Tummy Tuck Archives | La Jolla, San Diego | Tim Sayed, MD, FACS
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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.

 

Consultation to Poolside: A Tummy Tuck Timeline

Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is one of the most popular procedures chosen by men and women every year. With its ability to sculpt and contour the abdomen, this transformative surgery is especially popular for those who want to get a tight, toned tummy just in time for summer.

When considering tummy tuck surgery, it’s important to know what to expect so you can plan accordingly. This helpful guide discusses everything you’ll need to know about the entire process – from your initial consultation to flaunting your new shape at the poolside.

Tummy Tuck Timeline: Your Personal Guide

Week 1: Consultation

Scheduling a consultation will be your first step. This meeting will allow you to have any questions or concerns addressed in detail by a plastic surgeon. Your candidacy for the procedure will be evaluated, and the surgeon will let you know which surgical approach would best meet your goals. Patients seeking this procedure typically have the following cosmetic concerns:

  • Sagging abdominal skin
  • Stubborn abdominal fat that does not respond to diet or exercise
  • Over-stretched abdominal muscles, usually caused by pregnancy

If you decide to take the next step, you will be provided with a customized treatment plan. The surgery is typically scheduled out 2-3 weeks from your consultation, but this can vary.

Week 3-4: Prep and Surgery

Before your surgery date, you may be required to undergo routine lab tests or obtain a medical evaluation. You might also have some pre-operative guidelines to follow, including minor dietary adjustments and taking or avoiding certain medications.

On the day of surgery, you can expect the procedure to take around 2-3 hours to complete, but this all depends on the extent of treatment needed. Some patients may only require 90 minutes, while others may need up to 4 hours to complete the procedure.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision along the lower abdomen. The length of the incision will vary depending on your cosmetic goals and the amount of excess tissue present. Excess tissue will then be removed, and the abdominal wall and muscles will be tightened. Sometimes the procedure is also performed with liposuction to produce an ideally sculpted look.

Week 5-6: Beginning of Recovery

In the beginning of the recovery period, it’s common for patients to experience abdominal pain, bruising, and swelling. It’s also common for patients to walk in a slightly bent-over position for the first week or two after surgery. This is because the body needs to adjust to the tightened muscles.

For an optimal outcome, this part of your recovery should be spent resting, and you will be asked to wear a surgical compression garment to reduce swelling. This should be worn for about 3 months for best results. It’s best to take 2-3 weeks off from work, and you should also avoid driving during this time.

If any drains were placed after the procedure, they will be removed by your surgeon about 10-14 days after surgery. Most sutures used in tummy tuck surgery are dissolvable, but you may need to return to your surgeon’s office to have certain sutures removed at around 2-3 weeks after surgery.

Week 7-8: Getting Back to Normal

By this point, you will be past the peak of your recovery and back to some of your regular activities, including work. You can also start incorporating light fitness into your daily routine at around 4 weeks after surgery. Strenuous exercise can usually be resumed about 6 -7 weeks after surgery. You should still be wearing your compression garment as much as possible during this time.

Week 9-10: Enjoy Your Results!

At this point, you will be about 6 weeks post-op. That means you’ll be able to resume your regular exercise routine – and you’ll also be ready to flaunt your new shape! Most of your swelling should resolve by this point, but it’s still recommended that patients wear their compression garment as much as possible until around 3 months after surgery.

Overall, abdominoplasty is an effective way of restoring a fit, youthful appearance for those with excess skin and exercise-resistant fat on the abdomen. Ready to take the next step? Contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tim Sayed to schedule your personal consultation today. Dr. Sayed serves both the Newport Beach and San Diego areas, and he would be happy to discuss your full range of surgical options.