Tummy tuck recovery

Details of the procedure

Tummy Tuck

Procedures vary depending upon the desired result. Normally, an incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area. The navel is then freed from the surrounding skin. The remaining skin and fat are tightened by removing the excess and closing the defect. The belly button is then secured into its new position. 

Any looseness of the muscles of the abdominal wall is repaired at the same time. Liposuction may be carried out during this procedure to thin the abdominal wall, or as a separate procedure either before or after the abdominoplasty.

Recovery

Initially you will have swelling, bruising and noticeable scars. Some patients heal better and scar less than others, but all scars are red initially, and will fade in time. There will be a drainage tube in each side of your lower abdomen to drain any blood or watery liquid that collects from the operation site. These are usually removed two days after surgery depending on the drainage. The sutures are normally dissolvable and you will need to wear a supporting garment for six to eight weeks to ensure a smooth result. 

You may experience some tightness around the operation site, but this is more common in patients who are overweight and who smoke. For the first few days you will be asked to sleep slightly raised with a few pillows behind your head, and to stand slightly hunched to reduce the strain on your sutures. You will find it hard to stand up straight and feel as though your stomach is tugging – this will disappear over time. It is usual to take between two to four weeks away from work to rest and recover at home following this type of surgery. Vigorous exercise is not recommended for at least six weeks.

Possible Risks

General risks such as bleeding, infection and scarring will be discussed openly at consultation. You will also be made aware of our efforts to manage and minimise these risks. However there are also specific risks to this procedure that need to be considered. These are: 

  • Deep vein thrombosis (very rare)
  • Pulmonary embolus (very rare)
  • Final position of the tummy button may be off centre
  • Numbness in lower part of tummy
  • Slow healing, noticeable scars and possibly more surgery
  • Abnormal reaction to anaesthetic
  • Wound infection

Contact us

To find out more about treatments and services at the Pinehill Hospital, please contact us via our online form or on: 01462 427227 

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