Toll Free: (888) 505-8895
Follow Us:

After A Tummy Tuck: A Recovery Timeline

After A Tummy Tuck: A Recovery Timeline

Abdominoplasty, more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a popular cosmetic surgery that has evolved into an effective procedure for body contouring. A tummy tuck procedure removes fat and excess skin from the abdominal area and tightens the abdominal muscles to reveal a slimmer figure. Due to the nature of the procedure, recovery can be a long road. There are many factors that will influence  the speed and effectiveness of your recovery such as post-op activity levels, your body's immune response, smoking habits, and your natural ability to heal. To heal effectively and efficiently from your tummy tuck procedure and to lower your risk of postoperative complications, follow all of the recovery instructions that are given to you by your plastic surgeon.

Recovery Timeline After A Tummy Tuck Procedure

Before your tummy tuck procedure, it is important that you set aside ample time after the procedure to allow yourself time to heal. This will mean taking time off work for at least a couple of weeks and having someone spend time with you at home during your first few days of healing to help with household chores and activities. Your plastic surgeon will give you a detailed timeline of your recovery as well as instructions on how you can ensure you are healing optimally. 

Week 1
The first week of recovery is usually the most uncomfortable period of the recovery process. You can expect your abdomen to be swollen, bruised, and sore. Drains will be left in your abdomen for a few days after surgery and your plastic surgeon will give you instructions on how to clean and change the drains correctly on your own. Ice packs can be used to help reduce the swelling and you will be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to fight off the risk of infection. All tummy tuck procedures require a significant incision, leaving your body open to potential microbial attackers. It is important you take your antibiotics to prevent infections that could severely affect your overall health. 

When you are sent home, your abdomen will be bandaged and you will be instructed to use a compression garment. A compression garment is like an abdominal binder that will help reduce swelling, prevent the formation of blood clots, and help your body heal into the desired contour shape. Your plastic surgeon will also instruct you on how to change your bandages and clean your incision while you are at home. 

For the first week to ten days, it is important that you relax and allow your body to heal. You will not be allowed to do any vigorous activity or house work for the first four to six weeks. For the first week, you will be required to take sponge baths. That said, you will not be bedridden. It is recommended that you try to walk for at least a few minutes every hour to keep your circulation flowing. Throughout your recovery, you should also avoid nicotine, alcohol, and stick to a low-sodium diet. 

Week 2
By the second week of recovery, you will notice that your pain has subsided and that any bruising has started to fade. You should still be following your plastic surgeon’s instructions regarding antibiotics and pain medication while sticking to only light activity. At this point, you will have had or will soon have your stitches removed. Either way, you should still be regularly cleaning your incision and changing the bandages. Your compression garments should also be worn throughout your recovery. Light walks will be encouraged at this stage, some patients even feel well enough to return to work part-time after 10-14 days. 

Week 3 And Beyond
By the third and fourth week of recovery, you should almost feel back to normal. You can begin engaging in light exercise, however you still must avoid strenuous activities such as weight lifting and core workouts that can cause strain on your abdomen. Pain, swelling, and bruising will be gone and you may not be required to continue wearing your compression garment. You will also be able to return to normal daily activities which includes your usual diet and moderate alcohol consumption. Most patients are fully recovered by week 6, and once approved by a plastic surgeon can return to full exercise and activity levels.  

Tummy Tuck Procedures Kelowna

There are a lot of requirements when it comes to correctly caring for yourself after a tummy tuck procedure. You must consider and plan for all aspects of the healing process, including the time frame. It is a slow process, but the better you take care of yourself and allow your body to heal, the better your results will be. You will also be reducing your risk of infection, therefore protecting your overall health. 

Dr. Brian Peterson at Peterson MD in Kelowna is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive medical training and specialization in Plastic, Aesthetic, and Reconstructive Surgery. With the extensive knowledge and skill of Dr. Peterson along with the knowledgeable staff at Peterson MD who are committed to providing patient education, you can feel confident in the results of your tummy tuck. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Peterson, call 1-250-868-9099 or fill out the contact form.


Q: How much scarring will I have after my tummy tuck?
A: You will have a scar that reaches from hip to hip along your bikini line. Your surgeon will be sure to minimize scarring and place any incisions as discreetly as possible. 

Q: How soon after childbirth can I have a tummy tuck?
A: It is generally recommended to wait at least 6 months after having a baby to consider a tummy tuck procedure. Keep in mind that there is a recovery period involved with a tummy tuck, therefore you will not be able to chase after your little ones and care for them while recovering from surgery. To learn more about deciding when the right time is for a tummy tuck, check out this blog or book a consultation by filling out our contact form

Q: How long is a tummy tuck recovery?
A: We advise patients to take at least two weeks off of work after the procedure to allow their bodies to correctly begin the healing process. Every individual's recovery is different. Your surgeon will outline a recovery plan specific to you before you undergo your tummy tuck.

Share This Post:

Related Posts

Latest Testimonial

I recently had liposuction done by Dr. Peterson to fix Coolsculpt I had had done that left me uneven. He was very professional, caring and compassionate and assured me everything could be fixed. I can't express my gratitude to Dr. Peterson for what an amazing job he did and how well he took care of me. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a plastic surgeon, in fact I have recommended him to many friends and they have all been very happy. My experience at the clinic was amazing, right from the beginning talking with Cynthia and the amazing care I got from all the nurses, I felt very special.

T. G.

Contact Us - Inquiries about Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeries with Dr. Brian Peterson

Questions? Comments? Call us today at (250) 868-9099 or fill out the form below:

Have Questions? Call Us Today At

Call Us