How Long is the Recovery for a Tummy Tuck?

Most people are advised to take two weeks off from work to recover from tummy tuck surgery. But how long is the full recovery from start to finish? While the length of tummy tuck recovery can vary from person to person, most people will be able to resume most or all normal activities after about six weeks. Here are some more details on what to expect.

Two Weeks Off from Work

The initial part of recovery from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) requires up to two weeks off work. A tummy tuck is a major surgery, so this time frame really cannot be rushed. If you are planning your tummy tuck, be sure to schedule it when you can take this time off to allow your body to heal. By the end of the first two weeks, your pain levels will be improving, and you will be able to resume many normal activities. Take your time and avoid straining yourself so that you minimize your risk of postoperative complications.

Six Weeks Off from Strenuous Physical Activities

You will need to hold off on strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for approximately six weeks after tummy tuck surgery. Any activities that could strain the sensitive tissues and incision sites on the abdomen may be dangerous if you resume them too early. Holding to this timeline and following your doctor’s recommendations during recovery could save you from having to endure major complications.

To maintain a healthy fitness level during recovery, reintroduce light activities first (such as walking) and then gradually up the intensity of your workouts. Even after six weeks, some patients are not yet recovered enough to attempt abdominal exercises or weight training. That’s okay! Listen to your body and follow your doctor’s recommendations to ensure that you don’t overdo it and allow yourself time to recover fully.

Other Timelines to Note

Even after six weeks, there will still be some physical signs that your body recently underwent surgery. For example, while a lot of the postoperative swelling will subside by six weeks afterward, some abdominal swelling will persist for several more months. Also, it may be six months or longer before your tummy tuck incision scars begin to fade.

Listen To Your Body

The most important thing about these timelines is that they are approximations. Every patient is unique, so every recovery will be a little different. Be sure to listen to your body as it heals, and ask your doctor any questions you may have about the recovery process and how you’re doing. Dr. Aycock will be there through every step of your recovery to monitor your condition and let you know when it is safe to resume your preferred activities.

More questions about tummy tuck surgery? Schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joyce Aycock. Call (720) 634-7400 or contact us online today.

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