Do you go home the same day after a tummy tuck?

Preparing for a smooth recovery from a tummy tuck

While the length of time spent in the recovery room depends on a number of factors, including how quickly your body metabolizes the anesthetic, on average, patients spend about one to two hours in the recovery room. Bandages: tummy tuck bandages may be replaced, and the area around the incision gently cleaned, every other day after surgery. In most cases, the drain can be removed in three to seven days. When considering cosmetic surgery, there is plenty of research to be done as it relates to types of procedures, quality of results, and expertise of providers.


However, if you are travelling from out of town, or simply want the comfort of knowing that a licensed medical professional is standing by, our caring and compassionate team at body by craft would be happy to arrange for your stay at our luxurious surgical suite where you will be provided with 24-hour care throughout your recovery. Since your mobility will be very limited for at least the first week after a tummy tuck, a helping hand can go a long way. “help at home is beneficial to assist with child or pet care, perform any necessary tasks, and assist with mobility, like walking up stairs or getting in and out of the shower,” dr. madan explains. This transformative procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that you can return home the day of your surgery. A facet of the procedure that’s crucial to keep in mind: downtime and recovery.


Schedule appointment

From the time you check-in to the time you are discharged, a tummy tuck is a full-day affair. Atlanta plastic surgeon marcus crawford offers a breakdown of what our patients can expect during the tummy tuck recovery period. A smooth recovery from any surgery starts in the lead up to the procedure. During the consultation and pre-op preparations, your surgeon will share what can be expected during the recovery process and when you can return to normal activities after surgery.


Weeks 3 and 4 after surgery

As dr. walters says, “it is always best to be prepared so you don’t have to worry about these things while recovering.” She opted to have the surgery during the pandemic because it allowed her more time to recover discreetly. It should be noted that while most patients are “free from restrictions at four to six weeks post-op, the body continues to improve and recover up to six months or even one year after surgery,” dr. walters notes. No matter how much better you think you are feeling, now is not the time to overdo it.


Ready to reveal your body’s potential?

Scar minimizing techniques may include the application of vitamin e or silicone sheets to the incision. If you are considering a tummy tuck in miami, we welcome you to contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with dr. craft, a knowledgeable and compassionate expert in body contouring surgery. However, more strenuous moves such as sit-ups and weight lifting should be avoided until six weeks after surgery. After exploring a few different options, a tummy tuck proved to be the best procedure for the results he was seeking.


Week 2 after surgery

If you are thinking about having an abdominoplasty (a.k.a. Although rare, in some instances, patients are required to stay overnight so we can monitor their progress and ensure a speedy recovery. Off limits: a number of activities are off limits the first week after tummy tuck surgery. Side effects: at this point, there is still swelling in the treatment area.

These include: exercise, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Should you have any questions or concerns throughout the recovery process, you can always contact us for advice and reassurance. Whether you go home the same day or stay overnight for observation is up to your surgeon, but “most tummy tucks are performed as an outpatient surgery, meaning you are able to return home on the same day,” says olivia madan, md, a board eligible plastic and reconstructive surgeon in nashville, tn. Keep in mind, however, that “minor swelling can be present for three-plus months after surgery,” dr. madan says.


Tummy tuck recovery timeline

You should also be wearing compression garments as per your surgeon’s instructions. Swelling lingers but you should be through the worst of it. Patients that undergo tummy tuck in combination with another treatment, such as liposuction, butt lift, breast augmentation, arm lift, or thigh lift, may need an extra few days to recover. Drains: most patients will require the use of a drain for the first few days after surgery; the drain directs excess fluid away from the incision and out of the body.


These include: driving, exercise, work, chores, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Now that you have a better sense of the timeline associated with recovering from a tummy tuck, it’s time to hear what it’s like from a patient perspective. Arranging a driver to and from surgery. Compression garment: patients should wear a compression garment at all times in the week after surgery.


Recovery after procedure

We will also ensure that you are kept comfortable by providing pain medication as needed and warm blankets as desired. Speaking of activities, they are still pretty restricted the first week — though short walks remain important. While you undoubtedly heard from your surgeon and their team in the hours and days after the procedure, your first in-person check up usually comes about a week after surgery. Scar treatments: patients can usually begin treatment to minimize scarring the second week after surgery.


Expectation vs. reality: what it’s really like to recover from a tummy tuck

Side effects: patients experience some pain, bruising, swelling, and tightness the first week after surgery. However, the pain, bruising, and feeling of tightness are beginning to fade. As jeff church, md, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in wilmington, nc, explains, the vast majority of abdominoplasties are performed at outpatient facilities. “most surgery centers have the patient come one to two hours before surgery,” he says. “the surgery takes about three hours, and patients typically stay another hour or so for recovery.” Diet: patients will be ready to go back to their regular diet the second week after surgery, but it is a good idea to continue to limit sodium this week.


Week 1 after surgery

Swelling and discomfort are common. “most patients are doing fairly well with their normal activities by four to six weeks.” “i tell my patients that for the first week they will wonder why they did it, the second week they will think they will be ok, and by the third week they will know they will be ok,” dr church says. When it comes to driving, he suggests starting slow. “i always recommend first sitting in the driveway and pressing down on the brake and making sure you are able to move with a full range of motion to drive safely,” he shares. At dr. walters practice, compression and massage are both employed to manage post-op swelling. “our patients undergo postoperative lymphatic drainage massages and size down on their garments as swelling subsides.” At either the two- or three-week mark, you will visit your surgeon again for a follow-up appointment, but, in the meantime, you may be able to resume certain non-strenuous activities. “at that point, patients are usually no longer taking pain medication and are able to begin driving and getting back to most normal day-to-day tasks.”

To give you a clearer picture of what tummy tuck recovery is actually like, we’re breaking down what can be expected from the perspective of providers and patients alike. This is only necessary when the surgery is unusually long or when there are underlying health concerns. As it relates to scars, it takes a full year for the incision sites to fully heal. The less you have to think about, the better.


By Dr. Leonard Tachmes

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Chief of Plastic Surgery, Larkin Community Hospital. Screenwriter. Former Art Gallery Owner. Currently is main editor and fact checker of, which is a non-profit Wiki about cosmetic surgery industry. Read more about him: