How Long is Tummy Tuck Recovery Time?

Tummy Tuck Recovery Time: What You Can & Can’t Do 

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped hundreds of women and men in Oakland County obtain the firm flat abdomen they have always wanted with a Tummy Tuck. One of his patient’s primary concerns is what they can and cannot do after having a Tummy Tuck.

A Tummy Tuck (also called “abdominoplasty”) is a surgery that involves incisions made under anesthetic. As with any surgery, the body will need time to heal.

There are several different types of Tummy Tuck procedures that can be performed – depending upon whether the patient needs muscles tightened, skin tightened, fat removed, or any combination of these. The healing time and recovery process will depend upon which type of Tummy Tuck was performed.

Additionally, a person’s ability to heal will depend upon their age, overall level of health and certain genetic factors.

The information in this article is general in nature – but people vary enormously in their recovery period. Dr. Ali and his medical staff will explain exactly what to expect in your unique situation. Always follow your plastic surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions regarding activity after a Tummy Tuck!

Daily Activities after a Tummy Tuck

Walking after a Tummy Tuck

A person is usually able to walk right after Tummy Tuck surgery, although it may be uncomfortable or even painful. Typically they will be instructed to take a short walk for a few minutes, three or four or more times per day, to help prevent the development of blood clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism).

Driving after a Tummy Tuck

Most patients who have had a full tummy tuck (with muscle repair) are generally able to drive a car within a week. Patients who have had an endoscopic or Mini-Tummy Tuck may even be able to drive sooner.

Your plastic surgeon will advise you when it is safe to drive. And, of course, never drive when you are taking narcotic pain medication that may impair you.

Working after a Tummy Tuck

Most people can take phone calls at home after only two or three days. In our experience, self-employed or work-from-home employees sometimes feel up to working at least part time at home after a just a week.  Most people generally do not return to the workplace for 2 or 3 weeks post-surgery.

Of course, the type of work you do and how strenuous your duties are will also affect how soon you can return to work. For example, an office worker may be able to return to work after two weeks, while a delivery driver would need much more recovery time before they were able to lift boxes.

Exercise after a Tummy Tuck

About two weeks after a tummy tuck, most patients regain a lot of your energy and can begin to resume some light exercise (e.g. slowly peddling a stationary bike). Avoid doing exercises that specifically target the abdominal muscles to prevent straining the surgical area.

By 6-8 weeks, most patients consider themselves fully or nearly fully recovered, and can resume normal exercise activities in moderation – still taking care not to strain the abdominal area.

Always follow the specific instructions of your plastic surgeon when resuming any exercise activities.

Sex after a Tummy Tuck

If a Tummy Tuck recovery goes smoothly, without complications, sexual activity can generally be resumed in three to four weeks after a tummy tuck. However, the ability to safely have sex after a Tummy Tuck will depend upon muscle repair, incision healing, the presence of drains, etc. Always get specific clearance from your plastic surgeon before you resume normal sexual activity. Even then, patients should avoid putting weight on their abdomen until completely healed.

Flying after a Tummy Tuck

Typically, plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least six weeks after a Tummy Tuck before flying. Not only is air travel (and luggage handling) strenuous – you do not want to be in a different state or country just in case of the unlikely event of a complication or medical issue while you are still healing.  Additionally, avoiding flying will help minimize the risk of developing blood clots in the post-operative period.

Oakland County Tummy Tuck Surgeon

Since all Tummy Tucks are different, recovery times can vary greatly. Always follow the specific instructions of your plastic surgeon when resuming any activities.

Oakland County’s board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped hundreds of women and men obtain the firm flat abdomen they have always wanted with a Tummy Tuck. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ali, and he will answer all of your questions – including what recovery period to expect in your unique situation.

Call Dr. Ali for a Tummy Tuck Consultation: 248-335-7200