How Long Is The Recovery Time After A Tummy Tuck?

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


One of the most common struggles that lead men and women to pursue plastic surgery is loose skin, which may be the result of pregnancy, extreme weight loss, or natural aging. More specifically, loose abdominal skin and stubborn belly fat are among patients’ top concerns. For these men and women, a tummy tuck can be a life-changing procedure. At J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. J. Timothy Katzen helps patients achieve or restore a slimmer, smoother, sexier figure with advanced abdominoplasty surgery. Learn more about the benefits of a tummy tuck here, and find out how long your full tummy tuck recovery may take.

What happens during a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty surgery, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a widely popular body contouring procedure that aims to reshape a person’s midsection, primarily through the removal of excess abdominal skin. Liposuction may also be utilized during tummy tuck surgery to get rid of fat deposits in the abdomen for an even smoother and more natural-looking result. For patients with separated abdominal muscles – or diastasis recti – a tummy tuck may include tightening and reinforcing the muscles to flatten an unsightly tummy pooch.

During tummy tuck surgery in Beverly Hills, which is performed using general anesthesia and may take 2 – 3 hours to complete, Dr. Katzen will make an incision along the lower abdomen. Patients with a significant amount of extra skin may require a full tummy tuck, while men and women with more mild concerns may be better suited to a mini tummy tuck. Dr. Katzen will address muscle separation if necessary, trim loose skin, remove unwanted fat, and pull the remaining skin taut over the newly sculpted abdomen. Sutures will be used to close the incision, and the patient will be taken to a postoperative room for a brief period of time before being discharged to begin their recovery at home.

What to expect after tummy tuck surgery

Patients considering a tummy tuck should keep in mind that it is an extensive procedure that requires a dedicated recovery period. In the first few days after tummy tuck surgery, patients can expect some level of discomfort and should focus on rest. To avoid putting strain on the incisions, patients will need to walk with their upper body slightly bent and sleep in a reclining position, with both the upper body and legs slightly elevated. Compression garments will be recommended to reduce postoperative swelling and encourage proper healing. Dr. Katzen will advise you on how often and for how long these will need to be worn. Strenuous physical activity and exercise should be restricted until cleared by Dr. Katzen.

How long does tummy tuck recovery take?

Tummy tuck recovery can vary based on the nature and extent of your procedure, how closely you follow tummy tuck aftercare guidelines, whether any additional procedures were performed simultaneously, and other factors. On average, patients can expect to return to work and the majority of their daily routines – with the exception of exercise – about 2 – 3 weeks after a tummy tuck. Residual swelling may take up to 3 – 4 months to fully resolve, though patients will be able to enjoy an enhanced shape much sooner. To ensure the speediest and most comfortable tummy tuck recovery possible, patients should:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid putting pressure or tension on their incisions
  • Walk with the upper body bent at an angle
  • Sleep in a reclining position with upper body and legs slightly elevated
  • Not lie flat or stretch incisions
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Not smoke
  • Restrict physical activity and exercise
  • Wear compression garments as recommended
  • Take medications as directed
  • Attend all follow-up appointments

By following tummy tuck recovery instructions closely, patients can get back to their favorite activities sooner.

Reshape your figure and transform your life with tummy tuck surgery in Beverly Hills, CA

Being unhappy with your body can take a toll on virtually every aspect of your life. If you are frustrated or embarrassed by loose skin and stubborn abdominal fat, you may be a candidate for abdominoplasty surgery. To learn more about the life-changing results that may be possible for you, call J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills to schedule your one-on-one consultation with plastic surgeon and body contouring specialist Dr. J. Timothy Katzen today.

Call TODAY to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, Dr. Katzen has offices in Beverly Hills, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Dubai, UAE. Physical or virtual consultations can be arranged. Virtual consultation options include FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp. Call (310) 859 - 7770 today to schedule your consultation to get the tummy of your dreams!


* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.