rest and that you set up a comfortable space at home to do so. Try to take it easy and be patient with yourself.

It is advisable that you drink water throughout the day as this will keep you hydrated and minimise post-surgical swelling. It is also a good idea to stick to a balanced diet that includes plenty of nutritious whole foods.

How can we help?

Dr Sally Ng offers a range of body contouring procedures, including abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery. If you are concerned about excess fat, loose skin and/or weak muscles in your abdominal area, you could benefit from the treatment. We encourage you to come in and see Dr Ng to discuss your particular needs, concerns and aesthetic goals so that she can explain your options to you.

If you would like to find out more about tummy tuck surgery and what it involves, please have a look here.

Dr Sally Ng also offers a comprehensive range of other procedures — to learn about her full scope of treatments, please have a look here. If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Sally Ng, please get in touch here or give us a call on (03) 9587 2048.