How Long Does it Take to Recover after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Plastic Surgeons Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Santa Clara & Nearby South Bay, California

Posted: September 3, 2019

While recovery from abdominoplasty is different for every individual, there is a general tummy tuck recovery timeline that is applicable in most cases. While it may be six to eight weeks before you can resume all normal activities following tummy tuck surgery, you should be able to:

  • Resume working a non-strenuous job within five to seven days
  • Resume most household and work duties within four weeks
  • Adopt an exercise routine within four to six weeks

It is recommended that you wear a compression garment for at least six weeks post abdominoplasty. However, it should not interfere with general comfort or abilities.

The First Few Weeks 

It is important that you get plenty of rest in the days following tummy tuck surgery. Having a family member or friend help with household duties during this time is ideal. It can also be helpful to set up a rest area prior to your procedure to make sure you have a comfortable place to just relax. Think about books, magazines, and other things you may want to pass the time and allow yourself the opportunity to relax and recover during this period. This can have a profound impact on your long-term results.

Some swelling and mild discomfort may be present for the first few weeks. Our doctors will provide you with medications to deal with discomfort. Swelling can be reduced by wearing your compression garment and taking several walks throughout the day. These walks can be started the day after your procedure and you are free to take as many as you like – so long as you don’t exhaust yourself.

Week Six and Beyond

By weeks six, you may be able to resume a majority of your normal activities, though it could be one or two more weeks before you are completely healed. During your recovery, you will return to our office for follow-up visits to make sure you are progressing appropriately. These visits also give us an opportunity to answer any questions you might have and address any concerns.

You can help reduce risks and improve your experience by keeping these appointments and following all of our pre and postoperative directions. These will include not smoking, getting plenty of rest, and only resuming activities after we give you the okay. Simply following these instructions can have a big impact on your comfort and results. We will cover these things in greater detail during your tummy tuck consultation and review as needed while you are in our care.

Final Results

Full recovery can be expected with eight weeks, but results may take a bit longer to be realized. Swelling and bruising typically subside within this time frame, but full slimming of the midline can take a few additional months.

Be patient during this time and take care of your body to help ensure your results are both pleasing and long-lasting. This includes eating properly, exercising regularly, and taking steps to improve your health and enhance your results. We will discuss all of this in greater detail during your initial consultation to make sure you understand what will be required for the most rewarding experience.

If you are considering tummy tuck surgery in Los Altos or surrounding areas of California, please call Altos Oaks Plastic Surgery at 605-934-7200 and schedule your consultation today. We welcome men and women from Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Clara, and all nearby communities.