Tummy tucks are a widely popular plastic surgery option that allows both men and women to have a slimmer appearance in the midsection area. Just like any other cosmetic surgery, it can be difficult to know your post-surgical limitations and how long the healing process will take.
Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Forrest Wall, makes it easy by providing a set of detailed tummy tuck recovery tips for after your tummy tuck surgery in Shreveport, LA.
Tummy tuck surgery is both a proven and safe way to remove excess skin and fat from your abdominal region. But, this plastic surgery option does come with some recovery time.
Because each patient’s tummy tuck recovery is different and specific to their own body, we encourage you to get a consultation at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. Our staff can show you a variety of tummy tuck before and after photos, so that you’ll better know what to expect following the tummy tuck procedure.
How Does a Tummy Tuck Work?
During a tummy tuck procedure, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Forrest Wall, makes a thin, horizontal incision between the belly button and the pubic area. From here, he removes the excess fat and excess fluid through the incision site. The underlying tissue is also tightened in order to create a slimmer appearance.
Depending on the extent of your surgical procedure (how much excess skin and fat is removed) and your personal goals for tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Wall may reposition your belly button, as well.
Tummy tuck patients can expect the surgery to take around 3 hours for a regular tummy tuck procedure and less time for a mini tummy tuck in Shreveport.
Daily Maintenance After a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Wall will show you how to properly care for your incision and drainage tubes. Most patients are given pain medications, antibiotics, and anticoagulants to take for a certain length of time. They are also provided with topical creams to apply around the incision line.
In order to avoid poor wound healing, patients should follow instructions and take the medications as directed.
Patients will also receive an abdominal binder or support wrap that should help manage swelling and discomfort, as well as protect the surgical dressing. So, it’s also important to wear the abdominal binder as instructed.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can inhibit your tummy tuck recovery, so patients are advised to avoid these for at least three months, following the procedure.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline
The Day After a Tummy Tuck
You will be in pain immediately following the tummy tuck procedure. But we’ll provide pain medications to help ease your pain and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling.
For patients who didn’t opt for a Shreveport drain-free tummy tuck, we’ll provide drainage tubes and a compression garment to collect any excess fluid buildup, reduce swelling, and speed up your tummy tuck recovery process.
Patients will need a close friend or family member who can help with daily activities and provide a comfortable resting place after their tummy tuck surgery.
One Week After a Tummy Tuck
Most patients will continue to feel sore during the first week of tummy tuck recovery. We encourage our patients to start walking around as soon as they’re comfortable, as this can speed up recovery time and reduce the chance of developing blood clots.
You’ll want to avoid vigorous exercise and avoid exercise that creates a pulling sensation until you’re at a full recovery. Patients are advised to drink plenty of water and continue taking any pain medication, as needed, during the recovery period.
You’ll likely have difficulty bending, lifting, or standing up for extended periods of time, so you will need someone to help you around the house, as this can make the recovery process much easier. (We’re looking at you, moms!)
During the first week of tummy tuck recovery, patients should adhere to the following guidelines, as well as their surgeon’s instructions:
- Don’t wear any undergarments or clothes that put pressure on the lower abdominal muscles.
- Be gentle with the incision site: including the incision and drainage tubes.
- Use a cool compress to reduce inflammation and help with discomfort.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
Following these simple tummy tuck guide instructions can help speed up your recovery time and can reduce the appearance of your tummy tuck scar.
Six Weeks After a Tummy Tuck
It takes anywhere from four to six weeks for your body to completely heal from a tummy tuck. Swelling may last for several weeks, but most of our patients are fully recovered in as little as one month, up to three months.
After about six weeks, after you’ve been cleared by your healthcare provider, you should resume your regular exercise routine and normal activities.
We encourage patients to attend follow-up care appointments so that our wellness professionals can monitor progress and discuss any concerns.
Plastic Surgery Recover Times Will Vary
While we hope that our tummy tuck guide to recovery helps, it’s important to know that even the best plastic surgeons can’t provide you with a specific time of recovery for any major surgery. We can provide you with a general time frame, but individual tummy tuck recoveries are based on a variety of factors.
Some of these factors include:
- patient age
- the general health of the patient
- type of tummy tuck (extended tummy tuck vs. mini tummy tuck vs. fleur de lis tummy tuck)
- post-surgery care
After your outpatient procedure, once you wake up from general anesthesia, either our plastic surgeon or an experienced healthcare professional on our staff will discuss a more specific timeline for your tummy tuck recovery. But, in general, most of our patients begin to feel normal and maintain a stable weight around the 6-8 week mark.
Why Does the Type of Tummy Tuck Matter for Recovery Timelines?
At The Plastic Surgery Center in Shreveport, our board-certified plastic surgeon performs several types of tummy tuck operations. Patients can choose from getting a full or more involved tummy tuck, called an extended tummy tuck, which can lead to significant weight loss. Or, they can get a mini tummy tuck, which focuses primarily on removing the fatty tissue in a small area in the lower abdomen.
The more extensive the abdominal contouring is around the abdominal wall, the longer it will take your abdominal area to recover.
Recovery Time After a Tummy Tuck Surgery in Shreveport
Recovery after a tummy tuck procedure can feel like an eternity. However, all of our patients at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shreveport say that the tummy tuck results are well worth it!
If you want to enjoy the slimmer, more contoured body that you’ve always dreamed of, call for an initial consultation with one of the best plastic surgeons in the U.S., Dr. Forrest Wall. During your consultation, Dr. Wall will review what is involved in the tummy tuck procedure, how tummy tuck recovery works, and how to achieve the tummy tuck results that you want.