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Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck

What to Expect during Tummy Tuck Recovery

A woman with sleek contours in white underwear
Once you have recovered from tummy tuck surgery, you could enjoy a more sleek and contoured body. 

Because a tummy tuck involves the tightening of skin and muscles within in the abdomen, it will be several weeks before a patient can return to normal activities. It is important to know what to expect during your tummy tuck recovery. That is why Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck will clearly outline what is involved in a tummy tuck procedure as well as provide written instructions for you to follow during your recovery. During a consultation at our Ottawa, ON, office, Dr. Van Wyck, a plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience, will explain the intricacies of your tummy tuck procedure as well as how to achieve a successful recovery.

Immediately Following Your Surgery

Dr. Van Wyck will fully explain your tummy tuck recovery prior to performing the procedure, and will answer any questions you may have. After your surgery, your incisions will be closed and covered by bandages, and you may be wrapped in an elastic compression garment. This special garment will serve to support your abdomen and minimize swelling during the healing process. You may also have small tubes placed under your skin to drain excess blood and fluid. Once Dr. Van Wyck has determined that you have responded well to the surgery and you are ready to leave, you will be given specific post-operative instructions. These could  include:

  • Caring for the surgical sites and drains
  • Medications that can speed healing and prevent infection
  • Medications and supplements to avoid to prevent excess bleeding
  • When to return for follow-up appointments

Due to the complexity of the procedure and the medications involved, you should arrange for transportation home in advance. We also recommend having someone available to stay with you for the first two to three nights to assist you. Dr. Van Wyck can prescribe medication to aid in the relief of any discomfort.

What to Expect in the Weeks After Surgery

Following your surgery, you should not remain completely immobile; in fact, walking around your house can help you avoid complications such as blood clots. You may perform simple household tasks, but you should not bend over or lift anything heavy. Hydration is important to healing, and standing while drinking a glass of water can be beneficial. Tobacco products should be avoided during recovery, as nicotine slows healing. Dr. Van Wyck can advise you on certain dietary changes that may help improve your results.

You should not perform any activity that will place strain on your incisions until they are healed and you are cleared by the doctor. Contact Dr. Van Wyck immediately if at any time you notice increased swelling, tenderness, or redness at the surgical site followed by a fever. This may indicate an infection that will need to be addressed immediately.

Because a tummy tuck involves the tightening of skin and muscles within in the abdomen, it will be several weeks before a patient can return to normal activities.

Each patient’s case is unique, but generally patients whose jobs do not entail significant physical activity can return to work within a week. If your job is more strenuous, two to three weeks may be required. You can begin driving again after approximately two weeks, and you can resume your normal exercise routine after four weeks. Other normal activities are typically resumed within two months. Any lingering numbness should disappear within 12 to 18 months. Once your scars have faded, you should be able to enjoy a slimmer and more contoured physique.

When to Attend Follow-up Appointments

It is extremely important to attend your follow-up appointments so that Dr. Van Wyck can assess the progress of your recovery. The first follow-up appointment will generally be the day after surgery. Further appointments will be scheduled depending on the needs of each individual patient and the risk of developing complications. If any unusual concerns arise, please contact Dr. Van Wyck’s office immediately.

Learn More about Tummy Tuck Recovery

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a tummy tuck and the recovery involved, contact our office online. You can also call (613) 722-7912 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Van Wyck or to speak to a member of our staff.

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