To stay healthy and fit, we always advise patients to maintain an active lifestyle that is enhanced by a nutritional and well-balanced diet. However, despite a patient’s best efforts, there are areas of the body that simply seem inclined to hold onto stubborn fat deposits. While plastic surgery is not a weight loss solution, it can help patients improve body contouring to achieve the figure they desire. One of the most popular of these procedures is an abominoplasty, or a tummy tuck. This procedure can provide patients with exceptional results, but it is important that they give the body ample time to recover. Dr. Gregory Gaines discusses the tummy tuck recovery timeline with his Gainesville patients so that they know what to expect in the weeks and months following surgery.

Week One of Recovery

The first week of recovery from a tummy tuck procedure is going to be the hardest. This is when patients should allow the body to rest and recuperate from the trauma of surgery. Bed rest is advised, with patients resting with the head and torso slightly elevated (which will improve blood circulation to the midsection). As much as patients may wish to speed along the healing process, pushing the body beyond its limits could inhibit recovery.

Common side effects that are likely to be experienced during the first week of tummy tuck recovery include bruising, swelling, pain, and fatigue. Prescription pain medication can be used to alleviate pain and compression garments should be worn as directed to help reduce swelling.

Week Two of Recovery

During the second week of recovery, patients should begin to see some improvement in side effects. While bruising, swelling, and pain may still be an issue, patients should begin to see these side effects diminish. Compression garments should be worn around the clock during this phase of recovery. This is a good time for patients to begin moving around. It is important not to push the body too far, but patients should try to take short walks around the house at least three times a day. Any activities that are more strenuous should be avoided.

Week Four of Recovery

Around four weeks after surgery, most patients feel well enough to resume their normal day-to-day activities. Many patients return to work at this point, as long as the patient’s job does not require overly physical activities (such as heavy lifting). While movement is good for the recovery process, be sure to listen to your body’s signals and rest if you feel like you have pushed yourself too far.

Weeks Six to Eight of Recovery

Around six to eight weeks after recovery, most patients feel like themselves again. With Dr. Gaines approval, patients can resume all normal activities, including an exercise routine. While a minimal amount of swelling may still be present, patients should be able to see the results of their tummy tuck procedure at this point. Now is a good time to go out in public and show off your trimmer, slimmer figure.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have stretched skin or stubborn fat around the midsection, and diet and exercise have proven to be ineffective, it may be time to consider cosmetic surgery. Schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and find out if it is the right choice for you.