Downtime after an abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck”, is mandatory for optimal recovery. Over a period of about 6 to 8 weeks, the bruise and tissue fluid in the wound will gradually be replaced by scar or fibrous tissue, and the incision will reach a maturation phase following the initial first few weeks of high energy healing. This phase can last between 6 to 12 months, but patients are typically able to return to work within 1 to 2 weeks.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Once your tummy tuck has been completed, dressing or bandages will be applied to all incisions. To minimize swelling as well as support the abdomen, patients may also be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment.
Patients may also temporarily have a small, thin tube placed under the skin so excess blood or fluid can be drained to decrease swelling. The incision is closed with precisely placed sutures until the healing area is strong again.
The Night of the Procedure
To remain comfortable the evening of your surgery, you will be given pain medication to be taken with a small amount of food immediately after arriving home.
- Be sure to make yourself comfortable. Sit on a favorite couch or chair and use pain medication as directed.
- You may use cold compresses intermittently for the first 48 hours to minimize any swelling or discomfort.
- The night of your surgery, do not attempt to eat any heavy foods. Light foods or liquids are permissible.
- If you are nauseous the evening of the surgery, only drink small amounts of liquid and wait until the morning before consuming any food.
3 weeks following your surgery, you are able to return to light exercise, which includes low impact activities performed at 1/3 of the normal duration, repetitions, pulse rate, and amount of weight. At 6 weeks, you can gradually increase your exercise to 2/3 intensity. At 8 weeks, you should be able to be back at full intensity.
Our Three Phase Healing Program
To make sure that the healing process goes smoothly, we have developed a three phase healing program that uses nutritional supplements for a more rapid recovery with less downtime. The process involves:
- Removing anything from your diet that could increase bleeding or interfere with anesthesia.
- Taking nutrients after the surgery that will minimize inflammation and pain as well as detoxify the anesthesia or other medications you have taken.
- Adding healing nutrients that promote a quick and optimal recovery.
Contact Boulder Plastic Surgery For More Information
If you are interested in finding out more about abdominoplasty, set up a consultation at Boulder Plastic Surgery by calling (303) 578-4193. Dr. Kuisle and Dr. Hartley will be happy to discuss the procedure and recovery process with you.