Normal Tummy Tuck Recovery?

I had a Tummy Tuck 3 weeks ago. On the second day, I was out of bed, walking almost normal. I hear several people say that they could hardly stand straight, but I was able to stand straight after one week, with no pain. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck Recovery is very variable

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Hi there-

Patients vary significantly in their recovery experience after tummy tuck surgery. There are now many different techniques described, and these will contribute to these differences, but also differing levels of fitness and different pain thresholds account for these variations.

If you are pleased with your outcome, I would consider myself lucky to be having such a pleasant recovery, as most patients do have more discomfort for the first week than it sounds like you are experiencing.

Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty Recovery

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Thanks for the question. The healing period for a tummy tuck will vary from person to person, and this variation is based on several factors including: Type of tummy tuck (full abdominoplasty versus mini-tummy tuck, for example); fitness of patient prior to procedure; type of pain control utilized in the peri-operative period; and the patient's pain threshold. All these factors come into play in determining the recovery in the post-operative period. Your progress certainly falls within the "normal" parameters for recovery after a tummy tuck, albeit on the earlier side. Hope this helps!

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Post Tummy Tuck recovery

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Yes it is "normal." But normal is very variable. You sound like you got a good result from a good surgeon. Congratulations. Keep up the good work, but don't overdo it.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon

Recovery from a Tummy Tuck Should Not be Very Long

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Your recovery actually sounds very normal for patients who are placed on a rapid recovery protocol. This is a post-operative regime that employs early and frequent motion (the new sports medicine technique for recovery), a NO Drain tummy tuck technique, the long acting local anesthetic called Exparel and twilight sedation for your procedure so that you have very little pain right after your procedure and there is minimal anesthesia recovery.

This protocol allows patients to be up and around within 24 hours, almost always without any pain medication other than Aleve or Tylenol. Patients who have this protocol must remember that they are not healed and as result should not overdo it in the first few days but at least they can be back to doing things like driving, shopping and light housekeeping chores and still be quite comfortable.

It sounds like you may be on the same track even if it was not prescribed for you. That's great since you will have a lower risk of complications.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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Your Tummy Tuck experience sounds like it was a good one. In general, Tummy Tuck Recovery is dramatically improved with use of a pain pump during the post op period. Most all of my patients are able to stand up straight after one week. To learn more about the entire recovery recovery process following an Abdominoplasty procedure read more in the link below.

Ricardo L Rodriguez MD

Baltimore, Maryland

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery Varies Greatly

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The range of what is "normal recovery" varies widely as does the complexity and extent of a tummy tuck surgery. Glad you are in the fast track for recovery as in some it takes from one to two weeks to feel comfortable standing up straight.

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.