If you have been battling stubborn fat in your midsection for years, a tummy tuck is an effective way to eliminate stubborn fat deposits. This procedure can also help men and women tighten loose tummy skin and repair weakened abdominal muscles to achieve a taut and sculpted midsection.
A tummy tuck can be a complicated procedure, and this complexity makes some people anxious about the recovery process. What is recovery like? How long is tummy tuck recovery, and when will you see your results? Our London, KY, team answers these questions, explaining what you can expect week by week after the procedure.
You will feel sore and tight after your surgery, and you won’t be able to stand fully upright at first. So the first week after your tummy tuck procedure will be a time for rest and carefully following your plastic surgeon’s instructions.
While resting is important and walking stooped over is challenging, it’s essential to begin moving around (gently!) as soon as you are able. This movement helps prevents blood clots and promotes healing. Restricted activities during this time include heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, driving, or smoking.
Your plastic surgeon will advise you on caring for your incisions and provide you with compression garments to minimize swelling. Read more about how to care for yourself after a tummy tuck from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Weeks 3 To 4
You should be finding it easier to move around the house and may no longer need to wear compression garments. Your plastic surgeon will clear you to resume activities such as walking, and you may be able to return to work at this time. While you may be impatient to ditch your compression garments, some men and women continue to wear them longer for additional support.
Weeks 6 To 8
At this point in your recovery, you are on your way to being completely healed. You may be ready to resume strenuous exercise with your plastic surgeon’s approval. You will see your slim, sculpted midsection start to emerge and can begin experimenting with fun, fitted clothing.
Make sure to follow a healthy and balanced diet to maintain and optimize your tummy tuck results. Proper nutrition and exercise can also speed up the final healing process after your tummy tuck.
Month 6 To 1 Year
You are ready to show off your new, flat midsection! At this point, you should be almost completely healed with minimal swelling. Your tummy tuck scars should have faded to a pale color and will keep improving with time. Your plastic surgeon may recommend that you keep using a scar treatment after the 6-month mark.
While you may be excited to get to this final stage and enjoy your new tummy, it’s important to remember that tummy tuck recovery is not one-size-fits-all. Being patient and having realistic expectations will help you through this sometimes-uncertain recovery period.
Here are some additional questions you may have regarding the procedure.
What Is the Best Age for a Tummy Tuck?
Many people wonder if they’re too old for a tummy tuck or if their age will make recovery more difficult. The good news is that, as long as you’re healthy, any age is the right age for a tummy tuck! While most men and women who get tummy tucks are in their late 30s and early 40s, a tummy tuck is suitable for anyone who wants to improve loose abdominal skin and weakened muscles.
Age can somewhat affect tummy tuck recovery because younger people generally heal more quickly than older adults. However, patients in their 50s and 60s who are in good health and near their ideal body weight do recover from the procedure and enjoy excellent results.
Can I Combine a Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?
You can often combine your tummy tuck procedure with other surgeries, but keep in mind that adding other surgeries may affect your recovery process.
Your surgeon may recommend pairing your tummy tuck with liposuction for optimal body contouring. Many women also combine tummy tuck surgery and liposuction with breast augmentation, a breast lift, or breast reduction in a mommy makeover. You can read about the benefits of this combination in our related blog post.
You should discuss combining procedures with your plastic surgeon to see if you are a good candidate.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The cost of a tummy tuck depends on the issues you wish to improve in your midsection. A mini tummy tuck, for example, usually costs less than a full tummy tuck. Your plastic surgeon can give you a better idea of the cost after your consultation.
Deciding on a tummy tuck procedure is a big decision, and you will have to consider factors such as safety, cost, and recovery. At Commonwealth Plastic Surgery, we help men and women through their tummy tuck journey, as seen in this before and after gallery. If you are ready for a flat, sculpted midsection, request a consultation or call us at (859) 277-9435 to schedule an appointment.