Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

Jun 12, 2021 | Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is a cosmetic procedure designed to recontour the abdominal area. It involves complex procedures such as eliminating excess fats and skin, and tightening of the muscles beneath. Recovery depends on how invasive your surgery was, your general anatomy, age, and your post-surgery care. Tummy tuck surgery is among the most performed surgeries across the world. Though this surgery is seen to grow in awareness, most people seem challenged about the recovery timeline. It is important to know that recovery times vary from one individual to the other. Dr. Rahul Vemula explains what to expect during tummy tuck recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

When you come out of surgery, your abdomen will be covered with a surgical dressing. You will be placed in a separate room where your surgeon would keenly monitor your progress as you awake from the anesthesia injection. Sometimes, you may find thin, small tubes placed around the incisions to drain any fluid that will accumulate around it. The surgeon would provide instructions on how to care for the incisions, and how to dress the wounds. Also, you would be instructed about the type of physical activities to engage in, and not to engage in. Since you won’t be able to drive yourself home, arrange earlier enough for your transport.

While at Home

Home is where you would be based more. It is important that you organize home assistance as early as before surgery. Have in mind that you’d be restricted from several activities such as bending, and heavy weight lifting, therefore a home assistant would be very useful. For the pain that comes after surgery, the surgeon would have prescribed pain killer medicines to help reduce it. Likewise, he would have prescribed antibiotics to help fight any infections that may cause infections to the wounds.

Home Care

Home care involves several factors. These include dressing, cleanliness, meals, rest, sleep, comfort, fun, exercises, and compression garments.

1. Dressing

The dressing code changes after surgery from tight, short outfits, to oversize, loose outfits. Examples of such clothes include pajamas, robes, and oversized shirts. The surgeon recommends these kinds of clothing as they are comfortable, and free. They should open from the front which makes them less troublesome to put on and to remove.

2. Cleanliness

A clean environment is considered safe and secure for all. It is free from bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause infections, and diseases. Your home should always be clean for it to be safe for you to stay. Remember that you have wounds which need to heal smoothly without any interference.

3. Meals

Food is very important to the body. It provides the body with energy to conduct daily activities, vitamins to fight infections, and diseases, as well as minerals that build the body, heal wounds, and repair scar tissues. After surgery, a person’s appetite is most likely to diminish which makes them become choosy on the kinds of food they would want to eat. Light, but healthy meals do the trick during such situations as they are easy to prepare with the least time possible, and are easy to eat as they are effortlessly digested.

4. Rest

After surgery, it is crucial that you have plenty of rest. Rest will help calm down the nerves, and ensure a smooth recovery process.

5. Sleep

A patient is advised to have a lot of sleep while she recovers. Sleep helps the body and the mind to relax. It also relieves stress which is discouraged while recovering. The surgeon tells patients who have undergone a tummy tuck surgery to avoid sleeping on their sides, or on their stomach at all cost. This will exert excess pressure to the abdominal region distorting the normal recovery progress.

6. Comfort

You should always be comfortable as you recover. Comfort is enhanced by several tools such as the pillows, a hand mirror, a push-walker, a toilet raiser, and many more. All these make work easier which reduces the effort needed to perform several activities within your home. They should be bought earlier enough before you go into surgery.

7. Fun

We can all agree that staying at home all day with no work to do can be really boring. This is why you need to prepare fun activities as early as you can. They include movies of your liking, music, books, novels, and magazines. While at it, you could switch up things by watching movies that you do not like to see if they can interest you, as well as read books that never seem to attract you. All these should keep you entertained as you recover.

8. Exercises

Exercising is healthy and beneficial to the human body. However, during the first few weeks after surgery, the surgeon discourages any form of exercising. These may negatively affect your recovery process hence causing several body complications. It is wise to wait until the time the surgeon will see it fit to start exercising.

9. Compression Garments

Compression garments are as of much importance as your prescribed medicines. They replace the surgical dressing that is normally kept at the operated areas. Compression garments help in recovery as they function to reduce the rate of bleeding, pain, scarring, and swelling. The right size for you will be determined by your surgeon.

Two Months after Surgery

At this time, you will likely experience slight swelling, and numbness at the abdominal area. The incisions will be fully healed, though there would be a remaining scar. The surgeon will have approved you for physical exercising, which means that you will slowly begin to resume normal activities.

One Year after Surgery

One year down the line should find you fully recovered and healed. The inflammation should have disappeared, as well the scars which may still be slightly visible. These scars can easily be covered by your underwear line.


At the end of it all, you should be enjoying the results of your surgery. These results must be maintained with a healthy diet and active lifestyle.