Tummy tuck, clinically called abdominoplasty, is a major cosmetic surgery procedure involving a considerable recovery period. Patients should follow the surgeon’s post-op care instructions in a committed manner in order to have a safe and predictable recovery.
The surgeon will explain about all aspects related to tummy tuck, including its estimated recovery, at the time of initial consultation. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Roger Tsai provides tummy tuck surgery to patients in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA, and surrounding locations.
Estimated Recovery Period
In case of a partial or mini tummy tuck plastic surgery procedure, only the area below the navel will be treated for the removal of excess fat and skin. In this procedure, the patient is likely to go through five to seven days of reduced physical activity before they can resume a more vigorous routine. In case of a full traditional tummy tuck surgery, the treatment will include the area above the navel.
Therefore, a full tummy tuck procedure may involve a period of about two weeks of reduced activity. Drainage tubes will usually be placed in these techniques to prevent fluid build-up at the incision site. These tubes may be removed around the end of first week. The patient will also be required to wear a special compression garment in the first few weeks to expedite healing.
Staying Active during Recovery
Patients are not expected to remain immobilized during the recovery period. In fact, the surgeon will encourage them to perform short walks and mild activities at home during the first week. Maintaining a basic activity level will help reduce the risk of blood clot formation.
However, the patient must not lift heavy weights or perform activities that involve too much bending. They must refrain from doing any activities that could put strain on the incision site. Strenuous exercises should be avoided for at least four weeks to give sufficient time for the healing of incisions.
Patients with sedentary jobs may go back to work after a week or 10 days, while others may require at least two weeks before returning to the workplace. Follow-up visits during the recovery phase should be attended so that the surgeon can monitor the healing progress.
Mitigating Scar Appearance
Some degree of scarring is unavoidable in a tummy tuck, but it is possible to minimize the visibility of scars with careful incision placement in discreet locations. The patient should protect the incision areas against sun exposure during recovery. Silicone sheets or a cream, or petroleum based jelly may be applied to mitigate the scar tissue appearance.
If the patient is a smoker, they will be required to refrain from smoking for a few weeks before and after tummy tuck surgery. Nicotine in tobacco smoke can restrict blood flow and interfere with the healing process. Infection risks, scarring and other complications can arise if the patient continues to indulge in smoking in the days following the tummy tuck surgery.
For more information on cosmetic plastic surgery procedures and treatments by Beverly Hills board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Roger Tsai, MD please click here or call us at 310.276.1190.Taking patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Orange County, Southern California and other surrounding cities.