There is a common misconception around plastic surgery that the process ends immediately once the procedure has been completed. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, what happens after surgery is critical when it comes to successfully healing from surgery and promoting the best long-term aesthetic results possible. This is why I felt that it was important to provide this guide for what patients can reasonably expect after undergoing tummy tuck surgery.

What to Expect After a Tummy TuckImmediately After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Although there are some exceptions, in most cases a tummy tuck is performed as an outpatient procedure. This means no hospital stay will be required and the patient is able to return home the day their surgery has been completed. It’s normal to experience some degree of soreness and discomfort immediately following a tummy tuck, but this will subside with rest and healing. I strongly recommend walking around the house during this time to help maintain healthy circulation. Patients who undergo a standard tummy tuck will have surgical drains placed in the incisions to help remove fluid after surgery; patients who undergo a drainless tummy tuck will not. We will discuss all the available tummy tuck options during the pre-surgery consultation.

In the Weeks Following Tummy Tuck Surgery

I have all my tummy tuck patients wear compression garments for up to six weeks after surgery. This will help limit swelling and aid in proper healing during the recovery period. Depending on the nature of the patient’s job, they may be able to return to work after two weeks of recovery. It can take longer if the patient’s job requires lifting or other more strenuous physical activity. I recommend taking it easy when moving around in the first month after a tummy tuck. Try to avoid quick movements like bending that can put a strain on the incision area, as this can potentially reopen the surgical incision. Some follow-up appointments with your board-certified plastic surgeon will be required to make sure that you are healing well and everything else pertaining to your tummy tuck is in order and moving in the right direction.

In the Years Following Tummy Tuck Surgery

Once the final results of a tummy tuck have been achieved, it’s important to be proactive and maintain them over the years. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking are all highly recommended.

The first step in every patient’s tummy tuck journey is the initial consultation appointment. During this consultation, we will discuss all of the available procedure options to determine the best surgical path for the patient’s unique needs and preferences. For more information on tummy tuck surgery or to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional plastic surgery tips, news, videos, and more.