Tummy Tuck Recovery

There are many factors to consider when planning for recovery after a tummy tuck. In Las Vegas, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Arthur Cambeiro and his staff will make sure you understand what to expect and how to prepare. Keep in mind that if your tummy tuck is combined with other procedures such as liposuction or breast augmentation, your recovery may be more complicated.

To visit Dr. Cambeiro at his practice near Las Vegas and learn about tummy tuck recovery, request a complimentary consultation or give our office a call at (702) 734-4100.

What to Expect After Surgery

Arrange to have an adult drive you home and stay with you for a few days after your tummy tuck surgery. If you live out of the area, plan to stay locally for about 7 to 10 days.

After surgery, your incisions will be covered with dressings and your abdomen will be wrapped in a binder to provide support, reduce discomfort, and decrease swelling during your postoperative period. It is normal to feel swollen and sore at first. You will have drains placed under the skin to help eliminate fluid that would otherwise collect in your abdomen, and you will be asked to keep a log of the drain output.

While each patient is unique, tummy tuck recovery generally proceeds as follows:

First 1 to 2 Days

While you will not be able to stand completely upright initially, it's important to get out of bed and walk around within a day or 2 of your surgery. Exercise such as walking will help you feel better, reduce swelling, lower your chance of blood clots, and tone your muscles. Make sure your exercise plan is gentle, not vigorous.

2 to 3 Days

You are allowed to sponge bathe 48 to 72 hours after your tummy tuck procedure. Once your drains are removed, showering is permitted, as long as the incisions are not submerged, as in a tub or pool.

First Week

If surface stitches are required (very rarely), they will be removed in 5 to 7 days.

1 to 2 Weeks

Surgical drains are removed when the drain output subsides, which is usually within 1 to 2 weeks.

2 to 3 Weeks

Belly button sutures are removed.

Things to Avoid During Recovery

  • Do not drive until you are ready to return to normal daily activity and have stopped taking all narcotic medications.
  • Avoid strenuous activities such as bending, jogging, and playing sports for 6 weeks.
  • Do not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for 6 weeks to prevent separation of the muscle-tightening sutures.
  • Do not drink alcohol as it can cause you to retain fluid and delay your recovery.

Reasons to Call Us

Call the office immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • A temperature over 99.5 degrees
  • Chills or sweats
  • A markedly different degree of swelling between sides
  • Increasing rather than decreasing pain

Return to Work

Depending on your occupation, you should be able to return to work within 2 weeks; however, some patients need 3 to 4 weeks to recuperate.

Final Tummy Tuck Result

Scars will likely look worse for the first 3 to 6 months as they heal, but this is normal. It will take 9 months to 2 years for the scars to flatten out and lighten in color. Dr. Cambeiro's tummy tuck patients typically feel that the scars are worth the improvements they gain.


Experience You Need, Care You Deserve

Throughout the years, Dr. Cambeiro's dedication to patient safety and satisfaction has earned him a reputation as one of the premier plastic surgeons in the region. Learn why so many people agree that Dr. Cambeiro and SurgiSpa were the best choices for them.

Meet Dr. CambeiroTop Doc Awards
  Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD