Tips for a Successful Tummy Tuck Recovery

Woman in bed wearing socks with a book and coffee.If you are considering a tummy tuck, it is important to know what to expect during the recovery stage. Dr. Roger J. Oldham believes in empowering his patients with information, so that you can be completely prepared for surgery. As part of your initial consultation, Dr. Oldham will explain what to expect during recovery, including side effects, when to resume work and other activities, and managing pain. To learn more about tummy tuck recovery, schedule a consultation at our Bethesda, MD, practice today.

Side Effects

During a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), the stomach muscles and other tissues are tightened, and excess tissue is removed to create a more toned midsection. After surgery, you can expect some side effects, including:

Swelling: You can control swelling by using compression garments, and by staying hydrated. It is normal for noticeable swelling to persist for several weeks. As the swelling subsides, your surgery results will become more apparent. Some residual swelling may persist for four to six months after surgery.

Discomfort: As with any surgical procedure, a tummy tuck may cause mild to moderate levels of pain. Patients should expect to feel sore in the abdominal area, and the incisions may feel tight and itchy. Pain may be mild enough to control with over-the-counter medications approved by Dr. Oldham. For patients with more severe discomfort, Dr. Oldham may prescribe pain medication.

Bruising: Bruising may appear at the treatment site, and will vary from patient to patient. The degree of bruising will depend on the extent of the surgery and how easily you bruise. In most cases, bruising will last about one week.

Recovery Tips

To ensure that your tummy tuck recovery is free of complications, it is important to follow Dr. Oldham’s post-surgical care instructions. In general, tummy tuck patients should plan to:

Rest and relax: You should rest the first few days after surgery but it is important to walk a short distance several times a day to minimize blood clots in the legs. Typically, you may not be able to stand up completely straight for a couple of weeks because of a feeling of tightness. Light walks are important in helping the body heal, and in reducing the risk of blood clots. It is important to avoid movements that place strain on your incisions as they heal, which takes at least two weeks.

Ease slowly back into activities: After the incisions have healed, you can generally resume light activities. Depending on the type of work you perform, you may return to your job about two weeks after surgery. Patients with desk jobs will be able to return to work sooner than patients with more physically demanding jobs. Exercise or other vigorous activity may typically be resumed six weeks after surgery.

Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet: Drinking plenty of fluids can help reduce swelling, and will help keep your body healthy. Proper nutrition, including a diet high in vitamins and minerals, is also very important to a successful tummy tuck recovery.

Contact Us Today

Dr. Oldham is widely recognized as one of the foremost plastic surgeons in the Washington, D.C. area. He combines state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery techniques with exceptional artistic talents to provide high-quality, individualized patient care. To learn more about what is involved in the recovery process of tummy tuck surgery, schedule your consultation today.

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