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What to Expect When Recovering From a Tummy Tuck

If you’re thinking about having a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, you’re not the only one. This procedure is one of the top five cosmetic surgeries performed annually in the United States. Knowing what to expect from a tummy tuck recovery can help you make an informed decision about when the best time could be for you to have your procedure.

At Laughlin Plastic Surgery, with locations in Annapolis, and Easton, Maryland, Dr. Daniel Laughlin can help explain all of the steps required for a tummy tuck, and help you plan your procedure to allow for optimal healing.

Tummy tuck vs. liposuction

You might try just getting liposuction instead of a tummy tuck. However, be aware that liposuction will only suction fat away, not adjust muscle laxity or skin tautness. A tummy tuck can address all of these issues by removing fat, tightening muscles, and correcting skin looseness. A tummy tuck can even reposition your belly button for a taut, toned looking midriff!

After your tummy tuck

Once your tummy tuck is complete, you’ll get instructions on how to care for yourself in the days immediately after your surgery.

Surgical drains

Dr. Laughlin may place surgical drains along the incision. These are used to prevent fluid from building up inside your abdomen after surgery. These stay in place for a few days. We’ll show you how to properly care for your drains. 

Bandages

Your incision will be bandaged carefully. We’ll also show you how to remove and reapply bandages when fresh ones are needed. The bandages keep your incision protected and clean.

Compression garments

A supportive garment will help keep your surgical site compressed and prevent too much abdominal movement in the days after your surgery. We’ll show you how to put it on and take it off. You’ll also get instructions on how much physical activity you can do at each stage of your healing. 

Medication

Dr. Laughlin will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics for you to take after your surgical procedure. Make sure to take them exactly as directed. The pain medication should provide you with adequate relief so you can sleep at night, and the antibiotics will prevent infection. 

Healing takes time

Expect some swelling and bruising for several weeks after your surgery. Your drains can be removed after a few days, but you’ll need to keep the incision bandaged until the incision is fully sealed. 

There will be residual soreness, so be careful not to overdo. If you play any sport or enjoy athletics, check with Dr. Laughlin and your primary care physician to make a plan for returning safely to physical activity. 

Looking for a cosmetic surgeon and team who will be with you every step of the way during recovery? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Laughlin by calling either of our offices, or use our web form to send a private message to either location today.

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