Although the recovery period from tummy tuck surgery varies from one patient to another, the timeline below will give you an idea of what to expect following your procedure:
Immediately After Your Procedure:
Following a tummy tuck in Annandale, you will feel pain and soreness right after the effects of anesthesia have worn off. Dr. Nickodem will likely apply bandages or dressings to your incisions and may also wrap the area with an elastic bandage or compression garment. These will help reduce the swelling that is typical after this procedure. Once swelling has subsided, the result you desire will gradually reveal itself. You will have small tubes placed under the skin to drain any excess fluid and blood that may collect.
You will need someone to drive you home after the surgery and stay with you for the first few days.
First Week After Your Tummy Tuck:
The first week after surgery will most likely be the most difficult and uncomfortable phase of recovery since the wounds will need frequent monitoring and care. Daily activities may be limited around this period too. Typical symptoms include swelling, bruising, tightness, moderate pain.
Two-Three Weeks After Your Surgery:
During week two, there will still be swelling in the treatment area but the pain, bruising and tightness should begin to subside. You should continue to wear your compression garment to encourage optimal results.
You may feel ready to go back to work and other daily tasks 10 to 14 days after your tummy tuck surgery. If you have a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover that also includes liposuction, breast augmentation or another procedure, you will probably need slightly more time to recover before going back to work.
Your drains will most likely be removed around this time, however, you will need to continue wearing your compression garment throughout the day and night.
Subsequent Weeks and Months:
After a month following your surgery, bruising should no longer be visible and your new shape will start becoming more noticeable. By the sixth week, you will start seeing results, though it will take as much as 3 months for the swelling to be nearly completely gone. Depending on the progression of your recovery, Dr. Nickodem may recommend that you continue wearing your compression garment for up to a month.
You can return to most daily activities around this time. Most patients are able to participate in light exercise about a month after their tummy tuck. However, vigorous exercise, sit-ups and lifting weights must be avoided for another couple of weeks.
Ultimately, patience and adherence to post-surgery instructions are key in being able to achieve the best possible results of a tummy tuck. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact Anne Nickodem, M.D., at 703-560-8711 or aestheticallyyours.com.