Tummy tuck surgery is used by our Burlington and Hamilton patients to slim their bodies and remove loose, saggy skin. The procedure can create transformative results, but it also requires an extensive recovery period. Many patients want to know how they can make their recovery time go as smoothly as possible. And good news—by knowing more about the recovery process, patients can play a major role in their own healing.
When patients are proactive in their tummy tuck recovery, they can advocate for their own well-being and see satisfying results sooner than ever. In this blog post, we’ll outline the general timeline for recovery and explain how patients can best help themselves heal.
How tummy tuck surgery works
Tummy tuck surgery is a great way to remove loose, excess skin and tone the midsection. It is often used by men and women who have experienced significant body changes, such as major weight loss or pregnancy.
By making a low hip-to-hip incision, the surgeon has access to the tissue and muscles underneath. The doctor then removes stretched-out skin, sculpts away unwanted fat, and repairs weakened abdominal muscles. Other treatments, such as liposuction, are often combined with the procedure. The total surgery time typically takes 2 and a half hours to complete.
What to expect after tummy tuck surgery
Tummy tuck recovery is a slow and steady process. Here’s what you can expect the first couple of weeks after surgery.
- Immediately after surgery: Drains and compression bandages are put into place. You will be sent home with a trusted caretaker and given pain medication to manage any discomfort.
- 1 to 2 days after surgery: You can take a shower, even while the drains are still in place. Be careful around your incision areas, and gently pat the area dry afterward.
- 1 week: The doctor will examine your fluid levels and see if it is safe to remove your drains. You can comfortably return to work or school after this process.
- 2 weeks: Abdominal binders can be safely removed.
- 3 weeks: Sutures can be removed, and it will be easier to stand up fully straight.
- 6 weeks: Recovery is complete, and you can resume any exercise routines or heavy lifting.
Tummy tuck recovery at home
Much of recovery involves simply giving yourself the time to relax and heal. However, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process and help your body stay in tip-top shape.
- Sleep on an incline: The first few days after surgery, use some pillows in bed to keep yourself elevated. This will help take the pressure of your midsection and allow you to sleep more comfortably.
- Take gentle walks: Keep your blood moving by engaging in gentle movements, such as walking. This helps prevent clots and improve circulation.
- Drink plenty of water: This one is a classic for a reason. Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep yourself properly hydrated.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol. Eat plenty of nutritious foods so that your body has the energy to heal itself.
- Have a support system: Surgery is a significant choice, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Have a support system of friends and family who can help you out around the house while you’re still in recovery.
By taking care of yourself after surgery, you can affect your recovery. Proper healing will allow you to see the best possible tummy tuck results.
Browse our tummy tuck before-and-after photos to see examples of real patient results. If you would like to learn more about your tummy tuck surgery options in the Burlington, Ontario, area, request a consultation online or call (905) 634-5573.