I had an extended tummy tuck on January 23rd. I am now 6 days post op and feeling pretty good. I had prepared myself for severe pain, however found that more than pain what I experienced was severe uncomfortableness. More than anything, the back pain and the tightness of the skin seemed to be the worst. I stayed overnight with a nurse my first night (it was optional) and I feel it was well worth it.
I arrive home Saturday morning and a friend stayed with me the entire weekend to help me out. I would suggest having help for at least the first three days. During the initial day after surgery you will need help getting up and down and walking.
I am 33 years old and had excess skin on my stomach and hips from gaining weight during pregnancy when I was much younger. I am in pretty good health and at an ideal weight. I expected to awake from the surgery in severe pain and did not.
I was numb for hours. Again, I do not think much can prepare you for the uncomfortable feeling that you have from the skin tightness or the back pain. I would just say to prepare yourself for a huge undertaking that is certainly bearable as long as you stick to taking your pain medication as prescribed.
The first 3 days post op seemed to be the most difficult. After that, I slowly began to get up and down by myself, walk more, and just feel better. I think the surgery has such positive results that as long as yo are willing to give up a couple of weeks for the recovery it is well worth it. I also found that sleeping in a recliner for the first 3-4 days really helped.