Tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that may achieve tightening of the abdominal wall and soft tissues.  It removes redundant skin of the abdomen and strengthens the abdominal muscles.  One of the most common questions from patients considering this type of surgery relates to recovery.  “How long is healing after tummy tuck?”  This question is best addressed by focusing on different aspects of recovery:

  • Incision healing after tummy tuck

Resorbable (dissolving)  stitches are used to close the abdominal incisions.  These stitches gradually resorb over a few months post-operatively.  Early wound healing occurs over the first couple of weeks, which effectively closes the incisions.  Incisions during early wound healing demonstrate low tensile strength.  The incisions gain strength as scar maturation occurs over one year of healing after tummy tuck.

  • Weaning pain medication

Patient generally require narcotic pain medication for a few days post-operatively.  Patients typically report discomfort at the muscle repair site.  Several measures are taken to reduce discomfort along the muscle plication.  Following surgery, local anesthetic is infiltrated within the rectus sheath to reduce discomfort upon awakening.  This local freezing lasts approximately 6-8 hours.  Oral pain medication is then taken as needed and weaned as soon as possible to lower risk of associated complications.  Patients may also experience less discomfort when slightly flexing the waist when mobilizing over the first 24-48 hours following surgery.  Once prescription pain medication has been discontinued, patients may resume driving as able.

  • Discontinuing the abdominal compression garment

The abdominal compression garment provides support to the muscle repair during early healing and reduces swelling and fluid accumulation.  It should be worn full-time as healing takes place.  It may be discontinued at 6 weeks post-operatively.  The garment may be concealed under clothing as patients return to work and other day-to-day activities.

  • Resuming exercise

As the muscle repair heals and incisions gain strength, it is important to refrain from exercise and heavy lifting over 5 lbs.  Exercise may be resumed at 6 weeks post-operatively, which will be confirmed by Dr. Power during routine follow up at that time point.  Patients often inquire whether exercise may be resumed sooner if core abdominal work-outs are avoided.  Unfortunately not.  Any form of exercise that elevates heart rate and blood pressure may increase risk of bleeding, further swelling, and healing complications.  By 6 weeks post-operatively, one’s activity level may be gradually advanced to exercise as tolerated.

  • Returning to work

Healing after tummy tuck requires recovery time before returning to work.  Patients may generally return to office-based work within 1-2 weeks of surgery.  This may depend on physical requirements of the job.  If work responsibilities are more strenuous, modifications may be required upon return to work to lower risk of complications, particularly over the first 6 weeks.

Please contact us if considering tummy tuck surgery in the Toronto area.  Dr. Power will make personalized recommendations following plastic surgery consultation.

 

Share This :

What Kind of Scar Can I Expect After a Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a great option to reduce loose skin or stubborn fat and repair the abdominal muscles

LEARN MORE

What Is Included in a Mommy Makeover?

Mommy makeovers are popular surgeries for moms who wish to restore their bodies closer to their pre-pregnancy appearance. 

LEARN MORE

What Happens to Your Breasts When You Remove Implants?

There are several reasons why breast implants may need to be removed and, if the patient chooses, replaced. Breast implants

LEARN MORE

Start your journey to a more beautiful, confident you!

Fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation today.

Fly In For Surgery

Live far away? Contact us today to learn about lodging arrangements for out of town patients.

LEARN MORE

Learn From Dr. Power

Want to hear more from Dr. Power? Check out our blog for monthly updates and procedure information.

LEARN MORE

View Our Pricing

We are transparent about pricing. Just let us know which procedure you are interested in and we will give you a range!

LEARN MORE