Successful Healing after Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

Initiating the journey to a sleeker and well-sculpted abdominal profile through abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, can be thrilling. Crucial to this process, however, is an effectively strategized and executed recovery plan. This piece will demystify recovery guidelines that will help you in choosing the activities for successful healing after tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery.

Post-Operative Guidelines for Abdominoplasty

Successfully Heal after Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty can be a practical approach to attaining a leaner and more defined abdominal structure. Proper recuperation is vital to ensuring excellent results. Here are some crucial recommendations to follow during your healing phase:

Take pain medication as directed

A compression garment is usually advised post-abdominoplasty to provide support to the treated area and aid in reducing edema. Abide by your physician’s guidelines on the duration and timing of wearing the compression garment as it aids in healing and shaping the treated region. a

Wear a compression garment

Using cold compresses on the surgical site can help alleviate discomfort and decrease swelling. Enclose the cold pack in a thin cloth and gently place it on the affected region for approximately 10-15 minutes. Always adhere to your physician’s advice regarding the utilization of cold compresses.

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Use ice packs to minimise pain and swelling

Applying ice packs to the surgical site can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth and gently apply it to the affected area for around 10-15 minutes. Remember always to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding the use of ice packs.

Limit jerky and quick movements 

During the initial stages of recovery, avoiding sudden or jerky movements that could strain the incisions is essential. Take care when getting up from a seated or lying position, and avoid any unnecessary activities that may stress the abdominal area.

Move around the house to keep your circulation going

In the initial stages of convalescence, it is critical to avoid sudden movements that could strain the incisions. Exercise caution when transitioning from a seated or lying position and refrain from any unnecessary activities that could exert pressure on the abdominal region.

Drink lots of water

Keeping well-hydrated is crucial for a healthy recovery. Consuming plenty of water ensures your body functions optimally and aids in wound healing and toxin elimination. Follow your physician’s advice and drink ample water throughout the day.

Get adequate bed rest

Rest is crucial for your body to heal correctly. Plan to take ample time off work and arrange for help with household chores or childcare if needed. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines on when it is safe to resume regular activities and exercise.

Don’t stay in one position too long

Prolonged immobility can lead to stiffness and discomfort. It is essential to change positions frequently while resting or sleeping. Consider using pillows or cushions to support yourself comfortably and shift your body gently.

Learn more about the pros and cons of extended tummy tuck.

Activities For Healing After Tummy Tuck Or Abdominoplasty Surgery

One of the common questions after a tummy tuck is how soon patients can return to their daily activities. Here is a general guideline to follow, but always confirm with your surgeon before proceeding, regardless of your stage of recovery.

Weeks 1 and 2:

  • Wear a compression garment for four to six weeks to maximise results and reduce swelling.
  • Engage in short walks with a flexed posture to protect the abdominal muscles and fascia from strain.
  • The two-week recovery period may not be necessary if your job is not physically demanding.

Weeks 3 and 4:

  • Resume light exercises such as walking and recumbent cycling.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises targeting the abdominal muscles, including sit-ups and weight lifting.
  • Be cautious of jarring steps and engage in continuous, fluid movements.

Weeks 4 to 6:

  • Gradually reintroduce a regular exercise routine at a low level.
  • Incorporate low-impact aerobics, water aerobics, long walks, and very low-weight lifting for arms and legs.
  • Keep an eye out for indicators of pain or discomfort and act accordingly.

Weeks 6 to 8:

  • Generally, you will receive clearance for most types of aerobic activities.
  • Running outside or on a treadmill can be resumed.
  • Moderate swimming can be considered at around 8 weeks.
  • Engage in body strengthening exercises, including heavy lifting, while being mindful of the abdominal wall.

After Week 8:

  • Most lifestyle and exercise activities can resume, except for high-intensity activities like martial arts, boxing, CrossFit, F45, or similar activities. 
  • It is recommended to wait until three months before resuming these intense activities.

Driving after Tummy Tuck

Following tummy tuck surgery, allowing ample time for healing before getting behind the wheel is crucial. Rely on your body as a guide and start with shorter distances because recovery time differs from person to person. Consult your surgeon for specific advice, but consider the following safety reasons for avoiding driving:

  • The effects of anaesthesia can cause tiredness and confusion, making it unsafe to operate a vehicle immediately after surgery.
  • Pain and exhaustion are common after surgery; anaesthesia drugs may remain in your system for up to 24 hours.
  • You will need assistance getting home from the hospital after surgery, and your body movement may be tender, affecting your ability to react quickly or turn the wheel comfortably.
  • Assess your comfort level in the car, including sitting comfortably, opening doors without difficulties, wearing a seatbelt without rubbing or pressure, and making emergency stops or sharp turns.

Swimming after Tummy Tuck

Waiting for adequate recovery is essential to ensure a safe swimming experience after a tummy tuck. Most commonly, swimming can be considered around the 8-week mark, but an uneventful recovery is crucial. Here are several factors to consider:

  • Swimming in pools or other bodies of water can cause infection if the incision site is not completely healed.
  • Premature swimming can cause splitting of the incision site due to stretching of the body during water activities.
  • Protect your scars from sun exposure by applying waterproof sunscreen before swimming.
  • A minimum break of 6 weeks, preferably 8 weeks, is recommended before submerging any incision in the ocean or pool.

Sexual Intercourse after Tummy Tuck

Engaging in sexual activity after a tummy tuck surgery should be approached with caution. The abdominal muscles and incisions need time to heal and close before experiencing stress. While recovery varies, a standard guideline is to wait at least four weeks. However, always consult your surgeon for personalised advice based on your procedure and recovery progress.

See related: Tummy Tuck Cost in Dubai.

Do’s and Don’ts after Tummy Tuck Surgery:

To ensure a smooth and successful recovery after a tummy tuck, here are some essential do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions for postoperative care, including taking prescribed medications and wearing support garments.
  • Rest and avoid overexertion, but engage in light activities to promote healing and reduce swelling.
  • Have realistic expectations and communicate any concerns with your surgeon.


  • Overexert yourself after the procedure and allow sufficient time for rest and recovery.
  • Put unnecessary pressure on the incision site and avoid activities that strain the healing abdomen.
  • Forget that the healing process takes time, and results may take several months to fully manifest

Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is an effective procedure with significant transformative potential. Making an informed decision is crucial, and our shared knowledge helps you unlock the secrets of abdominoplasty. Consult a certified surgeon and discuss your goals and expectations to ensure the best possible outcome for your body transformation journey.

Your body deserves the utmost care and expertise, so Dr Shehzadi Tasneem’s exceptional skills and commitment to patient satisfaction are ideal for abdominoplasty procedures. The next step is just a click away. Call us today and book a free consultation to learn more about how abdominoplasty can help you achieve your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, a tummy tuck and liposuction are different procedures. While liposuction focuses on removing excess fat deposits, a tummy tuck involves removing excess fat and skin and tightening the abdominal muscles

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Its primary purpose is to remove excess fat and skin and tighten the abdominal muscles to create a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. It is recommended to be at a stable weight before undergoing a tummy tuck.

Like any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with a tummy tuck. It could be an infection, bleeding, scarring, blood clot, or a poorly healing wound. However, choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon can significantly minimise these risks and can also help you unlock the secrets of tummy tuck.

Surgery recovery times vary depending on the individual and the extent of the procedure. The body generally heals fully after several months and can resume normal activities within a few weeks. It’s essential to follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon for a smooth recovery.

A tummy tuck is usually considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, insurance coverage may be possible if the surgery is deemed medically necessary, such as in cases of significant abdominal muscle separation. Ensure you understand your coverage options by consulting your insurance provider.