With the tummy tuck quickly becoming one of our country's most popular cosmetic surgery procedures today, people often have numerous questions. One of the more often asked questions usually focuses on the tummy tuck recovery period. Therefore, our intent in this section is to provide a thorough discussion of what the recovery will consist of.

While we would like to provide a definitive healing timeline for everyone, there are a couple of factors which prevent us from doing so. One of these factors is whether or not you smoke. While we will provide a notional timeline of the healing process, a smoker will usually require longer periods of time to heal. Therefore, if you are a smoker and are considering this procedure, it really is in your best interest to quit so you can accelerate your healing.

Another factor that determines how quickly you will heal is your current physical health. As you would imagine, if you are very physically fit, you will heal much quicker than if you are out of shape. As a result, we recommend that you partake in a proper exercise regimen before having a tummy tuck.

A third variable that will affect the recovery is the type of tummy tuck that you have. As an example, you can expect a quicker recovery with a mini tummy tuck than you could with an extended tummy tuck.

Not that you understand some of the variables that can affect the healing process, let's discuss a notional healing timeline.

Immediately after the procedure, you may not be able to stand fully erect for a few days, as the skin on your stomach was pulled very taunt during the surgery. This inability to stand up should be lessened as each day passes.

Depending on the type of tummy tuck, you may be required to stay in the hospital for up to three days. During this period, it is not uncommon for patients to become nauseous and vomit (which is usually associated with the anesthesia).

During this time, you most likely will have tummy tuck drain (it can stay in between 3 days and 3 weeks). The purpose of the drain is to get rid of any fluids that may build up in your abdominal area.

Additionally, for the first week, a patient may experience some swelling and discomfort. The patient can expect the swelling to last a few weeks.

A tummy tuck patient should not expect to resume their regular routine for at least two weeks. In some cases, it can take up to four weeks for a patient to resume their normal activity levels. During this period, the patient needs to avoid picking up heavy objects or pushing or pulling objects. Please do not disregard this advice as it can prolong the healing process if you do.

About a week after the surgery, a patient can engage in very light exercise. Most surgeons will recommend gentle walking.

It normally takes a few weeks for the abdominal incision to heal. With that said, it can take up to a full year for the abdominal muscles to fully heal.

As a note of caution, don't be discouraged if you are not immediately impressed with your tummy tuck results. Sometimes, it can take up to 6 months for the final results to show.

Before we conclude, it is important to note that your doctor will schedule a couple of follow-up appointments for you. Please do not skip these appointments as these are the times your doctor will be checking you for signs of infection.

If you need any additional information of the tummy tuck recovery process, feel free to visit the New Jersey Tummy Tuck Guide. Additionally, if you are seeking information on the cost of a tummy tuck, please feel free to visit the Tummy Tuck Cost Guide.

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