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What is the Recovery Process After Your Tummy Tuck?

For many women, abdominoplasty helps them regain a beautiful, feminine figure. While the treatment itself is critical, recovery makes up an essential part of the overall process. If you don’t recover correctly or safely, you may not enjoy the full potential of your treatment.

When you have an abdominoplasty completed by our San Diego plastic surgeon, this is the process you can expect for recovery:

Immediately After Surgery

Once the procedure is over, you’ll spend a few hours in the postoperative suite as we monitor your vitals. We’ll keep an eye out for blood clotting and other common side effects that may compromise the healing process.

You’ll be discharged in the care of a friend or family member and sent home with a set of post-procedure instructions. In the first 24 hours after surgery, you may get a few phone calls from our staff checking in, and we’ll provide an on-call number for you to reach our team or Dr. Sayed in case of emergency.

Having someone to help you maneuver around your home the first few days following your abdominoplasty is especially important. The pain medication you’ll receive can make you dizzy, which makes basic tasks more difficult than usual. Having an extra pair of helping hands will ensure you can concentrate on rest and recovery.

1 Week after Surgery

The first weeks after surgery are the most challenging. Patients often find that they are slightly stooped and that their skin feels tight. While we don’t recommend strenuous physical activity, Dr. Sayed strongly suggests walking around your home a little bit every day, starting the day you return home. This light activity helps stimulate circulation and eases the soreness that often accompanies this treatment. Beyond walking around your home, we strongly recommend patients take at least two weeks off from work and put their social calendars on hold for the first month after treatment.

As with any surgery, patients may experience physical discomforts, such as abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, and back discomfort. These side effects are completely normal, and our plastic surgeon can provide you and your caregiver with suggestions for alleviating your discomfort without compromising your recovery.

About a week following your appointment, you’ll visit our San Diego or Newport Beach offices for a follow-up appointment. During this visit, we’ll check on the incision site and remove any stitches that have not yet dissolved.  We may take out the surgical drains at this time as well, depending on how the healing progresses.

Post-Abdominoplasty Four Weeks and Beyond

Between weeks four and six in your recovery process, you’ll start to notice post-surgical bruising and swelling begin to subside. To continue healing safely, you’ll keep wearing a compression garment around the treated area. This helps the newly positioned abdominal tissues adapt to their contours while controlling swelling. Although you may still experience some discomfort, sudden pains will become less frequent.

Depending on how you’re healing, Dr. Sayed may give you the go-ahead to resume an exercise plan. However, we recommend taking it slow to protect a healing abdomen and muscles that haven’t been stretched strenuously for several months.  Walks and light cardio are great ways to get back into an exercise routine as your body continues to adjust to its new figure.

Successful Recovery is Unique

Every patient has a unique abdominoplasty experience. While some heal entirely within three to four months, others may take longer. As a result, our San Diego plastic surgeon takes great care to create individualized treatment and recovery plans for every patient. Doing so allows Dr. Sayed not only to provide excellent care but also ensure that our patients enjoy the results of abdominoplasty for years to come. To learn more about this procedure, contact our locations in San Diego or Newport Beach today and schedule a consultation.