Tummy tuck recovery. How mobile can I be and how much personal care assistance do I need?

I'm having a drainles TT w upper ab lipo and MR. I am planning to stay near my surgeons office for the first 4 days Postop. Returning home on day 5, how mobile can I be and how much personal care assistance do i need? I can get help for myself and my three small children but I'm wondering HOW much help I'll need for myself by that point? Do I need help for waking hours/bathroom needs/getting around or do I just need it for a portion of the day showering, laundry, cooking, groceries, driving?

Doctor Answers 2

The Drainless Tummy Tuck & Your Recovery

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The #drainage tubes for a tummy tuck are used by trained Plastic Surgeons for many different operations. The purpose is to drain extra fluid which may otherwise accumulate under the skin, fat or muscle following an operation.  Patients generally find this annoying and uncomfortable and they can impede mobility and therefore slow aspects of #healing. Over the years, surgeons have improved procedures and found ways to eliminate the need for these #drains in a variety of operations; including #tummy #tuck or #abdominoplasty.

I have found that most of my patients do very well with the exception of those have large areas of liposuction or lipo-abdominoplasty.  I may use drains on a case by case basis for these patients. A newer option now can include the use of tissue #glue to adhere the abdominal #skin to the #muscle; eliminating any space that previously required a drain.

Controlling pain after the surgery not only provides more comfortable #healing, but also quicker healing.  When patients are painfree after a tummy tuck, they are able to get out of bed and move around more easily decreasing the chance of DVT or blood clots in the leg veins, pneumonia and muscle weakness. All which result from inactivity following any surgical procedure.

The suitability of your procedures and any specific risks may be determined during you #consultation. Also, another element to a satisfying result of your procedures are realistic #expectations. The best method and #technique for your #procedures will be discussed in greater length during your one-on-one consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

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Thank you for your question. I advise all my patients to have someone who can help them around the house for the first two weeks. By a week you should be able to move around pretty well. You might sleep and sit in a slightly flexed position. At a week you just need someone there to help you change positions, get in and out of bed. Most other activities you should be able to do by yourself - it is more assistance with mobility and to help you carry/get things. You will likely feel more tired than usual and take more naps. This is completely normal after this operation. Most of my patients are back to their normal activities by week 4. Hope this helps


Surjit S. Rai, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon 

Surjit S. Rai, MD
Dallas Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.