Abdominoplasty is one of the most invasive forms of cosmetic surgery, but it has astonishing results. The procedure for a tummy tuck requires a great deal, but once the procedure is complete, the midsection is smooth and firm with only a single scar remaining to heal.
With abdominoplasty, the surgeon makes a large incision across the lower portion of the abdomen, curving between the pubic bones. He then removes a large area of skin and tissue before tightening the muscles and pulling the remaining skin flush over the midsection. The surgeon then closes up the incision, leaving two or possibly three drains in place to help reduce swelling.
Once the patient is home from the surgery, the healing begins. In the first few days following the procedure, the drains will accumulate fluid. They will need to be emptied regularly as they fill. Moving will be a challenge for the patient as the incision will cause discomfort. The tightened muscles of the midsections will make it challenging to stand straight up as well.
Over the first days, the pain will gradually become reduced, however, as the incision heals. Moderate movement will help the muscles to gradually loosen and become more pliable. The movement will help to body to rid itself of excessive swelling as well as speeding healing.
Approximately two weeks following surgery, the incision from the abdominoplasty is primarily healed, although it will take six weeks to heal completely. Movement should be much easier for the patient and all drains will be removed by the surgeon to allow the body to heal completely. This is the point that many patients return to a mild work environment. Complete healing occurs in about six weeks following surgery.