Recovery After Mini Tummy Tuck

First Day Instructions

  • Dr. Yates will reach out via the Symplast app.  Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • ACTIVITY - Get up and walk but you will be slightly hunched over at the waist.  Gentle flexing around 10 - 15 degrees is sufficient
  • You will gradually stand more upright over the first week
  • EXERCISE - No exercise at all for 3 weeks.   Low impact exercise such as walking and very light weight lifting is OK at THREE weeks.
  • Full Exercise resumes at SIX weeks
  • SLEEPING in a recliner is ideal, propped up with pillows under the head and knees is sufficient if a recliner is unavailable
  • BLEEDING AND BRUISING - A small amount of incisional bleeding is normal
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and will last for days to weeks
  • DRAINS - If drains are used make sure you are stripping then and recording output. Drains typically stay in for about a week. They are ready to be removed with the drainage is less than 30 cc in a 24 hour period.
  • GARMENT - Take the garment off to shower.   BE VERY CAREFUL when removing the garment as we have found this is a common time for patient to faint.   Get up slowly, with assistance and near a bed or a chair
  • GARMENT - The first garment will be worn for THREE weeks.   At that time most patients find it comfortable to wear something like Spanx, Flexees, or other stage 2 garments.
  • FOAM - We will often place foam beneath the garment on the lower belly.   This is an area that is prone to a greater degree of swelling and we have found foam helpful to limit this.   When used, foam should be worn for the first week and can be removed to shower
  • SHOWER - You may shower 1-2 days after surgery.   Water directly over the incision and drains is fine
  • SUTURES - All incisional sutures are internal and do not need to be removed
  • Your next visit is at three weeks. In-person or via app.

Three-Week Instructions

  • Take off the incisional tape if it has been placed
  • Start to apply a very small layer of scar cream daily for 2 months. Biocorneum, Biodermis or Mederma are good options. A tube should last a long time.
  • Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • You are able to resume physical work and moderate exercise
  • Full exercise at 6 weeks
  • Areas of firmness and discomfort are common, massage as necessary
  • If you feel you have been treated with exceptional care, leave a review!
  • Schedule an online or in-person follow-up visit at 3 months.

Three-Month Instructions

  • You have no limitations. Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions


  • You have no limitations. Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions
  • Return to the office for postoperative photos
  • Leave a kind review 🙂
  • Share a clothed or bikini photo with us to publish on our “real patient” photos 🙂

General Recovery Tips

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Scars are the necessary trade-off of many plastic surgeries. The goal is a near-invisible, thin, skin-colored scar. Scars are ideally minimized by early attention but there are options for treatment of problem scars as well… Read More.

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Prepare your house for surgery
1-2 weeks before surgery you should have your childcare, work arrangements, and caretaker lined up. Depending on the procedure you may have a few recovery items on hand. Start with an organized, clean house and full pantry. If you are making meals, simple prep. meals and disposable dinnerware.

Prepare your body for surgery
The weeks before surgery are a good time to maximize a healthy diet and stay on top of exercise. Yoga and heart-healthy exercises are particularly valuable. For almost every procedure stopping smoking 6 weeks before surgery is valuable. For some it is critical. Avoid excessive alcohol and marijuana prior to surgery as well.

Check your medications and supplements
Some medications such as aspirin, fish-oils and some supplements can contribute to bleeding and bruising after surgery. If you would like to take SinnEcch for bruising you would want to do so before surgery. The benefit is mild in Dr. Yates’s opinion but some patients swear by it.

Stay away from illness
Avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid contact will people who are ill.

Check the procedure list below for the time you should plan to take off of work or exercise. With most procedures, office work and light exercise are OK between one to three weeks. For most procedures, there are no restrictions after six weeks.

Dr Yates will give you most everything you need after surgery including garments, bra, scar cream, and dressings as indicated. A few recommended additional supplies are

  • Bed that reclines, recliner, or extra bed pillows
  • Icy Hot back patch
  • Loose baggy clothes
  • Paper tape 1″
  • Ice packs
  • Stool Softener
  • Ginger Ale
  • Antacid such as Tums
  • Melatonin (not to be used with pain medications)
  • Benadryl
  • Cortisone cream
  • Neosporin
  • Probiotics or yogurt
  • Second stage Spanx or Flexees for appropriate procedures
  • Flexible straws for drinking
  • Water bottles/ Gatorade
  • Entertainment such as DVD or Netflix
  • Cell phone charger near bed and sofa

Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

You should expect no significant bedrest after a mini tummy tuck. Get up and walk.

Pain after a mini tummy tuck is generally tolerable. Although some patients require narcotic pain medications, we ask that you take as few as possible for risk reduction and optimal recovery. Most patients are on Tylenol and Ibuprofen by 1-2 days after surgery.

You will have tape on your incisions. You will leave the tape alone and we will remove it at 3 weeks. At that time we will apply scar cream.

Showering the next day after a tummy tuck is fine

About 3-5 days for infants and toddlers

You can return to light lifting with the arms and a good walk at one week. You may return to moderate upper and lower body lifting by three weeks. Full exercise resumes at six weeks.

Office and desk work can be resumed right away. For most physical jobs you can return at 3 weeks.

It is safe to resume sexual activity by two to three weeks after fat transfer. Caution with handling the breasts for closer to four weeks.

Overaggressive activity can cause problems with healing. In the first week, we are worried about excessive bleeding and swelling that could require drainage.

Abdomen liposuction after a tummy tuck is a very nice procedure. The amount of abdomen fat that can be removed by liposuction during a tummy tuck is limited for safety and blood supply reasons. After a tummy tuck is healed, more aggressive liposuction of the abdomen is possible. We love doing these staged sculpting procedures.

Yes, EMsculpt is your answer and offered at a discount to our tummy tuck patients.

The abdomen will look nice immediately after the procedure. There will be swelling of the lower abdomen that will gradually improve over the first three months. Final results are seen at a year after surgery.

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Ask us a question, request a private consultation, or submit a pre-visit questionnaire to Dr. Yates.

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