What to expect with tummy tuck surgery & recovery

Your Abdominoplasty with Dr. Pancholi

A tummy tuck may be the best treatment option for you. At the same time it is important for you to have realistic expectations of the results and scars. Since abdominoplasty reshapes your muscles, the surgery and recovery require you to be in good health and have patience. The dramatic improvements in how your clothes fit and flatter you, as well as the confidence boost you are likely to experience, are worth it. With proper expectations, a tummy tuck can be a very rewarding procedure.

We start at your initial consultation

During the initial consultation, Dr. Pancholi will do a full evaluation to determine which treatment options will be best for you. Dr. Pancholi will take the time to understand your expectations and determine if your goals are realistic. Depending on your condition and goals, you may not need to undergo tummy tuck surgery. VASER liposuction, performed on its own, may create the best result. Dr. Pancholi will discuss the pros and cons of each option during your consultation.

If you have medical conditions as diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung or liver disease, use nicotine products, have a family history of blood clots, or take certain medications, etc., you can be at an increased risk of complications. It is important for you to thoroughly disclose your medical history so these items can be evaluated and appropriately addressed prior to surgery.
Watch Dr. Pancholi perform a tummy tuck step by step in our video library

How to prepare for your upcoming surgery with Dr. Pancholi

You will know how to prepare for a tummy tuck prior to surgery, as you will receive guidelines and instructions on what to eat and drink. You will also learn which vitamins and medications are acceptable to take, on consultation day. We highly recommend Vita-Medica’s Recovery Support Program. This one month nutritional supplement kit is specifically designed to speed wound healing, support the immune system and minimize inflammation while it reduces bruising.

If you smoke, it is crucial that you plan to quit at least four weeks before your surgery; you should also not smoke at least four weeks after your procedure. As your body’s healing ability can be affected, it is important not to go on a strict diet before surgery. Should you develop an infection or cold of any sort, be sure to let Dr. Pancholi know as soon as possible. Your surgery may need to be postponed.

You should arrange for someone to drive you home, as well as arrange for someone to take care of you about one to two days after surgery. Some patients prefer to recover in an aftercare center, while others prefer to heal at home.

Download our basic tummy tuck post-op instructions

What will I look like?

Initially the results are difficult to see because of the swelling. Over the first week, the swelling will improve and you will start to see more and more shape. Once the recovery is complete you will see a flatter, more defined and toned abdomen. If your new shape is maintained with ongoing diet and exercise, long lasting results are possible.
Before & After View Patient Results & Save Your Favorites > Before and After Gallery

Getting Your Life Back to Normal

You may not feel like yourself again for a few weeks or a few months. However, if you are in good physical condition and have strong abdominal muscles, recovering from a tummy tuck can be much swifter. While many patients are not able to return to work for about three weeks, some find they are able to return to work after two weeks. Typically, it takes about five to seven days to start driving again.

Even if you are just getting up and walking around the house, exercise in some form is very important to your recovery. Not only will it help you heal better; it can reduce swelling, tone your muscles, and lower the chance of blood clots. Vigorous exercise, including lifting objects over 10 lbs., should typically be avoided for four to six weeks, unless your are cleared by Dr. Pancholi.

Scars, for some people, may appear dark during the first 3 to 6 months as they heal. This is normal. You should expect it to take about 9 months to a year for your scars to flatten out and lighten in color. They will never disappear completely; however, abdominal scars are placed in a discreet location (under the pubic line), so it is not noticeable under most clothing or bathing suits.

Learn More at a Consultation

Coming in for your consultation, and getting a full assessment by Dr. Pancholi will really help you understand what unique circumstances your body presents and what will help achieve your best result. We invite you to call us or contact us online to schedule your appointment.