What is the normal postoperative course?
The abdomen feels tight for the first few days after the operation and patients are not able to stand fully erect. On the first postoperative day an elasticated abdominal binder is applied to the abdomen for support and gentle mobilisation is begun. By the second postoperative day most patients are mobile and discharged home.
It is advisable to have help around the house and with young children for the first couple of weeks after surgery. At the end of two weeks most patients are able to drive, carry light shopping and prepare light meals. At the end of four weeks patients are expected to be able to return to normal lifestyle including gym, sport and aerobics unless they have had tightening of the abdominal muscles or repair of an abdominal hernia at the same time as the abdominoplasty.
How much time do I need off work?
Most people are able to return to work which does not involve heavy lifting in approximately two to three weeks after surgery. It may take up to six weeks for some patients to be would return to normal work and leisure activities.
What are the complications of this procedure?
A very small percentage of patients who undergo a tummy tuck will have complications just like any other surgical procedure. These include bleedings, haematoma (blood clot under skin), seroma (fluid collection under skin) and infection. There can be delayed wound healing in the centre of the wound, slight asymmetry in the size and shape of the scar or the position of the bellybutton and a change in sensation over the abdomen.