Recovering From a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that helps to reduce the excess skin and tighten the loose muscles in the abdomen. A tummy tuck removes extra skin around the abdominal area caused by weight loss, childbirth, or stubborn fat deposits that exercise and diet aren’t able to target. Like any surgery, there is a period following the procedure dedicated to recovery. It is important to be prepared for the recovery period. Dr. Richardson will give you detailed instructions to follow. 

Overall Recovery Care Instructions

Dr. Richardson and his staff will provide you with specific care instructions. The healing time is different for every patient and he will work with you to determine when you can resume normal activity and how long you should plan to take off from work. You will be shown how to care for your drains and incision sites, educated on different discomfort management options, and discuss an appropriate follow-up schedule with the doctor to monitor your progress.

Immediately Following Surgery

Your incisions will be wrapped up in bandages and you will notice drains coming out of the wrapped-up incisions. The drains are a normal part of healing and are to be monitored to ensure there are no complications. When deemed appropriate by your doctor, your drains will be removed and bandages removed. You will also be fitted with a compression garment that will minimize bleeding, swelling, and promote healing. 

Recovery at Home

After getting a ride home and getting settled, you will need to rest for a few days. You will need assistance with tasks of daily living, especially since you won’t be able to lift or bend. You may take sponge baths until you can shower. Once you’re able to shower, a shower chair is recommended. You may also need to change your diet to include more vitamins and supplements.

You may be directed to apply antibiotic creams to your incision site. It’s normal to feel a pulling sensation when standing up straight. You may also notice bruises and swollen areas that will eventually subside over time. You will need to take some time off of work, generally two weeks. Also, all strenuous activity should be stopped until cleared by Dr. Richardson. 

Dr. Richardson will work closely with you throughout your entire recovery process to ensure you are healing appropriately. The healing process can take months so it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for a full, complication-free recovery.


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