A tummy tuck recovery takes time, and patients should expect to devote at least one to two weeks strictly for resting and healing. Expect pain and discomfort, particularly if the procedure involves muscle tightening. Pain medications will help keep patients comfortable during recovery time.
Following the procedure, drain tubes may be inserted to prevent fluid from accumulating in the abdomen. These are removed in a follow-up visit one to two weeks following surgery. Post-operation, patients must wear a special compression garment for several weeks to aid in swelling and bruising, which will subside over a few weeks.
Most people find they can return to work after about a week, but some may need more recovery time. While everyday activities can be gradually re-introduced after the first week or two following surgery, vigorous exercise must be avoided for four to six weeks.
As swelling subsides, patients will begin to see the results of their tummy tuck emerge.