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What to expect with Tummy Tuck recovery?

Over time, excess fat can build up around the lower abdomen due to factors such as fluctuations in weight, ageing and pregnancy. This can lead to weakened stomach muscles, loose skin, excess fat and stretch marks. 

March 28th, 2022 |Ask an Expert

Why do people have Tummy Tucks? 

For some patients, the appearance of a smooth, flat stomach is desirable, and they chose to have a cosmetic surgery procedure such as a tummy tuck or liposuction to achieve this. A tummy tuck is a popular procedure for both men and women looking to improve the shape of the abdomen and can restore life changing confidence and contribute to improved health and lifestyle for many patients.  

How is a Tummy Tuck achieved?  

During a tummy tuck, the specialist MYA surgeon will remove excess skin, fat, unwanted stretch marks and scars that may have occurred from previous surgeries such as a C-section from the abdomen. If required the surgeon can repair the stomach muscles, tighten the skin, and reposition the naval (tummy button) to improve the shape and appearance of the stomach. 

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon removes excess skin, fat, unwanted stretch marks and scars that may have occurred from previous surgeries such as a C-section from the abdomen. If required the surgeon can repair the stomach muscles, tighten the skin, and reposition the naval (tummy button) to improve the shape and appearance of the stomach.

How long is Tummy Tuck recovery? 

Every patient who undergoes any cosmetic surgery procedure should expect some down time following their surgery.  The recovery period for a tummy tuck is typically between 6-8 weeks, it is important that patients rest following their procedure. Mobility will be restricted for the first week following surgery, however, it is important that patients maintain some mobility to reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). 

Patients are required to take 2 weeks off work for desk-based jobs, but patients with a more physically demanding job may need to take longer for recovery. Patients must not lift children or any heavy items for a minimum of 6 weeks, doing so could have a negative impact on their recovery. 

What should I expect following a Tummy Tuck? 

Tummy tuck recovery is often described as similar to a C-section. Patients should expect to experience some pain and discomfort following their procedure, pain relief will be prescribed to ease this. Patients may require wound drains following their procedure. The surgeon will use either dissolvable or non-dissolvable stitches. Dressings will then be applied along with a compression garment. 

Post-operative wound care is extremely important, and patients will need to attend appointments to see a nurse at the MYA clinical hub following their procedure. The nurse will deliver wound care, remove the dressings and monitor your healing. Patients must not submerge their wounds in water or get their incisions wet until advised it is safe to do so by a MYA nurse.  

Many patients will see a result straight away, but it can take 6 months to a year to see the final result. Scars are a natural part of the healing process following surgery and cannot be avoided. Typically, tummy tuck scars sit below the knicker line of the lower abdomen and will fade and become paler and flatter over time, although they never completely disappear.

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