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Tips For a Successful Tummy Tuck Recovery

Edmonton Abdominoplasty
  • by
  • November 30, 2016

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck procedure, is a cosmetic body contouring surgery that creates a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.

The aim of an abdominoplasty is to remove excess fat/skin and restore weakened or separated stomach muscles which can result from a number of factors including:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Weight fluctuations

While many patients experience incredible results from this plastic surgery, it is important to remember that an abdominoplasty requires considerable post-surgery care for the best possible and quickest recovery.

Edmonton Abdominoplasty


Abdominoplasty Recovery Timeline

Recovery is one of the most important aspects of your abdominoplasty procedure. Following your plastic surgeon’s aftercare instructions is crucial in ensuring that, not only do you remain healthy, but that your newly refined shape continues to look its best.

Here is a week-by-week breakdown of what you can expect during your recovery from this body contouring procedure.


Week 1

  • Diet: Patients should maintain a diet that is low in sodium for the first week after an abdominoplasty to reduce swelling.
  • Side Effects: You will experience some pain, bruising, swelling and tightness in your abdominal area during the first 7 days
  • Drains: Most patients will require the use of a drain for the first few days after this plastic surgery procedure. This drain directs excess fluid away from the incision and out of the body. In most cases, it can be removed within 3-7 days.
  • Bandages: It is important to follow the advice of your plastic surgeon when it comes to replacing your bandages. Typically, these can be removed and the wound cleaned every other day after the abdominoplasty.
  • Compression Garment: A compression garment greatly aids in healing and helping patients achieve their desired body contour. It should be worn at all times during the week after your surgery.
  • Showering: You can have a shower 1-2 days after your plastic surgery. Patients with a drain may find that a sponge bath is easier for the first week.
  • DO NOT: Drive, exercise, smoke, work, do chores or drink any alcohol in the first week after your abdominoplasty.
Week 1 Recovery Tips:
  • Take pain medication as directed by your plastic surgeon
  • Wear a compression garment
  • Use an ice compress to minimize pain and swelling
  • Limit movement
  • Stay hydrated

Week 2

  • Diet: While it is recommended that you continue limiting your sodium intake, patients can typically return to their normal diet during the second week.
  • Side Effects: There will still be some swelling in the treatment area although the pain, bruising and feeling of tightness will have mostly faded.
  • Promote Healing: During week 2 of your abdominoplasty recovery, you can begin gently massaging the treatment area to promote healing.
  • Scar Minimization: Scar minimizing treatments can begin and include applying Vitamin E or silicone sheets to the incisions.
  • Compression Garment: To achieve optimum results from your abdominoplasty, most plastic surgeons recommend that their patients continue to wear the compression garment during week 2 of recovery.
  • Daily activities: Patients may feel ready to return to work 10-14 days after their abdominoplasty. However, if your surgery was done in combination with another procedure such as liposuction, breast augmentation or thigh lift, you may require a few extra days before returning to your daily routine.
  • DO NOT: Drive, excercise, smoke or drink any alcohol in the second week after your body contouring surgery.
Week 2 Recovery Tips:
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Wear a compression garment
  • Begin to take brief walks throughout the day to promote blood flow

Week 3 - 4

  • Diet: Most patients are able to return to their normal diets during the 3-4 week after their abdominoplasty. However, it is important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to stay in your ideal weight range.
  • Exercise: 4 weeks after surgery, patients can usually begin to engage in some light exercise. However more strenuous activities such as sit-ups and weight lifting should be avoided until 6 weeks after your abdominoplasty.
  • Compression Garment: Your plastic surgeon may recommend that you wear your compression garment for at least one month after the surgery.

Learn More

To find out more about the abdominoplasty recovery period, contact Dr. Ladak today at (780) 407-6691.

Dr. Adil Ladak is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Edmonton, Alberta and specializes in a variety of cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures.

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Dr. Ladak has been great. From the consultation to the recovery period he remained friendly, helpful and professional. Would highly recommend.

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