Tummy Tuck Recovery: How To Reduce Pain & Heal Well (Updated 2023)

woman's body wearing a black bralette and black underwear (model)

Recovery is one of the most important parts of any surgery. While tummy tucks require longer recovery periods than other procedures, they can create a dramatically flatter abdomen and slimmer waist in the process.  Tummy tuck patients at our suburban Atlanta practice in Marietta often have questions about how to best heal after surgery. By making smart decisions, you can help your body produce the best possible results.

Make Healthy Choices

  • Limit sun exposure. Sunbathing in a bikini can damage skin and darken scars. Avoid spending long hours in the sun, and protect yourself by consistently using sunscreen.
  • Kick bad habits. Keeping your body as healthy as possible can shorten your recovery time. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake—especially when on pain medication.
  • Eat nutritious meals. Your body needs to be as strong as possible while healing. Be sure to consume healthy foods. Avoid processed foods and limit sodium intake—both contribute to swelling. Drink plenty of water and make sure your diet includes enough protein.

Move Mindfully

  • Engage in gentle physical activity. While rest is important during your recovery, you’ll still need to move around. You can start walking around on the same day after surgery in order to encourage blood circulation but avoid any physical activity that might disrupt your sutures. You’ll need to put workout or exercise plans on hold for several weeks.
  • No heavy lifting. Your stomach muscles are delicate after a tummy tuck. Lifting anything over 10 pounds can cause complications, so don’t lift heavy objects or young children.

Take It Easy

  • Live life slow and steady. Sleep as much as necessary during the first 2 weeks following surgery. Results will gradually show over time as swelling begins to subside. Don’t weigh or measure yourself the first month after surgery, as the number won’t be an accurate representation of the procedure.
  • Gather up your favorite entertainment. Place devices, books, TV remotes, and anything else that keeps you entertained within easy reach. Sleep on an incline for the first few days to reduce swelling. A pillow under your knees can provide extra support.
  • Stay positive. Surgery can be an intensive experience for both your body and your mind. Talk with friends and family to let them know your surgical plans. Have a good support system in place (which can include carpool scheduling, pet sitting, etc.).

Manage Pain With EXPAREL®

For our surgical patients, we offer an FDA-approved medication called EXPAREL. EXPAREL is a long-lasting numbing agent that greatly improves post-surgical comfort and reduces the need for narcotics after surgery. This dramatically improves the overall patient experience. 

What is EXPAREL? EXPAREL is a combination of 2 pain medications that have been used for several years and have strong safety profiles: bupivacaine liposome and Marcaine®.

How does EXPAREL work? EXPAREL is placed in the incision at the time of surgery, and it releases slowly into the surrounding area during the 72 hours that follow.

What procedures can EXPAREL be used for? Patients undergoing procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction, may benefit from EXPAREL.

What are the benefits of EXPAREL? EXPAREL can lead to a quicker, more comfortable recovery with less need for narcotic pain medication. This is a great benefit to people who are allergic to narcotics or who suffer from unwanted side effects from narcotic use.

While the tummy tuck recovery process lasts a considerable amount of time, taking care of yourself will help ensure a finely contoured, satisfying result. Browse our before-and-after gallery to see fully healed tummy tuck patients.

If you’re interested in a tummy tuck or have any other questions, including the cost of a tummy tuck, request a consultation online or call the practice at (770) 421-1242.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are required.