A tummy tuck is also known as abdominoplasty and is an ideal procedure for those who have become increasingly self-conscious about how their stomach looks or may be reluctant to wear certain types of clothing such as a swimsuit. Others may have difficulty in forming intimate relationships because of excess loose abdominal skin. Tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK due to its ability to create a smooth, toned and contoured midsection with barely noticeable scars. The procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat with surgical repair of weakened abdominal muscles most commonly from pregnancy.
The procedure is ideal for those who have lost a significant amount of weight, have been pregnant or have developed loose skin as part of the ageing process.
The tummy tuck recovery process is one of the most commonly asked about areas when people come for a consultation at Centre for Surgery. Typical questions include:
- What can I expect to feel after a tummy tuck?
- Is a tummy tuck painful?
- How long does it take to recover from tummy tuck surgery?
- When can I resume exercise after a tummy tuck?
- How long do I have to be off work after a tummy tuck?
Here we answer the most commonly asked questions related to tummy tuck recovery and how to ensure it is as smooth as possible.
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What can I expect to feel after a tummy tuck?
Pain and discomfort
It is normal to experience a mild degree of discomfort after a tummy tuck. You may experience different sensations during the first week after surgery including temporary numbness or a shooting sensation. The numbness will disappear over the first 3 to 4 weeks and any discomfort can be easily controlled with over-the-counter painkillers. You will also be given a prescription by your surgeon and you should take these medicines as per the post-operative instructions for an abdominoplasty.
Bruising and swelling
It is normal to expect bruising and swelling after any type of tummy tuck surgery. Any areas of bruising will generally disappear by the end of week two. Swelling may take longer to resolve and 6 to 12 weeks is average for tummy tuck swelling to disappear. Bruising and swelling are minimised by the insertion of postoperative wound drains. These are usually kept in for an average of 3 to 4 days before being removed by one of our post-operative nurses. You will also be required to wear an abdominal compression binder for a minimum of four weeks after surgery to minimise swelling.
Time off work
We would recommend taking a minimum of one week of work after having a tummy tuck and minimise any excessive physical activity during the first two weeks of your tummy tuck recovery. Women who have children should ensure they have a responsible caregiver to look after them during your abdominoplasty recovery. You should avoid lifting young children or any other heavy objects for a minimum of four weeks after surgery. You should also avoid strenuous exercise including going to the gym for a minimum of six weeks after tummy tuck surgery.
Tummy tuck scars
Tummy tuck surgery involves making incisions through the skin and this will result in the formation of a scar. A mini tummy tuck only involves one scar across the lower abdomen. A full tummy tuck in addition involves a scar around the belly button. Once you have completed your recovery, healed tummy tuck scars are difficult to see as shown in our before and after tummy tuck photos.
Is tummy tuck recovery painful?
Tummy tuck surgery is considered an invasive type of procedure as it involves lengthy incisions and is performed under general anaesthetic. It is normal to experience a mild degree of discomfort after the procedure. After the surgery, your surgeon will prescribe effective pain relief to ensure you are comfortable during the early recovery period after your abdominoplasty surgery.
How long does tummy tuck recovery take?
Recovery after a tummy tuck takes approximately six weeks before patients can return to their normal everyday activities. During the recovery after a tummy tuck, it is normal to experience bruising, swelling and mild discomfort. You will be given comprehensive postoperative after-care instructions which will enable you to look after your incision sites to optimise scarring and make sure you get the best tummy tuck results.
How long is recovery from a mini tummy tuck?
Mini tummy tuck recovery is much quicker compared with a full tummy tuck. Both types of tummy tuck surgery involve making an incision across the lower part of the abdomen. In some cases, the abdominal muscles of the lower part of the abdomen will need to be tightened combined with the removal of excess skin. A mini tummy tuck does not involve surgical repositioning of the belly button, unlike a full tummy tuck. Mini tummy tuck surgery is not designed to tighten loose skin in the upper half of the abdomen. Any liposuction carried out in combination with a mini tummy tuck is focused on removing fat from the lower abdomen. Many patients are able to carry out most of the normal activities four weeks after having a mini tummy tuck. You should have a post-operative review with your surgeon before being cleared to carry out your normal physical activities.
Will I have a mini tummy tuck scar?
A mini tummy tuck will result in the formation of a scar which is positioned across the lower part of the abdomen. It is most commonly cited just above the pubic hair line to ensure it is well hidden in clothing. Tummy tuck scars generally feel very well provided you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions on caring for the incision sites. Most people will find the tummy tuck scars are not noticeable in swimsuits or other types of revealing clothing.
What are the signs of a bad tummy tuck?
People who have a bad tummy tuck are often dissatisfied with the position of the tummy tuck scar. In many cases, the scar has been positioned too high on the abdomen so that it is easily visible in most types of clothing and may be located above the underwear line. Other patients may be dissatisfied with the tightness and smoothness of the abdomen. A properly performed tummy tuck is designed to create a firmer and flatter abdomen with a sculpted appearance. As part of a full tummy tuck, the belly button is expertly positioned in the most natural location so that most people will not be able to notice you have had a tummy tuck.
How much is a tummy tuck in London?
Tummy tuck surgery is customised to each patient and the final tummy tuck cost will depend on the type of tummy tuck performed to remove excess skin and fat. Some patients may choose to combine a tummy tuck with liposuction and this is known as a Brazilian tummy tuck. Tummy tuck surgery can also be combined with a breast lift as part of a mummy makeover surgery. The overall cost of a tummy tuck will increase when it is combined with other procedures.
SEE ALSO: Body Cosmetic Surgery Prices
Book a London tummy tuck consultation at Centre for Surgery
If you have been thinking about getting a London tummy tuck and are keen to get rid of excess skin after pregnancy or significant weight loss then get in touch with us today. Call us on 020 7993 4849 or fill out our contact form below to see how we can help you achieve a smoother-looking tummy and achieve the figure you have always desired.
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