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Recovery After Tummy Tuck

First day instructions

  • Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • Get up and walk
  • Limit stretching the abdomen
  • A small amount of incisional bleeding is normal
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and will last for days to weeks
  • 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.
  • Take the garment off to shower.  Water directly over incision tape is fine.
  • Get off the pain medications as soon as possible
  • Take antibiotics as prescribed
  • Take stool softeners if you are taking any narcotics
  • Take the single dose of Gabapentin if prescribed
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay active, minimal bed rest is better for a safe and quick recovery
  • Your next visit is at three weeks.  In-person or online.

Three-week instructions

  • Take off the incisional tape
  • Start to apply scar cream daily for 2 months.  Biocorneum, Biodermis or Mederma are good options.
  • 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
  • Please share your experience on a review site or social media
  • 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

One-Year

  • 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

Minimizing Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling occurs with almost every surgical procedure. Usually, the swelling lasts for only a few days to weeks. There are steps that can be taken before and after surgery to help minimize bruising and swelling… Read More.


Scars

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.


Stretch Mark Treatment

Stretch marks are the visible result of tears of the second layer of skin, the dermis. Stretch marks usually result from rapid stretching of skin, such as weight gain, or pregnancy.  Treatment options for stretch marks such as removal, microneedling, and laser are available…. Read More.


Preparation for surgery

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.


Time off Work and exercise

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.      

Recovery Supplies

Dr Yates will give you most everything you need after surgery including garments, 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

Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips

How long will I be in bed after a tummy tuck?
You should expect no significant bedrest after a tummy tuck.  Get up and walk, it is good for your lungs and helps prevent DVT.
Tell me about pain management after a tummy tuck?
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.
What do I do with the incisions after a tummy tuck?
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.
When can I shower or swim after a tummy tuck?
Showering the next day after a tummy tuck is fine
How long will I need help with childcare after a tummy tuck?
About 3-5 days for infants and toddlers
How long before I can return to the gym after a tummy tuck?
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.
How long before I can return to work after a tummy tuck?
Office and desk work can be resumed right away.  For most physical jobs you can return at 3 weeks.
When can I return to sexual activities after a tummy tuck?
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.
What can go wrong if I don’t follow these recommendations?
Overaggressive activity can cause problems with healing.   In the first week, we are worried about excessive bleeding and swelling that could require drainage.
Is it possible to contour the abdomen further after a tummy tuck?
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.
Other than bringing the muscles together is there a way to actually make my muscles stronger?
Yes, EMsculpt is your answer and offered at a discount to our tummy tuck patients.
When will I expect to see my final results?
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.

How long do I need to stay bent forward?
Approximately 10 days
When do drains come out (if placed)?
When the output is less than 30 cc in a day.   Typically about a week
When can I do sit-ups?
6 weeks

Get in Touch
Ask us a question, request a consultation, or submit a virtual consultation to Dr. Yates

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Dr. York Yates
2121 N 1700 W
Layton, UT 84041
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Phone: (801) 525-8741

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2121 N 1700 W, Layton, UT 84041 801.525.8741


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