The numbers don’t lie; a tummy tuck remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the country. In 2018, according to data compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were more than 130,000 tummy tucks performed. Clinically known as an abdominoplasty, this procedure tightens sagging stomach muscles while removing damaged or excess skin. It ranked as the fifth most common plastic surgery performed in the country in 2018. In fact, since 2000, there has been a 107 percent increase in the frequency of tummy tucks. Choosing to have plastic surgery is always a big decision and should be made only after serious consideration. If you want a tummy tuck, you also have to think about what to expect following the procedure. Preminger Plastic Surgery wants to explain why, if you have a tummy tuck scheduled, you should start planning right now for your recovery.
Here are four factors to consider when planning your tummy tuck recovery in Manhattan:
- How extensive is your tummy tuck expected to be?
- An abdominoplasty is not a “one size fits all” procedure. If you only have a moderate amount of excess skin, for example, you may be a good candidate for a “mini-tuck.” In short, the more extensive your tummy tuck is, the longer it will take you to recover fully from the procedure. Your plastic surgeon in Manhattan should be able to give you an estimate of what to expect during the surgery, and how long your recovery time is projected to be.
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you have a physical job that involves being on your feet often, or regularly lifting heavy things? If so, be prepared for an extended amount of time off of work. On the other hand, if you have a sedentary desk job, you may be able to resume work after just a week or so of recovery. Generally speaking, Dr. B. Aviva Preminger at Preminger Plastic Surgery recommends that any tummy tuck patient refrains from strenuous physical activity for six weeks.
- How high is your pain tolerance?
- Even a “mini-tuck” should be considered major surgery, especially if your abdominoplasty requires any muscle repair having to be done. Each of us has our own level of pain tolerance. What is excruciating to one person may be just bothersome to another. Your timetable to resume your normal routine will be influenced greatly by how much pain you are experiencing following your tummy tuck in Manhattan. Dr. Preminger will discuss this with you in detail during your consultation, and appropriate pain medication will be prescribed as well.
- How quickly does your body heal?
- Just like pain tolerance, this is a factor that varies with each individual patient. Your body needs the proper amount of time to heal from any injury or surgery, and a tummy tuck is not excluded from this mix. Certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and obesity can have a negative impact on your body’s natural healing processes, as can frequently drinking alcohol or any tobacco use. This is why Dr. Preminger recommends that any patient who is interested in plastic surgery stop smoking at least a couple of weeks before the procedure.
Tummy Tucks in New York City
Your plastic surgeon won’t be able to provide an exact timetable on your recovery, but generally speaking, a tummy tuck patient can expect to be back at work two weeks after their procedure. Light exercise can also begin after two weeks, starting with taking walks and then progressing to something more intensive like biking or using an elliptical trainer, while any strenuous activity should be put on hold for about six weeks, or as directed by Dr. Preminger. It may take as long as 8 to 12 weeks for all swelling from the surgery to dissipate. You will need to arrange transportation to and from your surgery. You also can expect that you will have two drains in place for anywhere from 3 to 15 days to allow fluid to drain from the surgical area.
It’s natural to have questions and concerns about surgery, even if it’s a procedure you want, such as a tummy tuck. That’s why Dr. Preminger meets with each patient for a consultation and full examination before scheduling the surgery. At this appointment, she will evaluate your entire health and medical history, identify any possible risk factors, and compose a treatment plan to address your own unique aesthetic goals. Schedule your consultation today by calling (212) 706-1900 if you are located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or anywhere in New York City.