Tummy Tuck: Recovery Timeline and Tips

Dr. David Stoker

A woman stands near water after a full tummy tuck recovery.

When I consult with patients considering a tummy tuck at my Los Angeles practice, they’re looking for the best plastic surgeons who can offer great results with as short a recuperation period as possible. Recovery time is one of the most common concerns regarding this surgery.

Recovering from a tummy tuck can be and generally is a smooth and comfortable experience, as long as you know what to expect. My goal is to take care of you from the initial consultation to your follow-up appointments, helping you stay healthy, optimistic, and in love with your results.

In this blog post, I’ll go over the basic tummy tuck recovery timeline and share a few helpful tips to make sure your experience is the best it can be.

Your Recovery Timeline

Your total tummy tuck recovery time will generally be about 4 to 6 weeks, although it’s important to listen to your body as you work your way back into your daily routine.

  • Week 1: A caregiver should help take care of you immediately after your operation. You’ll want to rest as much as possible. At your first follow-up appointment, which usually happens 3 days after the operation, we remove the drains placed in your body to manage fluid buildup. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, easing your way into walking with assistance for a few minutes a day will help the healing process and prevent blood clots from developing.
  • Week 2: Patients usually return to work 1 to 2 weeks after a tummy tuck. More time may be needed for jobs that are very physical.
  • Week 3: You may be able to start introducing limited activity beyond working.
  • Weeks 4 and 5: You can typically begin incorporating light exercise such as walking for longer distances. Strenuous activity is not recommended for the next 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Week 6: Slowly ease into your regular routine after being cleared by Dr. Stoker, but listen to your body and go at a slower pace if needed.

Keep in mind, your recovery timeline will vary, based on your body and your surgery. You may also have a slightly different set of recovery instructions if you choose to combine your tummy tuck with liposuction or another procedure.

More Recovery Tips

  • Eating a healthy diet before and after your tummy tuck can have a significant impact on the healing journey. Protein-rich foods like chicken and salmon provide energy for your body as it recovers, while fresh fruits and vegetables provide key nutrients. Avoid salty foods as they increase swelling in the body.
  • Consider taking supplements such as vitamins A and C in addition to a probiotic.
  • Drink green tea for antioxidants and an immunity boost.

If you think a tummy tuck in Los Angeles is the best option for your body goals, I’m eager to meet with you and discuss the process from start to finish. To begin your journey, please contact us online or call (310) 300-1779.

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