Tummy Tuck Recovery : Week by Week Recovery [Step By Step Guide]

The Tummy Tuck Recovery Process

You have just had your long awaited Tummy Tuck surgery and you are extremely sure when you will get well and what to expect in the weeks leading up to your recovery. Here are all the answers you require.

What To Expect Immediately After The Abdominoplasty Surgery.

After the surgery,it is normal to still have some dressing where the incision took place and around your belly button.It is also not uncommon for tubes to be placed near the incision to drain any liquids that might come from the wound.You will also be encouraged to walk very lightly on the first day after the surgery.This helps a lot as it prevents the formation of blood clots.

The First Five Days(Week One)

Recommended Pain Pump And Drains.

The pain pump is usually inserted while you are still in the operating room immediately after the procedure.It usually contains anesthesia which it dispenses slowly to aid in pain relief.Chances of you being able to stand upright sooner are higher when the pain pump is inserted than when it is not.

Drain pipes are also common.They help to collect excess blood and other fluids which if left would cause infection.A bulb to collect the fluids also accompanies the drain pipes and should be emptied when full. (1)

Diet And Rest

tummy tuck recovery first week

Make sure that when you are in bed, the head of the bed is slightly elevated and that you always have a couple of pillows under your knees.This helps in expanding your lungs since your torso will be in an elevated position.This decreases the likelihood of developing lung problems.

With this posture,the skin around your abdomen area is relaxed,bringing less tension to the area hence no wounds and ultimately good blood supply which accelerates tummy tuck recovery.During the first few days,walking should be light.This is because excessive activity can cause the skin and muscle layers to overlap resulting in too much fluid accumulation.

Also make sure to drink plenty of healthy liquids to assist in muscle repair.

The Compression Garment

This is a full body garment that you will have to wear.It helps in stopping the swelling and also to prevent the fluids from accumulating unnecessarily. This garment assists you in healing very fast and also, it will help in shaping your final appearance.

You should NEVER remove the compression garment for the first five days.The garment usually extends to your thighs and comes with suspenders so it can stay rigid even when you are asleep.

Hygiene And Visits To The Bathroom

You can always visit the bathroom for as many times as you like, but make sure there is always someone to assist you when you need support and watch over you keenly.

It is strictly advised that for the first five days you SHOULD NOT take a shower.You may sponge bathe yourself on your hands and the rest of your body but you are not to get your compression garment wet or remove it.


It is common to have discomfort and pain after the surgery.Don’t be afraid to take painkillers even if you a pain pump.This is because the pain pump works in a totally different way to alleviate pain as compared to painkillers.Use of both speeds up tummy tuck recovery and helps you to stay more comfortably. (2)

The First Visit To Hospital

Tummy Tuck Recovery Visit Hospital First week

Five days after the operation,you can visit the hospital.Here,you will have your pain pump,tubes and the compression garment removed.

You will then be given another garment and advised on how to care for yourself over the next five days.Post the first, after operation visit,you can now shower.Caution must however be taken to wear the garment as soon as you finish bathing or showering to prevent fluid accumulation and swelling.

Week Two Of The Tummy Tuck Recovery

During the second week of recovery,the muscle and skin layers are slowly beginning to heal.You are recommended to start walking around the house,three times a day.Muscles have to be activated to prevent clots and get air to your lungs.

Keep wearing the compression garment in the second week and do not over walk yourself as this may cause serious complications as the muscle layer may slide against the skin layer causing hematoma or seroma.

Maintain the same bed position when sleeping and walk with a slight stoop.Don’t suddenly stand straight too quickly as this may tear and open up the wound.

Always make sure your caregivers are close to help you in activities like taking off your garment.Shower in cool and not warm water as the warm water may overly relax the blood vessels which may lead to blood going to your lower body putting you at risk of fainting. (3)

Reduce the painkillers at this stage.This is because you might tend to overuse them.Also,painkillers bring constipation which is hazardous especially when you go for a long call as the force might tear up your wound.

Week Three Of The Tummy Tuck Recovery.

By this time,you will start to feel the recovery is in top gear.Walk around a bit everyday,stand up straight if you can.Listen to your body;Don’t overwork it.

Even driving is still out of bounds.Wear your compression garment at least half the time i.e you can remove it at night.But if you still feel insecure,you can still wear your garment for 24 hours.

Week Four Of The Tummy Tuck Recovery.

Provided your body agrees,you can now go outside and even to work but not to long trips that will be physically demanding. Continue wearing the only the compression garment and no tight clothes.

It is still not a good idea to drive as sudden jerks could still affect the healing process.By now,you will start feeling a hard exterior around the wound.Not to worry,this is just the normal healing process where collagen is produced to naturally sew up the wound. This will disappear within a few days.

Week Five Of The Recovery

By this time,you should be able to return to your normal activities.Go for the final checkup to your doctor.Your new shape should be clearly visible by now.

If you have just had a tummy tuck operation,this is the best step by step guide to your final and ultimate recovery after about five weeks.Congratulations and look forward to your new amazing body.

CatchyScoop Team