Once your procedure is completed,
dressing 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 to support your abdomen
as it heals. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed
under the skin to drain any excess blood that may collect.
Before you are released following surgery, you and an
accompanying family member, friend or caregiver will
be given specific instructions that may include:
to care for the surgical site and drains.
to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce
the potential for infection.
- Specific concerns to look for
at the surgical site or in your general health.
to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Initial healing will include swelling
and discomfort at the incision sites. Discomfort is common
and can be controlled with medication. You will be instructed
to return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize
the potential for blood clots and other complications.
You must avoid bending, straining or
lifting anything for several days. Your plastic surgeon
may also instruct you not to stand fully upright, to avoid
stressing any internal sutures as they heal, and to sleep
with pillows elevating your knees. To assure a successful
outcome, it is important that you follow all instructions
carefully. A return to light, normal activity is possible
as soon as you feel ready, usually within a few days of
Initial wound healing may take 5 to
10 days. Any sutures will be removed some time after that,
if necessary. You will be ready to return to work and normal
activity in a few weeks, so long as you do not engage in
heavy lifting or vigorous exercise.
Healing will continue for several weeks
as swelling dissipates and incision lines continue to improve.
You must practice diligent sun protection until the healing
process is fully complete. Continue to follow your plastic
surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
Results and Outlook
The results of a tummy tuck are visible
almost immediately, however it may take several months
for your final results to fully develop. Numbness and a
firm feeling over the skin's surface will resolve over
the following months. It may take a year or more for incision
lines to refine to some degree. Although they are permanent,
these scars are hidden by most clothing and swimsuits.
Your new profile with a firm and flat
abdomen is relatively permanent, so long as you maintain
your weight and general fitness. As your body ages you
may find that some firmness is lost in the abdomen. However,
this is minimal compared to the initial conditions that
were corrected to achieve your now toned abdomen.