Considering getting a tummy tuck? Be it due to aesthetic or medical reasons, or perhaps a doctor’s recommendation, there are many benefits to proceeding with cosmetic abdominoplasty (the medical term for a tummy tuck surgery).

However, it is important to keep in mind that a tummy tuck is an invasive surgical procedure that carries with it certain inherent risks and a longer recovery period. Thus, besides deliberating on the monetary costs and your personal tolerance to pain, the amount of down time you can afford and how comfortable you are with the potential risks associated with this surgery should also be factors to consider.

Knowing more about the recovery process post-surgery is also vital in helping you make an informed decision; for example, if you live alone or know that you will experience more physical strain post-surgery due to work or home commitments, you may need to apply for a longer leave period from work or arrange for assistance while you recover.

Let’s dive into what happens during the recovery period after a tummy tuck surgery.

Recovery time depends on the extent of surgery

A tummy tuck surgery can be done for aesthetic or health reasons. Depending on the type of tummy tuck, the recovery period also varies. There are two main types of tummy tucks:

  • Full tummy tuck

A full tummy tuck is advised for individuals with weak abdominal muscles or extra skin. The surgery involves the entire abdominal wall. It starts with our professional surgeon making two incisions. One incision is made around the navel, the other, above the pelvic line. Then, a third incision will be made at the new navel position before removing the excess skin. All incisions will be closed once done. 

  • Mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, targets the lower abdomen. The surgery starts with our certified surgeon creating a small incision along the pelvic line to reveal the lower abdomen. This tightens the loose skin before moving the skin flap over to cover the muscles and tissues.

Naturally, the recovery time for a full tummy tuck will be longer than that of a mini tummy tuck.

Immediately after the operation

After the tummy tuck operation, you will be required to spend a few hours in the hospital or clinic. You may feeling tired, sleepy, and weak while some may also feel nauseated as the anesthesia is still wearing off.

You will be discharged once the nurses and doctors notice that you are well enough, usually on the same day as the procedure.

Recovery week 1

For the first few days post-operation, it is normal to feel pain, discomfort, and some swelling at the tummy area. Standing up for long periods, bending down, and lifting heavy objects will be painful. We advise getting as much rest as you can. It is also recommended to lie down at an angle. However, getting up for a slow and leisurely walk around your room every few hours is a good idea to prevent blood clots from forming.

Your doctor may prescribe you some pain medication and recovery cream to be applied as instructed. You will also be given an abdominal binder to wear around your abdomen to support and sculpt the area while it heals. Keep this on at all times unless you are showering or cleaning the area.

Recovery week 2 

After one week, most of the pain and discomfort should subside. Painkillers are usually not required anymore but you may pop some over-the-counter painkillers if you are still experiencing pain. The abdominal binder should be worn daily still.

Recovery week 3

By this time, you should not need painkillers anymore. But, it is still a good idea to wear your abdominal binder to give the abdominal area support and put the swelling under control. You may resume light activities that do not require long periods of standing or walking, including going to the office.

Recovery week 4 to 8

By week 4, most people will be able to resume light day-to-day activities and exercise.

As everyone’s recovery rate can be slightly different, your doctor may advise you to wait until 6 or 8 weeks post-op before reintroducing strenuous activities. As always, listen to your own body and do this gradually to minimize any injuries or causing complications to your incision area.

While there should generally be no more pain, some people report feeling a ‘tugging’ sensation in their tummy even months after the operation. This should not be a cause for concern. It usually fades away after some time.

You are in safe hands @ The Clifford Surgery Clinic!

As we have shared, experiencing post-abdominoplasty surgery pain and discomfort is completely normal, given the scale of the operation. But choosing the right doctor to do your tummy tuck surgery in Singapore can make a difference in your comfort level and recovery!

At The Clifford Surgery Clinic, our doctors are certified and trained to do a range of cosmetic surgery procedures, including abdominoplasty surgery in Singapore. We understand that getting a cosmetic procedure is not just about getting it to ‘look’ right; we also need to prioritize our patients’ safety and comfort.

Want to understand more about whether abdominoplasty is for you, or interested to know if you should combine a tummy tuck with a liposuction? Make an appointment to speak to us and let us understand your wishes and concerns.