Essential Recovery Tips After a Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty is one of the most comprehensive body contouring procedures. It removes excess skin and fat in the entire abdominal region, leading to a flat and firmer profile. If you are planning to undergo this procedure, or just had it in the recent past, one of the biggest concerns is recovery. It is important to observe the surgeon’s instructions and do the right things in order to ensure a successful procedure outcome. While Dr. Taylor Theunissen takes great care to deliver outstanding results, below are some recovery tips that can help make everything fall into place. 

1. Focus on a well-balanced diet

This is one of the most important abdominoplasty recovery tips. Your body needs enough nutrients in order to get back up after the surgery. Focus on a protein-rich diet containing foods such as chicken and salmon. Fruits and vegetables – and fiber-rich foods – are also very important for a prompt recovery after abdominal surgery. While at it, make sure you stay hydrated by taking enough water and healthy fluids daily.

2. Take a walk

While you’ll be encouraged to take a lot of rest especially over the first two days, it is important that you take a light walk as soon as you are able to. In fact, most surgeons recommend that you take a 20–30-minute walk throughout the recovery duration. This helps stimulate proper circulation and reduce the risk of complications such as blood clots.

3. Have someone to help

You will be unable to take care of even the most basic chores immediately after undergoing abdominoplasty surgery. It is important that you have someone to help take care of these chores as well as help with kids and pets. This will free up your mind to focus on the recovery without having to worry about anything else.

4. Sleep in the right position

You will need to sleep in an inclined position in order to reduce stress and pressure on the abdominal area following tummy tuck surgery. Make sure to use large pillows so as to support your body and help maintain the proper position. This will protect the treatment and prevent severe complications (such as wound opening).

5. Avoid smoking and drinking

Plastic surgeons typically recommend that you avoid cigarette smoking four weeks before and after surgery. This is important because smoking can limit supply of oxygen in the body and result in a number of health complications. The use of alcohol can also increase the risk of postoperative bleeding and increase the chances that you may expose your surgical site to infections or injury.

6. Keep your compression garment on

Most patients experience some swelling in the days following abdominoplasty surgery. For this reason, the plastic surgeon will wrap the treatment area with a special compression garment. Make sure to keep this garment on even when you sleep. It helps control swelling, speed up healing, and shape the outcome of your procedure.

7. Avoid strenuous activities

You will need to take time off regular activities during your tummy tuck recovery. You will be advised to take as much rest as possible over the first two weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to resume routine activities within two weeks. However, it may take up to six weeks before you are allowed to engage in strenuous exercises and heavy lifting.

8. Take it easy and relax

Dr. Theunissen likes to emphasize the importance of taking a step back and relaxing during recovery after a tummy tuck and other cosmetic surgeries for that matter. Consider trying crossword puzzles, and other games. Crossword puzzles are particularly a good way to engage your mental faculties while resting your body during recovery after plastic surgery. 

9. Listen to your body

One of the most important things you should do during your abdominoplasty recovery is to listen to your body. You should watch out for signs of infection, any unexpected pain, or other symptoms. If you are worried about anything, most plastic surgeons will maintain an open line so you can receive the support and hand-holding you need during the recovery duration.

10. Get a lymphatic drainage massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a great way to get rid of toxins from your body and encourage proper healing after surgery. This special massage – unlike other types of massage – entails applying light pressure and movements designed to encourage optimal movement of the lymph through your body. A lymphatic drainage massage also stimulates the immune system. Keep in mind though that it should only be performed by a qualified professional.


Choosing the right plastic surgeon and getting ready for abdominoplasty is one thing, and doing the best for an optimal recovery is another. Follow the tips above to make sure that you get back up as soon as possible after abdominoplasty, as well as get the best results possible.