When Will I Feel Normal After Full Tummy Tuck?

I had my Full Tummy Tuck Lipo on hips ,waist under and sides of breasts Breast lift with implant .3 weeks ago after the operation I needed two blood transfusions had a chest infection so I had two lots of steroids .I still do not feel well ,tired al of the time weepy I still can't stand up straight still feel very tight and very swolen .when can I expect to feel a bit more normal ?

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Doctor Answers 30

Recovery: slow but steady

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Sounds like you have had a very difficult post-operative course.

It's normal to feel blue during recovery.  Fatigue and irregular sleep contribute to emotional lows after surgery.

Dehydration and inadequate nutrition make things worse, so be sure to drink lots of water and eat lots protein.

When recovery is further slowed by complications, it can be very depressing.

It s very important to know that you will heal, and you will feel yourself, again.

Your surgeon and staff are there to support you during this tough time.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Recovery from a Tummy Tuck

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The recovery from a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) generally takes about 2-3 weeks to begin returning to normal activity. Some patients heal faster, and some take longer. In your case it seems like you had a rougher time than average. The chest infection definitely will weaken you making your recovery longer. Also, it is a bit unusual to need any transfusions with this surgery. In my experience the amount of bleeding is very little. In any case, you had a more difficult time than average. But don't worry, once you are fully healed the results will be great.

If you would like more information about abominoplasty I would recommend checking out the attached link. You will find lots of good information and even be able to see how the operation is done using animation.

I hope this info helps...

Adam Rubinstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

The body takes time to heal after a Tummy Tuck!

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Different people heal differently, and there are different type of Tummy Tuck procedures. But usually, most of my patients go back to their routine work activities in two weeks, and do light exericising in 4 weeks, with no sit ups. Most people feel their normal self in about 8-12 weeks, but will still have some bad days, here and there, for up to 6-8 months more.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Give it sometime, you had some adverse effects

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It seems that you had some adverse effects following your surgery. This will make your recovery a little harder. In general 3 weeks following this procedure you will start feeling well. With a chest infection ,steroids on board etc... too many factors involved. Give it some time. Work with your doctors until you are back to normal.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

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Typically, I tell my tummy tuck patients to plan on missing two weeks of work, no heavy lifting for at least four weeks, and that it will take a minimum of 6-8 weeks until they feel back to normal.  When a tummy tuck is combined with other procedures the recovery period is not only more strenuous, but also longer in some cases.  In addition, I think patients who undergo multiple procedures at once have a higher likelihood of experiencing a complication.  Lastly, it's important to remember that it takes a minimum of one year for a patient's body to be completely recovered from any surgery.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty recovery

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Sorry to hear about your difficult recovery.  This process  varies with age, nutritional status, and underlying health issues.  Most of my patients return to work within 2 weeks following abdominoplasty.  When this procedure is combined with others, recovery time is often slightly longer.  Anemia (low blood count) may contribute to a prolonged recovery.  When a complication is involved (hematoma, infection, wound dehisence), it may take several weeks to return to normal daily activities.  Frequent follow up visits with your doctor may be necessary.  A balanced diet, plenty of rest, and a positive attitude will all contribute to your recovery.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Recovering from a tummy tuck

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Normally I advise my patients to take 2 weeks off work. Once your drains are removed you will feel alot better. You will be swollen and sore for up to six weeks after surgery. The recovery does take some time but the results are worth it.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Recovery after a tummy tuck

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Feeling normal after a tummy tuck alone can take a minimum of four to six weeks for most patients.  With the number of added procedures you had performed along with the complicated course so far, a longer recovery period of at least 2-3 months is much more realistic.  Swelling usually takes several weeks to resolve especially when liposuction is added.  The feeling of tightness is also normal at this stage.  Some of the length of recovery also depends on how much of a change has occurred.  At three weeks, it sounds like most of what you are feeling is about normal.  But if you have any concerns, speak with your surgeon.  I am sure he/she will be happy to discuss any issues.  Good luck!

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Recovery after a tummy tuck

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When I see patients after a tummy tuck, I typically hear them complain that they are “exhausted”, they say “I feel like I was hit by a truck”, and “I feel tight”, but they don’t typically complain about pain after a tummy tuck. Don’t get me wrong, they all take some kind of pain medication, but the main complain is not typically the pain level. The worst part seems to be the first three days, after that they truly get better much faster. Most patients are back at work in about 2 weeks. Discomfort might last as much as three weeks, but that is not typical for a standard tummy tuck. I also ask patients not to exercise for six weeks and then to begin aerobic activity only. They can start aggressive weight training by 12 weeks (this is a little conservative, but I don’t like to take any chances).

Thomas P. Sterry, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Time to recover and feel normal after a tummy tuck

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Tummy Tuck Recovery

The first 2-3 days after surgery there is a good amount of pressure and tightness from repairing the stretched rectus muscles. The feeling is similar to a hard workout. We usually prescribe pain pills such as Norco (Vicodin) or Percocet and a muscle relaxant such as Soma or Flexeril. You will need help from someone the first 2-3 days. A drain is placed which is removed at approximately 1 to 1.5 weeks. Most people usually go on with light normal activities at that time. No heavy lifting or exercising for 6 weeks. The results will be visible right after the procedure. It takes several months for the swelling to subside. Generally, patients wear the compression garment 6 weeks and longer if necessary.  After 6 weeks most people will feel much better and significantly recovered, though full recovery takes 1 year. 

Best of luck, Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 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.