Male Voice: The biggest variable that determines recovery from tummy tuck is whether or not the muscles have to be repaired. With pregnancy, very often the rectus abdominis muscles get pushed to the side and there isn't any exercise regimen that pulls them back in.

So when you have to do that repair which is more often than not with tummy tuck, it's like having a big hernia. So you have to be very careful about lifting for five to six weeks. So that's something to plan for. If in consultation, the surgeon says, "I don't think you have the muscle separation," then your recovery is going to be much faster.

Most tummy tucks and most surgeons depending on the technique will use drain tubes that may need to be in anywhere from a couple of days to a week or so. That's something to plan for. In terms of discomfort, we have really good options now with managing the early postoperative discomfort, either Exparel or like an ON-Q pain pump that infuse numbing medication into the surgical field.

So in my experience for example with Exparel, our patients need only half as many of the pain pills. So that translates into getting up and around faster. The recovery is sort of frontloaded to just have them feel better sooner.

I think for something like tummy tuck which is a pretty significant procedure, I'm not impressed that supplements make a big different. You know, people like to use things like Arnica. That may make more of a difference in facelifts and we don't discourage our patients from using that.

I'm not convinced that it makes a big difference in things like tummy tuck and if you're considering taking supplements, you really need to make sure your surgeon is aware of what you want to do, because some of these can have significant effects on blood clotting for example that can affect your risk of bleeding from surgery or they might interact with some of the medications you're taking and it's really important to have that good kind of communication.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Doctor Richard Baxter discusses what you can expect after your tummy tuck.