A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a major cosmetic procedure with what is widely considered the longest recovery time. Understandably, this can give some patients pause about undergoing one. With a skilled surgeon of Dr. David Mashhadian’s caliber, and with his proprietary Recovery EXL™ system, the recovery period for even extensive procedures like the tummy tuck can be significantly shortened and almost pain-free.
How Does a Tummy Tuck Work?
A tummy tuck addresses a protruding abdomen that won’t respond to diet and exercise. Often, pregnancy is the cause, but in many cases, a belly pooch is simply hereditary. For those with a pregnancy related belly bulge, there can be additional trauma where the muscles have separated from the abdominal wall, causing a weakness in the core which can lead to further complications, such as a hernia.
Dr. Mashhadian corrects this by making an incision above the pubic bone and re-anchoring those muscles to the abdominal wall. Next, he’ll remove that stubborn fat that refuses to budge. For some patients, this is all the correction necessary. For others, an incision around the belly button will allow access to the separated muscles of the upper abdomen, which will also be anchored. This may necessitate repositioning of the umbilicus. Finally, Dr. Mashhadian will tighten the skin by removing the excess and closing the incision. The result is a pleasingly flat stomach, stronger, tighter muscles, and smooth skin. While the scar may be several inches long, it’s below the waistband for nearly full-time concealment. The incision around the belly button will be concealed in the skin’s natural folds.
How Long Does Tummy Tuck Recovery Take?
Dr. Mashhadian has spent years perfecting clinical surgical techniques that reduce tissue trauma and a combination of medications delivered at precise intervals which minimize the length and discomfort of recovery times. It’s called Recovery EXL™ and it’s just one of the ways Dr. Mashhadian’s patient care is a cut above the rest. Many patients are on their feet within hours instead of days, and need minimal, if any, narcotic pain management. You’ll learn more about this proprietary method during your consultation to understand how it works.
You may be nervous, but rest assured that the team at Rodeo Surgical Art will prioritize your comfort and ensure any questions you have are answered prior to the treatment. After your procedure, you’ll have swelling, bandages, and possibly surgical drains, and you may feel groggy and slow. This is normal. Having support from a loved one for the first 24 hours is recommended, and someone to drive you home is necessary.
You’ll need to be mobile for short durations to help with circulation and prevent clots, but listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s time to rest. Having a comfortable recovery nest can go a long way toward keeping you comfortable.
End of Week 1
By this time, your discomfort will be noticeably reduced. You may feel comfortable resuming light activities like simple cooking or small chores. Keep hydrated and rest when necessary.
Most people return to work during this week, particularly for sedentary jobs. Bruising should be gone, and your wounds will be well on their way to healing, and any sutures or drains you have will likely be removed during this period. Swelling will be diminishing, though you’ll still be tender. More movement is permitted, though you should still keep exercise light.
You may begin feeling more like yourself during this time. Swelling is significantly minimized and you may resume most of your normal activities, though strenuous exercise should still be avoided for another few weeks.
After this point, your results should be readily apparent. Clothing should fit better, and you should feel a boost to your confidence thanks to your more slender physique. While these timeframes reflect a standard recovery, the Recovery EXL™ timeline shortens recovery, so don’t be surprised if you’re enjoying your new silhouette sooner!