Tummy Tuck Recovery

An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, can provide a dramatic difference in your shape and improve overall body confidence. Because abdominoplasty is major surgery, it is important for patients to be fully prepared for the tummy tuck recovery process. Little Rock, AR, plastic surgeon Dr. Suzanne Yee performs many tummy tucks, and provides close supervision and post-op tips to ease recovery.

toned abdominal area
Many tummy tuck patients can return to work after about a week.

Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect

A tummy tuck at the Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Center is an outpatient procedure performed in our surgical center, usually using IV sedation. After surgery, you will need transportation and a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days. You will be fitted with a compression garment to wear and will also have tubes connected to allow drainage of body fluids. For optimal results, it is important to wear your compression garment for six weeks straight, garment can be removed to shower and wash.

Swelling and fluid accumulation are expected after a tummy tuck, as well as some bruising and discomfort. Dr. Yee will provide pain medication to help keep you comfortable during the early recovery process. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection as well as a laxative.

The Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Center provides detailed aftercare instructions to help you throughout recovery, and Dr. Yee remains a phone call away if you have questions or concerns. You will return for a post-op appointment in the first week after surgery, at which point your drains will likely be removed.

Once recovery is complete, your patience will be rewarded with an exciting outcome – a slimmer middle with sleek new tone and contour.   

With a standard full tummy tuck, you should expect to limit normal physical activities for at least a week or two. (The recovery period for a mini tummy tuck is shorter.) You should be careful not to lift heavy weight or perform any activity that can strain your incision site. Sutures are usually removed in a week.

If you have a desk job, you may be able to return to work after a week at home. Patients with more physically demanding occupations will need to avoid some tasks for two to three weeks. It will be four to six weeks or more before you can pursue strenuous activity.

Swelling after abdominoplasty subsides slowly, and it can be several months to a year until you see your final result. Once recovery is complete, your patience will be rewarded with an exciting outcome – a slimmer middle with sleek new tone and contour.   

Dr. Yee's Additional Tips

  • Abdominoplasty patients must refrain from nicotine for a few months before surgery, and this commitment must be continued during recovery. Nicotine use delays the body’s natural healing process and make patients more prone to infection and complications. 
  • To encourage normal digestion, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy, varied diet.
  • Stay away from soda, which can cause bloating and gas, and sodium, which can aggravate swelling.
  • Apply vitamin E or silicone sheets to help minimize scarring.
  • Wear oversized, waist-high cotton underpants for comfort
  • Have extra pillows ready to use in bed, including under your knees.
  • In the early days, take pain medications on a regular schedule.

 Contact Our Office

Are you thinking about a tummy tuck? Dr. Yee is an excellent abdominoplasty surgeon, and can help you get rid of excess skin, stubborn fat pockets and sagging. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yee.

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Love Dr. Yee! She is very caring and patient, and she answered any questions I had. She has a very knowledgeable and friendly staff as well. Highly recommend her. Best of the best!

Andy A.


Little Rock Office

12600 Cantrell Rd
Ste 100
Little Rock, AR 72223

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