Having a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a transformative surgery. Understandably, men and women have many questions surrounding each stage of their procedure, including the postoperative experience. We often tell patients that knowing what to expect after tummy tuck surgery can significantly improve recovery.
With this in mind, we’re sharing the most commonly asked tummy tuck post-op questions, giving you the answers that can ease your recovery and any concerns you have before and after your procedure.
Can You Have a Baby After a Tummy Tuck?
While it’s possible to conceive and deliver a healthy baby after a tummy tuck, we recommend that you wait to have surgery until you are finished having children. Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck will significantly alter the results of your tummy tuck transformation.
If you wait to schedule your tummy tuck until you are finished having kids, this blog post shares more specifics about timing your tummy tuck following pregnancy.
When Can You Lay Flat After a Tummy Tuck?
It will take about 4 to 6 weeks before you can comfortably lie flat on your back. You can expect to be hunched over during your initial recovery, including while you sleep. We advise sleeping in a recliner on your back with your head elevated and body slightly bent. This will avoid putting tension on your incisions and minimize stretching of the abdominal skin and muscles.
How Long After a Tummy Tuck Can You Have Sex?
Depending on the extent of your surgery and your recovery process, we recommend waiting at least a few weeks, and in some cases up to 6 weeks, before resuming sexual activity. Remember, physical exertion too early can interfere with your incisions and healing. Be sure to have an open and honest dialogue with your surgeon about when it is safe for you to resume intercourse.
What To Wear After a Tummy Tuck?
During the first 2 weeks of your recovery, you will wear a compression garment at all times to provide support and minimize swelling as you heal. We recommend wearing loose clothing that is easy to put on and take off and feels comfortable over your surgical garment. Many people find that button- or zip-front shirts and roomy, drawstring pants are the most comfortable.
As you progress in your recovery, you can wear clothes that show off your newly trimmed physique. Keep in mind that items from your wardrobe may fit differently post-surgery. Some men and women go down a size or two, but nearly all patients find their clothing fits and flatters their figures better than ever after a tummy tuck surgery.
Does a Tummy Tuck Remove Fat?
A tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat and tightens the underlying abdominal muscles that are weak or separated. While a tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that slims and tones the midsection, it’s important to note that it is not a weight loss procedure. Liposuction is usually performed during a tummy tuck to remove additional pockets of fat from the belly, hips, and waist.
How Long Does Swelling Last After Tummy Tuck?
Swelling is a normal part of the tummy tuck healing process. It may be significant during the first few days of your recovery but gradually subsides over several weeks. Wearing compression garments and carefully following your post-op instructions help minimize swelling as you heal.
What Is the Difference Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?
A tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens loose or separated abdominal muscles. Liposuction, on the other hand, is ideal for targeting specific pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. A tummy tuck is more invasive and requires longer recovery, whereas liposuction uses very small incisions and requires minimal downtime. Combining tummy tuck and liposuction can be ideal for patients seeking dramatic body contouring results.