Naturally, every patient wants to bounce back quickly after tummy tuck and resume their normal day-to-day routine. But tummy tuck is a major operation that requires a few weeks of recovery. Rushing recovery and being active too soon after surgery can have serious consequences.
If you are planning tummy tuck, it is essential you understand what typically happens in the weeks following surgery and the activities you need to limit as your body heals. Read on as our Chicago tummy tuck surgeon, Dr. Rudy Coscia, explains what you can expect after tummy tuck.
It is common to experience discomfort, bruising and swelling for the first week after tummy tuck. Your abdomen will be covered with surgical dressings and you may be fitted in a special compression garment that helps minimize swelling and tissue healing. Dr. Coscia will prescribe pain medication to help reduce discomfort.
Expect to rest and relax for the majority of the week. Periodically you will need to get up and move around to keep your circulation flowing. But for the most part, you will spend time resting on the couch or in bed. Having entertainment options like audiobooks, podcasts or movies at the ready will help the time pass. Focus on getting lots of sleep, eating nutritious foods, properly hydrating and following Dr. Coscia’s incision care instructions.
During the second week of recovery, discomfort, bruising and swelling start to subside (although you will have to wait a bit longer for swelling to completely resolve). You should continue to rest and relax, although you may have enough energy to take short walks. Continue to follow Dr. Coscia’s incision care instructions.
You will probably feel good enough to cook and shop at this point. Some patients feel well enough to resume work in the second week of recovery, but this is highly individualized. You should not push yourself to return to work or any other activity until you feel ready. You should refrain from driving until you have stopped taking pain medication.
Week Three and Beyond
During weeks three and four of your tummy tuck recovery is when you will likely start to feel more like yourself again. Pain, bruising and swelling should significantly decrease and you may be able to discontinue wearing your compression garment. You may also resume light exercise, as long as you avoid strenuous activity. As you return to regular activities, continue to keep up scar management techniques recommended by Dr. Coscia and do not expose your healing scar to the sun.
Depending on how your abdomen heals, you can resume more vigorous exercise sometime after the four-week mark. Dr. Coscia will provide a more exact timeline based on his evaluations during follow-up appointments.
If you have additional questions about tummy tuck recovery, please call or email our practice today.