Unless combined with other surgeries, tummy tuck is performed as an outpatient procedure where the patient is usually discharged home same day. Liposuction of the waist area is frequently carried out at the same time.

Recovery from tummy tuck surgery varies from one patient to another and it is recommended that you check with your plastic surgeon and adhere to his aftercare protocol.

In my practice, the morning after surgery, patients come in to the office for a general checkup. From that point onwards, they are encouraged to move and ambulate freely and further instructions are given regarding breathing exercises, activity and diet. They should be able to resume their diet that day and advance it to regular as they tolerate. Patients may shower in 48 hours and the wounds can be smeared with topical antibiotics, twice daily, for 3-5 days after surgery. No dressing covers the wounds except the abdominal binder. Patients may take their pain killers as deemed necessary and are expected to complete their antibiotic oral course in 3-5 days after surgery. I do not recommend dieting before at least one month in order to allow your body to heal well and get over the aftermath of surgery. I like my patients to start applying scar creams as early as 1-2 weeks following their surgery.

I often use suction drains. These are usually removed when the drainage is less than 30 CCs in 24 hours and the color is light yellow. Patients are expected to keep a daily record of the drainage amount in each bottle until they are ready for removal. This time ranges from 1-2 weeks and at times, I leave them longer, if necessary.

From 1-2 weeks, the majority of my patients are able to resume their regular activity such as driving their car and perform light duties at home without weight lifting. They are allowed “axial-type” activities such as using the elliptical, step-master and treadmill as early as one week after surgery. These activities are advanced slowly as tolerated. Patients may swim one week after the removal of their drains.

“Torsion-type” exercises such as tennis, zumba, yoga and golf, are allowed 6 weeks after surgery in order to protect the muscle repair. The abdominal binder can be discarded at that point. From 3 months onwards, their activity is unrestricted.

I prefer not to to consider revisions prior 6 months passed surgery. This will allow enough time for the tissues to settle down and deformities, if any, to declare themselves. Many of these minor revisions can be dealt with under local anesthesia without the need to be put to sleep.

It is recommended that you verify that the outpatient facility is a licensed accredited facility in the state of California.

Web Reference: Tummy Tuck