How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Tummy Tuck?

At Modern Surgical Arts of Denver, we are here to serve both male and female patients who are looking to restore their abdominal area. Whether you are hoping to regain your figure after multiple pregnancies, you want to reshape your abdominal area, or you want to correct ab separation, a tummy tuck may be the right procedure for you. 

From the moment you arrive for your consultation until your last post-op appointment, we want to take care of you through individualized attention. Our double board certified cosmetic surgeon performs all surgeries in our accredited facility in Denver, CO, which offers the very highest standard of care. If you are curious about tummy tuck surgery and what you might be able to expect from your recovery, we would love to help you learn more.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while restructuring the underlying muscles into a stronger and leaner position. A tummy tuck can be used to restore abdominal contour after pregnancies, or it can be helpful in constructing a more toned figure after weight loss. Patients may also consider a tummy tuck for diastasis recti repair, improved physical comfort, and more.

What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tuck?

Mini Abdominoplasty

A mini abdominoplasty addresses the area below the belly button without addressing any concerns higher up on the abdomen. During this type of procedure, the lower half of the abdominal muscles are sutured together and a small amount of excess skin and fat may be removed from the lower abdominal area. 

Full Abdominoplasty

During a full abdominoplasty, the entirety of the abdomen is addressed from just below the ribs to the pelvis. Muscles are tightened, excess skin is removed, and often the belly button is repositioned. A full abdominoplasty may be indicated for patients with more severe abdominal separation, more excess skin, and greater amounts of excess fat. 

Recovering From a Tummy Tuck: Factors That May Affect Your Recovery

Your Age

While more mature individuals may still be good candidates for this surgery, your age may affect how quickly you can bounce back after surgery. Patients who are older may have decreased skin elasticity and a slower metabolism. However, age alone isn’t a barrier to a successful recovery. 

Your Health Status

A person’s overall health can impact recovery time. Those who have medical conditions or chronic illness may need longer to recover. We will always make sure you are in good enough health before recommending a tummy tuck. 

The Extent of the Surgery

The extent of the tummy tuck surgery will impact the length of your recovery. Those who are having a mini-abdominoplasty will generally have a shorter recovery period than those who are having a full abdominoplasty or combining their tummy tuck with other surgeries.

Adherence to Post-Operative Protocol

Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions is critical to a successful recovery. Those who follow the recommended protocol for caring for their incisions, managing pain, and slowly increasing activity, often find their recoveries to be shorter and easier. 

Phases of Your Recovery

After your tummy tuck surgery, you should expect it to take several weeks to begin feeling like yourself again. You can view your recovery as taking place in several different phases:

Week One of Recovery

During the first week, you may notice more swelling. You will have a surgical drain placed in the area to help keep too much fluid from building up and to help the area to be less sore. You will also have a compression garment to reduce swelling and help tissues to begin to adjust to your new shape. During this week, you should prioritize resting. Make your home comfortable and be sure to have someone there to help you with the heavy lifting. 

Week Two of Recovery

In the second week after your tummy tuck procedure, your surgical drain will likely be removed. You can begin moving more, although you should still avoid strenuous activities. Most people still stay home from work during this week to avoid stressing the body during this crucial period of recovery. You will continue to wear your compression garment. 

Weeks Three and Four of Recovery

Three weeks after your abdominoplasty surgery, you may be returning to work and other normal activities. Light exercise may be appropriate at this point, and you should begin to see continued improvement in your incisions. You may also begin to notice an improvement in your appearance as the swelling goes down, and you can start to see some results. 

Six Weeks and Beyond

Six weeks is when patients typically begin to feel more normal and can start to regain their energy after their tummy tuck surgery. You may be instructed to wear your compression garment for a little longer, or you may be able to remove it at this point.

How to Have a Faster Recovery

If you want to recover as quickly as possible from your abdominoplasty, be sure to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. Take care of your incisions by not doing strenuous activities, bending or lifting, or doing any other activities until they are cleared by your surgeon. Maintain a healthy lifestyle of eating healthy food, staying properly hydrated, and refraining from smoking.

Tummy Tuck Procedures in Denver, CO

Abdominoplasty surgery can offer a solution for many individuals who struggle with excess skin, excess fat, and weakened abdominal muscles. At Modern Surgical Arts of Denver, we offer tummy tuck surgery by itself or combined with other surgical procedures. Call us today at (303) 470-3400 or contact us online to schedule services in Denver, CO. 

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