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How Can I Manage Discomfort and Pain During Tummy Tuck Recovery?

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It is important for patients considering tummy tuck surgery to understand that the procedure and recovery may be more involved and extensive than with other surgeries. Still, with preparation and proper aftercare, patients can help set themselves up for a more efficient, comfortable, and successful tummy tuck recovery. Here, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe and the knowledgeable team at Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery provide helpful information on what to expect after tummy tuck surgery and how to manage pain and discomfort as you heal.

What happens during a tummy tuck?

During tummy tuck surgery, an incision is made on the patient's lower abdomen. Depending on how much excess skin needs to be removed — as well as what other steps may be included, like diastasis repair — the tummy tuck incision may run from one hip to the other. In cases when patients have less extensive concerns, a mini tummy tuck — which utilizes a smaller incision — may be used. While each tummy tuck procedure is customized based on the individual patient's needs and personal goals, abdominoplasty surgery, in general, typically involves trimming away loose abdominal skin, removing stubborn belly fat via liposuction, and, oftentimes, repositioning the belly button for a more natural placement. In cases of abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti), hernia, or another structural issue, Dr. Dauwe may also repair and reinforce the muscle. Because the area addressed during tummy tuck surgery can be fairly large and involves multiple layers of skin, fat, tissue, muscle, and more, tummy tuck recovery can be somewhat more involved than recovery after more isolated procedures.

How long will I be in pain after tummy tuck surgery?

Some discomfort, swelling, and bruising are normal and expected during the days and weeks after tummy tuck surgery, with many patients requiring up to 2 – 3 weeks off work before returning to light activities, like desk work. Fortunately, most patients report feeling much more comfortable after about 1-2 weeks, though some tenderness may persist, and walking upright can remain challenging for up to a week or so. While some level of discomfort with tummy tuck surgery may be unavoidable, following your tummy tuck recovery instructions can help to keep your pain to a minimum and also help you avoid delayed healing and prolonged discomfort. Tips for managing pain after tummy tuck surgery include:

  • Take your pain medications as prescribed and directed
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing
  • Wear supportive medical garments as recommended
  • Walk with your upper body bent at a slight angle
  • Sleep in a reclined position, with your upper body and legs both slightly elevated
  • Do not lift, strain, or engage in strenuous physical activity for up to six weeks (or until cleared by your surgeon)

While this is not a comprehensive list of tummy tuck recovery guidelines, these tips can help to alleviate pain and discomfort as your body heals. For more information about tummy tuck aftercare, don't hesitate to call and schedule a consultation with us.

Set yourself up for a speedy and comfortable recovery after tummy tuck surgery in Dallas, TX

Not only can following abdominoplasty care instructions help minimize your pain and discomfort, but it can also boost your chances for a speedier recovery and more desirable results. To learn more about how tummy tuck surgery may be the life-changing body contouring procedure you've been searching for, call Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery to schedule your private consultation with Dallas, TX board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.