Recovery after a Tummy Tuck

Recovery after a tummy tucks is about two weeks. Highly motivated patients have returned to work on the fourth post-operative day. Insulin dependant diabetics take longer to heal (2-4 weeks).

For the first 36 hours, an adult is needed to be with the patient. The patient will be on clear liquid diet (juices) for 1-2 days, full liquid diet (soups) for 1-2 days and solid food after that.

Before surgery, the patient is asked to stack the house with juices, soups and TV dinners for one week. Also, the patient should have straws, advil, tylenol and our prescription medication. No other preperation is needed.

Drainage tubes (as seen here) are placed during a tummy tuck procedure, and remain in for about 5-7 days.

The drainage tubes drain into a closed suction container (not shown) made of soft plastic. While the drains are in, the patient may sponge-bathe.

In about 2 days, the patient is self-sufficient and is seen on our first post-operative visit.

In one week, the patient is taking minimal narcotics, the drain has been removed at our second post-operative visit. When the drains are removed, the patient may start showering.

Out-of state patients are seen two days after surgery. The final visit is 7-10 days after surgery to remove the drainage tubes. Between the first and second post-op visits, out of state patients may go home or, if they stay in-state, may go shopping, etc.

At about 1-2 weeks, the patient may return to light duty (housework, office work, sit-down work, power walking, aerobics). More strenuous work, involving professional dancing, crawling, blue collar work, heavy lifting, may need to wait 3-4 weeks after surgery.