For anyone considering a tummy tuck, it is important to think carefully about the recovery time. Abdominoplasty is a major surgery, and it is going to take a long time to heal, typically a minimum of five weeks. However, the first week after surgery is the most delicious time, as that is when the body does the bulk of healing. The following are some things that can be expected the first week after a tummy tuck.

Remain On Bed Rest

After the surgery, it is important to remain in bed with your head and legs slightly elevated. Keeping pillows behind the back and under the knee can help accomplish this. Alternately, the patient can remain in a recliner. This is very important, as it keeps the torso elevated in order to get air into the lungs to prevent any issues. It also helps alleviate some pressure on the skin on the stomach, which also relaxes the pressure on the incision.

Do not attempt to walk around during the first week, post-surgery. The only walking should be to the bathroom and back. Doing too much physical activity can cause fluid collections to form in the drain lines.


It is important to try to eat as normal of a diet as can be tolerated. Fluids are especially important, and the patient should try to consume as much non-carbonated fluid as possible during the first week. Sports drinks or juice are among the best fluids to consume.

Food should be light. Avoid anything overly heavy or greasy. For patients who struggle with nausea after the procedure, sweet foods can help. Ice cream and gelatin are great options. Also, keep in mind that pain relievers can cause constipation, so try to eat foods high in fiber.

Wear A Compression Garment

After a tummy tuck, the patient should wear a compression garment to help prevent swelling and the collection of fluid. The garment should be worn for the full five days after the procedure. It will result in faster healing and enhancement the results of the surgery. Do not take it off at all in the first five days, even to take a bath.


Hygiene will have to take a bit of a back seat during the first five days after having an abdominoplasty. It is fine to go to the bathroom as needed, but be certain to have someone help to add support.

Only sponge baths can occur during this time, as exposing the incisions to water can cause bacteria to invade the area. Leave the compression garment on the entire time, but do not allow it to get wet.

After one week, the patient will have their first post-op visit with the doctor. This is a time in which any drain lines will be removed and any issues will be addressed. The compression garment will also be removed. Depending on the progress, a new compression garment may be placed. Having a tummy tuck is quite an ordinal, so it is very important to listen to the doctor and follow these guidelines in order to heal properly.