Recovery Time from a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty
Many patients want to know what the recovery from different types of procedures are. One of the more common procedures that we perform here at Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery is an abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck procedure. This is one of the bigger operations that we perform and so it’s important for patients to understand what that recovery looks like, so that they allot enough time for their recovery so that you’re not frustrated, and so that you don’t have complications that could otherwise be avoided.
In general, a tummy tuck procedure takes only about 2 to 3 hours to perform, but the recovery itself can take upwards of two weeks initially to recover from. Because we’re removing skin and fat, and tightening muscle, these patients often find that the first at least 10-14 days are more limited to activities around the house. It’s not bed rest. In fact we don’t want patients just going home and sitting in bed.
That’s where complications can occur. But we also don’t want them returning to work. And so in terms of scheduling your recovery after a tummy tuck procedure, in general two weeks is probably the earliest window that most patients are going to want to return to their normal working activities.
The bulk of the recovery is in the first five days or so. But these are patients that are moving slower, have greater pain medication requirements, and simply need to allow their body a chance to heal. Even patients who are quote quick healers, often will require seven to 10, to 14 days before they feel like they can resume their normal activities.
Again this isn’t to say that these patients are laid up in bed, it just means that they’re moving slower, maybe more limited to activities around the house. Generally after two weeks, most patients can return to work. Most patients can resume some light exercise, at two to three weeks. Little bit more strenuous exercise at three to four weeks. And then almost unrestricted activities at six weeks.
We do ask that patients refrain from specific core activities like yoga, and pilates and some of these types of exercise activities for closer to two months to really allow the muscles to heal, if the muscles themselves have been tightened. Regardless of the recovery though, tummy tuck patients find that they are some of the most satisfied, happy patients in plastic and cosmetic surgery because of the dramatic difference it makes in the lower abdomen that simple diet and exercise won’t achieve.