Tummy Tuck and Abdominoplasty Recovery

Orange county plastic surgeon, Dr. Esmailian discusses the recovery time from his tummy tuck and abdominoplasty procedure.

Depending on how much work needs to be done, a tummy tuck and abdominoplasty procedure may take anywhere from 2 hours up to 5 hours. Patients usually go home that same day, however if other procedures are performed then, Dr. Esmailian usually recommends overnight stay at the local recovery center. In general there are drains that are placed and usually remove anywhere from 5 days after surgery, up to 14 days after surgery. Again, this depends on how much liposuction is performed and how much work is done. Since there is muscle plication or tightening performed in most tummy tucks and abdominplasty procedures, I ask the patient to refrain from physical activity like going to the gym and lifting weights for about 6 weeks. At this point the muscle repair is healed enough that major damage to the result are unlikely to happen. I also ask my patients to wear an abdominal binder or girdle for a total of 6 weeks to help with the swelling and support.

Usually the final result is evident at about 4 months after surgery. During the recovery phase it is not unusual to have good days and bad days. Some days you will feel more swollen than others. This will happen especially after a day of hard work. By the evening the lower abdominal area will feel tight and swollen, then by the morning it has resolved. This waxing and waning with happen until the lymphatic channels have reconstructed themselves, at about 4 months time.


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