After undergoing a full abdominoplasty, you’re admitted to our post-operative care facility for two nights. Thereafter, your recovery can last up to two weeks. Bruising and swelling can sometimes only subsides after several months, when you will see the full result of the surgery.
It’s vital to know that abdominoplasty is a slow-healing procedure as it is invasive and your body needs time to fully recover. While the drains are still inserted, you’ll require a lot of bed rest, with limited walking. And, during your stay in post operative care, the nursing staff give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings when you’re back home.
At first, after your tummy tuck, standing up straight may prove to be difficult, and this is completely normal. But, it’s important for you to start walking around as soon as possible to avoid the formation of blood clots.
After certain periods of time, you can expect to reach the following milestones in your recovery:
- 3-5 days – The dressings and drainage pipes are removed and you’re required to wear a soft support garment. You’ll need to wear this constantly over a layer of surgical tape for a period of 4-6 weeks.
- 11 days – After the first 10 days have passed, your stitches will be removed.
It may take several weeks, or even months, for you to feel like you’re in peak physical condition again. However, if your abdominal muscles are strong, your recovery after your tummy tuck will move along much faster. You may even be able to return to work after two weeks. But, in some cases, it can take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate before you can resume normal activity. It’s important to keep this in mind.
I recommend light exercise as a way in which you can speed up the recovery process. Even people who have never exercised before should begin a programme to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably. Be sure to treat your body gently, and inform your personal trainer that you’re recovering from surgery.
For detailed information on what you can expect during your recovery, as well as what you can do to ensure everything goes smoothly, follow my general recovery guide.