What It’s Like to Recover from a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is one of the most remarkable and effective body contouring procedures around; it can bring about some great new changes, but it can also put you through a long recovery. Your recovery will be an incredibly crucial point, and it’s important that it goes as smoothly as possible—that means taking care of yourself and following your surgeon’s instructions down to a t. If you’re curious about what it’s like to recover from a tummy tuck, then here’s a quick snapshot of what it’ll take to have a healthy recovery.


You just went through a major surgery, so one of the best ways to let your body catch up and heal is by getting lots of rest at home. Your abdomen will feel sore and swollen, so it’s important to take your pain medicine as soon as possible when you get home from surgery. Sitting up in bed or on the couch might be difficult in the beginning, so don’t worry about having to lie down all the time. It’s essential that you avoid strenuous activities for the first few weeks.


Yes, you’ll probably be resting for most of your recovery, but you should also intersperse a few moments of movement every day. Moving around in small motions can stop clotting and encourage circulation, so do a bit of walking around for at least 5 minutes every hour starting the very first day of surgery. Do not stand still, or sit with your legs down. Always elevate your legs and do not cross them when at rest. Try to remember to wiggle your toes and ankles as much as possible to keep the circulation moving along. Remain bent over at the beginning. The right amount of flexion is usually when you can reach your knees.


For the first week, you will have drains placed in the treatment area to help prevent swelling. Be careful with these drains, and take great care not to pull them out or crush them during sleep or everyday activities.


You will be given a surgical support garment to help reshape your new abdomen, prevent swelling, minimize strain on the incision site, and to help the skin adhere to the underlying structures in the abdomen. Basically, your support garment will help hold your results together, so it’s important that you keep wearing it.


Most people who undergo a tummy tuck are able to return to work about 3 weeks after your procedure. They can also resume strenuous activities like exercise after six weeks.

Your tummy tuck will be only as good as your recovery—and your surgeon. To work with a board-certified plastic surgeon, contact the offices of Dr. Silverton, for a consultation.