One of the most common concerns for women who come to us for a tummy tuck in The Woodlands, TX, is the recovery process. While it’s true that a tummy tuck does involve a few weeks of downtime, the experience can be pleasant and uneventful as long as you know what to expect. To help you prepare, we’ll explain the recovery period and additional ways to stay healthy to ensure you get the best tummy tuck results.
Your exact recovery time will depend on how well your body heals and if you have any other procedures performed at the same time (such as breast augmentation or liposuction). Generally, you can expect your recovery to last about 4 to 6 weeks after your operation.
- Weeks 1 and 2: During the first 2 weeks, you will likely feel tired, sore, and maybe even emotional. Keep your activity level to a minimum and make sure you have someone to help you with day-to-day tasks, like housecleaning, cooking, or taking care of your kids. The first weeks are usually the most challenging for our patients, and although it may be hard, use this time to rest and heal. Also, be sure not to lift anything over 10 lbs.—including pets or children.
- Week 3: Most people feel well enough by the third week to start introducing some limited activity, such as non-impact cardio. Casual walking is allowed because it promotes circulation, reduces swelling, and encourages healing. If you have a desk job, you should be able to return to work after the second week. However, if your work is more physically demanding, you’ll need to talk to Dr. Kim about the best time to go back.
- Weeks 4 and 5: At this point, many people feel more like themselves and can enjoy a moderate workout routine in weeks 4 and 5. Walking at an incline or riding a stationary bike at a slow pace are great options. Remember to start slowly and carefully and don’t do too much too soon. Stay away from any abdominal exercises and weightlifting.
- Week 6: By week 6 you can slowly get back into your regular routine after being cleared by Dr. Kim. It’s usually safe to start lifting weights or doing core work at this time but be sure to listen to your body. Not only can doing too much too soon lead to injury, it can also compromise your results.
Other Ways to Stay Healthy
In addition to following Dr. Kim’s instructions and easing back into your routine, you can do the following for a smooth recovery:
- Take supplements such as vitamins A and C in addition to a probiotic. After plastic surgery in The Woodlands, it may be helpful to take certain supplements. Vitamins A and C have been shown to improve wound healing and can strengthen collagen and connective tissues. A probiotic can also be used to help restore your body’s natural gut flora, which may be compromised by antibiotics that are often prescribed after a tummy tuck.
- Drink green tea for extra antioxidants and to boost your immune system. After surgery, you’re more prone to infection and illness. Drinking green tea or other antioxidant-rich beverages (or eating antioxidant-rich foods) provides immunity boosting benefits that help keep you healthy.
- Eat a well-balanced, protein-rich diet that includes fresh fruits. A good diet can help you heal faster and more effectively after tummy tuck surgery. Aim for a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, plenty of protein, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Pineapple and papaya are especially helpful for reducing bloating and inflammation.
A Note About Drains
Dr. Kim uses drains to remove excess fluid from your stomach after surgery. This helps you avoid complications and improves healing. After your procedure, Dr. Kim will explain to you the best ways to care for your drains.
Is It Right for You?
Tummy tuck surgery is a very rewarding procedure that can transform your appearance. To find out if a tummy tuck is right for you, use the online form to request a consultation or call our office at (281) 408-2152 to schedule an appointment. You can also view our before-and-after photo gallery to see the results of some of our tummy tuck patients.