Following tummy tuck surgery, you will need to take some time to recover. Board-certified Oklahoma City plastic surgeon Dr. Jayesh Panchal provides injections of Exparel, a non-narcotic anesthetic that can assist with comfort for up to four days. Because it is not a narcotic, Exparel will not interfere with normal ability nor will it become something your body is dependent on.
The Exparel injection provided prior to abdominoplasty can assist with comfort during the first few days of recovery. OTC or prescription medications can also be used as needed to assist with comfort during this time.
Swelling and bruising are normal during the first weeks of tummy tuck recovery. You can reduce swelling by giving your body time to rest, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and taking several short walks during the day. While advanced cardio exercise will need to wait, short walks help with blood flow and work to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Dr. Panchal will place drains in the surgical area to allow unnecessary fluids to release over the course of four to five days. These will be removed during your first follow-up visit. Tummy tuck stitches do not need to be removed.
Most people are able to drive within 10 days of tummy tuck surgery. You may be able to return to work before this, but it is advisable to wait until you have been given the go-ahead by Dr. Panchal. Two weeks is a typical amount of time to take off from work.
Exercise and more physically involved activities will need to be avoided for six to eight weeks. Taking time to ease back into exercises as Dr. Panchal gives you the clear is a great way to begin developing habits that will be necessary for maintaining your abdominoplasty results.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips
For the best recovery from abdominoplasty, it is essential that you follow all of our pre and postoperative directions. This may include giving up certain supplements and medications for a set time. It will absolutely mean not using any type of nicotine. Nicotine is a vascular constrictor that can slow the healing process, encourage infection and complications, and result in thick, highly visible scars.
We will supply you with a compression garment after your procedure. Wear your compression garment as instructed to help reduce discomfort, control swelling, and encourage your body to settle into its new shape. This garment will need to be worn for four to six weeks and, as with all of the recovery steps, use of your compression garment should not be discontinued until Dr. Panchal recommends it.
It is important that you keep your incisions dry and clean. You may need to avoid bathing, swimming, or anything else that submerges incisions until they have fully healed. First surgical dressing then your compression garment will help keep incisions covered, but be sure the garment is dry to prevent puckering and other issues related to poor incision healing. Some creams and ointments may be useful during this stage of healing. Dr. Panchal can provide you with information on the ones that will work best for you.
If you take time to rest, ask for help as needed, and resume actives only when instructed, you are setting yourself up for the most rewarding tummy tuck recovery. Be sure to maintain all postoperative follow-up visits so that Dr. Panchal can assess your level of recovery and make personalized recommendations to help improve your experience and your outcomes.
Dr. Panchal is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years in practice – 14 of those in the OKC area. Dedicated, thoughtful, and effective, Dr. Panchal takes time to plan and perform abdominoplasty for optimal results. Call our Edmond office at 405-340-9949 or our brand new Norman office at 405-310-6767 to schedule your consultation today.