When you first have your tummy tuck surgery, you will feel some pain and the inability to stand completely straight due to the tightness of the skin of your stomach and swelling. You will be given pain medications to assist you through the first week, which is often the most uncomfortable part of your recovery. By the second week, you can probably control any discomfort with over-the-counter medications. Recovery times vary for each patient, but as long as you listen to your tummy tuck surgeon and follow their instructions, you should fully recover in a few weeks or months.
At around the 2 to 3-week period, you will find yourself standing straighter, and you may be allowed to drive. Do not attempt this without speaking with your doctor first.
By the 4th week, you should have more mobility with less pain, and you can do moderate exercises. Walking, biking, swimming, and things that do not put extra strain on your stomach are fine.
At the 2-month mark, you should be healed enough to resume normal activities. Of course, that is assuming you did not experience any problems like infection during the previous 2 months.
Throughout this process, you may experience some numbness, or discomfort that you had not noticed before. This is usually caused by nerves that have been affected during the surgery. It is temporary and will go away. If you are experiencing any severe pain, bleeding, or you see signs of an infection near the incision, consult with your doctor immediately.
After 12-18 months, the numbness in your stomach area will fade away. You will also notice the scar beginning to fade.
All Tummy Tucks and All Recoveries Are Not Equal
A person who had a standard tummy tuck procedure and had a good overall muscle foundation is going to recover much faster than a person with severely compromised muscles in the stomach. A person who opted for a tummy tuck while having a hernia repaired will face different challenges. A person having a hernia repair at the time of a tummy tuck is looking at a minimum of at least eight weeks to recover. Only your doctor can tell you what your actual condition is and what you can expect in the way of recovery. This could be important if you were planning to return to work in two weeks and you find you cannot return for two months.
Most doctors advise their patients to wear a compression garment for at least a couple of weeks. The reason for this is it reduces swelling, discomfort, and the garment collapses areas that have now been emptied. Some doctors do not require it at all. Speak to your doctor and do as they advise. If the garment helps a patient feel less pain and more support, wearing it is beneficial. Only your doctor knows what is best for you.
Having a tummy tuck is a big step and if this is what a person needs to build their confidence, it is money well spent. But take it easy and do not rush your recovery. You have the rest of your life to be gorgeous!