There can be a myriad of reasons that a person may be contemplating a tummy tuck. Perhaps they gained a lot of weight over their lifetime, and then victoriously lost it all leaving an extremely stretched out abdomen to contend with. Or perhaps the individual has had one or more pregnancies that have stretched the skin beyond its elastic limit and it has lost the ability to return to its normal shape. Sometimes the patient just suffers from stubborn fat deposits in the abdominal region that just won’t respond to diet and exercise. Regardless of the reason, one desires a tummy tuck, every patient is concerned with the recovery process. Let’s take a further look at the recovery from a tummy tuck.
An Overview of the Tummy Tuck Procedure
A Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure that reshapes the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and then tightens the underlying muscles. On average, the procedure takes between 2.5 and 4 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. The work is done through an incision from hip to hip just above the pubic hairline. Patients wear an abdominal binder for support for four to six weeks after the procedure and must limit their activities for the same period of time.
What Is The Recovery Like?
The recovery from a tummy tuck is generally six weeks long, however, recuperation depends on the age, health, weight, and type of tuck that each individual has. Most patients are asked to take 1-2 weeks off work if their work is not physically demanding. Others who have more physically demanding jobs may need to take up to 6 weeks off the job.
Strenuous activity will need to be avoided for four to six weeks and driving will be off-limits for a few weeks as well. With this in mind, it is important to keep moving (walking about) so that the blood will keep flowing to aid in the healing process.
After the surgery is completed there will be drains left at the surgical site for a few days. Patients will be shown how to care for their drains at home. Showering will be permitted after the drain has been removed, but patients are encouraged to take sponge baths as needed.
Patients will also wake from surgery with an abdominal binder on which will support the abdomen and help to reduce the build-up of fluids. It will be helpful to sleep on an incline with the upper body raised slightly and knees bent to reduce swelling. This abdominal binder must be worn for the entire six week recovery time to best help support the abdomen as it recovers.
While these are some of the things patients can expect during their recovery time, it is important to remember that every patient is different and recovers at their own unique pace. There is no set timeline for the recovery process to happen, but it is generally a six week period.
Take the Next Step
If you have been contemplating getting a tummy tuck and have more questions or are ready to get started, it’s time to take the next step in achieving a healthier and more confident you! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jamie Moenster at Dermatology & Plastic Surgery of Arizona by calling the Tucson office at 520-207-3100 or the Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787.