Abdominoplasty, or more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported on the most common procedures in 2018 and found that tummy tucks were in the top five with 130,081 tummy tuck surgeries performed out of the 17.7 million total cosmetic procedures done in the country overall last year.
As a quick recap, a tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from a person’s midsection (the middle and lower abdomen) and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck can be a great way to reduce a protruding abdomen for patients who are good fits for the procedure.
In today’s post, Front Range Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery would like to provide you a closer look at the recovery process and what you need to know about your tummy tuck recovery. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any additional questions or to schedule your free consultation.
Why the Type of Tummy Tuck Matters
Several types of tummy tucks exist and it’s important to note that the kind of procedure you have can directly affect the recovery process. There are more involved tummy tucks, often called an “extended tummy tuck,” which is more extensive than a “mini” tuck, which focuses on just a specific, smaller area of the lower abdomen. With more extensive contouring, the longer it may take for your body to recover from the procedure as it may involve more of your abdominal area.
What to Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery
As with any surgical procedure, it is critical that you closely listen and follow the instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon in order for a successful and full recovery from a tummy tuck procedure. Be sure to ask questions and ensure you understand things fully.
Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon as we have here in Northern Colorado with Dr. Warren Schutte because they have met the stringent safety and training requirements and can offer advice and assistance throughout the healing process.
Immediately After Surgery
Rest is the most vital thing directly following your tummy tuck surgery. Closely follow the instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon and safely move about as instructed to maintain good health.
When You’re Home
Having assistance around the house is important when you return home following your tummy tuck surgery and you’ll take prescribed pain medications in most cases. Your mobility will be limited initially, so having a helping hand around makes your life smoother and safer.
Your plastic surgeon will provide instructions for post-surgery care and you should always follow them very closely and ensure you fully understand what’s expected of you. Make sure and wear any abdominal support or wrap and avoid drinking or smoking for at least three months after surgery.
Resuming Normal Life
Regular daily activities like driving, cooking or shopping are doable in the first couple of weeks after a tummy tuck surgery in most cases, but some people do opt to take time off of work following the procedure. If you follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and take care in your recovery process, your life will resume as normal with a better-looking abdomen.
As long as you take the proper care during the recovery process, your body will return to a fully-moveable state. Some people experience numbness or a pulling sensation for weeks afterward, but this is normal and fades with time. While there is some scarring, this can be greatly reduced by following your plastic surgeon’s instructions for care and remaining diligent with your recovery process.
Recovery Times Vary
Pinpointing a specific recovery timeline is extremely difficult due to the number of variables at play. Every person’s body reacts differently to surgical procedures, and therefore, you’ll want to consult with your plastic surgeon directly about a timeline as they’ll know more based on seeing you and evaluating the circumstances. Common factors include:
- Post-surgery care
- General health
Generally speaking, the typical recovery time following a tummy tuck is around eight weeks, but again, this could be longer or shorter depending on your individual factors. A great plastic surgeon will always communicate clearly on the recovery timeline.
Recovery Is a Process
Certainly recovering from any surgical procedure requires a level of work and commitment from you as a patient, but taking the time and care pays off huge dividends and leads to great results and a positive feeling of confidence in the end. Working closely with your plastic surgeon and team will make your recovery seamless. A tummy tuck can be an excellent way to achieve both your aesthetic and emotional goals, so take your recovery seriously.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!
We hope you found this post helpful, and as always, the best way to know what the tummy tuck recovery process looks like is to consult a trusted and board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Warren Schutte right here in Loveland. So contact us today to set up your free consultation!