Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is considered as an effective plastic surgery procedure to achieve a flatter and firmer abdomen. During the initial consultation, the cosmetic surgeon will discuss various aspects of the surgery, including the recovery process. See Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos.
The recovery will vary between patients, depending on the extent of surgery involved and the patient’s natural ability to heal. Dr. Hisham Seify is a board certified plastic surgeon providing tummy tuck procedure to patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and surrounding communities.
Each cosmetic surgeon may use a different surgical technique to perform tummy tuck in accordance with the patient’s aesthetic goals. Some surgeons adopt more conservative approaches, which can yield faster recovery. If a particular case involves a complex plastic surgery, or a combination of tummy tuck with other procedures, the recovery will be longer. The procedure usually involves one or more of the following elements:
- Removal of excess fat and skin.
- Tightening of weak, separated or loose underlying muscles.
- Liposuction in the hips or abdominal area.
In a case where the patient does not need the tightening of underlying muscles, the recovery period will be shorter. On the contrary, if the tummy tuck cosmetic surgery involves all three elements as listed above, the recovery will be longer and more complicated. In many cases, the surgeon may recommend buttock liposuction along with tummy tuck so that the buttocks do not appear more pronounced or awkward after the tummy tuck.
Average Period of Recovery
Within 10 to 14 days after the surgery, the patient would be in position to return to work. However, the total period of recovery may last from two to four weeks. The plastic surgeon will advise the patient to avoid lifting of heavy weights or performing any type of vigorous activities or exercises for at least one month.
If the job involves substantial physical activity, the patient should take time off for at least three weeks from work, or choose a temporary sedentary work position. As an experienced cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Seify makes sure that his patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and other areas receive a clear idea about the recovery process, and have clear instructions on how to perform during this period.
Recovery in the First 10 Days
Mild to moderate pain can be expected for the first week after tummy tuck surgery. Swelling and bruising will be more pronounced during this phase, but will begin subsiding from the next week. Patients should restrict lifting of weights to a maximum of 15 lbs during the first 10 days, and increase the limit to 30 lbs for two weeks after that.
The patient will bend over slightly while walking in the first week, but the normal posture will return gradually from the next week. Moms with small children should arrange for help for the first week to 10 days. Recovery in each case is different because each surgery has its own peculiarities. Patients should follow the instructions of the surgeon diligently during the recovery to achieve the best outcome and to mitigate any complications or issues.
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