Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure that many patients turn to in order to regain a flatter, more toned abdomen.
Like with any surgical procedure, the recovery process following a tummy tuck can be a source of concern for many patients. For example, patients can expect to feel abdominal tightness for 6-12 weeks following their tummy tuck procedure. However, with the right information and advice, these feelings of anxiety can quickly be alleviated.
This article will explore the common causes of abdominal tightness following a tummy tuck procedure, including all the information you need to know about how long this tightness lasts and how best to treat it.
If you’re interested in tummy tuck surgery in London, our head surgeon at the CREO Clinic, Dr Omar Tillo, has years of experience in conducting all types of tummy tucks. As one of the most skilled surgeons in the UK, he will be able to contour your tummy while creating natural-looking results. Contact us for more information.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Overview
A tummy tuck is a bespoke treatment that uses different surgical techniques and levels of invasiveness according to each patient’s individual requirements. As a result, the surgeon will need to vary their approach depending on the condition of the abdominal muscles and the extent and direction of skin laxity.
A standard tummy tuck involves incisions being made along the bikini line and around the navel (belly button). Excess skin is then removed from the lower abdomen and any muscle separation is repaired. The remaining tightened skin is draped back over the abdomen, while the navel (in some cases) is repositioned for a natural-looking tummy.
Other popular types of abdominoplasty include the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck, hourglass tummy tuck, and mini tummy tuck.
Timeline for Tummy Tuck Recovery
Post tummy tuck surgery, most patients are able to resume their daily activities, including returning to work, after two weeks, while light exercise can be resumed after 3-4 weeks.
During this initial recovery time, patients are advised to avoid any unnecessary strain on the incisions to prevent damage to the stitches from their tummy tuck, while post-surgical swelling, tightness and discomfort should gradually dissipate. A compression garment also needs to be worn for the first six weeks after surgery.
It usually takes 12 weeks for patients to make a full recovery following a tummy tuck. By this point, all activities, including strenuous exercise, can be resumed, with the incision sites completely healed.
Overall, it can take between 6-12 months for swelling to completely dissipate and for the final results of your tummy tuck procedure to become apparent.
What Causes Tightness Following A Tummy Tuck?
It is normal to experience abdominal tightness after tummy tuck surgery. This tightness is often caused by the muscle being sutured in an attempt to repair diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles).
Patients can also experience abdominal tightness as a result of the loose skin being removed and the remaining skin being stitched back together.
Although this tightness may seem alarming, it is a natural part of the healing process and will gradually dissipate after 6-12 weeks during the recovery process.
Is There a Treatment to Ease Tightness After A Tummy Tuck?
The tightness experienced after a tummy tuck is not permanent, so with time and patience these sensations should gradually fade. However, if you wish to ease your abdominal tightness, there are treatments you can try such as lymphatic drainage massage.
This method can increase blood circulation, as well as prompting lymphatic drainage for natural detoxification. Furthermore, the physical contact will also help to stimulate the nervous system, making you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
General Tummy Tuck Recovery Facts to Keep in Mind
To help make your recovery as comfortable and stress-free as possible, it can be useful to keep some tummy tuck recovery tips in mind:
- Keep the incision sites dry and clean – this helps to prevent wound breakdown and infection; both of which can delay healing
- Wear your compression garment – this is key to reducing swelling and keeping your results in place
- Keep your body moving – start walking slowly as soon as possible after the procedure to promote circulation and healing
- Eat well – a healthy balanced diet is an essential component in maintaining a healthy weight and getting the most out of your newly-toned tummy
- Stay hydrated – drinking plenty of liquids can help to prevent water retention, assist lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling
- Get plenty of rest – sleeping for at least 7-8 hours a night after the procedure is essential in giving your body time to heal
- Avoid smoking and alcohol – nicotine and alcohol can cause complications for your recovery, so it’s best to avoid both for at least six weeks after surgery
Schedule A Tummy Tuck Consultation With CREO Clinic
To find out more information on tummy tuck surgery and address any concerns you may have, contact the CREO Clinic today to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with Dr. Tillo.
With years of experience performing all types of tummy tuck procedures in London, Dr. Tillo will be able to design a bespoke treatment plan according to your specific needs.