Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

Those who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery have very specific goals in mind. Patients may desire thinner thighs, bigger breasts, or a flatter stomach. No matter the procedure, that end result is often patients’ most important concern. Unfortunately, excitement over the final outcome may overshadow the need for the time it takes to get to that end goal. Some patients may have unrealistic expectations of the time needed to fully heal before being able to proudly show off their new look. A tummy tuck is an excellent example of one such procedure in which patients may not fully understand the necessary timeline to properly heal. Dr. Vincent Marin wants his patients to fully comprehend the entire nature of the procedure, from initial consultation to final post-op visit and beyond.

Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, Dr. Marin will discuss goals, the steps involved in the actual tummy tuck procedure, and any special ways in which the patient needs to prepare beforehand. He will also go over some of the options for the procedure, including a mini versus a full tummy tuck, as well as any other procedure that may be done in conjunction with the tummy tuck, such as a liposuction procedure.

Tummy Tuck Procedure

In a tummy tuck procedure, a horizontal incision is made from one hipbone across to the other. The skin and underlying fat and tissue are then gently lifted up and tightened. Excess is then removed before the remainder is sutured back into place. If the patient is undergoing a full tummy tuck, an incision is also made around the belly button in order to reshape it and remove excess skin from the upper abdominal region.

Recovery Time

Patients are strongly encouraged to move around beginning the first 24 hours after the procedure. This will allow for proper circulation to the extremities, as well as help speed up the healing process.

Dr. Marin will place a surgical drain before closing the incision. This will allow for blood and any other fluids to be drained out from the treatment area while it is healing. The drains should be periodically emptied out, and patients will be asked to keep track of the amount and color of the fluid that is collected and emptied each time.

Depending on the amount of fluid that the surgical drains collect, Dr. Marin may opt to remove both drains at once, or only remove one of them. Although each patient will have a different healing process, most drains will be removed within one to two weeks after the tummy tuck procedure.

Once the incisions are completely healed over and the drains have been removed, patients may then resume most of their normal activities. A light exercise routine that does not involve any weight lifting or stress on the abdomen can usually be started three to four weeks after surgery. In most cases, a regular exercise routine can be resumed six weeks following the procedure. Patients will generally be fully healed within two to three months following the procedure.

With a bit of patience, a sensible eating plan, and working back toward a regular exercise routing, tummy tuck patients will be able to show off their new shape before they know it.

To schedule a tummy tuck consultation, contact Marin Aesthetics.

About the Author:

Dr. Vince Marin is a San Diego board-certified plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. If you wish to contact Dr. Marin, write to [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter!