Tummy Tucks - Questions & Answers
What is the recovery like after a Tummy Tuck?
Most patients require at least one week away from work. The abdominal skin may be tight immediately afterward and it is important to minimize pressure on the incision by limiting activity. Drains may be placed near the surgery site for around a week to help with the removal of fluids. Obviously taking time to rest and allowing the body to heal is very important. Strenuous activities cannot be resumed for at least 6 weeks after the procedure. A thorough discussion with a cosmetic surgeon is important to ensure a complete understanding of what is required post-operation to ensure a safe and quick recovery.
What risks are there during a Tummy Tuck procedure?
Abdominoplasty is generally safe and its risks are notably reduced when done under local anesthesia (the only way it's done here at CHP). Still, it is critical to understand these risks and to have realistic expectations about the outcome of your surgery. An in-depth discussion with our team will help with understanding the risks, benefits, and expected outcomes. Reactions to anesthesia are rare but can be serious. Necrosis of the skin that forms the belly button can cause loss of the belly button and scarring. Necrosis is more common in smokers.
Pain usually accompanies most all surgeries and pain medications can assist with comfort during the healing period. Severe pain can indicate a serious problem and should be discussed with your surgeon. Bleeding and/or collections of blood in the skin called hematomas are also a risk. Further surgical procedures may be required to remove hematomas, though they are unlikely. It is important that you stop all over the counter, herbal, prescription medications, and vitamins that affect bleeding to decrease your risk of hematoma formation and bleeding. Swelling is a normal part of healing but can last for longer than expected periods. Scarring occurs with any surgery and final scar appearance cannot be predicted.
A scarring typically comes in the form of a nearly invisible line though can sometimes be a little larger and all scars can be treated. Infection is always a risk of surgery. You may be given antibiotics after tummy tuck surgery and post operative wound care is important as well.