Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

tummy tuck recovery tips
Medically reviewed by Dr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Like any cosmetic procedure, a tummy tuck comes with downtime that you will need to be prepared for. In addition to our tummy tuck survival guide, this article will provide you with a list of tips and tricks to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.

Keep Incision Sites Clean and Dry

For the first week after surgery, it is important to keep incision sites as clean and dry as possible. Getting the sites wet can cause the skin to soften, increasing the risk of wound breakdown and bleeding. 

In addition, ensuring the sites are sterile is important in reducing the risk of infection. Prior to leaving hospital, you will be given thorough aftercare instructions to clean the incision sites at home. You will also be booked in for a follow-up appointment within the first week, where your doctor will assess how your’re healing. 

Get Enough Sleep

Resting after a tummy tuck is essential to ensuring the body heals. Getting enough sleep, which is usually around 7-9 hours per night, promotes the natural healing process. You may also feel more tired as a side effect of the anaesthetics used during surgery, so make sure to listen to what your body needs and rest accordingly. 

Furthermore, if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort after your tummy tuck, be sure to take any prescribed or over-the-counter pain relief to ensure you are able to get enough rest.

Start Walking The Day After Surgery

Walking is a great form of gentle cardio to stimulate circulation and rebuild strength, promoting a smooth recovery. As such, your surgeon will recommend that you begin gentle walks from the day after surgery, starting slow at first. 

While walking, avoid excessive strain in the abdomen, and be sure to wear your compression garment to ensure the stitches are protected and remain intact. Once the wounds have completely healed, you can recommence more strenuous exercise, though this can take up to 12 weeks.

Stay Hydrated

Consuming enough water after a tummy tuck is essential in helping your body to perform its normal functions as well as promoting healing. Keeping hydrated is instrumental in preventing water retention and assisting proper lymphatic drainage. 

Overall, drinking enough water can help to reduce post-surgical swelling and make your recovery as comfortable as possible. 

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet ensures you get all the nutrients necessary to heal properly from your tummy tuck. You may only feel able to eat soft foods for the first few days to aid digestion. Ensure that you consume an adequate amount of fibre to prevent strain on the abdominal muscles. 

In the long term, eating a healthy diet will help you maintain a stable weight, which will enable you to get the most out of your tummy tuck. Speaking to a nutritionist can also be of benefit in designing a meal plan that works for you. 

Wear the Compression Garment

You will receive a compression garment to wear for the first 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. This helps to reduce any post-surgical swelling, protects the incision sites and further contours the abdomen. Overall, it can reduce the risk of wound breakdown and maximise the results of your surgery.

Use a Cold Compress for Swelling

Immediately after surgery, you will likely have some swelling in the abdomen area that will slowly dissipate over time. In the interim, using a cool compress can help both soothe the area and reduce inflammation. Make sure to wrap an ice pack in a small towel to prevent ice burns, and use as needed for your comfort.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Nicotine can cause complications and slow down the healing process. As such, you will be asked by your surgeon to cease smoking prior to surgery and for at least six weeks after your tummy tuck. 

Alcohol should also be avoided after surgery, particularly while you take any antibiotics or prescribed pain relief due to the dangerous interactions with such drugs. Alcohol can also cause dehydration and water retention, exacerbating any post-surgical swelling. 

Stay Positive

We understand that downtime isn’t ideal, but taking the time necessary for your body to completely heal is essential in getting the most out of your tummy tuck. Try to think about the final results and why you chose the procedure in the first place. Set small goals and focus on feeling better day by day.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you want to flatten and tone your tummy, an abdominoplasty may be right for you. At the CREO Clinic, our body contouring surgeon Dr Omar Tillo is a master in creating bespoke surgical solutions to your equally individualised needs. 

Contact us today to book a consultation and get on track to your dream physique.

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