Tummy Tuck Aftercare
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is a cosmetic procedure performed to tighten the skin and remove fat from the stomach. This procedure is not a weight loss solution, but it can be the answer for patients who have loose skin and/or damaged abdominal muscles as a result of weight fluctuations or pregnancy. Many patients are eager to benefit from the results of tummy tuck surgery, but when patients come to Chevy Chase cosmetic surgeon Hadi Rassael to discuss this procedure, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “What can I expect from the recovery?” The recovery from a tummy tuck is one of the more lengthy cosmetic surgery recoveries, however, by knowing what to expect and by being prepared, our Chevy Chase patients can ensure an uncomplicated tummy tuck recovery.
What to Expect from Recovery
Dr. Rassael generally performs tummy tuck surgery as an outpatient procedure, meaning patients will return home the day of the surgery. However, upon returning home, patients should expect to rest and recover. A responsible adult will need to be present to escort the patient home and should plan to be around to help with recovery for the first week following surgery. Some of the symptoms that a patient is likely to experience is the first week of surgery include:
- Discomfort:Within the first week, patients are likely to experience moderate to severe pain. This pain can be controlled with pain medication that will be prescribed by Dr. Rassael.
- Swelling:There will be swelling around the abdomen as a result of surgery. Patients will return home in compression garments that will ease this swelling.
- Bruising:Bruising is another common side effect of surgery and should resolve on its own within the first week of recovery.
Dr. Rassael will place drains to keep any fluids away from the incision site. These are typically removed a week after surgery. If sutures are present, these will also likely be removed a week or two after surgery.
Within a week after surgery patients are generally able to return to light activities but they should plan to have two weeks of recovery before returning to work. Patients should also keep in mind that strenuous activities should be avoided for at least four to six weeks and the compression garment should be worn for six weeks after surgery as well.
As the swelling from the surgery subsides, the results of tummy tuck surgery will become more noticeable. Most patients report that they notice the full results of tummy tuck within six months after surgery.
Tips for a Smooth Recovery
For our patients in Chevy Chase, tummy tuck recovery can be a smooth process if patients follow all of Dr. Rassael’s post operative care instructions. In addition, these are tips to help patients through the tummy tuck process:
- Give yourself plenty of time to rest; do not rush your recovery
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Reduce sodium intake
- Gently massage the abdomen to stimulate blood flow
- Use cold compresses to ease pain, bruising, and swelling
Schedule a Consultation
A waistline that has not responded to diet or exercise may benefit from the smoothing and contouring that can be achieved with a tummy tuck. To learn more about this procedure and recovery, schedule a consultation with Chevy Chase cosmetic surgeon Hadi Rassael.