What to expect after the operation?

Tummy tucks are usually carried out under Total Intravenous Anaesthetic (TIVA) and therefore the procedure can be carried out as a day case. The operation usually takes about three hours, and when you wake up from your operation you may have a drip to give you fluid while you are not drinking. You might be given antibiotics to keep the wound clean. Also, you may have drainage tubes in your lower tummy to drain away any fluid or blood. These tubes will be taken out when the fluid or blood has stopped draining, usually before you go home. Drainage tubes are not required in a Brazilian Abdominoplasty. You are safe to go home the same day, but a responsible adult should stay with you for the first night to ensure you come to no harm as movement may be restricted. Your tummy will feel tight and a little sore. Simple painkillers should be enough to keep you comfortable.

Dressings - You will have some dressings on your tummy. You may need to wear a well-fitting support garment, usually for weeks after the operation. You will be asked to keep your knees and hips bent whenever possible to take the strain off your stitches.

Recovery - You will be out of bed on the same day as your surgery, and doing light activities after 10 days. You should be back to normal exercise in six weeks. If the abdominal muscles are repaired then severe exercise should be limited for three months. Whilst you are in hospital, you may be given blood thinning injections, and support stockings, to reduce the risk of a clot in the leg (DVT) or the lung (PE). Most patients take up to two weeks off work post operation, depending on their job. Your tummy will be sore and swollen for weeks to months after the operation. Do not lift heavy things for several weeks, and avoid sex for at least three weeks. With all activities, start gently. Do not drive until you feel safe and are comfortable wearing a seatbelt. Check your insurance documents if you are not sure.

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