If you’re struggling with loose skin in your midsection, whether from weight loss, pregnancy, or even the aging process, a tummy tuck may be the best solution. To fix laxity, the loose skin is removed and the remaining skin is stretched over the entire abdomen. But because it can take about two months to fully see your results—not to mention feel confident in your new body—it's best to know the timeline of your recovery so you can plan ahead.
1 Month Before: If you’ve decided on surgery, now is the best time to shed those last few pounds since you’ll want to be at your ideal weight for surgery.
2 Weeks Before: Your doctor may up your daily intake of protein, vitamin C and zinc, which will help your body heal properly and faster.
1 Week Before: Prep your house for your recovery period. Make sure that you have easy access to all the essentials like pain medication, comfortable clothes and lots of pillows.
1 Day Before: Take it easy and get ready for your new tummy.
Surgery Day: Make sure that you’ve made arrangements for someone to pick you up from surgery and stay with you through the night. Your plastic surgeon may advise you to stay in a hospital or aftercare facility for the first night or two.
1 Day After: Even though it’s only one day since surgery and you’re still bruised and swollen, the results of your procedure are noticeable and will continue to improve.
1 Week After: You may still be in pain and will probably need help getting around. If your doctor used drains, they may be removed.
1 Month After: You may be swollen, but you should be able to see results. You’re ready to resume normal activities; in two weeks, you can start exercising lightly.
2 Months After: Your new stomach is ready to be revealed! You should be feeling good and able to live your normal life. And your scar may start to fade too.
Get Long-lasting Results
A tummy tuck can take your midsection from flab to fab, but the key to maintaining the results is a healthy diet. “Many times, I see patients who think that, just because they had surgery, they can eat whatever they want, and that’s just not the case,” says Marlton, NJ, plastic surgeon Evan Sorokin, MD. “Gaining a few pounds is okay because it won’t all go to your stomach, but yo-yo dieting and extreme weight gain are not recommended.”