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Abs After Tummy Tuck

Abs after tummy tuck

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

A tummy tuck can have many hugely beneficial effects on your quality of life, but its aesthetic benefits may be just as valuable. Patients often wish to have tighter, more sculpted abs after such a surgery, but it’s important to be clear on what a tummy tuck can offer before deciding to undergo one. 

Does a Tummy Tuck Give You Abs?

A tummy tuck – or abdominoplasty – can offer a dramatic restoration of your abdomen after rapid weight loss, menopause, or pregnancy have taken their toll.

While it may not give you an instant ‘six-pack’, if you’re looking to flatten and firm up your midsection, a tummy tuck is an extremely effective approach. 

Tummy Tuck Procedures

There are several types of tummy tucks, each with varying degrees of invasiveness. Many people will choose between a full or mini tummy tuck, or, if a more extensive procedure is required, an extended abdominoplasty, or a Fleur de Lis abdominoplasty may be necessary.

A tummy tuck trims away sagging skin and tones up the area by repairing the abdominal muscles. The result is a firmer, more contoured abdomen that improves the overall aesthetic of your torso.

Can You Get Abs After a Tummy Tuck?

Abs are created through strong abdominal muscles and a thin layer of fat between those muscles and the skin. 

By bringing together the abdominal muscles, flattening the stomach, and reducing the existing layer of fat, your surgeon can help provide the basis on which to build contoured abs.

A tummy tuck can also be combined with liposuction in a procedure called ‘lipoabdominoplasty’. This can help to remove fat deposits that are difficult to lose through calorie-deficit weight loss.

However, much of the work for creating and maintaining the desired ‘six-pack’ appearance comes in the months after the surgery, by following a healthy diet and engaging in regular, targeted exercise. 

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Patients may be able to return to work after 1-2 weeks, but full recovery from tummy tuck surgery generally takes a minimum of 12 weeks.

You may experience some discomfort and swelling after your tummy tuck, but an experienced surgeon will provide you with comprehensive instructions for managing this aspect of your recovery.

When Can You Exercise After a Tummy Tuck?

In general, it should be possible to begin some light exercise after 3–4 weeks of your recovery, but more strenuous activities should be delayed until after the 12-week mark. 

It is vital to be patient with the healing process, as exercising too early after your tummy tuck could put strain on the incision sites, leading to wound breakdown that could jeopardise the final result

Initially, exercise should consist of slow walking to promote circulation. This light walking will also encourage lymphatic drainage, which, when combined with lymphatic drainage massage, can help reduce post-surgical swelling.

Tips for Exercising After a Tummy Tuck

To achieve taut, washboard abs after your tummy tuck, regular exercise will be of the utmost importance. However, a degree of moderation is required, as rushing too quickly into too heavy a routine could be detrimental to the process of recovery.

Here are some tips for finding the right balance for your postoperative exercise regime:

Take it Slow

You should start walking around as soon as possible after your tummy tuck to promote circulation and healing, taking it slow at first to avoid strain on the incision sites.

After an initial 3-4 week recovery period, you can start to push your body with a little light exercise. You should begin slowly and build up tempo as appropriate.

Target the Area

After the 12-week recovery period has been completed, patients are able to concentrate their efforts on building their abdominal muscles to create their favoured aesthetic.

Taking care to respond to your body’s limits is still crucial even after the recovery period is complete, but squats, crunches, and sit-ups are all good ways to tone up your core. Honing in on your abs with varied but targeted exercise is a great way to form a tight, muscular stomach.

Focus on Cardio

Once you are able to begin a small amount of exercise, you’ll be advised to begin walking in order to encourage blood circulation; better circulation will mean better healing, and gentle walks can be taken without putting any unnecessary stress on the abdomen.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Keeping trim and muscular post-tummy tuck requires a healthy diet both before and after the surgery. Lean proteins such as pulses and fish can be combined with fresh vegetables and fruit to provide the maximum amount of nutrition without causing any weight gain, which may affect the results of your surgery.

If you find it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, you may benefit from a dietician to help maintain your weight to help you get the most out of your tummy tuck.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

Should you be interested in breast reduction surgery, book a consultation with Dr Omar Tillo, the CREO Clinic’s double board-certified surgeon.

As a specialist in tummy tuck procedures, Dr.Tillo will use his vast experience to create a tailor-made treatment plan designed to help you achieve the natural-looking results you deserve.

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