How Long To Recover From Tummy Tuck Surgery: Answers to Your Top FAQs

Woman in white under garments standing with one hand on her hip and the other on her lower stomach. (MODEL)

If you are navigating tummy tuck recovery or expect to be soon, your board-certified plastic surgeon is the best resource for your questions. Tummy tuck recovery can be daunting as your incisions are in a prominent place and will make your midsection feel very tight. However, following your surgeon’s recommendations carefully will help you through recovery and give you the best tummy tuck results. We put together answers to some FAQs to help you navigate tummy tuck recovery.

How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?

You will typically need around 6 weeks to heal from a tummy tuck fully. However, everyone’s experience is unique, and you will heal at your own pace. Your body will need plenty of rest after your surgery, so you will need to take about 2 weeks off work. If your job is strenuous, you may need to take another week or two beyond that. Read this helpful blog on what you need to know before getting a tummy tuck.

When Can You Lay Flat: How to Sleep After a Tummy Tuck

You should sleep on your back with your upper body elevated for several weeks after a tummy tuck. Sleeping on your stomach, side, or completely flat on your back can strain your incision, causing discomfort and the potential for infection. Sleeping slightly propped up after a tummy tuck helps minimize swelling at the surgery site. Your plastic surgeon will advise you when it’s okay to resume sleeping flat on your back, side, or stomach. You may find it easier to sleep in a recliner during tummy tuck recovery as it allows you to relax into a comfortably hunched position and keeps you from inadvertently rolling onto your side. It’s also simpler and more comfortable to get up from a recliner than a bed in those first few days.

When Can I Exercise After a Tummy Tuck?

You can start gently moving your body right after the procedure to avoid blood clots and help with healing. Getting up and walking around the room every few hours is a good way to start. By about 4 to 6 weeks, you can start incorporating light cardiovascular exercise. You should wait until you are fully healed from your tummy tuck before resuming strenuous activity. Make sure you check with your plastic surgeon before starting a workout routine. Working out before your body is fully ready may impact the healing process.

How Long Will I Have Swelling After My Tummy Tuck?

Typically, it can take up to 3 months for your swelling to go down completely. It can be discouraging when your results are obscured by swelling or bruising, but be patient! Wearing your compression garment for the recommended time will help minimize swelling and discomfort. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons talks more about what to expect during tummy tuck recovery in this blog. Preparing yourself for tummy tuck recovery, following your plastic surgeon’s guidance, and enlisting the help of family and friends will make the process go more smoothly. Your patience will be rewarded with excellent results. Take a look at our patients’ before and after photos to see the type of results that are possible. If you have more questions about tummy tuck recovery or the procedure itself, request a consultation or call us at (718) 720-9400 to schedule an appointment.  

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