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Recovery after a tummy tuck

Recovery after a tummy tuck is not easy, you will be sore and a lot of tasks that were almost effortless before will feel impossible. It is really important that you and the people around you are fully aware of this and most importantly that your home is kitted out to make your recovery seamless.

Straight after a tummy tuck you will may require an overnight stay in hospital so our nurses are able to monitor you. When you have been discharged you will leave with an abdominal support garment that will need to be worn for 2 weeks. You will also leave with antibiotics and pain medication to last you for next 2 weeks.

Generally we recommend that you book 2-3 weeks off work. You may feel like you are able to return to work after a week but this will really depend on the type of job you do and your commute.

We have put together some top tips with the help of some of our former abdominoplasty patients to ensure your recovery is as stress free as possible.

  • First of all, if you feel like anything may be wrong – contact your surgeon or their team as soon as possible. They should be more than happy to help you and will get you an appointment to be looked at if they feel necessary.
  • Make sure you have someone around to look after you for the first 48 to 72 hours post-surgery. It may seem silly but trust us- even the simplest of tasks like fetching a drink can seem like a marathon at this early stage and you will really appreciate the help.
  • Again, don’t feel you need to act strong – if you have been given pain medication, take it. If you are struggling away in pain this will make your body feel stressed, and stress is known to increase your healing time significantly.
  • Use your phone to set reminders of when to take each of your medications as each type may have different timings and you don’t want to miss one out!
  • Your surgeon may suggest using a cold compress on your incision/abdomen. This is a good way to reduce swelling – just make sure your surgeon has said it is okay to do this and that ice or cold compresses are not applied directly to the skin.
  • Don’t be alarmed at how bloated you may look or feel. This is totally normal – keep drinking plenty of fluids as this will not only keep you hydrated but reduce bloating too.
  • Keep a healthy appetite, the worst thing you can do is ‘not eat’. Your body is working so hard to heal itself and despite you not being as active as you would usually, you still need that energy. Even if you are feeling a little nauseous, try snacking on some crackers or plain biscuits.
  • Don’t resist the urge to sleep. If you are struggling to keep your eyes open then this is your body telling you it needs to rest. Napping is a good thing; it allows your body to focus on healing.
  • Avoid Smoking. You may have already cut down or given up smoking in the weeks leading up to your procedure but it is even more important to cut out the cigarettes post procedure as this can really interfere with your healing.
  • No excessive movements. You may have a day where you are feeling great but don’t take advantage of it. Avoid any heavy lifting and bending over until the surgeon gives you the go ahead and just don’t over-do it if you feel like venturing out.
  • Stay moving – Although we have just said ‘don’t overdo it’ at the same time it is important that you keep your blood circulation going by getting up and walking around. It will also make you feel a bit better too instead of being sat on the couch or in bed all day every day.
  • Your emotions will be all over the place after surgery so any feelings of sadness are completely normal. Your body has gone through ‘trauma’ as such so you may experience feelings of regret and un-attractiveness after seeing your scars (which will be very red in the early stages) and swollen – but just remember what your end goal is.
Read Stella’s Patient Story to find out more about recovery after a tummy tuck

Recovering from a tummy tuck does not have to be as bad as you may have heard.  Just keep to your surgeon’s guidance, wear your surgical garments as advised and attend all your post-op appointments when required and you will be in the best care.

The Private Clinic

Working with only the very best surgeons ensures that we can produce the results you want safely. We’re proud to have some of the UK’s most respected Consultant Plastic Surgeons as part of our Tummy Tuck team, in London Harley StreetBirmingham, Buckinghamshire, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Northampton and Glasgow.

To find out more about tummy tuck procedures, please get in touch via 0333 920 2471 or request a callback using our online tummy tuck contact form on our website.

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