A tummy tuck recovery should be considered as a journey that starts right after the procedure and consists of stages. In that sense, we are set to find out more about it and how long is a tummy tuck recovery.
According to a 2017 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the surgery is designed to make the tummy flat and firm with youthful contours and is one of the top 5 in the United States with 129,000 performed that year, a 2%increase compared to 2016.
In the same report, the notable gains not among the top 5 figured buttock augmentation, fat grafting (+10%), and breast reduction (+11%), which are usually part of a tummy tuck procedure in what is known as a mommy makeover.
It is important to consider the recovery time for such type of invasive surgery that depends on body weight, overall health, and even age. Thus, a proper healing following a certified plastic surgeon should be the primary goal of a patient.
According to the 2017 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), during your recovery, “dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.”
Also, a set of instructions for at home care that includes when to follow up with your plastic surgeon, medications, and how to care for surgical site and drains.
How long is a tummy tuck recovery
A tummy tuck recovery is divided into 4 stages that start immediately following the procedure – with a significant improvement after six months – and up to two years.
It is beneficial for you to understand the abdominoplasty process for the success of the surgery. If followed, it can also provide you with confidence in the decision and empower you to play an active role for the best possible results and long-term achievements.
According to Dr. Joel B. Beck, and MD from California, on a RealSelf Q&A, these 4 stages carry the following details.
Stage 1 – Right after surgery and up to two weeks. Drains are in place and you are monitored for possible complications like bleeding, infection, skin loss, and others.
You should be prepared to experience:
- Moderate pain
- Limited strength and mobility.
The first week is often the toughest, in all honesty.
You are required to stay one-three nights in the hospital and may not be able to fully stand up straight as your skin and muscles need to adjust to their new shape.
“It is normal to feel tight but it is important that you take short walks to promote blood circulation. Sitting in a chair and lying in bed with two pillows under your knees are comfortable. Any lifting, bending or straining can cause discomfort or bleeding hence, should be avoided,” blogged Dr. Naveen Somia.
After a tummy tuck, it is recommended to:
- Take vitamin A and vitamin C supplements.
- Drink green tea to boost immunity and antioxidant levels, and ginger tea to relieve nausea.
- Reduce bloating and inflammation by adding onions, good oils, fish, nuts, and fruits like apples, pineapples, and blueberries.
- Arnica may help reducing swelling, bruising, and pain.
- InflammEnz supplement is proven by a study published on WebMD to heal the incision 17% faster, as it contains Vitamin C, Bromelain, Rutin, and grape seed extract.
Stage 2 – Two weeks post-op to 6 weeks after surgery. On the lookout for possible fluid collections, also known as a seroma.
By your 3rd of the 4th week, pain, swelling, and bruising should be reduced notably and you will probably be advised to stop wearing the compression garment, also known as faja.
Stage 3 – Beyond 6 weeks to 6 months where the incision is healing, the tummy feels more like your own rather than numb, and your energy increases back to normal.
By the 6th month, you should have gone back to most all activities like exercising, dieting, driving, dancing.
Stage 4 – After 6 months and with a regained energy, it is the time for you to move forward past the surgery. Be patient about the incision as it may take a total of two years to heal and lighten up.
“It is not uncommon to experience some numbness in the months following a tummy tuck. This can sometimes take up to two years to fade, and is associated with occasional twinges of abdominal pain,” explained Dr. Leila Kasrai, a Toronto plastic surgeon.
The results depend on how you take care of yourself and the discipline to restraint from past habits in your diet and lifestyle. If your weight changes, the waistline, and skin follow along. It is best to have a tummy tuck after dropping the weight you set a goal in mind.
On that sense, maintaining a stable weight plays on your favor for long-term results.
Watch this testimonial from a blogger name Lindsey, “a Christian, a mom, a wife, and woman on a journey to be healthy inside and out,” as noted on her Youtube Channel, who describes her experience at the 3rd-week mark.