A tummy tuck is surgery to remove fat and skin from your belly and to tighten the stomach muscles. It is also called an abdominoplasty. The surgery makes your belly look flatter.
Your belly will be sore and swollen for the first week after surgery. The skin on your stomach will be mostly numb for several weeks to months. Feeling will return slowly, although you may have a small area on your lower stomach that is always numb. Do not use a heating pad on your stomach while it is still numb, or you could have severe burns. It is normal to feel tired while you are healing. It can take 5 to 6 weeks for your energy to return.
You may not be able to stand up straight when you come home. You'll need to get up and walk every day to regain your normal movement. Between walks, move your feet and legs often.
A tummy tuck leaves a long scar that will fade with time. You also may have a small scar around your belly button.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Q775 in the search box to learn more about "Tummy Tuck: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: April 18, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.