Once the decision to have plastic surgery has been made, it is only natural to begin imagining how life will feel after the procedure. If you’re scheduled for a tummy tuck consultation or surgery, you may already be thinking about all the clothes you’ll wear and all of the ways you’ll be more engaged in your life. While it is very clear that plastic surgery procedures can have life-changing physical effects it is also important to understand the journey it may take to get to the finish line. Some procedures are known for a relatively more extensive recovery than others. The tummy tuck is one of them. Here, we discuss one of the most common questions we get about this procedure: when can I get back to my normal activities?
What a Tummy Tuck Does
You may know that a tummy tuck is a procedure that can restore a slimmer, flatter midsection. It does so by removing excess fat and skin. This procedure is not intended for fat reduction, though. Depending on how much fatty tissue a person has in their abdominal area, they may also wish to have liposuction along with their tummy tuck. The abdominoplasty procedure itself focuses on correcting sagging skin and loose muscle tissue. Surgery involves a hip-to-hip incision along the lower abdomen (this incision sits below the bikini line). Dr. Dahan pulls the abdominal muscles together at the center and excises excess. The tightened muscle is carefully sutured together to make a flat surface. The overlying skin is treated in the same manner, resulting in smoother contours.
Abdominoplasty is known for achieving astounding results. The payoff at the end is worth the few weeks of recovery needed to assure proper healing of muscle and skin. Patients who undergo this procedure can expect mild to moderate discomfort for 1 to 2 weeks. Mobility is somewhat limited so patients cannot do housework, child care, or other light activities. These first weeks revolve around healing and allowing the muscle to settle and heal.
After 2 to 3 weeks, mobility improves enough for some patients to return to work, but not strenuous activities. It is only after 3 to 4 weeks that patients begin to truly feel like themselves again. It is at this time when the question about exercise is often posed. Patients who have a tummy tuck should not resume any kind of exercise routine until they are cleared by Dr. Dahan to do so. This usually happens between 4 and 6 weeks after surgery. Until that time, activity should be limited as instructed. Otherwise, there is a risk of sub-optimal results.