Recovery After Tummy Tuck and Augmentation?

What can I do to aid in speedy recovery after an Augmentation and Tummy Tuck? Also, is some anxiety normal? I made the mistake of watching the procedure on YouTube. Should I be nervous about anestetic or waking up during surgery or not waking up at all? I really want these procedures and need them due to excess weightloss-but is there anything I can do to make myself healthier either before or after?

Doctor Answers 4

Quick Recovery Tips

Thank you for asking the questions.  First, everyone (especially moms) has some anxiety regarding surgery.  Ask your surgeon who will be giving the anesthetic and be sure they are properly qualified.  In my office, we only use board-certified anesthesiologists (who are MD's), but some offices or surgery centers use nurses trained in anesthesia (nurse anesthetists).  Both can do a great job assuming they are properly credentialed.  Things you can do to minimize your recovery include not smoking (or avoiding the smoke of others), take good multivitamins that come from whole foods, take 500mg Vitamin C (Ester-C is the best) two to three times per day, eat healthy foods and avoid sugar, get up and do light activity right after your surgery, and follow your surgeon's instructions.  Hope this helps. 

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Recovery after Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation?

Thank you for the question.

You are correct in that some degree of anxiety is quite normal. Assuming you are working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist,  I do not think you need to worry about “waking up” during surgery. Assuming you are in good health  and have chosen your plastic surgeon/anesthesiologist and facility carefully,  chances are much in your favor that you will “wake up” after surgery.

A few words of advice may be helpful:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews


In terms of the anesthesia concerns, you should have surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist in an accredited facility.  Feel free to discuss the anesthesia with your surgeon and/or anesthesiologist prior to the surgery date.  You should also have preoperative blood testing and, depending on underlying medical conditions, a medical clearance from your internist.

In terms of recovery, follow your plastic surgeon's instructions.  Don't overdo, wear the compression garment as directed, abstain from smoking/drinking as directed, etc.  It is perfectly normal to be anxious about undergoing surgery; when patients aren't nervous, I get nervous---because that's just not normal!  So, what you are feeling is totally appropriate.  Best of luck!

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Recovery after Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck.

I reviewed the anticipated recovery course with patients in detail during my consultations.   After your surgery you will be walking flexed at your waist in the skier's position for about 5-7 days.  You should be able to walk straight in 7-10 days.   I encourage my patients to ambulate immediately after surgery.  However, no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.  You should be able to drive in 10 days.    In terms of preparing for your recovery:  good nutrition (protein supplementation) to aide healing, following your PS's postoperative instructions including activity limitations, staying away from cigarettes including 2nd hand smoke will help. Best of luck! Dr. Basu Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 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.