Expected recovery time after abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is the optimal surgical solution for men and women with distended abdominal muscles and skin sagginess on the abdominal wall. The procedure is done with the patient under general anesthesia and can take one and a half hours to four hours or more to be performed. It is among the most complicated procedures performed nowadays as it affects the abdominal muscles and the skin on the tummy. In some cases, the tummy tuck can be performed with liposuction on the flanks and tummy along with fat transfer to the hips. When this is the case, the procedure is called the hourglass tummy tuck, and it aims to help patients get not only a flat and firm tummy but also a better shape of the body, which is the hourglass silhouette.
The recovery time after abdominoplasty is dependent on the surgical plan that was followed during the surgery and also the health and emotional condition of the patient. Your plastic surgeon should tell you from the initial meeting all about the recovery time and what is to be expected in different stages of the recovery.
Generally speaking, the first few days after the abdominoplasty are the most difficult as patients can experience pain and discomfort. This is the adjustment period when patients need to learn to adapt to the post-op requirements. It can be difficult during this time for patients to get on and off the bed as they need to be very careful not to put too much pressure on the incisions. Also, patients need to get used to sleeping exclusively on the back, preferably with pillows under the upper part of the body and also the knees. The resting positions should be with the back slightly bent forward and also the knees flexed so the incisions are not forced.
After the initial few days, patients get more used to their new condition and are able to do more things on their own. Usually after the first week, most patients can start resuming daily activities around the house. After the second week, some patients can already return to work, with the condition to avoid demanding physical activities. Once the first month is over, patients are able to do most of the things they did before the surgery, but there is still valid recommendation to avoid intense physical activities.
Two months after, patients can consider doing physical exercises if the plastic surgeon has given his consent. At this time, most of the side effects such as swelling and bruising will probably have already subsided, and the final results of the surgery should start to show up.
It is essential for patients undergoing an abdominoplasty to understand that the is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. The best thing they can do for themselves is to give it time and be positive, while also aware of the changes that occur in the body during this time.