Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

Having a tummy tuck is incredibly transformative. Recovery will involve some discomfort but preparing for recovery prior to surgery will ensure you the best possible outcome. Read on for our basic and advanced tips that will absolutely improve your recovery.

Tips for Everyone

Here are our standard tips for a quicker recovery from a tummy tuck procedure:

  • Pain Management – Use long-acting local anesthesia (Exparel) during surgery to minimize pain felt along the incision line.  This is especially helpful for reducing discomfort in the first few days after surgery.
  • Relaxation – Muscle relaxants like Valium help relax the muscles which can be repaired during this surgery. This will reduce discomfort and increase your mobility in the first week of recovery.  
  • Movement – Start walking as soon as possible to improve circulation, help with healing, and prevent blood clots. Avoid strenuous exercise until 4-6 weeks after surgery.
  • Compression Garment/Binder – Wearing this garment for several weeks after surgery can help with swelling, stability, and support. 
  • Healthy Diet – Stick to a balanced diet with lots of protein and healthy fats to fuel the healing process. Avoid foods that cause gas or constipation and salty foods that cause swelling.
  • Hydration – Drink plenty of fluids like water and diluted juices to stay hydrated. Proper hydration improves outcomes.
  • Be Patient – Healing and results will come with time but the results are absolutely worth it! You may have periods of swelling that may persist for 3-6 months.

Although the first couple weeks of recovery can be challenging, integrating these standard tips into your recovery plan is important. 

Tips for Next Level Recovery 

If you want to take it to the next level of recovery, this is what we use in our office to make your recovery even better:

  • A regional block, aka a TAP block, done at the time of surgery can drastically reduce discomfort for the first 2-3 days after surgery.   
  • HBO (Hyperbaric Oxygen) offers the best way to supercharge the healing process within the first 4 weeks of recovery.  In most cases you can begin hyperbaric treatments a few days after surgery. It is especially helpful if you have areas that are slow to heal and need a little boost. 
  • Cryotherapy: aka cold therapy, is the most effective way to reduce inflammation and swelling once the surgical drains are removed. We highly recommend this treatment once your drains and all sutures have been removed.
  • Lymphatic massage: these super specialized massage techniques are performed by a certified therapist and offer some of the best options to reduce swelling related discomfort. 
  • LED light therapy:  is a great alternative treatment to reduce swelling, redness and even discomfort.
  • IR Saunas:  A good option to promote healing and reduce residual swelling after the first 6 weeks of recovery. 

Temporary discomfort and downtime is expected with any surgery.  So be proactive, integrate all these tips into your recovery plan and pave the way for a totally new you!